shaolin monk deng feng china shaolin temple

Despite being sick like everyone else around here, I am pleased with my progress in the kung fu world.

Even with injuries, I have never been late or missed a single minute of training. I have also never sat out on the morning run, which seems to be much easier now.

The first month (or two) of training is oriented around fitness and flexibility, as expected. Your body has to be prepared for a life of kung fu properly, and that is probably why so many first-month students like myself get hurt. Other than getting into decent shape, I have learned a large portion of the first Shaolin form, which focuses on stance and leg training. On top of that, I have picked up some basic acrobatics and am learning Tai Chi form #26. No weapons training yet, but that is next — probably the staff (or stick as they say here).

I study Chinese in class three hours a day and am learning to recognize and write the characters as well. The class is very difficult, but I don’t mind. It keeps me sharp and gives my muscles a much needed break to heal for a few hours. Plus, with so many Chinese people branching out into the world, I have a feeling that Mandarin will come in handy for years to come.

I take training very seriously because, bottom line, that is why I am here! There are much nicer places to just hang out for a month, believe me! 🙂

Land of the clones.
xiao long kung fu school deng feng china

I have now officially survived two weeks of 12+ hours a day, six days a week. Woohoo! Two weeks seems like such a short time, but when you consider that the average person studying martial arts at home gets maybe six hours a week of practice time (three days a week x two-hour classes), I am racking up the training hours.

Groin: Healed
Right foot: Getting better
Right Shoulder: Fubar
Left Knee: Enough pain to affect training
Flu: Just a nasty cough now

Life might be sore, dirty, and hard — but it is still good!