Getting into the swing


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March 9th 2009
Published: March 9th 2009
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So I'm starting to get used to life here. The weekend was good fun, very relaxing and I am thrilled to say that I can now crouch and go down stairs without wincing in pain.
I'm slightly concerned that Wong Shifu is taking it easy on me because I'm a girl, and that's not cool with me. I have no interest in half doing this stuff. If he's hitting the boys with a sword for not doing things right (seriously, he did that today, he made Shaun get into a press up position and then smacked his bottom with a sword for forgetting his form) then I want to be hit too. It's not masochism so much as wanting to show I'm capable.
The good news is that my sweeps are coming along nicely - I'm whipping round now where I had been getting half way, getting my foot snagged and then falling on my ass. I did it in front of Wong Shifu and the class on Friday and Wong Shifu said that they were good and we were "good new student". I was pleased. I'm also learning my first form, which I cannot remember the chinese name of, but which translates as "Five step". I'm only half way through, but it's good fun. When I've got it down, I'll take a video and then upload it (I've found a way but it's tortuous and long-winded, so I'll probably save the pictures up.) It should help me see where I'm going wrong as well.
Karate seems to have helped in general, though apparently my horse-riding stance is not low enough (we do a LOT of horse-riding stance) and shaolin punches are weird in that you're not supposed to straighten the arm, you're supposed to keep it slightly bent. Blocks and things seem to be substantially the same though, despite Catherine's insistence that you're supposed to block bone to bone (REALLY NO!)

An interesting thing here is that the Shifus are not afraid to touch us. Mike (an ex-Karate sensei who's also doing Shaolin) was saying that at home he's not allowed to touch the kids at all. Here, the shifus are constantly touching you, even in conventionally inappropriate areas (Wong shifu is not afraid to push my bottom when he feels it's in the wrong position).

Anyway, from now on I'm probably only going to blog when I've got something to say or once a week - not sure which day yet (probably beginning or end of the week)

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