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