Blogs from Muping, Shandong, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Shandong » Muping June 5th 2009

Hey all, Well, not surprisingly this week was much like the last, the main difference being that I graded my basics today. My teacher said I did very good, which is always cool. Anyway, I'm going to be staying another probably two months, however I'm not going to keep up my blog, this is the last one. So, Adios.... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping May 26th 2009

Let's see I wrote last wednesday, on thursday we did power training, using weights, holding positions longer than usual for extra effect. Tough stuff. That was in the evening, in the morning we did chi-gong meditation. Friday was the mountain run, although I did most of it at a walk due to my flat feet, it was still exhausting. Again, that was in the evening, I'm not sure but I think we did sanda in the morning. Saturday we went into Yantai. I was pretty much just tagging along, I had a few small things to pick up. I couldn't find the music shop to get a flute so we went to Walmart for the other things, we went to McDonalds for lunch, it tasted gooooood. The food here is pretty good, but it's also always ... read more
Mountain
First half
Second half

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping May 20th 2009

Okay, little bit of a mix up, turns out Chingdao is a city, not an academy. Anyway, we left Friday morning, got there at around noonish, went to a really nice looking resturaunt for lunch. Never judge a book by its cover, personally I didn't eat that much because when I asked the waiter putting out the food what was qingzhen (halal) he pointed first to the plain steamed rice, then the steamed buns, then walked away. Yum. But the people who could eat it didn't have much good to say about it, so most of the students headed over to a Starbucks convientely located within walking distance, the only western food sight aside from the apparently very expensive Pizza Hut that was sitting next door. After a quick bite we headed back to the bus ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping May 14th 2009

Well, I'm here. I arrived in the evening, just as the last class was ending. We chilled for a while then had dinner, after dinner was the mandarin class, I thought I'd check it out, I picked a bad day. I think I went to the advanced class. Anywho, the next day I woke up at 6:30, oddly not feeling jet lagged in the least, wandered around a bit then went to breakfast, not as appatizing as dinner had been. I'm gonna have to buy some stuff for breakfast. The first morning session was power stretching, very painfull. That's where you go into a stretch as far as feels comfortable, push it until it hurts and you know your stretching it well, then push it a little bit further, now hold it for five minutes. Ouch. ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping April 7th 2009

At the weekend two of the newer guys, Paul and Greg, decided to go to Muping by bus - which was certainly an experience (although the experience being an hour standing pressed up against chinese men and women for not much less than a taxi ride - one I don't intend to repeat). Greg had a "wonder open-eyed at the market" view of China, which I must admit I hadn't looked at since I'd arrived. Apparently, the Chinese eat chicken feet, chicken heads (you eat both whole) and skewered baby chicks (skewered whole - about 3 to a skewer) as street food. Greg tried some of the less exotic stuff on offer, though I demurred and Paul opted for what he described as a "greasy Chinese pancake", though it tasted more like pretzel bread. The weekend ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping April 3rd 2009

I must add to last week's litany of injuries a broken arm - this came from a guy doing Mantis called Tom who finished sparring last week with "my hand's hurting a bit". He then walked around all weekend and even trained on Monday before his shifu made him go to the hospital to get an X-ray - we were all very surprised and impressed with his broken arm. This guy is seriously hard. Mantis has since gained some respect from the other styles... This week we've had an influx of new people who have alternately provoked an "ah, being a newbie" response in me and "dammit, they're already better than me". I've decided that the fact that I run more slowly than anyone else in the academy (I set off first, I get back one ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping March 27th 2009

Week four has been a relatively uneventful one in many senses. That is to say, it's Friday and I have no major injuries and no immense pain in any part of my body to report, so it's quite unusual in that sense. My torn ligament seems to be repairing itself happily enough, and after a week of not stretching or kicking high with that leg it seems almost up to full strength again. We'll see. However, there is exciting news in the form of all the photos I've taken since being here being uploaded! I've tried to upload some videos of me doing Tombei and 5 step poorly, but it's been an hour and a half and it's not up, so I'll try again with the next blog. Monday and Tuesday saw a nice, uncomplicated couple ... read more
Forbidden City from outside
Forbidden City
Me in Forbidden City

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping March 21st 2009

First of all, happy birthday Hannah! Sorry I'm not around for your birthday. You'd better be reading this. Last I blogged was Wednesday, which was a lovely, sunny day in which I was very upbeat and singing a lot. A new student arrived called Antonio from Brazil - he's 16 and staying for 5 years and speaks not a word of Chinese or English. This makes communication fun, and him turning up to the Mandarin class meant that learning the Chinese for various animals turned into animal noises and drawings. We didn't learn as much as we have in the past, but damn if it wasn't the most fun. Unfortunately the weather on Thursday was appalling - it went down from 24 degrees to around 8 overnight, and it was overcast and drizzling. We started the ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping March 18th 2009

At the weekend a group of us headed to Yantai which I must say was great fun. We ate at a nice Japanese restaurant (the food here isn't spectacular, I often crave fresh fruit and vegetables and food that tastes different to what we have day in day out) and then went to the "cake shop" which has a good reputation at Kunyu Shan. I must say it did not disappoint; next time I go I'm taking pictures because this place was like it was out of Faye's dreams. I've decided that I need to do some training at the weekends - I haven't so far and I don't entirely regret this decision as I've needed the rest to recover. However, at this stage I'm getting fit enough so that I can manage an hour or ... read more

Asia » China » Shandong » Muping March 13th 2009

So this week started quite well, I got started on my first form, wasn't aching too much, and this led to me stating on Tuesday afternoon "I think I'm getting used to it". Fool that I was, of course. I'd forgotten that aches build up here, and while you may not be in pain on the Tuesday, by Friday you've had 5 days of hard training breaking down your muscles. So here we are on Friday, and I can count 11 bruises on my body, and 5 cuts on my knuckles from all the punching. Oh and it's agony for me to lift my arms above my head. There are different levels of pain here that I've never encountered before. I am used to muscular pain of course, but I'm not used to unrelenting and increasing ... read more




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