I've been interested in martial arts for a long, long time. I took some Tae Kwon Do when I was a kid, and freshman year I joined Aikido Club at Florida State for a semester before my class schedule interfered with my martial arts interests. CURSE YOU HIGHER EDUCATIONNNNN!!!
I've been running pretty regularly (3 miles plus sprints) for a little over a year now, but I wanted to do something to complement it. I don't particularly care for gyms; I can be really self-conscious and there are way too many pretty people/gym douches for me not to wig out whenever I'm in there. I figured martial arts was a safe bet.
This is who I want to be when I grow up...He might be the coolest person OF. ALL. TIME.
Anyway, there's a place in town called Tallahassee Shaolin Kung Fu. I did a little research through the interwebs and decided to give them a call and take a visit. Being impressed with the amount of skill of the practitioners I figured I'd give them a try...so far it's been awesome.
I've been to three sessions over the past two weeks (they meet MW 7-9 and S 11-1). My plan is to go each time they meet, but I was sick as a dog last week, so no dice. Plus, the cost is $70 a month, which is kind of ridiculous. As in, ridiculously cheap.
I haven't actually started learning any styles yet; they teach 3; nan chen, chan chen, and wing chun. I think I'm going to go for chan chen (long fist style) since I'm tall and relatively slender. Should be fun...but first...first I've got to master the warm-ups. Here's a list of the warm-ups I do:
18 ankle rotations (both ankles, both directions)
18 knee rotations (both knees, both directions)
18 double knee rotations (both directions)
18 hip rotations (both directions)
20 'buddha pours the wine' (squat, raise both arms like you're holding a gigantic tun of wine and tilt to the left and right...20 both sides)
20 'dragon trunk twists' (basically these are for rotating at the waist, again, both directions)
20 'magic hands' (arms 180 degrees apart; think windmill, both directions)
30 snake hands (rotate at shoulder, keep hand flat, 30 each direction, each arm)
20 snake legs (stand, make a hook out with your leg behind you, keep it high and bend the knee...you want the leg out at about 45 degrees...20 each leg, in and out)
20 neck rotations (both directions)
20 wrist rotations (both directions)
20 sumo squats (you know how you stretch your groin before you work out? it's that, squatting low and bouncing back and forth while keeping both feet on the ground)
30 leaps (jump up, pulling your legs under you, land on the balls of your feet)
100 hindu squats (drop down on the balls of your feet, come back up)
30 hindu pushups (downward/upward facing dog for those of you who take yoga)
20 neck bridges (ok...for these, you place your forehead on the ground, and support your body weight with it while rolling your neck...then you flip over an do it on the back side...am i terrified that my head is going to pop off like a Lego man? ALWAYS
30 double leg lifts
stick drills (we use 7 stick drills, i've learned...4 of them...these are for working your triceps, shoulders, and wrists, you have to do 7 of each drill on each side...these things are MURDER on your arms)
So that's it...that's my warm-up...takes me about an hour and 20 minutes. After I got done the first time...I felt like I had the shit kicked out of me for about 4 days...but my body has acclimated somewhat, which is AWESOME. I have no doubt that I'm going to get really flexible...that or my body is going to completely fall apart...one of those two.
It's really fun and everyone has been exceedingly nice. I recommend it for anyone who thinks they can take it...they make sure to tell you that it's going to be hell on your body...in fact, one of the advanced students had this to say about the warm-ups, 'They don't work out your body...they work out your SOUL.' I agree.
It's exciting and I can't wait to actually start learning long-fist...which is added on at the end of your warm-ups...I figure I want to try and do 4 weeks of warm-ups (3 times a week) before I get involved in the actual martial arts, but the Sifu thinks I might be able to get to it sooner...and I'm not going to argue with him...mainly because he could straight ruin my shit.
Well...that's it for tonight. Be back tomorrow. Maybe I'll talk about video games. I have no idea. Goodnight! read