chinese

It’s all in the …

Leading up to last weekend, I began to get a little frustrated at the kung fu school. It was down to a combination of two things. Firstly, feeling the lack of material progress in my kung fu. Secondly, not being taught moves in a new form (set of kung fu moves) I had started learning. I wasn’t throwing my toys out the pram over a one day thing, but after a week of no progress, it definitely impacted my confidence and I didn’t know why.

It felt like my time at the school was running out and there was something I was missing. I was being told “yidian” (little by little) and “mingtian” (tomorrow). I was doing countless laborious movements 100s of times a day, every day and had worked hard on extra training.

It didn’t feel like the reason behind not teaching me anything new was malicious, but I couldn’t understand what why. Even if there was no time in the lessons to learn, there seemed to be time during the breaks. These were breaks I was happy to forgo, when the other students would mess around and choreograph kung fu fight scenes, I was stretching my hamstrings and repeating the forms I had learned. I know the students here have a different attitude to training – they have no issues skipping odd training sessions – bumps on a life long kung fu road aren’t as important for them as they are for me.

As for my progress in the basics – in the first month at the school, I had felt my hips loosening, my legs worked hard and my back get stronger. I was pleased with the way I learned the Pan Gen form. But in the last two weeks, I had none of that, even though I had kept my head down and concentrated on learning as much as I could. I wasn’t sure if my body was fully reconditioned or if I just wasn’t pushing myself enough. If it was the latter, I didn’t know where. Although I had built up strength, I wasn’t able to get myself into the stances in the way they described but I wasn’t able to see how I could progress into it.

 

 

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    Useful Martial Arts Terms Translated In English/Chinese (Mandarin)

Useful Martial Arts Terms Translated In English/Chinese (Mandarin)

Part of my newfound dedication to learning Chinese Mandarin whilst here at the Wugulun Kung Fu school, I thought to myself “what would have been really useful for me to have learned before I came to the school?”.

You see, because I’m not getting on a train or bus every other day or asking how much things cost, I couldn’t make much use learning the regular phrase books before I turned up. Instead, I need to know what orders or corrections are being barked at me whilst sweating in one of the stances or how to ask about the details of the moves being demonstrated. What I was looking for then, was a set of words/phrases which are commonly used in martial arts, so that’s what I’ve compiled here.

Much as I’d like to include phrases like “How much longer of this torture?” and “Surely we’ve done enough practice of that?”, I’ve kept the list practical.

If it helps just one person in a similar situation, it’ll be mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned.

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Changes After A Week Of The New Schedule

After blogging about my frustrations and realisations last week, It appears in the week just gone, much has changed.

So what’s changed exactly?

I’ve religiously stuck to my own new mind/body/soul workout schedule
The day-to-day training from the school has become more physically demanding
I’ve made some progress in learning to meditate
I can be understood more with my mandarin
My outlook on the art here has widened

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I Don’t Miss Home, But I Miss My Washing Machine

<< Blog updates should come more frequently, because I found an easy source of wifi here at the school. However, like the rest of the Chinese population, I don’t have access to Facebook >>

Since the wet weather over the weekend, it’s brightened up in Dengfeng. But not just the weather, more of the techniques and teachings are coming together now.

Firstly, after I looked up numbers in Mandarin, I realised that the thing the kids were shouting in the morning were in fact numbers, i.e. they were doing a headcount. Knowing the numbers up to 10 is good enough for the row I’m in. I ended up surprising the guy after me in the line by shouting “Ba” (8). After “dropping him in it” and making him shout the wrong number, I think we’re still friends though.

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Life As An Alien

The picture you see was on the text on the back of my entry application form. Apparently, any foreign citizen in China is considered an Alien.
Today was a long day. It took 3 planes and a taxi to arrive at the kung fu school. It started with an early morning flight from London to Warsaw, then onto Beijing and finally Zhengzhou totalling about 20 hours of travel. All that part went incredibly smoothly. I wondered how I’d cope in the Chinese airports (experienced globe trotters may laugh), but to be honest, it was easy because everything written had English beside it too. I can safely say airports are a safe haven.
The smoothness went a little rough once I left Zhengzhou airport.  […]