My ‘Martial Arts Journey’ evolution started later in life than some. However, starting with functional martial arts training has helped me solve real-life challenges.
Paying My Martial Arts Journey Dues
Hey brothers and sisters!
Sorry, it has been so long since I last wrote you about my martial arts journey … I wish I had some awesome glamorous excuse… But I don’t. LOL!
The reality is Sifu Larry and I have been working overtime with Enter Shaolin and we still have a never-ending to-do list!
The good news is we might be getting a bit of help on a few things from two awesome members, which will free up a wee bit of time, and will help me to get these training updates out more frequently.
I would ideally like to get out a post plus video to you once a week. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Next month I will ramp up my posts as we get some more pressing things accomplished… Like getting our clothing line done and out to you. I know you want to rock some Enter Shaolin gear and I can’t blame you!
Speaking of, I need a new hoodie as mine has gotten a bit looser than I like, that must be all that Kung Fu training and C.O.R.E. training paying off! 🙂
For those still wondering if I can do a Sifu Larry approved pushup… Well nope not yet. I can do my version, but his not so much.
This whole butt lifted up first, then the rest has me stuck. Sifu Larry is just as perplexed as me, though he seems to think my triceps are just not up to par, so we’ve been working on that in our weightlifting once a week.
Talk about frustrating, and what was more frustrating was we were watching a documentary called The Immortalist… Live Forever or Die Trying on Netflix and the two main dudes were getting a physical to see how their actual age stacked up with their body.
One was sort of doing a pushup and the other was totally flopping around, yet they counted them as pushups… What???
While I may not be able to appease Sifu Larry yet in the pushup department, at least I was smoking these two dudes out of the water! That made me feel a tiny bit better about my defeat. 😉
What was really funny was last month at a trampoline park I got asked by a stranger who recognized me from our YouTube videos how my pushups were going.
It was a little freaky to get recognized out in public, especially without wearing any Enter Shaolin gear, but at the same time, it was neat. John was his name and he was super stoked about what we are doing here at Enter Shaolin.
It is awesome to hear the excitement others have for what we are doing and it is even that more rewarding to see their excitement in person.
Knowing that what we are doing is making a difference in others’ lives is such a blessing to us. We set out praying and hoping we could help others, but to know we are, that’s just WOW!
I may not be able to do a Sifu Larry-approved push-up yet, but apparently, I can still do a split and touch my toes in mid-air. 🙂 My friend who Jaya and I came with to celebrate her daughter’s birthday was just tickled pink that I could do that. I got to admit, I was a bit too!
I had my daughter Jaya film me as I thought you might want to see the evidence! 😉
Check it out here…
My Martial Arts Journey Training Log
Now on to my training. Mainly the past month I’ve been working on perfecting the 1/3 of Tai Chi. That end part just keeps getting me. I mean really getting me. It’s not even that complicated, but for some reason I have been having a hard time memorizing it.
I’ve also been getting back to doing Qigong more frequently. Look, I’m not going to lie, sometimes I fumble too. Sometimes I have great intentions and fall flat on my face… But, no matter what I keep getting back up and going back at it again.
So what I stopped doing Qigong for a few months, that doesn’t mean I should accept defeat. No that means I need to get back on track. So I’m aiming for daily Qigong, which has been more like 3-5 times a week of Qigong. I know that does not sound that awesome, but it’s a start. And I know overtime I will get my Qigong in daily. I just have to keep dusting myself off and getting back up faster and faster.
Have you been doing your Qigong? Have you even started? I know some of you have not even given a thought. I will tell you the benefits I get from consistent weekly Qigong.
- I sleep better and who doesn’t need better sleep?
- I flow and connect better in practice… Could it be, because my body is better connected? I bet!
- I have a better outlook on the day and the ups and downs of a life well they don’t get me down as much.
- I have more energy, like #1 who doesn’t need more of that? Well okay, maybe some people… But I’m not one of them. 😉
- I get less sick, granted the last time I got sick was in Nov of last year. Don’t get me wrong, my body has tried to get sick a few times but I’m just not letting it. Yeah, take that sickness!
If you have been doing Qigong regularly, how has it helped you? And if you haven’t been or haven’t even tried it, well what are you waiting for???
Another thing I have been working on this past month is being more patient with myself. With that comes learning to forgive me and extending myself some serious grace. I have a tendency to do these things easily to the nth degree with others but have struggled to do the same for myself.
One thing you will notice or may have already noticed is Kung Fu makes you face all of yourself, the good and the stuff you need to work on (aka the not-so-good right now stuff). It’s like therapy but even better because you cannot play games with it or lie to it. It makes you face all your truths. Now it’s how you handle these truths that will determine how much or how little you progress. Have you noticed this yourself?
Speaking of progress, don’t get all caught up in where you think you need to be right now. It’s what kills people’s visions and their dreams, including their martial arts journey. Sifu Larry has shared some heartbreaking stories of people who have given up on themselves and their martial arts journey in 2 years in, 5 years in, 1o years in, 20+ years in… All because they expected to be somewhere that they were not.
Often these people were a. not being realistic in their goals and b. not seeing how far they have come in their training.
Sifu Larry says, “It is because they expect to catch up to their teacher one day, they are using their teacher as a guide to where they should be. But you can’t catchup to your teacher ever, it just isn’t going to happen unless your teacher stops training, then maybe…”
Setting Realistic Goals For Your Martial Arts Journey
I almost cannot believe how many people set themselves up for failure with this. It would be like me expecting to catch up to Sifu Larry or Sifu Phu one day in my martial arts journey; both of whom have been training since they were kids! Well, I just got started last year. I mean come on, that would make no sense, right!? I might have a chance in 20 years *IF* they stopped training today… But that’s about it.
Instead, we need to set realistic goals. As for me, I will be happy if I could just get to Sifu Larry’s skill as he stands today. That would be an AMAZING feat to me. And if I ever get to Sifu Phu’s current state, then that’s just an extra Alleluyah to me!
The point is to realize you are you, they are them. It’s okay if you started later, it’s okay if you started at the same time but have recently realized you’ve been doing all wrong this whole time.
None of it matters, what matters is what are you doing right now? Where do you want to be in a year, two, five, ten, twenty…
What are those goals? How do you plan on getting there? Remember Kung Fu means hard work for a reason, are you willing to do what it takes to reach your goals? Why do you want them? You need to know that, why are you doing this? You need to know that too.
Knowing you are why is so important as it will keep you going when you feel like giving up when you feel like nothing is working. If you don’t know why you are doing this, take some time to figure it out and write it down. Keep it with you, so when times get tough you can pull out that piece of paper and remind yourself exactly why you are doing this.
There are certain gifts you have that will aid you along your path use them. Also, realize your weaknesses, and things you need to work on. Be humble enough to know your weaknesses, so you can work on them and then turn them into an asset!
I will give you an example of both for me. Strength for me is I’ve been able to feel the energy of people, places, and even past events in places since I as early as I can remember.
Last but not least, don’t think just because you’ve memorized something or learned it before that you know it all. It’s simply not true, while there is nothing new under the sun, you will never know everything under the sun. 😉
What struggles and triumphs are you having? Let me know in the comment section below. Let me also know what your goals are and why you set those goals=, let’s share and help each other stay accountable in our martial arts journey.
& The Enter Shaolin Family
sergio matal says
my student are are very stif can you show me a way to help them relaxe quickly or nay relaxation drill.
Jamie Pelaez says
When my training partners are very stiff, I joke with them and help them relax. I shake them and say, “Why are you so stiff???
You are arms are like iron pillars!” and then I exaggerate their movements of being stiff and tell them to shake it off and relax.
Really it’s getting them aware of the fact they are so tense/stiff that helps them pay attention and choose to relax. You could also do Qigong and meditation before working with them to help them relax before training and reduce stiffness.
Most people when coming into training are coming in after working hard for the day and the burdens of life are going through their mind. Really you just need to help them relax and take their mind off of their perceived troubles.
Also many times a person is stiff because they don’t want to be hit. The reality is they need to mentally get over that, because in training we are going to get hit. It’s going to happen at some point.
Sifu Larry says, “You have to allow yourself to accept the fact that you are going to get hit, when you get hit just know that it’s part of the journey. In this way you can allow your body to accept what is natural and dissipate what is unnatural.
Your videos were very impressive and motivating. Thank you for shareing your warrior spirits and training demos. Wing Chung is great and one of the styles I plan to learn later on.
Jamie Pelaez says
Awe, thank you Oliver! Much appreciated brother. 🙂
Wing Chun is an awesome system, but it is just one of our tools here at Enter Shaolin. I hope we can help you in your Kung Fu journey soon! <3
Amit P says
That’s right …kick his ass Jamie!
Jamie Pelaez says
LOL! That made my day brother!
You both are looking fit. Do you find you develope faster with a partner who is better than you or does it just come from practising?
Thanks for your great vids.
Jamie Pelaez says
Thank you for the complement Dia! Very much appreciated! <3
We've been very consistent the past year in getting our training and exercise in and really have been hitting it hard the past 6 months.
I have a few partners, Sifu Larry who is obviously a billion light years more advanced than I, and I also have a training partner that I am close in skill with and another whom I am a little bit more advanced at some things.
Sifu Larry plays me at various skill levels so a. I can learn, b. I can also gauge where my skill level is really at and c. I learn how to handle pressure.
I think in all cases and all scenarios training helps you get better. I think having a variety of partners or being able to work with a partner that is willing to play you slow and other times be more aggressive, plus different levels of pressure does help one develop their skill faster. Simply because you are dealing with different levels of pressure, different energies and variables. Which in real life scenarios, obviously you are going to deal with various energies, etc. So practicing this helps you be able to deal with a variety of scenarios easier than someone who is not training for such variables.
Then again there are masters who practiced mostly solo and were able to become masters and could kick my butt any day of the week. 🙂 There really is no shortcut in this awesome journey; Kung Fu literally means hard work. It's consistency in your training that will make you progress faster mixed with desire to learn and grow your skill.
Even if you have no partner, you can practice doing your forms at different speeds and different pressure intensities to help simulate the muscle memory of working with a partner. The only thing you cannot simulate in this instance is the ability to read energy aka sensitivity training.
Danielle S says
Keep doing these videos! They are so motivating – especially seeing another female. I love it!
I too have problems with the push-ups on my toes. I feel it in my triceps but also a lot in my pecs when trying to do that first push-up off the ground – maybe that has something to do with our “girls” lol. What helped me was starting from the “up” position and trying to get as low to ground as possible and also what Sifu Phu said about stopping at each part of the push-up. After the past 3 weeks of that, I was able to do push off the ground on my toes… very carefully lol. I can only do 5 before switching to my knees for now.
I believe in you Jamie! And push-up or no, you’re doing awesome!
Jamie Pelaez says
Awe thank you so much love, that means so much to me!
LOL, maybe that does have something to do with our girls, I know I’ve been working on my pecs too, though not as much. I am going to keep adding more body resistance moves for pecs and triceps as well as the weight lifting I do for those once a week. I will try what you suggested, because I’ve been struggling on starting from the ground up. I can do it if I don’t have to start with my butt going up a bit first, but that’s not how our NDN ones are and for whatever reason that slight difference has been the bane of my pushup existence! LOL
Thank you for all the love! Blessings! <3
Darrell H says
Dear Jamie and Sifu Larry,
Greetings and good morning!
Wonderful clips of strikes, trapping and energy transfers. Jamie, you are making great progress, Atta girl.
Saving money for a trip to visit and some one-on-one training. Sifu Larry can use me as a guinea pig/punching bag and give you some relief… ha….
Thought for the day: On some of Sifu Larry’s trapping techniques, if a few clips could be done in S L O W- MOTION it would help us newbies see the actual technique/contact points that are so masterfully done!
I’m so glad I became an Abbott member. Now, time and patience are all I need and a few trips east.
Keep up the good work!
Jamie Pelaez says
Hey brother Darrell! Thank you so much and we would love to have you come train! We always enjoy getting to meet our Enter Shaolin family in person!
Thank you for the feedback too, I will see what we can do for future clips. 🙂
Blessings to you and yours!