How does a Day in a Kungfu School start? Greg will tell you about his first Day in Maling Kungfu Academy!
This post was originally published on Kungfu Commute, Gregs own Blog where he writes about his life and training in Maling Shan Shaolin Kungfu School.
Short Introduction: Greg is a former student staying at Maling Shan Kungfu School from Winter 2016 untill September 2016. He is originally from the UK and studied under Master Wei, Master Du and Master Wang.
January 8th, 2016
Got in 12 at night in the freezing cold. Met my roomie Brage (pronounced Braggie…and who I now call Bragz) who is from Norway. Then he asked if I planned to starting training in the morning?…my reply was damn right!
5:30 soon came upon me and I was awakened by the sound of a rooster cock-a-doodle-doing! I didn’t think that actually happened.
Each morning starts the same with the optional class of Tai Chi. My idea at the moment is to just go head first into everything. Tai Chi is focused on slow, controlled movements so Bragz took me through some basics before the headmaster himself (Master Bao) showed me the first movements. It killed my calves! Slow control in this relaxing form really took me a lot of concentration, I’m hoping this gets easier with time. Continue reading “Greg (UK) and his first Day in Maling”
Well about time to introduce myself. Hey my name is Sabine, I am 24, from Germany and I am going to keep you updated on Life in Maling Shan Kungfu Academy for at least the next months.
I am in Maling Shan now since over 6 months and also writing my own Blog, Kungfuprincess on the Road, hence the Author Name. But with Morten leaving in August, somebody had to take over and I got asked to do so.
So in short I will try to deliver you your monthly dose of Kung fu Fun and Life in the school.
Because after all this is purely a Student Blog.
Hopefully I can try to get some more of the other students to tell their stories, because the more the merrier 😉
So now let me tell you my story off why the hell I am somewhere in the middle of China training Kung Fu?
The feelings inside me right now is maybe the hardest to describe in the world.
We just stood there waiting, the guys around me played: every step I take, every move I make, I be missing you.
I had a small speech prepared, but I just couldn’t do it, the tears choked me completely, so I decided that the speech would be a part of this blog.
My life has always been lived in moments. I live by a quote: Life is not measured by every breath we take, but the moments that takes our breath away. . . Maybe that is why one of my favorite songs with Westlife is called moments.
In the song they sing : every moment we shared together is even better than the moment before, if every day was as good at today was, then I can’t wait until tomorrow comes.
This has been my life at MSKFA. . Every moment just out shined the next one. The people I had around me continued to amaze me.
You are all a part of my family now and that means I will always be there for you. I consider family the closest thing in the world. I love you guys.
So I have been telling you about a lot of things about what is happening outside of school lately. Performances, Shanghai and competition. The thing is, I haven’t really been talking about what is going on at school, so this blog is dedicated to let you know who is here, and what is happening.
KFC and no it is not Kentucky fried chicken, it is the Kung fu camp, I am talking about. For the time being we have loads of kids running around our school, all of them training kung fu at the Maling Mountain kung fu camp for kids. A thing master Bao came up with and a thing that brings a lot of life to the school.
They are mainly trained by Peter, who is Chinese and a former student at our academy. So the last of the long terms students know him quite well.
We came in and the sight that met us was stunning. I looked up and saw an amazing setup and a lot of people. Given it is an Olympic year and we were located to the left from Xuzhou Olympic stadium, the opening ceremony felt like I was about to enter Rio 2016.
I was stunned, there was so many people around and later I was told that there would be 2500 people competing in the art of kung fu. My god, there must have been at least a 1000 people sitting up there looking down at us.
We were lined up in countries, so Phillip and I were suddenly representing Denmark. It was an awesome feeling. I have never tried felling like this, but always kind of wanted it. I have always said, that I always wanted to be one of the best in Europe or the world to something, just so I can get this feeling I had that day.
The feeling of being a part of a big sports event. I was not there to see the opening ceremony, with dancing, kung fu and other things, because I was out back preparing my snake form to enter the competition. But I do have some pictures from it. Think maybe some people would be disappointed to miss out the opening ceremony, but not me, because right there I was living some kind of dream. Standing in the back with a lot of volunteers trying to make everything work.
We were up first, a group of 12 people, all internationals, given we were not to compete against Chinese people, given the level of the competition was quite high. I was excited and nowhere near nervous, cause I knew my form so well, after performing it over and over again. The only things that could go wrong was me falling or me not being clear in my moves.
I thought I was competing against all 12 people, but later on we found out that some of them were in other categories, which made my group smaller. It was time, we lined up and walked into the hall, the crowd were loud and the bleachers were filled. First up we had to walk in to greet the judges, in which there were 8 people. Then we walked out again and stood in line. First up Japan, MY GOD he was good. The Japanese, Mexican and Chilean guy were all doing modern kung fu, so they were jumping around doing flips and stuff. You always get a little annoyed that you can´t do that and you have to compete against that. The thing is just because they can do that, doesn´t mean you can´t beat them.
The judges doesn´t give more points just because of flips and stuff. That was my entering though.
Jauffrey was before me, doing his tiger, then it was me walking in very calm thinking clarity, you can beat everybody, slow down, you got this.
There I was lifting my hands up in the air, and boom it was on, the snake was unleashed on the floor in Xuzhou. I finished, not being totally satisfied with myself, cause I messed up a little bit, and in all the confusion I didn´t see my score, because I didn´t know where to look. Later I was told by my roomie I got 8,57 which I was very happy about, cause that meant only three people took a higher score than me, The Japanese, the Mexican and the Chilean guy. So I thought I came in fourth, in which I was happy about, given I beat my own friends from the school.
Later It came to show that The Chilean guy was not in our category, so suddenly there was a bronze medal waiting. I was excited about that. YES I reached my goal, winning a medal in every sport I ever competed in. Here is the thing the group was divided into bands, so first place got a gold, but second and third were in the same band, so we got a silver medal, and fourth and fifth got the bronze medal. It is a little confusing, but Nonetheless I brought home a silver medal and a frontpage add for me and Phillip.
Here I have to shout out a thanks to Master Du for being very patient with me in my snake form, because I constantly were rushing it and not being clear, and right before we went for the competition he was helping me with the details and telling me, he thought I could get a good grade.
It was weird because the rest of the day I didn´t have any clue about me getting silver. I calculated my fourth place and being satisfied with that. It was only the day after I found out all these things.
I was very happy about the day and we went back to the hotel to eat lunch, which were amazing, a buffet with Chinese and western food, so even I could eat well hehe.
It was a little bit weird, given I was only on the floor for 1 minut and then my whole competition was over, and I immediately regretted that I didn´t enter the tournament with my broadsword to.
Let me just rewind, we came to the competition Thursday, thinking we all had to compete Friday, but master Bao told us if some of us were to compete Saturday, we would obviously stay and the school would pay the extra night. We looked in the great book of competing (there was this huge book with 150+ pages with all groups and times for competing) and found out that the weapon forms were Saturday.
Back to Friday evening, were I was very happy about everything, but for my Blasian things started to become real. Him and Shane were freaking out about them being the one on the floor the day after. Okay okay, maybe I wasn´t the most supporting in the world, given I mostly just added gasoline to their “freak-out fire” but I had fun and that is obviously what counts, hehe.
So it became Saturday, and my Blasian and Greg were still freaking out a bit, but when they hit the floor at the competition, they were awesome. Greg and Shane also landed a silver medal for their forms, so everything was simply amazing.
We were asked if we wanted to stay for another day given we now had won medals and stuff and everybody was in, because we were excited about having a ceremony where we would be given our medals. As it came to show, we were chinesed AGAIN.
But staying an extra evening meant that we could go out, and given we know Xuzhou, we knew exactly where to go, well at least where to end up, cause getting to the city center we didn´t know anything about hehe.
We found a taxi, and showed a map and off we went. Phillip, Greg, Michael and me. we found this little place where me and Phillip could get Danish beers and the prices were not high, so we decided to stay for 2 or 8 beers, then this Chinese guy came and asked us if we wanted to go to muse, which is the club we alle knew, and off we went with Richard aka Bush.
Yet again I took care of myself, so as soon as the possibility showed itself for some free drinks I was all over it, and off course took care of the MSKA people too. I was all over the place, bouncing like a ball from table to table, just to drink with several Chinese guys and girls.
Lets just say we had a fun night out.
The day after we went for the reward ceremony or we came there and was told we were being Chinesed again. There was to many people to receive medals, so there would not be any ceremony… hmm so we had our own little ceremony with master Wang giving us our medals. Some people would say we stayed for nothing, but we had a great night the day before, and even though we were tired and hungovered some of us, we managed to get through a very long and warm day.
Some of us bought weapons and competition suits, so the day was not wasted at all…
It was a great weekend and if you wanna read more about the competition and maybe read a little bit more facts, read my Blasians blog: www.kungfucommute.wordpress.com
So this happened, Phil and Kristian were going to Shanghai and since I kind of wanted to see Shanghai I went with them.
I knew that we were going to have a great time, because when three danes are going away together it means a lot of alcohol. We pre-started our celebrating Wednesday, when we all went out for a “-job well done, good performance dinner” we got some beers and that was kind of the beginning of a long long drinking trip for me.
Extremely spontaneous, Kenneth and Astrid decided Wednesday evening to come too, so suddenly all the five danes were on a trip to Shanghai. My god this was going to be fun.
Okay first of all, K & A didn´t get train tickets or had any place to sleep, so that was kind of cool, they just went along with us. They weren´t sure about getting the same train tickets so it was kind of cool, they just went with it. We came quite late, so we wouldn´t able to get tickets for K & A in time, so we went ahead to the train while they would get tickets for the next train, and we would meet up with them in Xuzhou.
This was the beginning of extreme luck and a lot of fun. Our train was delayed, so we went down to see if K and A maybe could get tickets for the same train, but the woman in the ticket office didn´t understand anything, so Kenneth was actually prepared to go home, but they found an English speaking Chinese, and suddenly they came walking. Apparently they just said go. WHAT??? With no ticket or anything they just came in the same train as us. It was ridiculous, but then we at least began the trip together.
In Xuzhou, it just got worse for us with being late. We were late for the train and it was a race with time, to catch the train, but in the end we lost the match. We were annoyed that we had to pay 280 kuai, for another ticket. Funny enough we met K & A in the ticket office, and they were in line, so we chineesed our way into the line.
At least now we would end up in the same train. Then once again luck struck us. The woman behind the counter just took our tickets ran them through the machine and bam, then we had new tickets, without paying extra, my god the trip just got better. The one thing that was a bit annoying was that we had to wait for several hours and we would arrive in Shanghai late. So obviously we sat down and had some food and later some beers. We are danes, you know! : ) hehe.
Coming to Shanghai with the last train, has one small detail attached to it, the line for a cap is horribly long. I was told that compared to Beijing, Shanghai is full of
hustlers, and in the train station they ran around trying to get them in their pirate taxies. We chose the long line, because we thought it moved fast. All the hustlers said the line was two hours long, but we didn´t believe it hehe. We were right, it only took an hour and we actually had fun in the line.
The taxi drove extremely fast, but it was needed, we just wanted to get there. He didn´t seem to be able to find our hostel, so Phil said he could find it from where we were. He lied!! We walked around for 40 minutes before we found it hehe.
The next thing was getting Our couple a room, and there was only one bed available in an all girls room, so we figured we took Kenneth in our room and one of us would sleep on the floor, but we wounded up drinking beers in the middle of the night and K & A wounded up sleeping in the common room.
The next day they got a room and we were all settled in.
Phil and Kristian were going to the Russian embassy to get their visa for their train route through Russia, so I just stayed behind with the others.
Sitting back at the hostel, I walked a little around in there. The hostel is an extremely nice place where you can get a room for 280. Kristian, Phil and me had a room that cost 360 pr. Night and you even have your own shower and you get towels, toothbrush and all these things, which you normally get in a hotel. So for a hostel it was quite good. If you are traveling around alone, you can live for 110 in a dorm-room, in which we spend the last night.
The whole trip was planned by Phil and Kristian getting their visa, but Phil´s passport didn´t have enough time left, so he couldn´t get it. This was a slight set-back, but given Kristian got his visa, but could only collect it Wednesday, we decided that instead of going home Monday as planned, we stayed for Wednesday.
When the guys came back, we decided to check out the area and we wounded up at the big pedestrian street they have on Nianjing Road. It seemed like everything we touched turned to gold. We were lucky with everything and nothing seemed to stop us. Another example in us being lucky was that Phil has been in Shanghai before, and back then he got a wechat where he had two contacts, where one of them were a guy called Anton.
Anton is a Russian guy who works as a promoter in Shanghai. So we contacted him hoping he had some good things for us, which he had. The place was called Mook, where the speakers were loud and extremely close to our standing table, in which we had free drinks. It wasn only certain bottles we could drink from, but they had whiskey and vodka, which we obviously drank like crazy hehe.
It was an okay place with a stage where the DJ was playing and we could dance. We didn´t really stay for that long this place, given the music was too loud, but that text to Anton gave us so much more than this.
The next day I was ready to party again, and to make the story short on that note, I was ready to party every day.
That Saturday we went out to see more of the city and we wounded up at McDonalds because I wanted to let the guys know how good a chocolate Frappé from McCafé was. “My god” they are god, but a little to the expensive side, given a small one is 25 kuai, but they are amazing and in my mind obviously worth it.
See this is where my mind is kind of blurry, because I was drinking everyday so parting the days from each other is kind of hard, I guess that is what you get from drinking yourself over the limit every day. It is fun though.
It seems like we didn´t do anything Saturday night but still think that at least Kristin and I went out for a walk or something and came home in the middle of the night…
Sunday night I seem to recall this was our first night at M2, a very cool night club where not only had free drinks, but also had a table and a couch to sit in. We met a lot of people that night from different countries and at some point we managed to meet more promoters and get their wechat, so the day after my phone was lighting up like crazy.
This evening we also manage to break the one rule we had. The rule was to stay together no matter what, but apparently we met these Swedish girls, which I can´t really remember hehe, but when we went out to find other places to party, we got lost from each other and I was with one girl and I think Phil and Kristian where alone, so I managed to get in a cab with Evalina and we wounded up at a place where theyb charged 100 kuai to get in just because they showed the final of the European championship. No way I was going to pay that so I set of with no phone, no address of our Hostel and with limited Chinese communication skills. I was going to find my way home. I found a cab and said Nanjing road, and I was lucky, because that road is several kilometers. I recognized a corner in which where close to the pedestrian street and boom I was on my way home.
I came back to the hostel and I saw the game was one, so I bought a beer and saw first half. Before the second half started I thought to myself I needed company. I went down to the room to leave a note to the others that I would be in the bar, not knowing the others came home during first half. The I went up to the bar again to ask these two Russian girls if they wanted to watch the game with me. They hated football, but decided oddly to join me anyway. After the match I decided to join them in the couch outside the bar, and I wounded up talking with the girls until 10 a clock the day after.
I think that the other Danes, went for the sailing this day, so I slept from 10 to 16 with a lot of wake-ups in between. It was perfect, cause when they got home again I was ready to find something to eat and well you know, get a beer or two
We wanted to go drinking with the Swedish girls again, and luckily I had wechat on one of them. – You are welcome guys… inside joke with Phil and Kristian, cause even though I didn´t remember how we met the girls or anything I still managed to get a contact so we could meet them again. So to see them again we had to go through my wechat… Obviously I love to be the go-to guy.
They weren’t that interested in drinking Monday and suggested Wednesday instead, but we were going home there, so Tuesday became the deal.
Monday evening, I went for a walk with the Russians and afterwards with Kristian to find a small bar which didn´t go well. We just walked around for an hour without finding anything. It was a nice walk, with a lot of beers, and we got to see a little bit of the city by night.
Tuesday during the day, we set of to the Danish consulate because Phillip needed to get a new passport in order to get a visa for Russia. We had some fun when we were there. We just ran around to figure out how to get to the top, to see the view. We found something completely different, toilets. Yes toilets with heating, wifi and ass drying, yes those toilets could do so many things so we had to try them, which lead to squirting water up in your ass, just to turn the air-dryer on. My god we had fun and my god that was weird.
After our little encounter we went out to eat pizza and then we decided it was time to go get a drink at cloud 9, which is the highest located bar in the world. It is located at 87th floor in a sky-scraper.
My god that was cool.
Usually you pay 150 kuai to get into the bar and then you can drink for those money. We weren´t really interested to pay that amount, but yet again we have had our luck, so they girls at the bar ended up letting us in because it was very foggy and the view wasn´t that nice. So we decided to go get a 65 kuai beer, and just stay there until it got dark, so we could see the view with all the neon lights. AMAZING.
Wednesday we had to go home, but yet again we decided to stay another day, why you ask, well okay Kristian had to get his Russian visa, but it was between 15-16 which would make us come home extremely late, so we decided to stay over another night, which off course opened up for another night clubbing and yes another excuse to meet the Swedish girls hehe.
We met up at M2, but they were first not coming and then they were late and It was a mess in the beginning because they came so late they had to pay for everything, but as very tactical danes we took off our bracelets, given our butler had looked at us the whole night, so he knew we were drinking for free, but the girls were new, so we gave them our bracelets.
This evening was the first evening where we managed no to get away from each other because we took the girls to our place. We did something we regret a lot though, we stayed up all night talking to the girls, so when they went home, we had two hours to sleep before we had to leave for the train.
This left us totally knackered, and it was about to become a very long trip home.
We didn´t miss the train, but when we landed in Xuzhou, we couldn´t get a train before eight, so being very tired and all we found McDonalds to wait and eat there, and when we finally found our way into the train station and were ready to go, the train was delayed.
We should have stayed another night in Shanghai, the Swedish girls would agree with me on that hehe.
In the train I was out, but Kristian was apparently being part of a touchy feely conversation with some Chinese girls and some older men. I think they had fun.
When getting a cab and for once accepted five people in one cab, which got us all home to the academy together, which is nice after a trip like that. I was supposed to train the day after from 10.30, but my body apparently wanted to sleep, so I slept 12 hours in one go. I haven´t done that since, well the last time I was drinking for seven days straight.
All in all I got to see shanghai before leaving China and it was in the best company in the world, so this was a nice break from training.
Next blog will be about my first competition in Xuzhou and yes this time it is a real competition, not just a performance…
Two blogs ago, I was talking about getting back into my training rhythm and I knew that we still had a performance to do again, given we some weeks ago signed up for it. This week I was not to find my rhythm again, because this whole week was practicing for Jiangsu Mid-Year Local Performance.
I have because of my drinking over a week ago had problems with my stomach, also because of all the trips I have been on lately.
I haven´t given my stomach a food rhythm lately and properly also because I got some bad news in the beginning of this week. I applied months ago to get in to the university to study Physical education and health, and I didn´t get in, so as I tell my Blasian, I HAVE NO FUTURE.
In my family our stomach usually takes all the blows from stress and bad news, so this week didn´t have the best beginning.
I woke up Monday with low batteries, there was no energy whatsoever. I didn´t really sleep either so everything was working against me. I thought okay my body is telling me to relax and I should I have done that obviously, but because of this performance, which is extremely important I had to go through it, because we apparently had to perform some sanda and us fighting with sticks.
The next thing is, because if the low energy I can´t really go on my 10k no-stress runs, which I really need, so it is a big problem.
Half the time I was dizzy and didn´t know where the hell I were, so I took caffeine pills, energy gels and drank energy drink to keep the batteries going. It was not a fun Monday and it was terribly long.
It was the same thing Tuesday, and I must admit I don´t find the sticks that cool, I find them very boring and practicing something you really don´t wanna do, with no energy is extremely hard, I couldn´t get the speed I wanted, I couldn´t think straight and every time there was a position where we had to squat and get up again I got dizzy and couldn´t really see straight. .
And yes my as is almost showing on the picture. . .
This is the thing, you are properly thinking, why not quit this performance, when you are obviously not fit to train?
I know, I was thinking it myself a lot of times, and thinking –“I have performed so much anyway so I can sit this one out. There is a big BUT though and not the kind that Sirmixalot is rapping about.
This performance is important, very important to master Bao and as always I wanna do everything I can for this school, and that means to keep up the spirit and use the energy I have on this and Saturday it will be over with a good performance.
This is the thing here, at some point during your stay here, you will feel the batteries getting low and you awill have no energy to train. Sometimes it is the body who tells you to take a break and I always listen to my body, but other times it is just because you train so hard, so training here is not just about training, but finding a balance within yourself, and learn how to listen to your body, cause in kung fu the spirit and the power comes from within, if there is nothing inside, you have no power.
Today it is Thursday and it is 30 plus degrees, my god the heat, but when master Wang said that the second class would be conditioning I saw my way to get a break and let my body rest, so I told master Wang that given my energy level I would sit this one out. When I was lying down getting ready to rest Master Do yelled and asked if I wanted to finish my crane form (flying crane fist), and given I also have a deadline for learning the forms I want, I had to say yes even though my body will punish me for it later.
I have two and a half day of survival left and then next week it is time to really get back into a rhythm again.
Obviously friday was not going to be fun, but I kind of had to go through it. we were told that the performance maybe would be moved, which it was. I put my body through hell for nothing.
So here we are monday morning, my body is back and the energy is good, well as good as a body is a monday morning, so maybe not that good hehe.
we know what to do, train for the performance, so off we go. . . Stick form, fighting with sticks, staff group form, Sanda group thing.
Friday : a whole week went by, where everyday should be the same, but sometimes we suddenly had regular training in between and it was just frustrating.
Oh yeah did I tell you the performance was moved AGAIN!! now we had to perform Tuesday. so the monday before we had to perform, we were of course told, that we the performances were divided into three days. WHAT THE fudge, what just happened, another week with performance training. . .
We learn in kung fu, to always be ready, and I must say we are practicing being ready all the time, hehe, but it is all in good fun.
So it became Tuesday, and there we were, on the way to Xinyi to perform, FINALLY. This say was groupform and Tai chi fan form day. First we did groupform, and then later Greg, Thiijs and Sabine did their tai chi fan form. It looked damn good.
It became very late before we were home, so we knew that the week was going to be long.
Wednesday morning, ready to train and in the middle of training to the next performance. There was Master Bao, and he said, we didn´t have to perform more this week, because he found our first performance to be to short, so the performance got moved AGAIN, to Tuesday. WHY you ask, well suddenly we have a continues fist in group form, Tai chi and the staff group form in one performance. BAM.
It is frustrating, because when we are on stage, we want to feel good and comfortable, in what we are doing, and five days for practicing something new, was not in our plans. But we were given a life advice by master Bao: if you feel uncomfortable, then you just need to change that feeling.
Hello, if I just knew that when my x girlfriend broke up, we would still be together hehe.
her: I break up, cause it feels like we are more friends . . .
Me: yeah You just need to change that feeling! – so should we sleep here or at my place?
we had some fun with that, but what I think happened was I slight communication problem between the languages. I like the advice though.
So here I am Friday evening, watching game of thrones. . .
We been training the small things for use performance today and this afternoon I had a horrible 13k run. . I set out for 20+ but everything was against me, so as I said earlier, I listen to my body, so I went home, demotivated and annoyed. . .
Tomorrow I will meet up with a few of the students Greg and I taught in huai’an and I will show them xinyi. That will be a good day. . .
So here I am waking up, to meet my students. .
It was a long day. . I devoted my whole day and evening for those four students who came to visit me. . I took them around xinyi and then back to the school to show where I live.
Then we went back to xinyi to watch a movie. . Shane joined me so that was cool. .
That was a long blog. . Next blog will contain the Danes in shanghai. .
Friday evening, I barely came home from our performance Thursday and I was in Xinyi all day long Friday, so I was knackerd. Anyway I still told Master Do that I wanted to go, even though I hadn´t done any real sanda for weeks, well more like a month before my injury and the marathon. We have had some sparring but in general I wasn´t really prepared for a fight.
I said yes because I only have about two months left and I really wanted to try a real fight, even though I thought that my face would probably be smashed up.
Master Do told me that maybe we were to go same evening and then spend the night, but luckily it ended up with Saturday 8.30, which became more 9ish, given we had a thick fog around us.
There we were sitting in the car. Steve, Sabine, Kasia, Marcel and m on the way to the Anhuai provins, to a city called Suzhou, to get our ass kicked.
Sabine were also to enter a fight this day. It was actually because of her, this whole trip was planned, because she actually asked to fight someone.
After three and half hours of driving we were there, and we drove into a school of some sorts. It was a kung fu academy for chinese kids, AMAZING.
We didn´t really stay that long, given we had to go get something to eat, and master Do
told us that we were going to have some local food. Hmm I am not that good at Chinese food in general and when the word loca comes up I usually don´t like it, BUT this time it was actually good and the restaurant we went to had a big surprise. They had TUBORG, yes that is a Danish beer. It is usually Carlsberg around the world so when I saw a lot of bottles with Tuborg I felt a little bit home. The problem was
I couldn´t really drink any of them given I had a fight later, and obviously with my drinking habits I would have had more than one.
Nonetheless good food and back to the school where apparently the fight was going on. We did not get time to digest, before Master Do said we needed to enter the training with the Chinese youngsters. It wasn´t a problem for me, given I am use to it, but the floor was this padded floor and after some training I got a stupid blister on my toe, which made me unable to walk around without pain, so I had to drop out of the training.
After 20 minutes Master Do said to prepare, it was fight time.
Sabines fight was with a Chinese girl that really didn´t look like much, but she was fast. Everytime Sabine was thinking about a punch the Chinese girl punched her in the face. She continued punching her in the face and that ended up with a nosebleed for Sabine. Sabines own blog http://www.kungfuprincess-on-the-road.com , will probably explain her fight a little bit more.
My fight was up, and obviously I had to fight the biggest guy they had, okay I know with my fighting weight of 80 kg, it wouldn´t be fair if I were to fight a 50-60 kg guy. I had noticed this guy when we were training and he had some hard kicks and he had been training every day for a lot of time.
I went into the first round, with one thought, -“survive and don´t get knocked out” wam “hello Chinese guys fist, nice to meet you”, He got me right on my jar. Okay Morten wake the F up, bam I clocked him right on the nose, and I was therefore back in the game. It was a pretty good first round, I blocked most of his punches and blocked all his kicks, and I got him in the face a few times. I was confident after first round, but I was also tired. Maybe because I haven´t been use to sanda for a while and the drinking the Wednesday before tends to ruin one’s form.
Second round, was blocking-time for me, and a few time I pulled him and me down from the ring and his sidekicks started to go through my guards. Late in the second round he got me right on the throat, so I had to spit out my mouth-guard and breathe.
I went down from the ring to talk to master Do, I was tired as hell. I wanted to end this, so I went in for a third round and my guards were nowhere, so after a minute he got me with a well-placed not that much power, kick on my nose, that was the end because I started to bleed.
I was frustrated and mad at myself for not being in better shape, I mean I run marathons. I know, I know it is not the same stamina wise, but still, me being tired after a 2-minute round was annoying. I felt I was in the fight after the first round, and if I had the stamina I could have done better. I even had the chance to kick him in the face a few times, but given I still have problems with my left Achilles-tendon, I didn´t want to risk it during the fight. Looking back, I should have tried the two times I had the chance, just to see what happened.
Nonetheless it was great to almost complete three rounds with a guy who apparently were about to enter a competition in sanda and have been training every day for three years. Considering that, Master Do thought I did pretty well, and after some thinking I got to same conclusion. It is just always hard for me to accept things, when I know I had more in me and I could have done better. Usually I am very realistic and always know my limits, so it is rare that I have this feeling of me being able to do better.
We got some water, and went into the car for a long drive home, but because of a good speed and less traffic we got back in under three hours, and that meant we had time to go to Xinyi to eat some noodles. You see, some of the other students have found this noodles/soup place, where you pick what you want and then the guy behind the desk boils it. My bowl always contains, noodles, noodles and noodles, with a lot of chicken and eggs and with a pepsi, it cost 19 kuai, so it is a lovely place. To those who knows me around here, they know how much I love to go to Dico´s, but that noodle place will actually get me to drop dico´s once and a while.
So all in all it was a good day, long but good and I tested my limits once more, so even though he kicked me in the face, I was quite happy with the result.
So I was preparing for another Tuesday on the academy, my first week were I had to find my way back into the week rhythm. You see after my marathon I have had a hard time finding my way back to a steady rhythm of training.
I am not running 50k a week anymore, I am only maintaining my run form so I don’t lose everything before going back to Denmark in two months’ time. I would lie if I said it was easy just to go back into a training rhythm after being away for two weeks and only training part time for a week. It has been a struggle for me, to find my way back, so I was prepared to go all in this week to get back in.
But when I came back from our warm up run, master Bao came to me, to ask if I wanted to go to a performance. I always like to help the school, so I instantly said yes.
So much to get back into the rhythm, but I said yes anyway, because I only have two months left I am also trying to get all the experiences I can before leaving, and to those who have followed my blog, then you know that I like to go with the flow and take chances.
As it turns out, the performance was wednesday so we had to spend the night, given the ride there was four and a half hours. My god that was long time in a car, and my computer only holds power for one and a half hour. So what to do to get through that car ride. I prepared my phone with episodes of the series I am watching right now, -“DaVincis Deamons”. So when my computer ran out of power I could continue watching on my phone.
It turned out to be only the old students who had to go, Marcel, Jauffrey and I
. We had to go to Jiangyin city to Jiangdong wushu academy, where a former master from our school, master Tang was teaching sometimes. When we got there we
were instantly impressed by the training facilities they had. They had enough training equipment to make a very small fitness center. They had everything from squat racks to cable towers. Facilities we can only wish for in Maling Mountain.
We got there pretty late so after playing around a little bit with the wing chun dummy, Jauffrey and I found ourself in a wing chun lesson with Master Do, oh yes, Jiangyin had their own master Do who also did wing chun. He corrected everything I did on the dummy and tried to change how I did my fist form, well it is always good to have other perspectives on things.
We were given a red training suit to wear around the city to represent the school.
We were suddenly students of Juangdong wushu academy. We went out for dinner, with the masters and some other people, which was just traditional food as we know it.
When we came back home to the academy, we talked about when to get up the day after, and since the performance was in the afternoon and we only had to practice it all once, we had all the time in the world, so we decided 8 am was a good time. I didn´t get much sleep even though I had a king size bed and air-condition in the room. I was so tired but I just couldn´t sleep, and of course I had to battle a mosquito during the night, so I slept for like 4 hours in total.
The day after we went out for breakfast where we had noodles,
and after that we checked out the stage in which we were to perform later. We were later told that the performance was in the evening so we talked about staying another day because of that, because we didn´t really wanted to drive home around 10 pm. Later on we were to practice how to enter the stage and time our forms.
I went with the snake form, but the day before I had our MSKFA Master Du to check my snake form and apparently I have been missing a step in it for a while and sadly gotten used to it, so I had to change a small habit of mine in my form. That is never good right before a performance, but nonetheless I had to do it.
When we checked out the stage I found that it wasn´t that hard, so I knew I could go all in, for my breakfall snake jump attack, which I know he Chinese people really loves.
If forgot to bring coffee for the ride, so I tried to find some in small packets, so I didn´t have to buy some small packs, and I thought I found some, but the Chinese don´t really drink black coffee so all of it was either with milk or sugar or both, so I had to compromise. Later we went for a walk to go to a KFC we saw earlier just to get a regular black coffee, and obviously also to check out the city. After a 40 minute walk we arrived at the city center, or at least a city area.
Coffee, supermarket and then home again, but while we were walking the clouds got darker and darker and we wanted to go with a taxi back to the school but none of us had actually seen one the whole day. Was this a city without taxis? We found a motorized tuc tuc, and as soon as we got in the rain poured down on the city, drowning the roads in a matter of minutes, and we started to talk about if the performance would be moved due to the bad weather. I know from earlier experiences that weather in China can put a lot of things off and delay everything.
When we came back there were some women waiting for us, apparently they wanted to do yoga with us, with some lifts etc. I didn´t know what was going on, just knew my flexibility is not for yoga, but nonetheless I entered with an open mind and held a small extremely flexible Chinese woman with my hands and feet. It was so fun and weird at the same time.
After a while the kids started to arrive so suddenly we found ourselves in the middle of chaos, my god, kids, parents and masters everywhere we looked and a lot of noise. The kids started to run around practicing their performance while putting on their white and blue suit, It was a little too much for my taste given they also had to have some kind of blue thing on their head, which looked weird, and as always when Chinese put on makeupthey paint themselves totally white in their heads, and the kids even had to wear red lipstick. I am sorry but they looked like small ghosts running around, it was not a pretty sight, but their performance was awesome.
It was time to Chinese take away, which was duck and rice, not bad take-out food actually, but given I didn´t really sleep the night before I had been drinking coffee nonstop the whole day, so I wasn´t really hungry.
After dinner, we were ready but we didn´t know anything about when we had to perform. Master Bao took us by car.
We apparently had to hurry up, and we almost didn´t arrive before we had to enter the stage. I was not prepared for anything, and suddenly we were there. Poses, groupform and then it was snake time, It went well, but after my roll I got stopped in the middle of my form, because apparently I weren’t supposed to do the full form, I was frustrated because nobody told me that we had to do a test run with audience. I was frustrated because I have had problems with my last part of the snake form, so I needed to go through that, but I couldn´t because I was stopped.
This is yet again a giant culture clash, because we would never have a trial run with the audience right before the real thing. –“Yes” back home we have a preopening for plays and stuff the day before, but that is usually not the same audience who comes on the premier. In this case it was the same who saw the same twice.
After a lot of confusion and a lot of different acts with a lot of dancing, we were up. First we had to run to the stage and make a pose, and then run out again, so our performance could begin. There was a master and a student before us, and then it was group form time.
The stage was slippery as hell, given it had been raining on the carpet, so in everything we did, we kind of slowed it a bit down to make sure we didn´t slip. All in all we have a good synchronization so it was pretty good.
Then there was some performances, and then –“SNAKE-TIME” the stage was slippery, but
it wasn´t as hard as the concrete I am use to train at, so I wanted to go all in on the roll and the break fall to jump bit. There I was lying down soaking wet, it was time. I jumped high, I jumped again, and the third jump is a double snake bite, so I put everything in it, the crowd went crazy, when I jumped, so that was cool. The picture shows how high I got from a lying position, so it was pretty cool. Had I jumped higher I would have jump out of the stage, my hand landed outside the stage –“peeew”.
I fucked up the end, but when I watched the video it looked good, so it was cool. The stage was the biggest we ever tried but it was still a bit too small for Marcel and Jauffreys weapon forms, but we got through it.
We stayed for a bit and then it happened, there was this white fat guy who had to go on the stage to sing two songs. My god my singing and guitar playing heart is still bleeding from that act, my god he was terrible, I get mad just thinking about him. Where the H did they find this guy. Did they meet him in the street and gave him guitar?? He slayed John Denvers Take me home to bits and pieces. HE sang false, had no rhythm and his guitar strokes were all over the place, and to make it worse, he had to play a Chinese song with people dancing around him. Okay I thought, the dancers might save the act, but they were all over the plays as well. They started as two and then they just went different directions with completely different moves that didn´t followed the music. OH MY GOD That was 10 minutes of my life, I will never get back, but will stay mad about forever. HORRIBLE.
When we came back we kind of knew it was picture time, with kids and all the parents.
I decided to have a lot of fun, making pictures, where it looked like the kids were knocking me out with punches and a staff. Everybody who knows me, know I love this celebrity picture stuff hehe.
The evening ended with some great food and a lot of beers, let´s face it I got a bit drunk. Given the percent in the beer, you need to drink a lot to get smashed, I tried but I never got there before we had to go home.
The day after we just slept in, and waited for the four and half hour car ride home. It was a long trip and we were told, because of the dragon boat festival, we were of Friday. -”thank god for that”
Friday evening Master Do came and asked me if I wanted to be in a sanda fight, and drive three and half hours drive to get punched in the face. So obviously I said yes. It is very rare to get an opportunity to fight in a real sanda match so I had to take the chance.
So I stood there, feeling the wind around me, looking at people getting ready. It was cold and a lot of other people didn´t prepare for that, luckily I did. I was prepared, I was ready but then I took one look at the mountain and the wall and I got a little bit scared. I was about to run those stairs …. TWICE.. What in the world did I get myself in to. Training for 8 months for this and I was sure I was prepared, but not really.
Second wave go to the start-line. -“come on, Morten now is the time”.
So I stood there feeling the wind around me, oddly the band was playing jingle bells, but everybody was singing along, it was weird and funny, -“why not” –“jingle bells, jungle bells, jingle all the way”
My mom had found a good spot so she could take pictures of me. Gun shot, go go go.
I was in the race, everybody was walking because we were to many people to run. We made it out to the road – run man , run…
“find your tempo, not to fast, you have a wall with stairs to climp later” –“hmm something is wrong, my stomach”.
I felt something wrong in my stomach, as if I had been eaten to much before the run, it piled up in my throat. I kept on running. It started to climb, we were running at a mountain to get up to the wall. The climb was about 7-9% not the steepest in the world, but I still saw people stop to walk. –“my god they are going to have a tough time getting through the run, no matter which distance”.
I kept on running, getting a bottle of water in my hand preparing for the wall. You see my only goal was to run the whole way, so I ran the hill and there it was, stairs and a lot of them. My god it seemed easy, I ran up those stairs and I was very positive. I thought to myself: -“I am going to do good today”.
After 1k of running stairs, we hit the incredible high steps. We are talking between 30-50 centimeters high, you had to jump to get up to the next step. Bam there it was, the realizing of what I was actually doing.
The very positive me, started to get nervous because I felt my calfs already, and that was just to early. I kept on running, it was hard, and people around my obviously didn´t read the damn manual. –Keep to the right if you are walking so those who are running can pass by. I started to yell at people in front of me, keep to the Fu****g right people, some of us are trying to run this distance.
Yet again I couldn´t really understand the ones who had entered the marathon, but was walking the mountain and the stairs. My stomach was not with me, every time I was drinking a zip of water it filled me up with nausea. I had to stay positive, hoping it would go away. I was still running those stairs as if I was running for my life, my stomach was killing me, but my legs were awesome. The steep downstair run was up. You see it wasn´t really stairs, but also there were a few steps. It was kind of like running a hill but on very uneven rocks. It was broken ankles waiting to happen. I was extremely concentrated when running those part, holding on to the railing very firm.
I got down in one piece and I felt good, we had to go through ying yang square again to go to the small villages around. Run man, RUN. The stairs were 26k away but it was the the route I just ran in the opposite direction. The goat walk up hill and not down. 3k of stairs uphill, was waiting for me. My stomach was still killing me, but my feet started to be annoying to. Luckily I prepared for blisters, I ran around with blister bandage, so I had to stop and use 15 minutes to attend my blisters. Ready to go again. 17k I didn´t touch my energy gels because my stomach couldn’t handle them, I had to get some energy so I took one. Felt nauseas again. Just had to keep it in me.
Everytime we hit a small town area, there were kids wanting highfives. I took upon myself to spread a little joy and maybe not think about my stomach. Those kids were cheering and so happy when you reached out to high-five.
BAM who the hell put alpe d’huez in the middle of this marathon. My got it was steep and it just continued. I ran the first 2k up hill, and then my goal fell through, the lack of energy gels and my stomach hurting, made me stop to walk. I hated myself, for not being able to run the whole way. New tactic the time is the aim, I was walking for a kilometer, just to start running again.
21k half way
Usually my half marathons are between 1.35 and 1.40, so my time said a lot about how hard this route was. I still had problems with the stomach and the gels were hard to swallow, even the water was hard to get down, but the sun was scorching and I definitely needed to stay hydrated. I have tried to run 30 kilometers before only on food I had been eating before. So I wasn´t that worried, I knew I would complete with or without the energy gels, but given I wanted a good time, I forced them down.
Finally, running downhill… Let the feet roll and take it slow, I found a rhythm again and was on my way, a couple of kilometers and bam, the next mountain climb hit me in the face, the rhythm was disrupted and yet again I had to walk, I hated myself for every step I took, I was better than this, I knew I normally could do much better, for god sake, my personal record for a regular marathon is 3.18.
I hated the fact that my energy level was so low, that it took me down. I was still optimistic, the time wasn´t running away from me, and when the downhill run started I found a good rhythm again. RUN man RUN.
On my way back to the second round on the wall I saw a lot of people running in towards me, they were just on the way after their first wall run, obviously all of them started in start wave 4 which was 20 minutes later than me, but I felt sorry for them, cause a lot of them didn´t look that good and they had 30k ahead of them, with an extra round on the wall.
I came to ying and yang square again and started my second wall run, I had no energy, and still couldn´t really drink or eat my gels. Hmm I ran the first couple of stairs, then the goat-walk started. I overtook some people but had to realize, I simply couldn´t run this stretch, so I started powerwalking the stairs, double steps, even that took my breath away, totally exhausted. The lack of energy was now showing its face. It showed its ugly face and it was punishing me. I saw people around me, sitting on the stairs taking long breaks. Saw a few who had given up and just sat there waiting for help to get down. There was especially one American who was in problems, his buddy walked right behind me, none of the water-givers were able to speak any English, so he had to borrow a phone to call his wife to get here to get people up there.
My god, I got a second wind, this shouldn´t be me, I would not give up for any reason what so ever, my time aim was way gone, and now I was aiming for six hours. After a lot of suffering, walking up 6k of stairs, I was on my way back to the finish line, but suddenly the downhill towards the finish line was excruciating. I started to run, but my stomach was aching. Not the same problem as my whole run, this time it was a throbbing pain from my right abs. I ran again, it was painful, but I continued, I didn´t have time to walk anymore, I was running to get under six hours.
I was 2k from the finish line I did it, I “got damn” did it. Then I saw her, I woman running a marathon like me, on her back there was a picture of her husband in a military uniform, he was dead three weeks before. Properly they planned to run this marathon together, but he died. My god, I was almost in tears that was a tough one to swallow. That make me think about the people I lost and how they weren´t here to see me complete, the exact same thoughts when I completed my half ironman. The last 1k I was on the edge of tears, but I was also happy, cause once more I did it. I put the thought in my head 8 months ago, that I would complete on of the toughest marathons in the world, as my first official marathon.
Finish line, medal around my neck and there was my mom to take a picture.
I wasn´t as smashed up as I thought I would be, the pain on the route was mostly from my stomach and lack of energy, my legs were still good to go, so I knew right there that I didn´t give myself a 100% because of my stomach. I hated it, because I knew how much time I lost because of that, 1 hour. Hmm…
Now today it is Tuesday and I am back with my family, my home in Maling mountain. I have looked at my medal so many times and as an athlete I have to reflect upon why my run didn´t go as planned.
I have thought long about it, and I think it was the banana I ate before my run. I simply panicked and ate this banana because I ironic enough was afraid of running low with energy. At least I think that was it, because usually I take a caffeine pill before competitions, but this time I didn´t I saved it for when I was over halfway, and I should have done it the other way around.
I came in 30 out of 100+ in my age group, and given I can´t get a full finish list, I have calculated that I ended up around number 90 out of 300+. So in the good part of the standings. I know that if I did it in 5 hours then I would have become 15 in my age group. The problem is that if I ever have to run this wall again, which I would like to, then I have to pay 15000 kuai for it because, when you do not run it as a local runner you have to buy a package deal which is expensive. That is why I have a hard time dealing with the results. I feel a little I can´t seem to get rid of that feeling, but yet again I know I ran a good time, and did quite well for myself, but it takes time to convince yourself, but I will get there.
When you run a marathon like the great wall marathon it gives you a lot of time to think, I did think a lot about why and who I was doing this for. Obviously I did this for myself and only me, simply to challenge myself and my own physique. I go all in on these adventures, because I know I can complete them and I want to be able to look back and think, my god I did those things.
Also I ran the marathon in a Maling mountain shaolin t-shirt, first of all to give my home some publicity, but also to remember where I come from, where I trained for this and how I trained for this. How my masters completely understood I wanted to run extra and train for this. So I also ran with my whole kung fu family in my head. My god, when I came home, I came home to sentences like: “you have been missed” and “he is baaaack”, and everyone was curious about my run and asked me about. It felt good to be home again, and see all the people around me. I love my kung fu family, there will never be any doubt about that.
I also ran this for my friends who didn´t live to see this day, they were and always are in my head and heart everywhere I go and obviously for all my friends I met through my international and national adventures. I found most of my friends by taking chances and I will never regret taking a chance.
So this was another adventure I had in my life journey, and it all started with a dream about training kung fu several years ago, then I found this school, came here and then the next dream was born. I have a dream of completing an ironman in the future, that is why I wanted to complete a marathon first.
So all in all, my adventure happened because of thought, which lead to the best kung fu family in the world, a place you can be yourself, a place you can train and get guidance, a place where you can breathe, a place where you can train things beyond kung fu, a place where you find friends and you are becoming a family.
This place is Maling mountain kung fu academy – it all starts with a thought, just remember to follow that thought into a dream. While you are living one dream other dreams are born.
This is me sitting in my home, looking at my running shoes, getting ready for my last two months here and getting ready for my next goal – medals in the kung fu competition, and when I come back to Denmark, an Ironman is the goal.