The time has come! Blood, sweat, a bit more blood, and tears have lead me to the final part of my journey at the Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy. Before you leave the academy you have a chance to grade anything you have been training, and it is a great chance for the masters to give you some final feedback for you to train when you return home. I had 8 forms to grade; Shaolin Broadsword, Tai Chi Broadsword, Baji Black Tiger Fist, 7 Star Fist and 4 Wing Chun dummy forms. This was the culmination of my training here, so I wanted to give it maximum effort, more speed and definitely more power!
A week off always makes it tough to get back into the swing of things. My body felt better than it had in months thanks to a good amount of rest in Beijing, however, it still felt sore in a few places (damn the Great Wall!). I had returned more motivated as well, wanting to push a much as possible. A part of this motivation came from noticing my increased fitness levels while I was away, whether it be from walking long distances with reduced flinching, or from others noticing my bodily changes. Another part came from actually missing the academy and wanting to train with the gang again. Little did I know the return to academy held a roller coaster of events (both emotionally and physically) for the next two weeks.
Friday morning. I ambled down the stairs reeling from Master Wang’s bitch of a leg power training session the previous day, reluctantly ready to warm up and go for the usual 2km run. To my surprise Headmaster Bao was there and asked us ALL to line up together. We all knew it would be some kind of important message since now we line up in separate groups…he had my curiosity, then he got my interest.
I’m still alive!!! I can’t believe it has been nearly 2 months of training here. Parts of it have flown by, but there have certainly been moments when the pain has dragged out time, and almost made it stand still! I thought it would be good to scribe my development so far, since this kind of intensive training can be compared directly with Kung Fu classes, running and fitness stuff back home.
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