As I mentioned in a previous blog entry, this week/weekend has been a very kung-fu-tastic. Some really good things happened during this time. Additionally, I have had some realizations about some things that I wanted to share here.
Starting off with the “good things”…
1) I tested up to 2nd degree black sash. Yay! Now, it’s time for some new material. I am very much looking forward to learning some Hsing-Ie – Wikipedia from some very talented members of the Shaolin family.
2) Speaking of the Shaolin family, I got to see lots of people that I have a great deal of respect for and are just overall great people and good friends. That is always a good thing and something that makes me happy. I love my Shaolin family and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
3) I got to be in the Round Rock school’s demo with Master Joe. That was a big highlight for me. I was really flattered that he would as me to do ANYTHING with him for a demo. He’s been a fantastic teacher and someone to show me what martial arts should look like and be all about.
4) I got to re-learn the 1st Road of Meteor Fist (Lui Hsing). As I had learned this 3-4 years ago in Lexington, the seminar wasn’t THAT bad on me, but it was good to be able to help Victoria, Troy, and some others get it down. This is definitely one of the most powerful (not just physically powerful, but powerful in other ways) katas that I have ever seen. I am sure that as the years go on, I will continue to learn from it.
5) I was able to schedule 1 time per week to help one of my good friends with their Tai Chi. I am looking forward to being able to make a positive impact here as my assistance will, through this person, help many others.
Now, on to some realizations…
1) The Round Rock tournament felt pretty different from the North Austin tournament. I am not sure what that means, but there’s definitely a palpable difference. I saw some really awesome talent at this tournament as I always do at Shaolin tournaments, but well, I didn’t really feel great about being there.
2) I think that an organizations “feeling” is a direct result of the most influential people at said organization. This isn’t an accident. It may not be planned, but it’s not an accident. Most times you can get the feeling of a place the second you walk into it. Have you ever just showed up somewhere and just felt, “this feels stuffy and I don’t want to here”? This is similar to meeting a person and instantly disliking them for some unknown reason. Anyway…
3) Luckily, Victoria and I got to have some conversations with Grandmaster Sin at varying points throughout the weekend. He is such a happy guy and really, the complete antithesis of what you assume a “Shaolin Grandmaster” would be like to interact with. In talking to him, he’s really just another guy that knows Kung Fu. this is not to down play his importance. It’s because of HIM and subsequently Master Joe that I have this wonderful art that I can practice. It’s because of HIM that I know all of this amazing stuff and have these amazing people as friends. I, we of Shaolin-Do owe him a great deal. Some of my favorite moments from this weekend were just talking to him to get his take on some things. It’s rare that you can meet a person that can laugh like he can. I hope to one day be a fraction of the person he is.
4) Not to be a jerk or anything, but I don’t care about your kung fu. I don’t care if you don’t give you all during class. I don’t care if you CAN do a double-smash kick, but don’t really even try to do it in class or whatever. That’s YOUR choice. I would say that in MOST cases, I do try and give my all even though there ARE days where it’s just not there. Everyone has off days. What I am talking about here is the general pattern of actions. Do you usually give your all or do you sorta kinda half ass it most of the time? Is it really important to you? What YOU did used to be important to me, but I am starting to move away from that.
I feel that this weekend, I got caught up in a few conversations about this and that and this one and that one. Some were started by me, some were not. Part of this realization is that I don’t want to have these conversations anymore and I will do all that I can to not. As my time goes on in Shaolin and, well, life, I find that I am responsible for my journey and mine alone. I can only control what I can control. One of my good friends and favorite teachers at the school says “how you do anything is how you do everything”. It’s a truly powerful saying.
Don’t get me wrong, if I teach you at some point, I AM concerned about your personal development and will help you with whatever you need help with without ever judging you. However much or little you want to push yourself during a test or class has nothing to do with me. As Morpheus said, “I can only show you the door, YOU have to walk through it.”
5) Grandmaster Sin reminded us today of looking at the said and un-said aspect of everything. I remember him talking about this in Lexington the first time I saw Lui Hsing. I hadn’t really thought about it since then, but it’s really important! How much of what people communicate is un-said?! Quite a bit, I imagine. I will be working on paying more attention to this as time goes on.
6) I need to breathe better. I had a conversation with one of my Sifus earlier this week. He was talking to me about meditating to prepare for learning Hsing-Ie. I have been slacking on this b/c of time and energy. I always feel like I need to make time for meditation but it just never seems to happen. He started talking about what about right here and right now? Why not just breathe deeply all the time, whatever you are doing?
Since that conversation, I have been catching myself a lot more often falling into that short breathe cycle. I am sure I have gotten a few hours of, at the very least, deep breathing this week.
That’s all for now… I am going to crossfit tomorrow at 530am, then KF at 730am. This week marks some drastic schedule changes. I don’t think that I will be around the KF school so much at night anymore.
Hope you all had a great weekend! I certainly did.