Greg (UK) and his first Day in Maling

How does a Day in a Kungfu School start? Greg will tell you about his first Day in Maling Kungfu Academy!

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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”

The Great Wall Marathon

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. web-GWMN0001Training for 8 months for this and I was sure I was prepared, but not really.
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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”

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My mom had found a good spot so she could take pictures of me. Gun shot, go go go.

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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 web-GWMD2664there 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.web-GWMD1097 –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 web-GWMJ0696was 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 web-GWMN0005go through ying yang square again to go to the web-GWMG0391small 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 web-GWME0434spread 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.

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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.web-GWMD2664

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.

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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.

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Finish line, medal around my neck and there was my mom to take a picture.

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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 20160521_013514from, 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.

 

More to  come

Away from the family

Do you know that feeling of happiness that sometimes just appear out of nowhere ? I had that feeling when I sat down in the bullet train towards beijing. . .

I am always a bit anxious when going traveling in a area where communication can be very difficult and everything in the world can go wrong just because of that, but everything was so easy. . .
In the bullet train people suddenly spoke english, You see when you live where we do and have been living there for a while, it is almost always a surprise for me when people speak English. As an english teacher and a laowei, it makes me extremely happy. . .2016-05-16 11.03.48
I lived at beijing international hotel the whole week with my mom.
Obviously she paid otherwise I would have found cheaper living circumstances. .  . But it was only 600 kuai for a double room in a 5 star hotel, which included free swimming in the pool, which meant I got to swim again which I missed a lot.
To tell you about the things we saw I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
But I will tell you this:
I am not one of those guys who get up early to go sightseeing, obviously there are things in beijing you just need to see but given I also was preparing to run my marathon we only saw a lot the first couple or days.
The only place I really wanted to see was beijing zoo because they have pandas . . . -“I love pandas” as much, as I love the clothing brand puma which might be on the limit to being a fanatic.

The whole week included a lot of food for me, cause I needed to carp up for my marathon. . Yeah I know some would argue that you only need to eat a bit extra a couple of days before, but this method of carp loathing works for me and it keeps me away from eating all the sugary products all the time.
At some point at pizza hut I ate a pizza, a steak with pasta and fries and after that I was still a bit hungry This just comes to show how much I actually ate when living at home, training for my half ironman.

I had a perfect week with my mom and the best possible preparation for my marathon. . .
A funny thing was every time my mom and I talked about China and how it is different in the country side I kept saying back home it is different and back home we don’t have things like that.
In the beginning it was confusing for my mom but she got use to it. .
That just comes to show where my home is. . .that is at Maling mountain shaolin academy, and every time I mentioned back home I thought about what my family was doing. . Different days I thought to myself.
Now they are doing forms class and every morning I was swimming kilometers , they had these morning lesson. . Is it weird that I missed my kung fu family a lot, only being away a week ? I don’t think it is, cause that is how much those people means to me, and that is the bonds you will have or get whenever you decides to come and train her and obviously you are reading this because you are thinking about coming here, or coming back here or you already been here.

Nonetheless, if you are one of those who think about joining our family, pack you bag and jump on the plain. . You won’t regret it, just make sure you at least stay a month or two. .
And you will get to meet the school pets, animals I really love

There are lot of exciting reading the coming week. . I will write about my marathon and my blasian and I are going to huai’an again Wednesday to help a class with improving their English skills and Just to give a little back to the the people… the kids are from a very poor background so when we got the change to get involved and give thise kids a rare opportunity we instantly jumped on board…

More to come

Realizing you just don´t wanna go home

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Every time we lined up for a group photo, we gathered a lot of chinese people who also wanted pictures of us – this is our family right now

It seems like I just arrived here or something because I remember in the beginning I wrote blogs every week because everything was so new and exciting. The last month or so has been as if I just arrived here, with new things happening every week.

Yet again it all started Monday, where everybody was training except me. I took Monday and Tuesday off because I ran a marathon Last Friday, so I needed to relax my body. At lunch master Du came and told us, since it is actually a holiday in China everybody would go to Maling mountain together instead of training. Even though I was off anyway I joined the trip, knowing that we would be walking for several hours.

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The reason why we took the afternoon off was, because of something called tomb sweeping day. The Chinese have this tomb sweeping day from the 2-5 April. Back in the days those days were about cleaning tombs of the family. I was told that some still take their time to do that now, but most Chinese are just relaxing and enjoying their few days of. The thing is in China they don´t have 6 holiday weeks a year as we have in Denmark, so whenever they finally have some days off they really use them.

I always feel very happy when everybody is doing something together, maybe it is because we are less together Monday to Friday because we have different masters. In general, I just like spending time DSC_0595with the family here.DSC_0588

It was a good day, but a long walk, I must say Maling Mountain is very beautiful, and they had ice cream so it was amazing hehe.

The week flew by, mostly because I didn´t train Tuesday, but on Friday Master Bao came and asked us older students if we were interested to perform some kung fu at a competition. We off course said yes, because the difference between now and last time, was that we knew we said yes to performing not entering a competition. Also master Bao told us there would be a competition in Xuzhou in July.

That is amazing to know, because now we can really prepare for that ad think about which forms to enter the competition with. I have snake in my mind, and maybe broadsword, but I really don´t know for sure, because I am starting crane next week and I will learn two more animals before that, if everything goes after my plan.

So the Friday afternoon run was cancelled so we could practice our group-form and the form we wanted to perform.2016-04-09 11.26.36

Saturday morning Greg, Jauffrey, Thiijs, Brage, Marcel and I took off with master Bao and Mona. It was a long ride in the car and very warm, but we were excited about the performance. When we got there, we were invited to eat at a hotel with some Chinese people, three of them, friends of master Bao and the three others I guess had something to do with the competition. 2016-04-09 11.31.462016-04-09 13.06.38

After lunch we walked to the competition and when we arrived, we met two men from America. We always have some fun when we finally meet other laowei´s, mostly because when you live here, you don´t expect to see other foreigners.2016-04-09 13.13.26DSC_0861

My deepest fear came true when we saw where we had to perform, because it was on DSC_08592016-04-09 13.06.33concrete, and I have a breakfall and three jumps to breakfall in my snake form, so I knew it would hurt my hip very much. Funny enough it didn´t, I killed my tailbone while practicing for my performance, given I have a roll in my form and I unfolded to soon, resulting in my tailbone slammed into the concrete. So that hurts today hehe.

Nonetheless we had a great time at the performance, and everybody was okay satisfied with their forms and how it went.DSC_0842

 

On the way home we were asked if we wanted to go out to eat or eat in a restaurant, so we chose the restaurant off course. It was the same place we ate for new years and master baos celebration of his new son.

we were there already at 4 pm so we had to wait a couple of hours to eat, and we used that time for talking and playing cards.

Greg said the thing I have thought a lot lately, because more students choose to stay here for more than a year. Jauffrey is on his second year, Marcel is planning to stay for three years and Shane is thinking about and planning to stay for 5 years.

With all the fun we have together in this group and how my stay is coming towards my last four months have made me think a lot about what Greg said out loud: I Just don´t wanna go home, I just wanna stay here.

These are actually the thoughts that goes through my mind for the time being, I really don´t wanna leave, I wish I had the time and money to stay for two years maybe more. This is how much I love our Kung fu family in Maling mountain.

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Turk and JD, I mean Greg and I who really doesn´t want to go home ever

More to come.

Another week in our family

So we stood there Monday morning discussing when to go out for dinner to say goodbye to Matias, my roommate. We lined up and the biggest bombshell fell on us. Master Du announced that Master Wei were to leave the school to pursuit other interest. Everybody was stunned and I must I was very sad about this.mmexport1459339218291mmexport1459339206302

I have had the privilege of having Master Wei train me alone every Tuesday. He was teaching me something called gungfa, which is a mixture of qi gong, tai chi and kung fu. It was developed by a Chinese doctor who made this form for health exercise reasons.

The thing that made Master Wei so cool to have around was that he was always so happy, always walked around with the biggest smile on his face and he was very excited in your behave, every time you did something right or improved.

I think a lot of people in our family feels very sad about him leaving, especially the students who taught their first kung fu forms from him. He will be missed around here.mmexport1459339245567

So Monday night we went to the BBQ place to say goodbye to Matias and master Wei and whilst we were there to welcome our new master to the school, master Wang, last but not least it was also Monas birthday, so a mixture of celebration and goodbyes.20160328_204042

A great night it was, which included another Chinese cream cake, my god we have had a lot of those lately.

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Our four kung fu Masters

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Goodbye Matias, yea he gets a small section for himself, because he was my roommate and he is a Dane like me hehe. He is already missed by all the students here.

It wasn´t hard to say goodbye for me, because we will seeeach other a lot when I come back home. This gives me the opportunity to talk about friendship, because Matias and I knew each other before he came here, but we were not friends. These six months has given me a new friend, a close friend which I am very happy about.

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Me, master Wei and Matias

This is also what this kung fu adventure is about and why we are here at the maling mountain academy, to meet new people and gain a lot of friendships, even if it is from your own country. When you live, train and have fun together like we do, you simply become a family, a family you wouldn´t live without. This is also why we train kung fu at maling academy.

Another thing that has changed in our family is that our big family now is divided into two groups. One group trained by master Wang and another group by master Du. Team Wang and team Du, I am in team Du, which I like to call the du´ers. I must admit I am not feeling this change, of course training wise you have more time with the master, but socially I think you lose a lot, when you are divided.  Some may say: but Morten aren’t you there to train for the most part? Yes I am, but in my point of view I like to be social while training, as a former coach in different sports, I know how much the social life and the fun can make training better. So us divided in two groups doesn´t go well in my mind, because I feel I am missing out one some of the fun happening during training. Mostly because Brage (the master of injuring himself or do stupid, but hilarious stuff during training) is in the other group hehe.

When that is being said, there is no doubt in my mind that being divided in two groups is better in the long run, because of the continuously growing number of students in our school.

During the night we had a new student coming from Australia, I haven´t had the chance to introduce myself yet so more that later on.

20160401_182540My personal training is going well. Friday I ran a marathon as my preparation for the great wall marathon. This was my last test before the wall, and now I only have to maintain my form until the marathon, which means I won’t run more than a half marathon on our stamina-training on Fridays.

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my shoes have 1600 kilometers in them in only six months. So worn out that there actually is a hole in them

Other than that I just finished my snake form and will soon begin another animal. My plan is to learn Crane, tiger and eagle, but since master Wei left I have been in doubt about the eagle, because he showed us a competition eagle I really wanted to learn, but we will see what happens. Nonetheless that is my plan for now, and if I have time maybe the five animal form in the end or a small fist form.

Next week will be a short training week for me, given I won´t train Monday and Tuesday due to my marathon run Friday. Usually when you run a marathon you should take at least a one-week period with no training, but since I don´t want to lose too much, valuable time in my kung fu training I only take two ekstra days. Wednesday I will be back in training and also I will be back at tai chi training again in which I have had a long break from.

More to come …

Being part of a family

 

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.20160321_184320

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

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Jauffrey, Brage, Tom and Shane

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.20160321_184320

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.
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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.DSC_0134 It is one of those spontaneous things DSC_0166that 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.DSC_0213

That same evening, we celebrated Kamal´s birthday with a DSC_0216Chinese 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.20160326_144312

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.20160312_19170120160312_173316

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 hehe20160326_211433.

 

 

 

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.IMG_0142IMG_0157

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.

More to come.

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I am sorry, it has been a while since my last update, and I am sorry to disappoint again with not putting up interviews of the students who lives here. The thing that must not happen to a computer happened to mine.

More about that later.

I will take you back in time to what we as students would like to call hell week. We called it that because the training got a bit more intense. After our holiday we suddenly faced Master bao at the line-up, because master Wei still wasn´t back from his holiday. Everybody knows that master Bao´s way of training is different from the other masters. He says himself that his training is a little bit stricter. A BIT STRICTER? That is the same as calling a sumo-wrestler chubby. My god his training nearly killed us. Okay okay for starters we might let the Monday cleaning slide a bit, so when Master Bao came down from room check he was a bit agitated. He called out, -“everybody horse stance” and mean while he let us have about our rooms wasn´t clean enough. Mona of course took her time translating because it wasn´t her standing in horse stance. Maybe she was fast, but it didn´t feel like it. So we got another chance to make up for our poor room cleaning. Apparantly it wasn´t good enough, so we were all taken to each room so everybody could see what was wrong. We started in Matias and my room. Our beds were not good enough, which I didin´t agree upon at all, cause they were fine. But according to master Bao the beds should look like we were in the military.

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this is how we look when we are amazed about how clean our room is.
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You can really see who was in the military or not.. mine is to the right and military man to the left hehe

Our rooms were not the worst. I am gonna sum up, what was lying in the beds. Cellphones, computers, clothes and oranges, was lying in the beds under the blankets. Yeah I know, you are still thinking about the oranges. We were also very interested in that explaination. Brage the one I like to call the fake Norwegian, answered when asked what this was. It is oranges, but I eat them continuesly. Everybody wanted to burst out in laughter, but no one really did, because we weren’t exactly on master Bao´s good side.

So apparently in Norway whilst eating dry fish and ice bathing they warm up their oranges under the blanket, to eat em continuesly. We still joke about that, because that was hilarious.

We came outside to start basics, and my god did we get basics. After the first lesson I started to wonder if this was it, was this the time to die? Other thoughts came to mind.. . it is Friday right? My legs feel like it is Friday. But no, it was Monday and the first lesson was just finished. Welcome back from holiday…

Monday to Wednesday were extremely painful training-wise, – my god the week after I still felt the training. This week was not a good time to be training for a marathon. But I got out for a 10k anyway. Pretty proud of myself, mostly of the fact I didn´t die on along the way, hehe.

Wednesday afternoon everybody was gathered outside for a little talk about life at the academy. Everybody thought this was the aftermath of our poor cleaning skills and poor training performance, but it wasn´t. it was just Master Bao who wanted to hear how we were doing, and how our life was here at the academy.2016-02-23 06.07.26-1

It was very nice to tell people around you how we felt about the school and the people around. When it came to my turn, I told it as I see it.

I am here in china, where I have a home. I feel home here at the school and I see everybody around me as a family. Master Bao being the Dad, Lisa the mom, the crazy but caring uncles master Wei and master Du, and not to forget our grandparent’s mama and papa Bao. Yeah in this metaphor us students are the kids. This is actually how I feel. I love living here, even thought my culture sometimes crash with the Chinese culture.

It is the people around you that creates the home, the culture and life.

Master Bao ended the day by telling us, that he just wanted to show us how it was to e trained like they do in the temple, and the simplest thing is the motto that gets you through the day.

If it doesn´t hurt it is incorrect.

In other news, well this blog is called 30, inspired by Adele´s first two albums named by age. It is because I had a birthday the 23th of February. Turning 30 is a big deal for a lot of people, but for me, it isn´t bigger than turning 27. Mostly because I don´t feel 30. Okay okay Master Bao made me feel 60 the week before but still.

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Birthday gift from Mona and Faith
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Finally found sunglasses I actually like – birthday present for myself.

I had a good day with what we now call terror Tuesday, because Tuesday is one of those days where there is a lot of injuries or those days where people wake up the day after feeling busted in their entire body. I celebrated my birthday by getting punched in the face and kicked over my legs, but I kicked someone in the face too, so it was okay…

when can you ever say you celebrated your birthday like that?

Thursday was a critical day for me, because the thing that must not happen, happened. My tea pot fell down and hit my laptop and of course it hit the exact spot where the harddrive was. GOODBYE to all my stuff on the computer. So here you are, in China where you don´t know where to get it fixed or anything, and I had all kinds of thoughts. –“what if it couldn´t be fixed? Are all my things gone now? Do I have to live without a computer for 5 months?

I went downstairs to Mona and told her, -“Mona you and I are going to Xinyi to fix my computer”.  We went with the bus and got to a place where the guy after two seconds said my harddrive was gone. Hmm when you lose your hard drive you can only think about which things that are lost.

So I was told that he could put in a new hard drive and windows 7 for 330 kuai. I must say this is one of those times you just love China. 330 kuai and 50 minutes to fix my computer. That is cheap, but my main concern was to change the language to English, because I can’t read Chinese. The next adrenaline rush was when my computer was running out of power. I didn´t bring my power adapter because in Denmark they would have one lying around for the purpose. So the computer guy stood there with a cigarette in his mouth looking at me while my computer said 7% power left. Meanwhile the computer was updating the system. With 3% of power left, the computer finished and I was happy.

Even though I lost a lot of things from my computer, I don´t see it as a big problem. I see it as a new beginning, because at some point I had to clean up my computer anyway. The reason why I didn´t have a backup is because I thought I had one on my eksternal harddrive, but when I looked at it, it was a backup of a Samsung computer, just not my Samsung computer.

I was happy but couldn´t live with half Chinese, half English windows, so I started to ask around to get a newer Windows. Luckily I have this friend who is not only providing me with VPN service for free, but also has the newest programs lying around. So now I sit here with windows 10 and office 16 writing my blog. I just finished moving my music from my ipod to my computer. So all wasn´t lost. There are some old school assignments I lost, and there are a few pictures and videos I can´t get back, but that is it. All it cost me was 330 kuai and about 15 work hours to get my computer back to where I want it.

but all my interviews for this blog are gone. I don´t now if I willconduct new ones, we will see.

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So this week we just finished has been a lot of fun, and I have been in Wangchuang several

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new friend at the school, an Infared lamb,which I use a lot hehe

 

acupunctur
getting ready for acupunctur

times. It started Wednesday. My back has been very tense lately and blaysian Gregs knees well they are about 80 years old. So we wanted to go to the acupuncture. Greg was amazed afterwards because of his so called “new knees” and my back was pretty good to. Friday we went again, this time Kasia went with us.

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Master Du is learning pressure points in the face, while I am tied up

 

Side-note. We have gotten three new students since my last blog, Steven from France, Kasia from England and Shane from America. Kasia is now the only girl at the school and it is really nice to have a girl around. The dynamic changed for a couple of days before we went back to being boys who goes a bit dark in the conversations. We have these ethical conversations where we get a question, what we would do, which really makes us getting to know each other, but some of the questions are really really out there, and it is very boyish humor.

So we went for acupunctur and I hated my life in there. I don´t know if he just wanted to hurt me, but every needle he put in me was like a samurai sword, he hit all the right spots, and for some reason he put two needles in my neck so I couldn´t move at all. It was an hour of torture for me, but afterwards it felt good.

One our way home we took a tuck tuck, which became a very funny story.

First of all, we have gotten so use to using transport, so We sometimes forget to ask for the price, but in this case we really should have done that. We came home with the tuck tuck driver, and first we gave him 20 kuai which it normaly costs, and he started to scream out loud, and of principle I didn´t want to give him more, because that is the price. Okay so we gave him 5 kuai more, but he continued to scream and shout, and I said to Greg, come on we are going now, because I hoped he would go away. They usually do. But this driver followed us into the school area and kept on screaming. Master Du came out and told us to go inside, but the driver followed us, so I had to think fast, and I am a 30-year-old man, so I took the adult choice and yelled, run and hide. So there we were, hiding in the toilet. Greg 29, Kasia 27 and me 30 years old.  The reason why I wanted to hide, was I didn´t want the driver coming up to our rooms and see all out stuff.

Master wei and Mama Bao joined the conversation with the man. Apparantly he just wanted to cheat us, so when we gave him 5 kuai more, he just wanted more. He didn´t take the 5 kuai, he pushed them away and wanted more. Master Du told us, if we have given him 10 kuai more, he would still be yelling for more.

I still think this was a hilarious story, especially because we hid in the toilet. So you think I am done now? Noooo

One more story to tell. So we were in Xinyi yesterday and when we wanted to go home, I suggested to go to the train station to grab a van. On the way there, there is this big park, and apparently there was something going on, so we went to look. NOT THE BEST IDEA hehe. They were teaching kids how to do CPR. When we came there everybody stared at us and the whole purpose was totally gone. None of the kids were looking at the demonstration.

A cocky as I am, I tried to tell the kids not to look at me but at the man showing them how to save life, and I thought to myself, if I demonstrate it then everybody would look because I am a laowei. YES the teacher inside my immediately stepped in. But before I could take over I was asked if I could show the kids how to do it.

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showing very clearly that you need to breath in between – breath in hehe

Suddenly all eyes on my showing the kids how it was done. It was very fun. When we tried to walk away the others got held back because everybody wanted to take pictures. So we started to pose in Tai chi poses, and right in the middle of it, this old woman came and did tai chi with us, just slower than us and her steps were a lot lower than ours. It was amazing.

To finish of a great day, we got a van back to the school for only 60 kuai. Normally they take 80, so that was cool.

I stil love to be here, and since last time, I have finished the broadsword form and begun the snake. The plan for me is to learn snake, tiger, crane and eagle form. The weather is getting a lot better too, as you can see in the picture, so it is nice to snake it up outside. 2016-03-03 13.04.06

There are more and more students coming and going all the time, so we get a lot of new members of the family.

In this month we will have another girl and in April it is time for some danes to arrive.

Remember you have to hide your power behind your softness.

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side note – my running goes really well, for the time being

The more you learn, the more you forget, so practice.

More to come

6 months in.

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..

 

IMG_0110And 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 a20160123_085421n 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

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 scaredIMG-20160123-WA0000,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. 20160123_135855Paris 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 20160128_2025191months 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.

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Look at her,  she was amazing

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.

More to come

Argg The brits are overtaking the school

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, 20160102_123540
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.

 

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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.20160114_18285620150828_182241

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. Gettingmig i smerte
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 

mig udstrækif 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.mig med ro

indre ro

Kayvon luckily got to try to be stretched before he left. We had some great times he and I IMG_1675.jpgand 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 IMG_1569

Age: 18

Country: England

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.

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This weekend was a bit special because it was Jauffreys birthsday Saturday so we all went

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Me, Paris, Greg, Matias and Brage

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

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The picture is an old picture from a taylor visit

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

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All the students from maling mountain. left row: Paris, Brage, Greg, Thijs, Tom – right row Michael, Jauffrey, Matias – me taking the picture

 

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 weIMG_20160116_193145644re 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 20160116_134944Oreo 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzsjEmjjHs

”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.IMG_20160115_111140236.jpg

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.

more to come

The year that went by

New year, Christmas in China, new student and reflections about the year that passed me by.

This is the year of 2016, and I am still living in china and I still love it. There is not a lot of new stuff going on here, besides for the giant pond20151231_165545 they are building outside. You see, we have heard rumors about master Bao wanted a pond outside, but when we saw the digging, it looked like a small pool instead. It has gone by so fast20160103_101057, it has actually only taken them a week to build it. They are not done yet, because I saw some drawing in the dirt out there which imply that they are going to do some more work around the pond.

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Christmas eve came a little bit as a shock for me, given Kayvon and I had nothing planned for the dinner. The thing was, all the other students were in Xinyi city, so we thought that we would wait for them, so we could eat dinner together. When it was dinner time, I went to Kayvon´s room to get him. Master Bao came and asked if we were ready? Ready for whaIMG_0081t? We had no idea that we were going out to dinner. We were confused given we didn´t prepare clothes or anything. In our hurry to put clothes on to
go outside, Kayvon yelled; -shirts”? and it ended up with us wearing our shirts and pants, that we got from the taylor for modeling.

It was a good evening, where we were allowedIMG_0076 to drink rise-wine, some drank a little more than others. Usually we are not allowed to drink alcohol.

We started to go around telling how we celebrate Christmas back home. This was fun because first of all, the gift unwrapping happens in two different days. Some does it the 24th in the evening others the 25th. The traditions in my home are that we each Christmas stay at my home and have people come to us. We eat gread made from rise first and then we eat duck. When the eating is done, we prepare to dance around the IMG_0078Christmas tree while singing Christmas carols. The oldest in the family pick the song first and then the second oldest etc. After two songs, the one who picked the song finds one present for everybody to unwrap. This continues until there are no more gifts.

The other studentsIMG_0079 and masters never heard about dancing around the Christmas tree and found it funny.

New year´s day we went to Whongchun (not sure of the spelling), to buy fireworks, but it was either too expensive or there wasn´t any. We lit a bonfire in the evening which we all sat around for an hour, before everybody but two students went back to their rooms. We actually didn´t celebrate new year´s and most of us weren´t up when it was midnight. For me it was with relief, to not do anything. Not to think about where to eat, party and stay for the evening.  In general it has been very nice not to celebrate Christmas or new year´s for once. Now I am looking forward to see how the Chinese celebrate new year´s eve. That will happen the 8th of February.

2016 has now begun and we are expecting 8 new students over the next 14 days, hopefully everybody will come. I am looking forward to get some more students around here and also there will come a couple from Denmark, so we will have a small Danish colony again haha.

Usually I end the year with a –“the year that went by” blog, reflecting about my year, so this will be part two of my blog, where I write a little about my year that passed by.

This is inspired by living your dreams and the movie Paper Towns. In Paper towns a group of teenagers set of to find a girl who disappeared again. In the beginning you are told that she sometimes disappears leaving clues behind for her sister, so she knows where she is and that she is okay. The group is lead by a guy who is a little bit in love with the girl who is missing. It is not one of those amazing movies about life journeys as we know it from The Way or The Shawshank Redemption, but more or less one of those movies which has a strong message.

“Maybe we won’t all win the lottery, marry royalty or make that last second shot but that doesn´t mean we won’t have amazing adventures, meet exceptional people and make endurable memories. The trick is to notice before it´s too late”. – Paper towns

“Sometimes to find yourself, you have to get lost”.  – Paper Towns

My 2015 has been amazing, kind of like my 2013 where I lived in Ghana and Singapore for two months each, to do my teacher practice. This year a lot more amazing though, and the best part is I am still living my dream the next 7 months. I am as you know sitting in China right now and I am reflecting about how this year has been for me. I completed a half Ironman and to those who do not know what it is. It is where you swim 1,9 kilometer and then bicycle 90, just to finish with a half marathon, running 21,1 kilometers . I completed my education and became an English, Physical education and special needs teacher and moved all the way to China to live my king fu dream and I´m not done living my dreams at all.

Also this year I have renewed some old friendships and took care of my old friends before I left, so I didn´t leave anything hanging back home.

It was hard to leave everybody back home and go here, but as he says in Paper towns: “It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

He is right in so many ways, because-“ yeah, it was hard to say goodbye and all, but when thinking about it, it was just saying: -“it will be a little longer before I see you again”.

My journey here gave me the possibility to go around to say goodbye and in general to use some time with my friends who I do not see that much, because of the 300 kilometers between us.  Something I order to do every year but the time and money has been an issue. My time here in China also made me think about all the friendships I neglected over the years , and the people in which I wanted to be more acquainted with. Something I will think about when I come home again.

This year has given me a lot of new friends too, given there have been amazing people at this school throughout my time here and there still is amazing people here. Hopefully I will continue to gain new friends given there is 8 new students on the way to join our kung fu family. I am very excited about that, because we need some more people here, so we can have more fun and gain a lot of new friends.

Even though I live my dream now, it doesn´t end here, because when I am going home I will hopefully begin my masters in Physical education, if I get in off course. If I don´t I will try to get in as a journalist instead, so the new year will also involve an adventure. Hopefully the new subject I will study will take me to America to study, but yeah, we will see.  I still have seven months left here, and for the time being I don´t wish it to end at all. I truly love it here.  The year ended with injuries, but the new year will begin 100% fit

So all there is left to say is:

Happy New Year and thank you for following my adventure here in China