Chapter 18

23 Oct

Shaolin Kung Fu Part 4: Deja Vu

I got ready for my first class at the new Shaolin school. As I go up there, I don’t really feel nervous; ever since the altercation, I had realized that I could kick someone’s ass if I needed to. Not only that, but the BJJ training had stuck with me through these months of not training, so I really had nothing to fear from someone who had no ground experience. Since most normal people, and probably these kung fu guys, had no experience at all, I knew I was invincible. I would still attend the school because I wanted a kung fu stand up game to match my BJJ ground game, but I wasn’t going to respect any of the higher ranks. I could kick their asses.

I arrive, and the instructor hands me my uniform; black kung fu pants, black top, and I use my shoes from the previous Shaolin school. I enter the room, and it is full of white shirted folks; the only black shirt wearing people also have black sashes. I assume the sash is the gayer equivolent of the belt, and play along.

Mop top, a black sash, approaches me.

“Uh, did Shifu tell you that only black sashes can wear black shirts? You need to go change.”

Now, to reiterate the point I made in my previous article, Mop top is probably 3 years younger, and weighs probably 100 pounds. He is a stick figure. Coupled with my invincible BJJ, I don’t really care what he says, thinks, or does, and I’ll be damned if I take crap from this twig bastard.

“Dude, he gave it to me. Go take it up with him.”

“Ok, I will.”

Mop top throws is bangs out of his face, then walks over to the teacher. A discussion ensues, or I assume one does, because I’m stretching. Mop top stomps away, and teacher goes back into his office. Moptop throws a few glares my way, but I (literally) laugh it off.

Class starts up with a short warm up of kicks and jump kicks. The rest of the class is spent stance training. I notice some of the other white shirt students are giving me weird glares. I don’t care, because everyone else in this class other than Asian guy is either A) Fatter than I am, or B) So amazingly skinny I could break them with a stern talking to. Asian guy remains pretty ambivalent to the whole black shirt – white shirt issue. I like asian guy.

The class ends not with sparring as I expected, where I had planned on kicking the bahjesus out of everyone, but with partner strength drills.

Asian guy and I get paired up. Awesome.

We have to do push ups with one guy in horse stance, then you put your legs on his legs, and do push ups. Asian guy and I breeze through them. I may be carrying some extra weight, but I’m not quite a slouch. Next we have to hold handstands as long as we can, and eventually it boils down to Mop Top, Asian guy, and myself. I don’t understand how I can be doing so well against the top students, but it doesn’t matter.

Mop top falls down and starts rubbing his arms.

Asian guy and I sit there for what seems like eternity. The class is sighing because Asian guy and I are holding it up with our manly strength. I hate the other people in the class.

Eventually I need to come down, and I come down a split second before Asian guy. The last exercise is where both people stand in horse stance, each facing opposite directions, interlock arms, and try to pull the other off balance. Suffice to say, I knock asian guy down a few times. I’m well versed in balance and off balancing, so he didn’t really stand a chance.

Next class is similar. Warm up, some basic vertical punch training. This time the class just abruptly ends. No exercising, no sparring. What the hell?

The next class is similar. Warm up, some basic kicks. The class ends. No exercises, no sparring.

This keeps going.

and going.

and going.

and going.

It’s been a few months since I’ve joined. There hasn’t been sparring since the day I watched, and no exercising. I understand why I was able to out do every other student; they don’t do that on a regular basis. We eventually learn two basic crappy hand forms, utilizing things like double hammer fists, punch, kick, turn, double hammer fist, punch, kick, turn, etc. It isn’t that physically demanding, and I gain a fair amount of weight during these few months; I’m up to 205. I’m burning for battle, craving combat, dying for destruction! I will have to take this outside of class.

I decide to try out my new kung fu against my friends. Only Napoleon and Tall boy show up; I purposefully don’t invite Muay Thai Guy, because A) He’d kick my ass in a standing only fight, which the pansies Napoleon and Tall Boy have insisted I follow, and B) I need easily beatable test subjects before I move on to the big dogs.

Napoleon uses sloppy boxing with some half assed round house kicks. I try the kung fu, but everything I use feels slow and weak. My snapping front kicks don’t do that much damage, and double hammerfists, well, suck. Tall boy yields the same results.

I need more from the kung fu class. Shifu informs us that next week, we’re starting something new. Something awesome.

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