Friday, November 24, 2006

We have forged our spirits in the tradition of our ancestors

We have done it! We learned 8 forms in 12 days. We are sad to say goodbye but happy to get back home. I leave 11:35 HK time and get to the USA 11:40 US Time. Just a 5 minute flight.

Thank you all for reading the blog and keeping up with us. See everyone soon!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

One Day Left, One Form To Go!

Si-Gung presented us with the Si-Mo Dao or Mother-Son sword set. This form can be done with the double broadswords or with a long and short sword. Si-Gung said it has only been taught to 5 people by him. What an honor to learn such a form. Tomorrow we learn the Butterfly swords. He has only taught 3 people this form. Derek has really stepped up to the plate and done really well. Si-Gung still misses Chris Woodrow.

Be back Saturday, have a happy thanksgiving and I'll be at class Sunday.

More Later...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Two Days Left!

We learned the Lai Tung Broadsword form today. This is , as all Lai Tung Forms, a short set so we learned it all in one day. This still leaves us with at least two more forms. We later went to the harbor and saw the start of Chirstmas in Hong Kong. It is a truly incredible sight. Bulidings lit from top to bottom with Christmas lights. I cannot describe it. I am starting to fell good about coming home, but sad as it will be long time before I will see Si-Gung again.

More later...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rain and Review

We started the day with a workout in the park. Derek had not been used to the fast pace and so we took time to work the new forms. We ate breakfast and went to the park again with Doug. Here we met a young lady also doing kung fu. As we worked out we noticed she was doing the same thing as us following along as we did the forms slowly. She could not speak English but we shared some techniques. The world of Kung Fu is a small place and speaks a universal language.

Today it rained a lot and Si-Gung had us reviewing all we had learned. He asked me a lot of questions about the school and was happy to Landon's form. It rained so hard we had to stop working out. We went with Si-Gung to buy weapons, Chris W. I got you a set of Butterfly swords and bought the school a set of Cern Dao. You have some change left over. Si-Gung is going to give us three more forms in the last three days! This will give our total of 8 forms in 12 days.

More later...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Back in the US

Well, I made it back to the US on Saturday. I missed my scheduled flight from Chicago to Charlotte and ended up spending over 5 hours in the airport. Amazingly enough, my bags made it to Charlotte before I did!

All-in-all, this was a great trip. My understanding of the style has increased greatly. It was also great to see where Sifu trained and to work with Si Gung. From the stories, I'm really glad that I am a grandchild!

Back to Work!!!!

Boy was the two days off nice, but now it was time to get back to it. Si-Gung taught us another new form Elo Kuen. I have never even heard of this form. Derek was tired and excited to meet Si-Gung, but he didn't sleep too much the night before. This took its toll of him early, as you can read by his blog below.

Doug and I went shopping for more stuff and bought some. We found a book store but they were closing in 5 minutes so we came back here and thought we would blog.

More to come, tomorrow Si-Gung is taking us to buy high quality weapons.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chris Leaves, Derek in the House, Party Time!

Our brother, Chris Woodrow went back to the states on Saturday. He was sad but looks forward to getting home and seeing his family. Derek came in Friday night and met us for a trip to the Peak. Derek brought his father along and he wasn't thrilled about the steps in Hong Kong.

We went and had supper with Sifu Li's family. They, as always, welcomed us as family. Sifu's mom was happy I brought pictures, and we were glad we brought a smile to her face. I know she misses her son very much. We were deep in the New Territories. The locals were surprised to see "round eye" this deep in Hong Kong. As always, this was a fantastic meal that we would have never found.

Later as we were going back, we decided to check out the German Bier Fest at the Marco Polo hotel. This was the party in Hong Kong! Ask me for the pictures and video of the Chicken Dance and Alpine Horn contest. Stephen, you missed the party.

We woke up later than normal Sunday morning and went to breakfast. There we met a New Zealand female power lifter. We had an interesting conversation. We then went to our park and worked out for a good hour. This felt good to loosen up and get back in the swing of things. We went to the park to see the Kung Fu in the park, a weekly demo put on by local schools. This day was mostly Tai Chi. Talk about a small world, we met two competitors from Baltimore and Doug and I had in our rings! They went to the Singapore tournament and were taking a little tour of Asia. Incredible!

More later...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Time to review

We had a review day today. Si-Gung has given us time to comprehend all the forms by letting us do them over and over. Si-Gung has let us play Luk Sao with our Si-Suk's(Kung Fu brothers of our instructor) and he let us teach them as we are more skilled. Chris Woodrow's last day and he really shone as he made quick work of one of the Si-Suk's.

Did I mention we climb 114 steps (7 flights) of stairs to training every day?

More later...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

We already have our money's worth and we still have 6 days left!

We finished off BaGua Poon Kuen today. Si-Gung is setting a blistering pace. For those reading the blog that don't do Kung Fu, imagine learning how to tap dance one day, swing dance another, and modern dance the next. This is what learning new forms are like. We worked some weapons today. The heat is rough, around 85-90 and 80% humidity.

Miss everyone, more later...

Training Day 6

The days are going by faster and faster. Another day without an interpreter. I think we actually get more out of these days than when Julie is there. Some times it's hard to understand, but for the most part, we can figure things out between the hand signals and the little bit of English that Si Gung knows.

We got to touch hands with 2 Si Suks today. It was a great experience. Si Gung used this opportunity to teach everyone some new things. Afterwards, Si Gung was proud of us all. All-in-all a good day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Training Day 5

Day 5 - Start of Form #4. My brain is getting overloaded, but we are getting a lot of good stuff. It has been amazing touching hands with Si Gung. It's true what Sifu says - Si Gung really does have 3 hands. You think that you have both of his hands tied up, and then you feel something on your chest. Luckily for me, he just taps me; he likes to tickle Chris F.

more later...

We learn more...

Today we started Bagua Poon Kuen. This was a form I have wanted to learn for years. Sifu has always talked about this form. We have all but seven moves. It is fun, but I have the flu and had to take it easy today. Chris and Doug did not however; and they trained hard as possible. Si-Gung is very respectful to Doug and his art. He respects that Doug is still learning and told us how we must practice every day to keep the information fresh in our minds. I hear Jerry did well at the tournament, hope all else is good back there.

More later...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another Day, Another Form

We learned the Poon Kuen form today. Si Gung wanted to see what forms we do so we demo-ed them for him. He was proud for what Sifu Li taught us. I have new respect for Sifu Li. We train 4 hours on a roof under the hot Hong Kong sun. Sifu Li trained every day for 1 year, 6-8 hours a day. Training is hard. We asked Si-Gung what Sifu was like when he trained. Si-Gung was very mean to his students. One of Sifu's S-Hing's (older school brother) said they were beat up after training. We are like the grandchildren, Si-Gung is very nice to us.

More Later...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Its not all training...

We did have the previous day off (see below) and we made the most of it.
We got an early start up to the peak. This it is quite an adventure. The tram goes up at a step angle. Doug is a little scared of heights and was not comfortable. When we got to the top, words cannot describe the view. We ate breakfast at a ritzy restaurant overlooking the city and harbor. The haze was bad but lots could still be seen.

We left and went to Lantau Island where the Po Lin Monastery is. The Po Lin is very famous for its 30 meter high Bronze Buddha. Lots of steps up to the Buddha. We also went to the temple grounds and did our Tai Chi. It was quite and experience.

Kevin and his parents took us to a restaurant in Kowloon City by the old airport. This was the best meal we had so far and one of the least expensive. Kevin’s family treated us like one of their own. They toured us around town and told us they thought of us like family. It was the perfect ending to a great day.

Training Day 3

Wow - I don't even know what to say about today. We had arranged to have lunch with Si Gung, but then found out that the translator would not be present today. Luckily, Joyce was there at the start to understand our dietary restrictions. I never thought that the food would stop coming. Needless to say, 4 hours of training on a full stomach...

Amazingly enough, we were able to learn a lot of things without actually talking. We finished up the Ya Sa Sau form, did a lot of Luk Sau, and practiced fighting openings. It is amazing what Si Gung can do. No matter what you think you have covered, there is another hand coming at your chest.

Tomorrow's another day - and there is another form to learn. Time to get some sleep.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Second Day

Well how about this. We did our intensive training, starting with practicing the form we learned yesterday. Si-Gung really drove it into our heads to stay up with him so we can learn the most. We picked a random stop on the subway and walked around. There was an outdoor food market not for the weak of stomach! We will just say fish heads, chicken feet and a whole goat. We came back and went to Si-Gung's place. We have been honored enough to train where Sifu Li used to train. Si-Gung taught us the begining to Ya Say Sow (24 hands) and worked on the 5 element tai chi form. Si-Gung gave us an intense but fulfilling workout. We left Si-Gung and decided to go to the horbor. Hong Kong harbor is quite beautiful at night. I am writting this form a coffee house right on the horbor looking at a Chinese Junk sail by. I hope everyone is well. I miss everyone and wish everybody could share this experience. I miss Gabi the most.

More Later....

Friday, November 10, 2006

We are Here!!!!

Wow, we have made it. I will spare the details of the 15 hour flight and the train ride, but Hong Kong!!! We have seen our school brothers and completed our first day of training with Si-Gung(Grandmaster). We are learing the Five Element Tai Chi form. Si-Gung wanted to see our staff work and gave it his thumbs up!! I asked about the other forms (Sil Poon Sow, Di Poon Sow, Ya Say Lo and Bagua Poon Kuen) and Si-Gung said he would share all he learned from the Shaolin Temple when he was there. This is an exciting time to be here and studying Kung Fu.

More soon...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Almost Time

Sifu Chris Si Hing Chris and Sifu Doug all leave next week. I leave in exactly 2 weeks. I'm very excited to meet and study with Si Gung. I'm also nervous. I've been working hard to learn all I can before we go so that I can get the most of my time with Si Gung. I feel like I barley have a handle on all I've learned so far and I know Si Gung will be teaching us new forms. It will probably take me at least a year to really understand and perfect all the new things I've learned. That's the fun of kung fu it's a life long learning process. Wish me luck!