It has been one of those great weeks. We started Monday morning where master Bao announced that he had another kid, so therefor we were going out in the evening for dinner and celebration. We went the same place that we were at Christmas. It was a great evening with a lot of food as usual. There is always way more food than we can eat, we consider this a good thing.
Us students had a room for ourselves, including Mona and master Wang (pronounced Wong). Which brings me to we have a new master and his name is master Wang. He is about master wei´s age and he is really cool. I am not sure if he is here to stay or it is only for a period of time. I hope he stays, because he is another great addition to our family.
We have said goodbye to Tom from Canada who was here for a year and Greg from France
who was here for two months. We have gotten another girl here, she is from Germany and is staying for a year, also we have another guy from tea and biscuit-land which means, we now have 4 people from England. But soon we will be joined by a Danish couple so we can equalize it bit again.
Even though it was a great week, we have internet problems again. It happens sometimes here and we have learned to live with it, but living without internet is hard for people, because then we need t speak to each other, and in which world is that a good thing? Hehe. Well jokes aside, it gets me to another thing about living in China.
Yesterday we talked about how everyone thought we would lay of the rest of the world whilst staying here, and it is a weird thing to think about. For me, it was the plan to at least not have my phone in my hand all the time, because I must admit I am addicted to my phone back home. I don´t think of it as a bad thing because I don´t use my phone and internet that much whilst I am here, so I have dialed it down a bit. I think it all comes down to who you are and what you want to do. I chose this school because it was more modern than other schools and because I still had the possibility of staying in touch with the world. None of us down here, see it as a down side, but you know how addicted you are to the internet when it is down.
A small thing as checking the weather we use the internet for, and every time there is something we can´t remember or doesn´t know, google is usually around to help us.
Lately the weather has been better and better so we often find ourselves sitting outside talking after training, but this week we found ourselves in the middle of a dance session.
It was Thursday and we had power training, master Wang told us that is was time to relax. You know you are living at a kung fu academy when relaxing means kicking each other in the ribs, the back and the legs. After power training we stood around doing some pull ups and trying to do muscle ups, when we suddenly stood in a circle and people were dancing. It is one of those spontaneous things that never can be replicated again. This gets me to, how cool it is to stay here and how many different people you meet. Right now we have at least three dancers around, but the school also contains everything from party animals to geeks. This time though it is the same people who has a lot of different sides. It is amazing.
That same evening, we celebrated Kamal´s birthday with a Chinese cream cake, which are a bit expensive, but something people look forward to. Saturday we went for noodles, Chinizza and to play some pool to celebrate further.
Another thing that makes it amazing around here, were when I the other night, night looked down at the training hall and people where learning how to dance.
I am currently learning how to play dungeons and dragon, which is a few steps over to my geek limit. This is why we are here, not only to learn kung fu, but getting new perspectives and trying a lot of new things.
I think it is the group of people that makes it possible, people are very outgoing and ready to try new things, and then these amazing things happens.
Yesterday a bunch of guys here sad down in a room and just talked and listening to music. This is another cool part, the guys you otherwise sometimes see as crazy has so many side, so when you get in a room with some music, the conversations change from comedy to deep, well and let’s face it, back to comedy again, we can´t have it all hehe.
A little bit about what is going on with my life here:
I have found some hills that are very hard to run in which gives me better preparation towards running the marathon on the wall. I am currently hill training every Tuesday and every Friday when we run 10k I run between 20-40k. I have about 50 days until I face one the biggest challenges in my life. I am really happy about my progress and that I can train kung fu and train for the marathon, side by side.
So why should you come and traing kung fu in the Maling mountain family?
New friends, new perspectives, amazing masters, trying out new things, being part of something bigger, making a difference for yourself and being a part of an international family.
I know I promised you interviews with the students, and they will comeas soon as I take my time to do em all.
Xinnián kuáilé everybody, (happy new year), yes here in China we just celebrated New year, which makes this year, the year of the fire monkey.
The fire monkey is full of energy, creative, clever and entertaining. This year risk will be rewarded and the air is buzzing with opportunity, so are you thinking about starting something new, now is the right time to do it.
Before writing more about our new year celebrations, I am going to write about our cleaning week up to our new year´s vacation week. I call it cleaning week, because Monday we were told we needed to clean because we forgot Friday, and that is fair enough, but Wednesday we suddenly had to clean again for some reason, and Friday we cleaned once more. Could the school get any cleaner? – I think not hehe. To be fair the Friday cleaning was a bit different given we had to clean under our beds and dust spider web everywhere. We clean the spider web with the wonder-broom. What is a wonder-broom you say.
Have you ever seen those television commercials about some stupid invention that magiacal clean everything almost just by looking at it? This is where wonder-broom comes in. A spear and broom in one. – Have you ever had to fight of a burglar in the middle of cleaning, and the broom was simply not enough and you lost everything. – Well no more, wonder-broom is a broom tied to a spear, which makes it possible to clean and fight of a burglar. If you order now you get a DVD with moves and action for the wonder-broom. – wonder-broom the perfect gift. Okay maybe it is a bit of an inside joke here at school, that only we found hilarious, but nonetheless very funny
Mona our beloved translator quit her job and therefore, we wanted to go out for a small farewell soiré. Luckily Mona decided to stay another six months, which makes everybody very happy. I personally is very happy that Mona stays until I leave myself. I mean who else can I joke around with all the time – she calls it being mean, but I am never mean hehe.
So the BBQ “party” became a We are very happy you stay, and a goodbye to The happiest man in the world, Paris. The school really loses a cool character in him, but he has things to go home to. One thing is for sure, he will be missed here.
On our way to the BBQ place we drove in two caps because we are so many students now, and we just sat there talking and suddenly the other taxi driver came walking up to our driver, leaving his car behind with an open door in the middle of the road, that was a fun little thing, and these things happens a lot in China, so the saying only in China is used a lot.
Before starting our vacation master do talked to us about training in the holiday, first it sounded like we had no holiday and everybody had to train, but what he meant was – we should do some training so we didn´t forget our forms etc. I couldn´t really help myself and said out loud. yeah not gonna happen hehe. I didn´t plan to train at all in my vacation, well except some running, I still have a marathon to complete the 21th of May.
So what is new year in China? There are a lot of traditions, just like so many other countries. The first example is the red envelopes with money, which are given to the kids in the family. The Chinese celebrates new year in their home with their families. Also you actually celebrate new year´s for a whole week, so the first two days they stay home and
then the rest of the week there are games and things happening around the bigger cities.
new years decoration
The weird thing for us foreigners is that the date changes every year, also their birthdays are not the same date every year. If it was me, I would forget it every year hehe
Traditionally you eat dumblings, so of course we had dumblings here at school, and we love dumblings here. There were so many dumblings so a game was born. It was called dumbling roulette. We were full and couldn´t really eat more, but mama Bao came with another bowl of dumblings, so someone span the table around with the bowl and the game was born. If the bowl landed on you, you had to eat a dumbling, and let´s face we were to full to eat more. Nonetheless we had a good half hour of fun, and the bowl got eaten. On our third day of dumblings we had fried dumblings. OH MY GOD, that is the best thing in the world.
After the dumblings we had a game of poker and then a bonfire where we of course also had fireworks.
Okay the big trip well at least for me and four other guys was our trip to Xuzhao Wednesday to Thursday. We were five guys who wanted to go celebrate the Chinese new year. Okay Okay, we wanted to go get drunk and go clubbing. So we did. The train ride was a new experience. We didn’t get seats this time, but bunkers. Yeah bunkers as in sleeping bunkers. Me and Greg had bunker each. To get up
in these bunk beds, there was no stairs or anything so you had to climb. There was like no space in the bunker at all, and don´t get me started about how stained they were. Nonetheless it was a fun train ride. The Chinese people won´t bother climbing up, so they just use the lowest bunkers as seats instead.
We arrived at the hotel after getting lost one time, because the maps in China is written in Chinese characters, so we couldn´t really read it.
We had booked a four star hotel, with Jacuzzi, sauna and massage in the hotel, which we wanted to make use of as soon as we arrived. I have had so many experiences with things not working here in China, so for me it has become a typical thing. When we wanted to use the Jacuzzi etc, they told us it was closed because of renovation. Very typical, so what does five guys walking around in their robes do? Well isn´t obvious? We start drinking at 3 pm.
In the evening we played a lot of drinking games and got a lot of alcohol before going out. When we came to the place where all the pubs were, everything seemed closed, but upstairs we saw people and we went there. We came in to a small bar where we met
Marcus a british guy from Newcastle. How cool was that to actually have a laowei bartender. We stayed there for a while, and asked Marcus about the clubs and people going out in China. He said that they didn´t go out when it was cold. Okay he also told us that there only would be a bit more people at muse, the club we wounded up in, and it was packed. For us it seemed a bit weird that things were closed and nobody were going out in their vacation, but it didn´t stop us. Off we went for the club muse.
A bit of a side story, okay before we went to Xuzhao master do said… you are going to Xuzhao? There is a nice park there. “-As if we should train there”. Hehe,well he also said if we came in to trouble we shouldn´t run, just find the exits at the clubs when arriving. We know what he meant but it was funny.
So we had this deal between the guys that we would stay together, not get lured into a closed room with only one exit, and always have eachothers backs. So obviously the first thing to do when arriving to the club, was following a Chinese guy into a small room with only one exit. It looked like a girls kindergarden with their fathers. It seemed very weird, so we got the hell out of that place again. Went downstairs to the club, it was amazing, and there was packed with people. Most men, but a good amount of girls too.
We felt like celebrities in there, everybody wanted to touch us, take pictures with us or have us sit at their table. Chinese men spend a lot of money on alcohol and leaving on the table so it can attract girls, well in my case attract me, who doesn´t like free alcohol. I was drinking for free all night, everywhere I went I got drinks or beers. It was awesome. Okay, the touching part, was a little bit too much, Some of the guys found that people reached for their pockets and I well I got touched because of something else hehe. At some point a Chinese guy skinny´er than my finger asked if he could kiss me, so I knew why some guys touch me. Fun experience though, but I had to decline and quickly moved to the dancefloor to join the guys.
It was an amazing party we had and Brage, Matias and I where the last toleave the club, because it closed. So at 3.30 am we were on our way back to the hotel, and I had been drinking for 12 hours, typical me.
The day after, I felt the 12 hours of alcohol, it was good the first hours, but then it began.
My head was killing me and my stomach even worse, and worst of it all we had to go shopping, because, we wanted nutella and some of the others wanted to eat.
It was an amazing trip, and definitely something we are going to do again. Tomorrow it is time to train again and the alcohol will of course have ruined a tiny bit of the form but it will come back, I won´t be drinking anymore before after my marathon.
In other news, we will get a lot of students the next period of time, this month at least three, next month one as we know of, maybe more and in April a bunch. We are excited every time there is new people arriving.
There is still tea and biscuits everywhere, and there will be more given there is a british girl arriving next month. well also there will be crossaints and baguettes everywhere since there is another frenchman arriving and given we have a lot of pastries because of the danes here, we have a nice little breakfast table we will enjoy whilst the new norwegian and Brage will be ice-bathing in the pond. Too sterotypical? racist…? NOooooo it is all in good fun..
And hey we have a new girl around here, her name is Faith and she is here to practice her English skills, therefor she will act as a translater the next month. Can she speak English, I don´t know, I only heard the sentence, “it is too hard” hehe, was that mean? nooooo
She aint hard on the eyes either. We are as always happy to have some females around here.
Time for my 6 month update, on my god it has gone by fast. We have a lot of new people here which is amazing, there is no other word for it. It feels like we have lived together for several years, it is a great feeling.
So this Friday it happened, the snow came, and oh my god I do hate snow. Of course it came right before our weekly 10k run. Well.. we were standing there lined up an all, when Master Du came with one of his amazingly funny one-liners. “It is snowing, but it is not cold” Everybody was laughing including himself, but he said it was good for our training to run in snow. So motivation complete,cause since the snow wasn´t cold, it was great for our training. Hehe..
And hey, new tradition here in our family, every Friday during power stretching we get tied up by master Du and he enjoys our pain very much hehe
Matias for once he is happy about getting tied up
Brage, not so happy hehe
Paris in chinese mode
not many have a tied up selfi like this, with the master of pain hehe
The snow ruined our weekly planned trip to Xinyi, well maybe it is more my weekly planned trip to Xinyi, where i drag others to go with me. But oh my god, that Saturday was the first Saturday I wasn´t in Xinyi in all my time here, I felt the withdrawal in my whole body hehe.
Well since we were waiting for a bus that didn´t come, and Mona came running to tell us there would be no bus or cap to Xinyi, we ended up ordering tuc tucs to Wangzhuang –yes I have now learned how to spell it (thank you Mona) The tuc tucs from hell. They came after half an hour, and it did not look like they were trained in any way to drive in show. Any way we got in, Greg my Blasian friend from England were a little scared,also because they took us another route than we were used to, so we didn’t know anything and just hoped for the best. After some driving the driver bursted out in laughter and pointet at a small truck with two women pushing it up the hill, inside the truck was a man looking very relaxed – it was kind of funny, seeing the two women in their “nowhere near, ready for snow-shoes, pushing a truck” – well only in China hehe.
We arrived alive to Wangzhuang, where we decided to go to fun fries, our usually place where we end up after shopping, but because we wanted to see more of Wangzhuang, this day we started there and moved backwards.
Hey have any of my readers ever been to a hospital? I´ll take that as a yes. Here in Wangzhuang we visited a hospital beause we needed a toilet. I have never seen a hospital this unclean. There were bricks/tiles on the floor in the entrance, and no people around at all, and the toilets, oh my god, buckets hung from the wall you could pee in. That was an experience I tell you that, mostly because the hospital looked very good from the outside.
When we came out from there a chinese man came running to us, apparently he saw us from his car and stopped it in the middle of the parking lot just to get some pictures with the Laoweis. Pretty fun experience. We were four people in Wangzhuang, Gregster the blasien, Mr gagoul – how cool is that last name, from france and Paris from England. Paris was all over the place in a big store we found, as he said, I feel I just wanna buy something to buy something hehe.
The soup incident were even funnier, Paris decided he wanted to eat soup, and tried to order it, and after 10 minutes with Baidu translate and Gagouls mini French to mandarin book, he had ordered soup, which the chinese guy pronounced soap. We all hoped at that moment that Paris would be served a brik of soap. All of us ordered some noodles, and whilst eating our noodles, people were looking at us, well to their defense, we weren’t exactly keeping a low profile at all. We yelled, laughed and played around at our table. And guess what Paris never got any soup or soap for that matter, he was a bit disappointed hehe.
The blasien and me needed to renew our visa, because we are planning to celebrate new year’s in Xuzhou, where we, well let´s face it, we will properly get very drunk and do what we do best attract a lot of attention. Well I don´t mind, hopefully a girl or two will catch out attention hehe.
But this meant going to Xinyi, and suddenly my withdrawal from not going Saturday was completely gone. Okay it was Monday, I didn´t join the shaolin basics because I was up all night to watch handball, so when I woke up Matias told me that gregster and I were going to Xinyi, and it was properly in the afternoon. So I thought, okay I need to warm up before Shaolin forms, so I took a good long run, well okay not a long run, a god little run which were 9k, I broke my record and were very happy when I came back, only to be met with – oh there you are, you have five minuts to get ready. Thank you for that.
It was almost like a family trip, yes Greg I am stealing a line or two from you blog hehe. But in the car were Master Bao, Papa Bao, Lisa, master Baos wife and their son Ze Ze, and yeah a blasien dude, me and A little chinese girl (mona) haha.
First of all, I must say the chinese visa service is briiliant and cheap. 200 kuai for six months visa and 8 pasport photos – China – DK 1-0 and it went by fast, I only had time to practice my broadsword one time in the visa office – everybody was looking hehe.
Since we didn´t go to Xinyi Saturday where the plans were to go to the BBQ place, “which it will be called forever Greg”!!! We went there to eat, Mona, Greg and I and we went there with a city bus, oh yeah we just made a lot of Chinese people happy in that bus. Everybody was staring and talking about us, luckily we had Mona who could translate their thoughts about us. At some we were in the middle of a guessing game, who could guess our age hehe. It was fun, even though I thought that three kuai for the bus was a bit steep hehe
We arrived to the BBQ place and I think Greg fell in love with that place instantly. You could really feel how he missed preparing his own food and how excited he was to be able to do that – the story here is that Greg only have been in China for two weeks hehe.
It was a good beginning for this week that just passed by, which also started a countdown for our 10 days holiday, which begins the 5th of February.
And oh yeah I met this girl in Wangzhuang, the store owner had her inside and I really hoped she would let it out, and when she did, I sat down, and she came to me instantly, I LOVE DOGS, maybe that´s why I actually walked Alice and Emma in minus 15 degrees last sunday.
My next blog will be a who are we here blog with interviews of some of the students, so look forward to that.
New year=new students, dynamic change, everyday trips, stretching, goodbye kayvon, interview, Xinyi and my personal journey
Oh dear the brits are overtaking the school, we have three guys from England now. It feels like there are tea and biscuits everywhere hehe, and the discussion about what it is called; fries or chips, chips or crisps has begun. Just too stop that discussion right here, it is called French fries and it is called chips, I don´t know what those English people are on about hehe. We do all agree about one thing it is called football, NOT soccer.
Our family has been joined by 5 new students, Three from England, One from South Africa and one from Holland. Today a guy from France will join us too. I have said in a long time, that new students= new dynamic, and boy the dynamic has changed, as in it has become a lot better. We still need some girls around here, cause the conversations still get out of hand sometime. We will wait until April where as I have been told will come two girls here with their boyfriends. So the dynamic will change radically again there.. but GIRLS it is not as bad as it sounds, this school is also for girls, and we will welcome you here J
For me everything has become “the usual” here, the small town visits to Whungchon (still don´t know how the H… I spell this, – maybe I should ask someone? ) but I will write a little about it again cause the trip to Xinyi was a little special.
First of all, it has become a tradition that every time we get new students here, we go to whungchon Thursday. We go because the new students need something to put on the morning bun and in general needs stuff to survive here. When I say survive I mean Oreos, chips, cookies in general, cake and candy, or maybe for some it means washing powder for washing clothes,
hangers to dry it and shampoo, toothpaste and toilet paper.
Nonetheless we go there to get this. This is also an excuse to eat like crazy. For the time being we eat three different places in Whungchon.
First of all we get a wan to bring us there, then we will get off outside a little market, where we buy our drinks for the food. We do this because they don´t sell drinks the first place and the second place they only have beer. Yeah I know it is weird, eating places with no drinks. It is china as we know it hehe.
The first place is where we get our eggbread and fried noodles.
it is a huge disappointment when they don´t have both. The eggbread cost 2 kuai per piece, and it is bread fried on a pan with kind of like a fried egg indside of it and then some tomato sauce smeared on it. GREAT explanation Morten, everybody knows what that is now. Well I don´t know how to explain it hehe. The fried noodles, does it need an explaination? No, they are just fried and not boiled. Think it cost 6 kuai.
Then we move on, to the dumbling place, where we “-surprise” eat dumblings.
One plate cost 5 kuai or is it 6, even to this day we still don´t know how much it is hehe.
The we go to the supermarket where the English people can get their tea and biscuits hehe, I mean where the new students can get the most important stuff, which I still mean is the Oreos.
After the supermarket, we are offcourse hungry, because we haven´t been eating at all, so we go to the chicken place, which is called fun fries and it is a fast food restaurant. Fast food is relative in this matter cause from when you order some fries -“not chips” and your chicken burger/leg/nuggets until you actually get it, you have easily spent 20 minutes. We actually come to this place for one thing and one thing only, it is the milkshake, but sometime or a lot of times they don´t have it, which make the trip seem like England without tea and biscuit, boring and noting to make fun of. It is a party though, everytime they have it hehe.
Then we go home, some of us are still hungry, but given we usually order like 20 egg breads some of us, Jauffrey and I always have extra to eat when we come home.
Since the new students has arrived a new thing has become a part of our training. Getting
tied up with ropes. there are several stages you go through, when getting tied up.
First one unbearable pain hence the screaming face on the picture. Stage two the regreat, and inner monolog: why did I do this. stage three: making peace with the pain. Stage four: inner peace, finding that qi gong actually works. Some people never get to stage three and four… luckily I did! You sit there in site splits while our master of pain, master Du tightens the rope. Master Du
if you read this pleace don´t kill my legs Monday, when I stupidly enough, will come to you and ask if I can get stretched again. I don´t know why I actually want this cause the pain is a killer. Well, all good things must come to an end they say, but here that sentence has slightly different: all good things involve pain.
Kayvon luckily got to try to be stretched before he left. We had some great times he and I and I will miss that guy until we will meet again at Octoberfest in Germany. As I promised in an earlier blog post, I have prepared an interview so you can gain a little insight in our family here. Here is the first interview conducted byme, with Kayvon:
Name: Kayvon Ghiassi
Period of stay: 6 months
Have you done any martial before?, if so which?
Muay thai and MMA mainly but have experienced a lot of other martial arts as Karate, taekwondo, juijitsu etc
Why kung fu?
Because it is one of the most well-known and famous for its power and speed, and I really wanted to become faster
Why did you choose this school?
It was recommended from a friend and the website was the one with most information
Which lesson is your favorite and why?
Wing chun – Because I really like how effective it is and I really wanted to master it and I did enjoy helping others with the forms.
Given wing chun is an optional class I will also mention, Shaolin takedowns because I could draw upon my experience from Muay thai and rugby, which gave me an advantage
It is no secret that your knees are broken from rugby, but you chose to go anyway, why?
Because I was told I wasn´t able to do sports anymore and since I have lived and loved sports my whole life I wanted to keep on doing sports. I have heard that Chinese medicine and acupuncture could help me, so that is shy I chose China and it helped me a lot… I can actually go for a run now.
What do you think about the way we train here?
It is great, it reminded me about when I trained muay thai, so it was easy for me to settle in.
Which experience outside school has been the best whilst you have been here?
Definitely modeling, because it gave me a lot of new experiences, great times with Morten and new friends (the taylor and his family) it also gave us adventures which I don’t think we would have tried if we didn´t become friends with the taylors son (Chen)
What are you taking with you from this experience?
New friends all over the world of course, but mostly I have found a way to do sports again and the Chinese medicine has helped my knees so much so I can run again.
So I will take a better knowledge of my body, I have gotten a little bit faster and I learned everything in wing chun, which I now just need to train and train so I can try to master it. Also because my knees got better I actually learned an animal (mantis) form which I will go home and try to master as well
Well and I learned to kill people in many many many ways haha.
This weekend was a bit special because it was Jauffreys birthsday Saturday so we all went
to big pizza to eat. First of all in the morning we were divided, because some of us, Matias, Kamal, Greg, Paris, Brage and me wanted to go to the taylor. I wanted to go there because I wanted to pick up my grey suit, Paris, he wanted to put in an order for a suit, and kung fu , bruce lee style suit. Greg also ordered, he
ordered a Tai chi suit. Kamal and Brage will put in orders as well later, so I think Chen is very happy about me bringing hi new customers. Also they get Kayvon and I´s special discount. Greg became really excited up there, and he just wanted to order everything hehe. Paris confused the crap out of chen, with his, I want this but not this speech and Kamal, Brage and Matias walked around and gathered ideas for what they wanted.
After the taylor, we went for big pizza. It was a bit special because of Jauffreys birthsday. But also because it seemed like more pictures were taken of us than usual. It didn´t help that a birthsday song
suddenly sounded in the speakers and all of us sang happy birthday loudly. The waiters from big pizza came in singing Chinese and gave Jauffrey a heart shaped pizza, with meat. Excactly the one he always order, Jauffrey has simply been there too much hehe.
The mood of the group were loud and happy, and we enjoyed our time at big pizza, which also encountered some school girls asking for picture taking, first with Matias, then with Jauffrey and later with me. The they came back to take a picture of the whole group. Then we went on to the green fairy. The green fairy is one of our ice cream places, where we get Oreo ice cream. Then we went for the supermarket and then home. it was yet another great day at Xinyi city.
I always leave a personal touch in my blog here, because I feel it is a good thing to know how I think I evolve in this place. So I will go a little deep 🙂
For the time being the training is good and I am running the long trips again, two days ago 30k, so my injury period is hopefully over now.
China and the rope stretch made me think about life here and how I live here without any stress and with a lot of time to think about my life. I have always used a lot of energy thinking about the past and all my choices in my life. Thoughts about if I did the right thing in a given situation and what I rather wanted changed. China gives me time to think about these choices and now I understand that most of them where the right ones. I am inspired by Nick vujicic and his book and lectures life without limits.
”It is very hard to smile sometimes through the things that happen, that you don´t know, when you don´t understand and you don´t know if you get through it. You know you go through your storms in life and you don´t know how long the storm is gonna be”
and the keyword here in China is patience. When we learn forms we need to be patient while learning. Everybody wants to learn as fast as possible, but when we are patient we actually learn better and a lot faster, same goes for life we need to understand before learning.
“You keep on concentrating on the things you don´t have and things you wish you didn´t have and you sort of forget what you do have”
My point is, that I forgot that I needed time to think my choices through sometimes and I still forget that if I understand a move in a kung fu form, I can remember it better when learning it. In general does this mean that when we do meditation or qi gong, we need to understand how this effects our body and mind and use it in life. My best example is that I can actually, while tied up in ropes, meditate/do qi gong in my mind to forget the pain of the stretching.
China has made me see that I can do so much more with patience and time to think about things. I am not saying I wasn´t patient before, because I am a school teacher, so I am very patient, but I think you can always become more patient.
China has made me realize that I am now in a part of my life, where I can actually shape my future without any limits, well there is one, and that is if I don´t get in on the university to study my masters in September, but otherwise I actually control everything myself, and that is a good thing to realize, because no matter what people say about that, there are always outside factors that needs to be taken into consideration
My point is that kung fu teaches us about ourselves more than it teaches us to fight and living here in China gives you time to think about things and turn them upside down to find answers inside. That is one out of many reasons to come here.
The competition, that became a show performance, which made motivation to demotivation, but we won got gold medals. Confused? ”Oh yeah”, so were we.
Two weeks ago I had a weird week here, but the ending was amazing. It came to our attention that we had to go to a competition, so our training schedule was put to side and the only aim for the week was training forms for the competition. It also meant that Alex and I had four days to learn the group-form to perfection. This meant a lot of hard work and repetitions. Everybody was so focused; it was amazing to see how much the competition meant, for the school and for all of us.
Given my last few amazing weeks, where going with the flow and taking chances gave me a lot of amazing opportunities, I thought to myself, that I wanted to compete in my continues fist form, even though I just finished it. I am that sort of athlete who competes to win; even though I knew I didn´t stood a chance. I want to win every time I compete in something, but in this case it was okay for me just to compete.
The hardest part of the week was we didn´t get any info about when and where we had to go. Wednesday we were told that we maybe had to go the same day, but also we were told it wasn´t a competition for us, only a performance, which had the aim of drawing more attention to the competition, given it wasn´t a big one but they wanted it to be bigger next year.
So we were the main attraction suddenly and the motivation we all had, was suddenly just gone completely. When we went on with our training, you could just see how people weren´t focused anymore, and how perfecting forms didn´t seem to matter. Don´t get me wrong here, the group form still had to be in perfect synchronization. When we are asked to represent the school we do it win honor and pride, but the individual forms weren´t practiced that much after the info.
It became Thursday and we still didn´t know when we had to go, but later in the morning we got the info, that we had to go at 2 pm, and we had to spent the night at a hotel. It all went by so fast so none of us thought about our passports, which in most cases you have to bring if you want to check into a hotel. This meant that master Bao had to drive back in the evening to collect our passports.
The morning after we had to meet at 7 am and go, to another hotel where the competition was being held. We found ourselves in a big conference room with a thick carpet on the floor. I admit the carpet was ideal for making jumps and landings, but if you had to change from horse stance to bow stance your foot could easily be stuck and you would twist your knee. The reason why this was not good for me was I had some knee problems, which started the day before, so I was very scared to get an injury.
The group form was amazing, and it felt really good and people where cheering us on. My continues fist was okay, I felt a had a lot of speed, but lacked some power in my punches, so all in all very good.
We stayed to watch the kids compete and there was some awesome kids in between, but most of them didn´t have any power in their moves, only speed, but when you are between 10-15 years old and already know a lot of forms, then the power will come later on. There was also sanda tournament and we actually saw a kid getting knocked out with a kick to his face. It was awesome; “well maybe not for him, but for the spectators.
We were as earlier mentioned the main attraction, so people took pictures like we were celebrities, at some point I think we were standing with a big smile on our faces for half an hour just for picture taking. They just kept on coming. I love it but some if the others think that it is a bit tiring.
Something that I found really irritating was the referees at this tournament. They said
there was always one watching the kids perform but a lot of times they just sat there with their cellphones or just spoke to each other. How can you decide a winner if you don´t see half of the competitors?
A cool thing about the referees was that when they were bored they just went to the floor an started performing a form or some tai chi. We saw a 75 old man performing the tiger. It was amazing to see that his age wasn´t a problem.
After a pretty long day without much sleep we went home, so we thought. We were driven to a Chinese kung fu school who also wanted us to do some PR for them, so they took some pictures of us around their school. The school had the best outdoor training environment and we kind of wanted to stay and train there. It was a really cool school.
The day after we took the bus to Xinyi. We started with the taylor because some of the guys had some clothes to pick up and I had to place an order. I ordered a black suit, tai chi suit and a blazer. It will cost me 900 kuai, which is nothing compared to what a suit cost in Denmark. This means that I properly will ruin my budget completely. The taylor asked Kayvon and I if we were free to model the day after and that was of course a big yes.
Sunday we met the tailor at 9 and went for a photo-shoot. It was an amazing day and yet again I lived out a dream of mine. We went for lunch with the tailor, his family and all his coworkers. It was an amazing day which ended up with him inviting us to see a town which has a great history. Yet again going with the flow seemed to lead me to amazing things here on my adventure.
Tuesday in this week that just passed by, master Bao came with medals and diplomas for us. We got gold medal for our group form, for best performance and those of us who did an individual form, got a gold medal for outstanding contribution. It was a bit weird given we weren´t in the competition. The only way I could get it to make sense was that there was some sort of competition going on, on the side with performances. Because when I think about all the referees and other Chinese people that busted out a form once in a while, then it would make sense that they did it to maybe win something. Otherwise I don’t know.
One thing is for sure, I am proud of my medals even if they are just performance medals and maybe not “real” competition medals. I now have medals in every sport I ever did in my life.
It was also the week where Martijn was going home after a year here. So last Friday we went to the barbeque place, played pool and sang karaoke. The masters joined us. It was a good way to say goodbye to Martijn even though the karaoke room didn´t have a lot of songs that were good. They had, all the right artist but usually it was either only one song or songs you never heard about. Even though it was a long night it was a good night. We got up this morning at 4.45 to say goodbye. This one was a bit harder than the other ones because he really helped me a lot with my forms etc. but as I told him; I will come to Holland and we will get drunk and go to a rave.
Yet again these goodbyes are something you need to take into consideration when you live
one year in a school like ours. But it is worth it
Well, that is a hard question to answer, cause how many people can say, they know exactly who they are? So I´ll leave you with the facts.
My name is Morten and I am from Denmark. I am a 29 year old P.E, English and special needs teacher. I finished teacher college right before I went on my adventure in China. I am while training kung fu in China taking a break from my latest passion, Triathlon, in which I have plans to complete an Ironman when I come home to Denmark again.
When I lived in Denmark I lived in a city called Randers, but had my studies in Aarhus, which is Denmark’s second biggest city. I have a Little sister and a big brother.
My passion is sport in every aspect. I have played, handball, football, badminton, cricket, volleyball and a lot more, before I became a triathlete. I completed my first half ironman the 31th of May 2015.
The thing is, I am a guy who has a lot of passions. I love music, I played drums, I played guitar and I sing. I am also A movie/series “addict”.
I am one of those people who set my aims high and do a lot to complete my goals. My sister once told me that I figure out something I want to do, and then I just do it. I mean why not follow your dreams and set some goals and complete them? I have a lot of plans of things I want complete. I have a passion for finding perspectives in life and add them to my own life. I do love to think about my life and find new sides of myself.
My first goal is to complete a marathon whilst I am in China. I figure if I am going to complete an Ironman when I come home, why not start by completing a marathon, particularly the Chinese wall marathon, the 16th of May.
So why suddenly leave Denmark and take a break from triathlon to do kung fu? And why a whole year?
Well I am a guy who likes to be focused when I do things. I have always dreamt about being able to do kung fu, and yes I could have chosen to do in my spare time while I studied, but kung fu is so complex and has so many aspects, so I didn´t want to split my focus while learning it. Simultaneously I live to find perspectives, so going to China and live in another culture gives my life a whole lot of perspectives.