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  • #61
    I've been effectively dissuaded from Sanda by your previous posts Doc. I think that now I've made the journey to China I should focus my energy studying the traditional arts, I am also very taken with the idea of living in the mountains rather than metropolis. I will save the kickboxing for Thailand.

    I have had a very interesting day, it has made me question my future plans. I will write this up soon when my time isn't so inflexible.

    Always an adventure in Shaolin.

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    • #62
      He's "Decheng's brother" because I can't remember his name.

      Just like you're going to be "maestro" for ****ing forever, because I won't remember your name either.

      Josh, two things.

      One, you can visit Tagou, set up some private sanda lessons just to get some of that experience. It's not good at Decheng's school, you might find better at Tagou. Do an hour a day, get it into your system.

      Two, you're reaching what I call the HUMP. It's when you start to wonder what the **** you're doing there. You're tired, miserable, none of it makes sense, you hate the place. It's normal. Hang in there for a bit, and it will get better. You'll start to really develop a feel for the forms, start to understand them, start to ingrain them. That's when you've really accomplished something. If you can hold on another month, and get a deeper understanding of this stuff, I think you'll be happier in the long run.

      Three, getting a girlfriend there always makes it more fun. If I could have done it, no doubt you will do it.

      OK, that was three. Escaping to Wudangshan might present you with the same bullshit nonsense that you're experiencing now. But, you should go anyway, and let us know how it is. My trip there was cancelled years ago, after Shaolin, because of a bad case of dysentery.
      Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

      "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

      (more comments in my User Profile)
      russbo.com


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      • #63
        lolo, my name is easy to remember, just call me master, its easy.
        "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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        • #64
          OK, I want to help you understand where I'm coming from and my particular situation, Doc you're halfway there but not quite encompassing everything with what you've just pointed out.

          Firstly here's an extract from an email I sent mum, it was mother's day (Australia) and she had called me when I had just arrived at Da Fa Wen Si about 7.30am:

          I had quite the experience today. When you called me I told you I was at a temple; in many ways it was a smaller version of the Shaolin temple minus the influx of tourists and venders. When I approached one of the larger halls of the temple I found myself in a conversation with a man who was praying just outside (later found out he was a monk). On my way in I noticed there were kung fu students dressed in the iconic shaolin attire; orange robes, shaved heads, white leggings. Before long the chat I had with this guy led to questions about the details of the school that was obviously operating there. He took me to the head coach of the school. We talked for about ten minutes before it became clear my limited Chinese and his even moreso limited English really couldn't answer the questions I had. Luckily a Chinese guy who'd been raised in France, whose English was excellent and who was living in the temple as a student, translated.

          You may be surprised but you actually know this temple (I thought it was familiar the more I looked around), it is the place where Shi De Yang's student (serious monk) from the Discovery Channel show 'fight quest' lived. Don't worry, this isn't that monk's school, I imagine it was chosen as a location because it is very scenic and located in the heart of the Song mountains unlike the often 'uglier', concrete buildings that function as schools in and around Dengfeng.

          Anyway, after about an hour of talking with this guy he told me (translated from the coach) that he was surprised that I had found the school, the only students who were accepted or that knew about the place were introduced by insiders. He continued by telling me that tourists would often petition to study and were turned down regularly.
          The school is different in its approach, they train nine hours a day, it's isolated, no internet anyway nearby (except back in Dengfeng, 10 mins away by car), Chinese lesson everyday at 6.30. Most importantly is the atmosphere. The temple is right in the mountains, I think it's only a few k's away from the Shaolin temple itself though it is unbelievably peaceful and the tourists that I did see were there to pray/pay respects, not the mobs of tour groups yelling and taking photos I saw in the former.
          We talked some more and I expressed a wish to study there, though aware that I was just the tourist he spoke about, despite this I inquired about the possibility. What he translated then on went something like this:

          "They don't often accept tourists, I've seen them turn away people from all over China, Guangzhou, (some other notable cities I can't remember). He says he can see you're serious about training here, even though you haven't been introduced. (As Buddhists) they believe in fate and he thinks that you coming was meant to be; so if wish to train here then they will accept you as a student."

          I'm not sure what I will do. I have the details of the school which, as I said, is an active temple with practicing monks and scenery I've only seen in the most remote areas I've hiked around. Primarily though, it seems to be offering the training that I am looking for.
          (END)

          Now I'll be honest, when he said it was 'meant to be' I was sold... almost. I'll come back to this later in the post.

          Doc, what you've described as the HUMP (and its symptoms) rings true for me in some ways, others not so. I've begun to feel complacent about the training because of the lax attitude at the school; but despite feeling tired and slowly fostering a growing hostility for Dengfeng, I'm still ready to do put my all into the training. For me, I've had a great experience at DeCheng's but now it's not offering me what I want.
          While I've done my share of training at the school, to some degree, it's been more of a holiday than a serious training experience. I don't blame anyone, not that there's anything to be blamed for, I just feel its time to move on.

          The hardest thing about this decision isn't interrupting my training but leaving behind some great friendships I've developed with the kids and people here. Though ultimately, I came here to train so in the near future I will go elsewhere.

          As I said before, I've now resolved to train in kung fu (or qigong/taiji) while I'm here, save the kickboxing for Thailand. Thanks anyway for the advice, it's always been appreciated.

          I am very tempted to go to Da Fa Wen Si to study. The conversation I had was convincing (though I bear in mind that it was and is just that) and the location stunning. In many ways it is what I imagine the Shaolin temple may have looked like ten/fifteen years ago. I believe you would know something about the training here Doc, considering your part in the fight quest episode and it having been used as both a living and training area. As a side note of trivia, the head coach I spoke to was the Sanda sparring partner (not the last fight rival) with DeYang's American student, you can see them boxing the suspended punching bags.

          I am prepared to give this school a week, then go from there. They seem to be teaching a similar cirriculum to DeCheng's from what I could gather which would be excellent as I could continue with Shaolin sytems rather than begin again in Wudang Shan.

          I am aware that from my posts this may come across as me constantly flip-flopping; you wouldn't be wrong either. There are many options open to me, it's just an issue of making the best choice with the information available.

          As for the girlfriends, I'll keep you posted, got my supply of 'biyuntao' just for the occasion!

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          • #65
            even though you really seem to wanna go to wudang to train i dont think its what you really want. wu dang does seem really pretty and id love to go there, not saying u shouldnt go but, if you want to learn good internal i would go to beijing or chen village, theres other places to go but those 2 have good peeps.

            i read an article a year or so about a place in chen village run by one of the chen diamonds i think..either way the place was stirctly about chen taiji/qi gong and focus on combat training..ill look for it
            "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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            • #66
              I ve trained with Shi Heng Jung who is head of Da Fa Wang Si and he seems really involved in budism, so i guess that would be a good place to study budism.

              Peace and love

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              • #67
                You recognize Da Fa Wen Si from the Fight Quest show because that's what I had set up. Deyang doesn't train there, but I picked him, and asked him to arrange that temple up in the mountains because of it's beauty, and its distinct differences from Decheng's school, which, obviously, was the other half of the show that I had set up. I felt the show needed something other than the drip and drab of Dengfeng, so that's why the one guy ended up there. DeQian was not too happy with me, that I drew the Discovery Channel team from his military oriented school...

                Shi Heng Jun had his school there, and I know the head coach, if it's the same people. As Heng Jun is now in France, I'm not really sure who is running the place. But, again, don't be that impressed with the orange outfits, and don't think that monks are necessarily teaching up there. It's going to be the same situation, everywhere. The last few times I was up there, I noticed a distinct cult like attitude, and, some of the people up there absolutely hated the place; others were fanatical about it. That bothers me. The living quarters are abyssmal. Yes, the temple is gorgeous, and that's the reason why I put one half of the Fight Quest group up there, but the training is not going to be any different than what you find in Dengfeng. At least in Dengfeng, you're not going to be isolated. And when you're in a foreign country as foreign as China, being isolated will lead to emotional issues.

                It sounds more like you're just not getting along with your coach. He's not pushing you enough, or not providing you what you are looking for. I can understand that. This is a problem that everyone can experience; get the "wrong" teacher and your experience goes to shit. It doesn't matter where you are or what school you go to; it happens.

                As for "not taking tourists", that's bullshit. If you got cash, these schools will take you. If they don't, then something else is going on, and I'd beware. The last thing you need to get involved with is some sort of cult mentality in a place as distant as Dengfeng. And the isolation of Da Fa Wen Si could easily foster that.

                Have you considered walking over to Deyang's place, talking to him, and seeing if he'd let you train with one of his coaches half the day? Or, try breaking up your time between Da Fa Wen Si and other schools? Do you want to explore the Wushu Guan (I can arrange that too).

                I had considered training at Da Fa Wen Si many years ago, when Heng Jun was actually there. I decided against it. Yes, it's pretty, but damn, it's just too out of the way for me. But, I guess it all depends upon what you're looking for. It would have been an immersive experience, but one that might end up being too much so. I would just be careful.

                Let us know what you end up doing.
                Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                (more comments in my User Profile)
                russbo.com


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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Josh x View Post
                  As a side note of trivia, the head coach I spoke to was the Sanda sparring partner (not the last fight rival) with DeYang's American student, you can see them boxing the suspended punching bags.
                  i think the coach there was the referee during the sparing practice at dafawangsi on fight quest, not the partner. the big chinese guy who was sparring with the american used to be at master deyang's school.

                  that ref was shi yongbin, seen here: [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoCF0Ifl3Gw"]YouTube - Kung Fu - Shaolin Temple - Shaolin Stick[/ame]

                  he used to be a coach under shi xinghong when he ran a school in dengfeng. then he became a disciple under shi hengjun, changing his generation and dharma name from shi yongbin to shi miaozhi, and started teaching at dafawangsi. so his gongfu is a lot like xinghong's. fast, but modernized.

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                  • #69
                    Thankyou for the information, that definitely gives me a more rounded impression of the place. There are many issues that I obviously hadn't considered; I couldn't sense that same 'cult-like' nature you spoke of but then again I was only there briefly.

                    What you've outlined here,

                    It sounds more like you're just not getting along with your coach. He's not pushing you enough, or not providing you what you are looking for. I can understand that. This is a problem that everyone can experience; get the "wrong" teacher and your experience goes to shit. It doesn't matter where you are or what school you go to; it happens.
                    is spot on. My coach is very young and is not what I'm looking for in a teacher. This says nothing about him as a person or friend, just not the right attitude I consider important when choosing an individaul to learn from. My other (older) coach is great but not consistent.
                    This is the last I will say of this, it is not my intention to pubicly bad-mouth the school; it just wasn't right for me.

                    I will go to Hong Kong on Saturday, I've got to stamp my visa. When I get back I will make my choice.

                    Deyang's place isn't at all appealing. I've met some students who are training there, they told me it was a mix bag of sanda, gongfu, wushu and the place is in a terrible condition. These schools that I have mentioned interest me because they offer the live-in experience and truly, I don't expect the curriculum to vary that significantly but hopefully the approach will.

                    LFJ, now I may well be wrong about that previous statement. The coach I spoke to told me he was the sparring partner. Unfortunately I can't visually confirm this because I can't access Youtube here. But whatever the case I'm sure he had some part, the French guy asked him about a television show and he looks over to me and says "aa, Jimmy," then throws a couple of punches in the air.

                    I'll let you know how things develop.

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                    • #70
                      LFJ, yes, that's the guy. I'm not sure he's still up at Da Fa Wen Si; I haven't been there since the Discovery Channel thing. But he did learn from Xing Hong, which also means, his traditional knowledge is flawed. He's awesome, but XingHong changed things far too much to suit himself (improve speed). Well, sometimes they do that.
                      Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                      "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                      (more comments in my User Profile)
                      russbo.com


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                      • #71
                        Josh, if that's the same guy that I'm thinking up at Da Fa Wen Si, and you think you can tolerate the living quarters there, then by all means do it for a month (or whatever). The training will be good, and, regardless of anything else, it will be a dramatic experience.

                        When Decheng returns to China, I would then go back to his school and play with him. He's well worth it.

                        I'll help you get settled somewhere to train in Thailand when the time comes. But while you are in China, make the most of it.
                        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                        (more comments in my User Profile)
                        russbo.com


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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Josh x View Post
                          LFJ, now I may well be wrong about that previous statement. The coach I spoke to told me he was the sparring partner. Unfortunately I can't visually confirm this because I can't access Youtube here.
                          oh, right.. haha!

                          he's here:

                          http://www.russbo.org/vb/showthread.php?t=36
                          http://www.russbo.org/vb/showthread.php?t=60
                          http://www.russbo.org/vb/showthread.php?t=39

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                          • #73
                            Same guy. He's still working up there?

                            He'll train you well. It will be worth your time.
                            Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                            "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                            (more comments in my User Profile)
                            russbo.com


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                            • #74
                              Unfortunately I also am unable to view these photos from the computer at the internet cafe, all I'm getting is the white outline and the three-shapes icon in the left hand corner.

                              Due to late planning I'm heading off to Hong Kong today (there's no way I'm spending 24hrs in a seat if it can be avoided), so I won't be back in Dengfeng until early/mid week next week. I'll be considering my choices carefully meanwhile.

                              Take care, off to Zhengzhou to watch a dubbed English movie in Chinese. I watched 'Dragon Ball' there, and even though I couldn't understand much of what was said I can still tell you it was a waste of time. Fingers crossed that Street Fighter's finally come out.
                              Josh

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                              • #75
                                i dont think shi yong bin is that good at all, atleast not from those videos.
                                "did you ask me to consider dick with you??" blooming tianshi lotus

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