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Shi De Cheng school - 1 month in...

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  • Shi De Cheng school - 1 month in...

    Hey there gong fu peeps,

    I've been here in (generally) sunny Dengfeng for a month now and thought it appropriate to post a small summery of my time here so far...

    Having arrived late on that Monday evening that seems oh so long ago I opted, against sage advice I might add, to start training the next day. Thus on Tuesday morning began my 4 day foray into a wold of pain and discomfort!

    Breakfast with Shifu and the handfull of other "stranger" students here was a nice start and the mornings training and drills was fine. I felt a little jaded by the afternoon class (jet lag et al) but dove into it headlong anyway. The routine of breakfast, class, lunch, class, dinner and sleep soon comes easy, however, the ability to get out of bed in a sprightly fashion as the days wore on got progressively harder! By Friday I was rolling out of bed like a beached whale (were they to have beds this is what I envision them doing at any rate!), walking down to breakfast in a similar fashion to an octogenarion who has had his walking frame stolen and sitting down at the table with a Hulk-like roar of pain from the legs. (And I thought my 3 month intensive training regime pre China had prepared me for the worst!)

    By Saturday I was so tired and fatigued that when attempting a snake stance (pu bu) on a nice shiney floor I slipped into my first real splits! My body's otherwise inability to do this for the last 3 years not withstanding it was a glorious achievement for me for the split (pardon the pun) second before the strange noise and growing intense pain from my inner thigh brought home the realisation of disaster. I'd torn my adductor muscle and only 4 days into my trip... Excellent. At least at this point things could only get better!

    I had been by the quality of the food prepared for us from day one, as the warnings of many people who'd come this way before had been of bad food. I'd been informed on my arrival though, that since a recent move to a newer building (approx 15min walk from the old school) for the foreigners the food had improved tenfold. (The accomodation is very good as well on a side note. Large room to myself with a bed, cupboard and water dispenser all supplied). Four days in though and the lack of bowel movements on my part was beginning to worry me, especially since I was convinced I could feel 4 days worth of food rubbing on the inside of my intestine when we went for a (painful) jog every morning...

    Saturday saw me doing some Qi Gong in the morning in a last ditch attempt to garner some movement from my bowels before resorting to laxatives. And what do you know? It worked... Herein lay the problem though! The toilet adjacent to my room is of the "old skool" hole in the floor type requiring a hip testing squat procedure for a maximum effect/minimum splatter toilet session. Now couple thighs that are shaking at the thought of merely standing, a very painful golf ball like projection from the inside of the torn muscle and the obviously large length of time per high number of visits required to expel 4/5 days worth of food and you may have a glimpse of the disasterous saturday night/early morning that was had by me... But like the tolling of a bell announcing the end of a disaster this was the turning point...

    By monday I was energised and intestinally sound and ready for the weeks training. With great care given to drills and exersises that remotely stretched my torn muscle, I was up and running (literally at some points!) and raring to go.

    So three weeks later I'm settled, having a great time, training hard and have learnt 3 forms and mastered that ability to raise large red welts on my head at will whilst practising the drills for the three-section-staff (it has a mind of it's own and should be banned by the UN in my estimation!)

    I've learned some Mandarin, learned not to feel like an animal at a zoo from people stopping and starring at the "stranger(s)" (in cars and buses too!), learned some gong fu, got to know Shifu a little (using a strange mix of Chinese, French, Italian and English. Seen the Shaolin Temple (in all it's shiney new beauty), walked up innumerable steps there, come down slightly less of them headfirst on my hands and knees (interesting experience as that was) and basically had a very good and interesting time.

    I also met the discovery channel film crew that were here for the Shaolin Gong Fu piece that you may have read about in Doc's posts. Lots of running around (to some beautiful locations and temples!) and lots of waiting around involved with time spent with them. They seemed like a nice bunch of people however and watching them film was an eye opener in some respects. One rather interesting take was when, during the course of filming a sanda sparring session with one of the Americans against a Chinese guy, the American got hit in the face by a rather nice roundhouse kick. The filming was stopped and the poor American asked if he'd mind the Chinese guy doing it again except could they move 5 feet to left so she could get the whole shot properly... D'oh! Rather him then me!

    That's about it for now... For those of you who have got this far... Congratulations and thanks for reading it all!

    I'd just like to say a special thanks to Doc for helping me organise this trip, answering my questions, putting up with my badgering and for generally being an all round nice guy! (Oh and for starting this site as if I hadn't stumbled upon it nearly 10 years ago I probably wouldn't be here today. (In China that is (sounded a little too much like I'd have been dead!))


    To Dai

  • #2
    Much love ! For all the talk you don't read enough sucess stories of people who made it there and are reporting back !!! Keep it up,,, as if you have a choice.

    Oh yeah, I also sympathize with you on the tri section staff practice. Nearly every time I throw that thing behind my back I seem to get wacked in the head.!!! If it wasn't suck a cool weapon I'd agree with you, ban it for the sake of craniums everywhere !!!!

    May the force be with you! (sorry, just watched Star Wars)
    "Winners turn to losers, losers are forgotten..." - A Tribe Called Quest


    • #3
      Hilarious post!

      Good luck to you and enjoy your time there man...

      The East? The West?

      Men and Women, that's all...


      • #4
        sounds like an awesome sore time!

        which three forms have you learned and who is leading your instruction there?

        and i agree on the sanjiegun. i've seen too many people go down to those things. (notice i didnt see myself go down, unconscious before hitting the ground, lol)


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