Sunday, 1 November 2009

My first month of training at Kunyu Shan

Ive just completed my first month training here. I feel like Im really getting to grips with the basics of mantis and have started my first form. Ba Gua on the other hand is much slower as we only do one day a week of it and its a slow-to-learn style anyway.

Im really getting into Qigong too. I do at least half an hour of standing meditation a day, Ive done a few sessions of an hour. Master Guo says if I want to make real progress then I should do at the very least an hour at a time. The bare mininum should be 30 minutes as that is the time it takes the blood to circulate round the body once. Master Guo told me that when he was my age, he was doing 2 sessions of 2 hours standing and 1 session of 1 hour sitting meditation a day, and could go a week without eating! So I have a long way to go! Im beginning to get a strong feeling of the Qi in my Lao Gong points (centre of the palm of the hand) and Im also getting a feeling, although not so strong, in my lower Dan Tian (the abdomen). Once I accumulate enough Qi in the lower Dan Tian, I can move change my focus to the middle Dan Tian (solar plexus) and then upper Dan Tian (third eye). Once all these points are open then supposedly you can begin to develop some kind of powers, such as healing, or psychic abilities, although you shouldnt focus on developing these, they are your natural potential and they will happen naturally. I dont know about this, but I have much better clarity of mind, and there are times when I can sense things will happen and it turns out right.

Ive been going to the weekly Buddhist classes, and sometimes Im the only one there as its on a Friday night. Master Wang, who is from Shaolin gives the class and he oftens talks about his personal experience of life at Shaolin, which is really interesting. We think our training is tough, its like a holiday camp compared to their life. They trained most of the day, and "rest" periods were usually spent doing work, like carrying supplies up the mountain, cleaning etc. If they misbehaved the masters would beat them and make them stand facing a wall for long periods of time. Master Wang is also a world Sanda (Chinese freefighting) champion and he has a certain presence about him that commands the respect of everyone.

All the masters here are unique and worthy of respect. My master, Master Qu, is also a Chinese doctor, and is really strict during class, but also likes a joke and really cares about us. He learnt Kung Fu the real traditional way, and is in a direct lineage from the Laiyang San Shan, 3 masters all with Shan (mountain) in their name. They were the greatest masters of Mantis Kung Fu. He is also highle skilled in Ba Gua, the other style he teaches and is also in a direct lineage of Yin style Ba Gua. He teaches us a good balance of lots of basics, training drills like pad work, sensitivity drills etc, forms and conditioning.

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