I slept surprisingly well (for the first time) and woke up tired (contradiction I know) I hope it means my jetlag is gone when I am tired at 6 in the morning….
The weather was cloudy, dark and stormy A-MA-ZING! The humidity is still high and its 27 degrees but it is an incredible feeling not to sweat when you blink your eyes. Tai chi was a very pleasant experience because of this, me and the other new ones even got the first movements to the first form, that I can’t remember now in the evening even if my life depended on it, that’s how much other stuff we went through in the classes today.
In 8.30 class we started with running again, again, I need to work on this. Stretching and then we had our first basics class. Me and the 3 other new guys were pulled aside and got a few of the basics we could train on while the other went through them all. I think it is something like 20 different techniques/moves. We got 4 or so and that was more than enough for me, even though I have been doing martial arts before I think some of my coordination disappeared with my desk job. Hopefully it’s going to come back again, fast, I am not the most patient person in the world. After the break we had our first form class, I had been looking really forward to that, learning a new form. I got disappointed, me and the other new ones got a few more basics instead of learning a form, again something about learning to walk before you can run, very annoying when I feel like Usain bolt ( maybe running is a really bad metaphor for me to use). It makes sense though; guess I just have to work hard on my basics so I can learn some other stuff. At least we have moved on from the regular basics to the animal basics, no matter what it is more fun to practice Tiger and Dragon basics 😛 The clever person behind the screen would start quoting Bruce Lee “I fear not the man who has practiced a 1000 kicks but the man who has practiced one kick a 1000 times” . I am working on that, I just want to learn everything at once, especially when all the other students are practicing such amazing stuff around me. One is learning a double broad sword, one is learning Leopard form, one is learning staff and a fourth one is learning drunken style. The longer you stay the more exciting stuff you get to learn.
In the afternoon class we had Sanda, Chinese boxing. I used to do kickboxing for some time, long ago. Damn it is nice to be punching and kicking stuff again. We were practicing basics punches and kicks on the bag and pads. Simple, but yet amazing, I got a small victory the first time I hit the bag with a kick and it gave a lot higher smash than I thought and a few of the guys turned their head at the sound, a little restoration of ego for my lousy running.
We were supposed to have wing tsun today, but master Du that is teaching the class had another appointment, it is an optional class and I would have loved to have it, but let’s just say that I am not particularly sad that it got cancelled today, I am dead tired. I even missed mandarin, guess I have to wait until Wednesday; I really want to improve on my non-existent Chinese.
I don’t like Tuesday, its injury day and consists of all the classes that I am amazingly bad at…
Tai Chi in the morning is still great though. The 8.30 class is my dread, jump and rolls/acrobatics. I am very little acrobatic and can barely do a kindergarten roll and I prefer having both feet on the ground, which kind of makes jumping hard. My fear might also have something to do with an injury I got when I was 13 ( go ahead with Freud). But I am trying, it is dead scary but I am trying. It is not pretty. I am rousing myself with that I am still slightly better than the guy who has never done sports before in his life (thumbs up for him coming to a place like this). This is the class where most people get injured (Sanda is the second) it is hard and it is really important to respect the limits your body sets, especially if you are not used to it. Last time I was in China I spent the 3 months learning how to do a cartwheel and go to a bridge. That’s some years a go….. my cartwheel is not really round or straight anymore and my bridge is lacking a meter or two. I am defending myself with that with my 184 cm the ground is so much further down for me than for some of the others (don’t question my logic). Hopefully it will be better by the end of my stay, but even if it don’t, I have done some self-realization (must be the age thing) and accepted that I will probably never do a monkey form and that it is okay.
Second morning class is applications; it is taking a simple technique and learning how to defend from it. The start of the class is reaction exercises, two and two you tried to hit each other (not hard) and then you have to block it. The same really goes for the defending technique afterwards, but it is great to stand in front of a person and train instead of just myself.
In the afternoon training it is takedowns, I am not good at take downs, I am very grateful for the mats. This is going to hurt tomorrow.
I am getting used to this, and I love Wednesdays… all the classes that I like, funny enough also the ones I am somewhat good at. My body is hurting from the unaccustomed training yesterday but not more than I can handle. I started doing basics with the experienced group of students and I could follow them for almost half of them. I also started to learn the first basics forms, 5-step form – a lot of coordination but so nice to get things moving. Both morning training’s went by almost too fast. In the afternoon it was Sanda, punches and kicks on pads and bag, some of them a bit more complicated this time.
This is the end of my very first week, and what a week…. I have been here only one week, but it feels a lot longer. Time is flowing so differently here somehow it both races faster than should be allowed but at the same time it seems to not be moving at all. A 20 minute walk to a bus is normal and you have the time for it, there is nothing else you have to do. Back home I would have been annoyed over 20 minutes I could have spent on something else. Here, I just enjoy the walk. I can watch an episode (or 5 ) of a serie without feeling guilty over that I am not doing something else. As a student that might be the most amazing feeling, 4 years in university = 4 years of constant bad conscience. But not here ( I will deal with me semester when I get home). 8 weeks to go, and I am looking forward to them.