Day 1 – Thursday

kungfu-training-morning-china-tired
so ready for my first day of training…..

I had been dreaming about sleep for 2 days and when I finally get to it, it didnt work!

I slept something like 3 hours, the heat and humidity was too much for my cold Danish body and combined with jet-lag it was mission impossible.

At 5.30 I gave up sleeping and started unpacking my suitcase, no longer able to ignore it I started the long and cumbersome process of getting all the chia seeds out of my clothes.
Training started at 6.20 with Tai Chi, it would take me two days before I realized that the Tai Chi is optional, but it has grown on me and I think I will continue to do it, it is a really nice way to wake up in the morning.Kungfu-taicgi-china-training-morning

at 7.10 ish the training is over and breakfast is served. breakfast-china-kungfu-morningHaving arrived on a Wednesday I did not have any condiments(bring some) or anything else I could eat for breakfast so it ended with 2 boiled eggs with salt, the Dutch guys had some of the dry semi-sweet bread as well but it wasn’t exactly a breakfast for kings. I was already longing for Saturday where we could go to the city to buy stuff (I like buying stuff in general as well).

Morning-training-kungfu-china-run
The scenery in which we run

Next training starts at 8.30. We form up on a line when the bell/buzz sounds and shifu tells us to warm up.

After a few minutes we do pushups and squats, I think the amount he said was 30 and 30 but it seems that people just do what they can(want to) and then starts running.

Because it was Thursday it was the short run of 1-1,5km around the school but since it had been storming and raining the day before the track was rather muddy and completely uneven (I foresee a sprained ankle at some point).

It came to no surprise to me that I was the last person back from the run (memo to self, get better at running). After the run there was stretching on the bars and group warm up which was led by the student who had been there the longest.innerpeace-china-kungfu-qigong-training-problems-meditation

The first training was dynamic Qigong, I don’t really know what it is, but I got that it was something about energy, flow and meditation, which we did a lot.

I am horrible bad at meditation and the longest I could keep my mind “blank” was about 8 seconds. Thoughts like: what is that loud screaming sound? (its mating season for crickets), is that a mosquito on my leg? I am so sticky, I need a shower; my foot is sleeping- followed by readjusting of the body; why won’t the screaming sound stop? I am so sticky, I need a shower; how long are we going to sit here? Why am I doing this again? Okay, focus on breathing, my butt hurts; interrupted my attempt of attaining inner peace(kung fu panda is going on repeat in my head) all the time.

This was my thought pattern for 30 seconds and I think we were sitting something like 30 minutes, it was a very long half hour.

At 10 there was a 30 minute break before the next class, conditioning. The essential of this class is to take all body parts used for training and smash something against it. E.g. punching a wall with your fists; banging your arms together in pairs, kick each other, punch your chins with a stick (iron for the hardcore). The hardest one for me, was to bang my head against a wall, conditioning wasn’t really what came to mind while doing it.

But it is a big part of Chinese Kungfu and it is the foundation of being able to do “iron” techniques, like bending a spear with your throat or brake bricks with your forehead. It is also a very widely used in Sanda, Chinese boxing, where body parts can become so hard/conditioned that it actually hurts the opponent kicking or punching at them without it hurting yourself at all, a quite useful skill in fighting.
lunch-china-kungfu-maling-trainingAt 11.40 the training was over and there was a little time to get ready for lunch at 12. That consisted of surprise! Rice with stuff…. But at least it was surprisingly good, and there was 3 different plates to choose from.

After lunch I could not wait any longer…. I took a shower, amazing feeling after 3 days. The only reason I didn’t take one when I arrived at the school is that the water is being shut off at 22 and we arrived at 22.30, typical. The shower was though somehow wasted, I was sweating again before I even stepped out of it, this heat is going to be the death of me.

water-china-hot-kungfuI also managed to buy some water at the school, some 20 liters or something with a pump on it, I predict it will take me only 3-4 days to empty it in this heat.
The next training was at 15.00 all the students had been talking about how hard it would be, it was the weekly power training. The start was a run again, this time 2 km, the standard run followed by stretching. china-power-training-kungfu-malingThen came the actual training, in the beginning my ego was hurt when the shifu told me to only take the half bricks but it was a matter of minutes before I appreciated it instead. Those things are damned heavy when you have to hold them out in straight arms or lift them on your shoes and hold your legs straight.

Dropping them would result in more push-ups than I am capable of doing so my plan was to not drop them (quite proud it actually worked, not dropping them that is).

The training stopped at 17.00 -ish and dinner was served at 18, barring some resemblance to the food served at lunch, rice with stuff, it was still good, but I am already beginning to suspect my spoiled ass to be tired of it in a few days.

Another shower, still good, still sweaty and sticky afterwards, I want my body to be adjusted to the heat now!
movienight-china-maling-academy-kungfu-relaxingMovienight was next on the agenda; 6-7 people cramped together in a small steaming hot and humid room, without air-condition, staring at a small 15 inch computer screen.

It was great, except for the heat it was the perfect definition of cozy, at least in the Danish way, “hygge” the English expression is somehow not covering it, it is too superficial and not comprehensive enough, probably only Danes will get this (sorry to all other nationalities).

Going to bed at 21, incredibly tired but incredibly happy and slightly dreading the getting out of bed part tomorrow where my muscles will pay the price of the first day of training.

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