天高亦有名山在,
武林更任劍俠遊
常論自身長短處
方能更上一層樓

              -- 李連杰
There are grand mountains under the sky high,
Martial Arts World allows the swordman to roam.
Always reviewing one's strengths and weaknesses,
One will be able to advance to the next level.

-- Jet Li

Health & Fitness


My friend told me not to "think" when sparring. He said that in a real situation, you can't just ask your opponent to slow down or to give you time to think about how to intercept the next strike. I was like, "Well then I'm just wasting my time becuz I'm just standing here like a punching bag not being able to do anything while you're throwing all these moves at me. I mean, can't you slow down a little bit and then gradually speed up?" He was like, "No." He said that you have to be soft and natural - to be able to give way to an attack and make your move when necessary. I just couldn't understand this approach of Martial Art training. I mean, I thought I understood the yin-yang and the "give way-hit back" idea in taichi, but when put into practice as in this case it didn't seem to click in.

One day, I was just thinking about this chinese tv drama (one of those 20-chapter stories they show regularly on chinese tv) where a bunch a friends happen to work together and take judo classes together. I was thinking about how they're throwing each other around and then I realized something. I realized that if it was indeed true what my friend said about how you're not supposed to be thinking when you're sparring then the whole purpose (the fundamental principle) of the Martial Arts isn't about fighting or doing good-looking moves - it was about how to relate with everybody and everything around you. How to get along; how to live a life in harmony with all that you come across and all that exists around you. Indeed, all this stuff that the movies have represented the Martial Arts to be (eg: jump kicks and powerful punches), are only secondary. The essence of Martial Arts, I believe, lies in its philosophy. It is a philosophy on how to live life. While I won't go as far as applying it to my daily life as religion, I would think it's a pretty good philosophy to live by; it teaches the values of living in harmony with others. This is, I think, probably why the great Masters have always taught that to master the Martial Arts one must necessarily understand one's relationship with the universe (or something of that variation).

You know, if I had like $5 million dollars I would probably take 3 years off and go to Shaolin and train. I'd be training for like 8 hours a day, everyday for 3 years. I mean, I'm still young. If I start now and come back after the training and just go catch up on my computer science studies for perhaps another two years, I'd still be less than 30 years of age. And that's still pretty young, right? I totally won't mind; at least I'm getting my money's worth!

'K.. back to reality now.

If there's any one reason for keeping me from going, it would be Church. The Chinese government set up some organization called "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association" who is not in full communion with the Vatican; clergy people ordained under CCPA are not officially recognized by the Holy See. And that's a problem. As much as I would love to train at Shaolin, religion must still have the higher priority. Never mind whether I can find an underground Mass, I may not even be able to find a church for miles outside Shaolin!! In any event it will be difficult to go to the underground Mass every Sunday without looking suspicious, I think. And I won't want to endanger my fellow Christian brothers & sisters for the sake of doing what I would love to do.

Therefore, my dreams of Shaolin training exist only in my head (and this homepage)...


I suppose I should also make it clear that my love for chinese martial arts (especially those of Shaolin) does not in any way indicate that I profess some sort of faith in Buddhism or Eastern Mysticism (sp?) or any other religious tradition upon which martial arts are traditionally based.

On the other hand, the Beijing University of Physical Education would be alright as well. Would going to church still be an issue though? Hm...

Congradulations to Beijing 2008!!

Beijing 2008

Vangelis - Chariots of Fire

Young Forest!!!
Grand Sifu Liang Shou Yu [mini-bio]
Categorized Martial Arts Links
Shaolin! [reg'n info]
Ken Leung's Martial Arts Page
kungfu
Wushu.Net
Beijing Wushu Team
Wushu Central
FuriousG.com
Wing Chun World
Ving Tsun Athletic Association (HK)
Ip Chun Wing Chun Kuen Martial Arts Association

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NOTE that "young forest" is translated as "shao lin" in mandarin chinese, and as you probably know Shaolin is the famous buddhist monastery in China where monks have practiced wushu for centuries.
**The song playing is from the movie Once Upon A Time in China which starred Jet Li. Jet's first Hollywood movie was Lethal Weapon 4 and his second one was Romeo Must Die which came out on March 22nd. And then Kiss of the Dragon came out on July 6. His most recent movie was The One which came out November 2nd. He will also be "Hero" (with Donnie Yen!) and "Cradle 2 The Grave" coming up February 28. I think he has a major role in Matrix 2 which is coming up I believe in May.


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