Jump to content

Foo

Member
  • Posts

    341
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Foo

  • Rank
    Newbie
    Newbie
  • Birthday 11/04/1982

Character Details

  • Location
    USA
  • Class
    druid
  1. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    A final photo. From left to right: Quentin (who did 2000 BW Squats in one set). Started training with Dr. Yang when he was 14. Is 18 now. Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming (Shifu) Nikki: Guy who handles all the non-training stuff, such as driving to airport and picking me up. Foo: Me (Joe) Piper: True minimalist, who's lives the last 3 years in a tent to learn from Dr. Yang....also, possibly the Monkey King. I realize that this session is over, this challenge is done. I'm not sure if I'll start another or not. This was a great month, and I am pleased, but I'm also very busy with my own exploration of my path from here. Let me put it like this: This was by far the most serious training I've done, and as you may notice in the above photo, there is nobody in a traditional uniform. I could post pictures of the beautiful gym, but we spent far more time training outside and in the woods. There was such depth, and nothing was faked for the sake of 'looking good.' Some of my misconceptions have been shattered, especially in regards to myself. I feel like most martial arts these days are either sport-related or a bunch of people LARP'ing. I have some real soul searching to do about the right way to continue the path from here, because I owe it to those who've come before me to NOT allow Tai Chi Chuan to fall into the same trap that many traditional arts have. The depth of the challenge ahead is profound and intimidating to say the least. *bows*
  2. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    People #3 & 4: Frank, and John John (the Taiwanese guy in today's photo) was only there for a short time. I almost never saw him, but when I did...we spent the entire time sharing "totally useless superpowers" with each other. Nice dude, and I'm pretty sure he was Michelle's husband, but I didn't ask. Frank (the guy in the hoodie) was one of the few students who'd studied under Dr. Yang for as long as he had (somewhere around 10 years). His Tai Chi was awesome. In this photo, he's demonstrating 'stealing jin' which is a pretty hard thing to time correctly. One of the best parts about Frank is that he'd start a fight or match of push-hands with you literally ANYWHERE. "Oh, you're getting food?" *shove* Dr. Yang would just laugh it off and tell us not to break anything. Frank helped me a TON with my push-hands game, and was a very good teacher in his own right. He was from Switzerland...and was also a cool guy. He also was quick to laugh at everyone else's suffering, and was a lot of fun to train with for that very reason.
  3. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Person #2: Michelle "The Crane Herself." The first time talking to Michelle, she was discussing having a conversation with a martial arts choreographer about how the fight was not right in the movie, and that she'd like to help him fix parts of since she'd be doing the stunt work. As it turns out, Michelle had been training in White Crane & Changquan since she was much younger. I'd never seen anyone actually fight with the kind of artistry of form that she used. One of the other things that I really admired about her was her dedication to making Chin-na (submission locks, joint strikes, nerve strikes) work as well as possible. I'm sure that being a #105-ish pound girl means that you need to be able to inflict as much damage as possible without needing to use lots of physical strength. (Michelle demonstrates on 'Little Colin' a modified chin-na, by tweaking just 2 of his fingers) She was very helpful to everyone, and more than willing to try to teach us how to better perform our footwork when it was based on the more traditional kung-fu stances. She also spent hours personally trying to teach me to spiral my hands around a pole in order to make my yang/yin coils smoother. It helped tremendously. It also would have made a marvelous "montage section" as I had a big bamboo stick stuck into a garden fence in order to practice handwork on. Without seeing a video of her spar, you cannot imagine how impressive she is. I was very impressed. A final point of interest. She was very big on proper footwork, and her shoes showed it. Her right shoe had a hole where the big toe was coming through and a nice wear spot where the other side of her toes would soon follow. They were a sign of the dedication she had, and I found it abstractly artistic.
  4. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Person #1: "Shaolin" Bob Bob's introduction to me was in the form of a home-made energy bar made from dried fruit and lentils. You see, Bob was a Buddhist-ish vegetarian who had reached a spot in his life where he was ready to open a school of his own, BUT before he did so, Shaolin Bob wanted to make sure he had something worthwhile to add to the arts....so he did what any totally insane person would, and took 2 years to travel the world and meet masters from all sorts of arts, including going to China to study @ Shaolin. Bob was a hard-stylist, like...hardest of the hard. His kungfu was Shaolin to the core, while he himself was a soft-spoken guy who you'd honestly not be surprised to see in you local organic food store, stocking shelves. That being said, he hit like a truck. He was one of my favorite people to simply converse with as we have very similar views on martial arts, despite our differing approaches to training. (Bob is the one in the floppy hat, doing handwork drills with Enrico. Bob is okay with brutalizing your forearms, serenely, peacefully....) The cool part is that Bob knew TONS of history on martial arts, including those that he didn't study. One of the things I found most interesting is that he said he still practices every form he's ever learned from any art, as he put in the work to learn them...and that they belonged to him now. Considering the fact that he mentioned being older than me (so at least mid-30s), and he studies multiple styles of kungfu, that could potentially be a lot of forms. Also, Bob stayed in a tent the whole time and worked out in this really cool little make-shift gym most of the time, with logs driven into the ground..and wrapped in duct tape for punching/kicking "bags." I promised that when Bob opens his school, finally, that I would come visit. We have decided to include blood packs, and other such Hollywood movies media so we can have an epic showdown that his students won't soon forget (or probably stop laughing about.) Shaolin Bob is one of many cool people I met.
  5. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Foo: "I have a few more questions. I notice you flare your wings a lot for what appears to be no reason, why is that?" Crane: "Its purpose is to identify all of those that I have taught to fly, as they will do it too. It is my signature." ======== Ok, yes I apparently took a few too many to the head. Sorry for the slow updates, but resting was in high order. Things seem to be back to normal now...or at least as normal as my life ever is. So, where to start? How about the schedule? :5am-awake, 5:30am-tea (mint from garden), 6:00am-meditation, 7:00am-qigong, 8am-breakfasta, 9-11 tai chi chuan (either form or application, depending on the day....maybe both + push hands), 11-Noon, Push hand and sparring, Noon-2 Eat and then rest (most of us took a nap here) 2-3 Shaolin forms (White Crane/Changquan), 3-4 drills, 4-6 Conditioning, 6-7 theory and study, 7-8 dinner, 8-10 (whatever, it's free time...but I normally took a shower and used this cool river rock I found to rub the soreness out of my thighs), 10pm-5am-sleep. There's lot of cool things to discuss like how I later learned that all of us there came from drastically different schools and forms themselves as well. Some were wrestlers, some were Japanese artists (karate, judo, etc), and some were from differing branches of kung-fu. While Dr. Yang's instruction was very helpful, it was his IDEA, the most taoist method, that proved to be the real gold. He would bring in all kinds of different artists from all kinds of styles, teach us his form...and then permit and even encourage us to stress-test it by free sparring and outright fighting at any point in time. It worked very well...so, as I'd like to share the most important parts of my learning, I think that it's most important to understand the people who really added to the experience. Let's do a profile for some/each...ignoring anything that they'd probably talk about, and rather focusing on what they personally brought to the art...
  6. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Skipping Tale for now: Well, the short and long of it was that it was one of the hardest weeks of training that I could imagine. I learned a great deal, but it was steady and consistent work for any of each day that wasn't being spent sleeping or eating. Regular, very-hard contact, sparring matches were a regular happening. That being said, upon getting back, I've had to spend some time with a physician to try to figure out why I've been light headed and actually passed out the other day. The current running assumption is extended dehydration, but it could also be a contusion due to head trauma. Wheee. Going in for an MRI later this week. When things calm down a bit, I'll share some photos and stories, but for now I'm still recovering.
  7. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Am back, will follow up later.
  8. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Foo: "Well then, sir, perhaps you can answer a simple question from me." Crane: "Certainly." Foo: "How is it that you can stand on one leg, in a great wind?" Crane: "I simply avoid falling." =========== Well guys, this may be last post for a while. I'm flying out in 2 days, and it's been a very busy time recently. Still, I will hopefully keep everyone updated on my challenge this month when I return.
  9. Following along, hoping to gather crumbs of awesomeness.
  10. Welcome to the druids. I have no suggestions for how to achieve your goals beyond do the things that you've mentioned. So, the best way to: Journal daily - Is to write in your journal every day. Meditate daily - Is to meditate, every day. Maybe try out guided, unguided, standing, nidras, zazen. Yoga daily - Take every day to try out some variation of yoga. Yin, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Bikram, Hatha. 2L of Water - Seems like drinking two liters of water a day will accomplish this. Divide your larger goals into smaller subsections that work around your life. That's how you find balance, as you only push with your toes harder as you feel the weight of your body swaying forward. I think that your goals are fantastic, and that you should approach them with a playful and loving heart. Experiment like a toddler would with dancing....simply start by taking enjoyable action and then the details will work themselves out as you grow into the practice.
  11. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Foo: "Perhaps I can get you a cup of tea?" Crane: "Don't be absurd, I would not drink it. When have you ever seen a crane drink tea? It's unnatural." ======== One of the points I must always remind myself of is to limit how hard I push so that I can endure. I currently have a very sore spot right past the back of my neck, and next to my right shoulderblade. This is from trying to push my "scorpion pose" (vrschikasana) a bit too much yesterday, and I guess I was pulling my head back too far. It's not bad, only a mild annoyance, and perhaps a really good reminder to not get too carried away and to stay the course. Breaking with the natural rhythm of our bodies is how we end up injured.
  12. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Of course you may, and I thank you for it. I especially appreciate the Oogway quote. @Sunmage I appreciate the return welcomes.
  13. A late response, but a Roguelike Challenge is the coolest of themes. Following along, because I have a scroll of "Follow Snarks" burning a hole in my inventory.
  14. Foo

    Foo and the Crane

    Foo: "So, to what great honor do I owe this visit from you....Mr. Crane?" Crane: "The wind, for it lifted me to this place." ====== What do I even write here anymore? I sometimes struggle with wanting to eat some greasy pizza or have a few beers, but being only 2 weeks out from a visit with sifu Yang, my focus won't waver. The challenging part isn't right now, when you're doing the last minute push for something, but rather 6 months ago. The man who can keep up a rigorous pace when there is no real reason to do so is the one that I am most in awe of.
  15. That forward fold and janushirasana are really deep for the length of your practice. Very nice, and glad to have been able to follow your progress this challenge.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

New here? Please check out our Privacy Policy and Community Guidelines