Kung Fu, Yoga and Why I’ve Been Asking the Wrong Question

5 03 2011

Last Wednesday I had the very novel pleasure of taking my first Kung Fu class. The Mansour children, Alex and I met at Z-Ultimate Self Defense dojo in Redmond. The inspiration for our excursion was the TV show Chuck. Our most quoted line from that show is “Guys! I know Kung Fu!” We got tired of being all talk and no Fu so James signed us up for two weeks of free classes.

Our Sensei was awesome. The first thing he taught us was the “salute”. Right fist (which symbolizes power) clenched in a fist and covered by the left open hand (which symbolizes peace). You bow before you enter the dojo, to each other when you spar, and your sensei at the end of class. I actually really enjoy those ritualized sorts of things- sometimes I wish I’d been Catholic. Protestants, especially non-martial-art-student Protestants, miss out on ritual. 

For our first class we learned a few BASIC basics. Ie- how to punch, how to kick and how NOT to stand when you’re being attacked. We got to attack a giant rubber dummy named Bob. After the basics we played sparring games. Basically we paired up and slap-attacked each other’s knees and elbows. Must have been hysterical to watch- I’m probably the most coordinated of all of us and I know that I looked like a spazz.

After our private class finished we got to join in with the yellow and orange belt adult class. We played more sparring games and learned about defending ourselves when attacked by multiple attackers. Still massively spazzy. Mari managed to get half a toenail ripped off, though, so I feel like we made a good effort.

I must have a lot of rage stored up because I LOVED the whole thing. LOVED it. Had more fun than I’ve had since I quit dancing.

A couple of days after the Kung Fu I took the very most opposite class possible- a beginner’s yoga class. Also in Redmond. It would have been more interesting if it had been a more advanced. I did yoga in high school and am familiar enough with it that I like to be challenged. However, what did give me trouble was coordinating my movements with my breath. My body wants to move more slowly than my lungs have capacity to inhale/exhale. By the end of the class I was better, though, and we had a “meditation” time at the very end which was GREAT. One of the best prayer times I’ve had in a while.

Which is the segway to the third part of the title.

I was praying over a specific issue and once I had a peaceful answer over THAT I moved on to the perennial “what am I supposed to do next” question. (A question I detest more and more every day by the way). I heard The Voice say “You’re asking the wrong question. The question should be ‘What is the next Adventure?'”.


So there you go. I love Kung Fu, Yoga is fun when it’s a challenge and I am on the lookout for Adventure.

P.S. Lynn if you are reading this you should go back and read some of the entries under “writings”. It’s poor grammar but good fun!




3 responses

6 03 2011

Alex has learned not to play sparring games with his mother. You will have to ask him about that. And, what is the next adventure?

8 03 2011

I’m glad you enjoyed this! You’re going to be awesome. 😀 I’d love to take some form of kung fu some day, and until then shall live vicariously through you. Kung fu styles are so beautiful. They have the coolest-looking kata, in my opinion.

The rituals are great. I loved that about Japanese jujitsu … on very rare occasions, I would be the highest-ranked student in class, and I would get to tell the other students (in Japanese) to stand at attention, kneel, and bow to the shomen and to our sensei. I sometimes still bow when I step on the mats, even though BJJ is super informal.

Bob is always a great training partner. You can bash his face in multiple times and he always comes back for more. He never complains about spazziness either. Not that you’ll be spazzy for long.

I hope Jennifer likes the school we’re going to check out next week, because then you could have a kung fu/karate throwdown the next time you see each other. 😀

9 03 2011

Throw-downs are the best way to greet one’s sister.
I’m so glad you left detailed comments. I’ll keep you updated on how the whole process is going.
Hooray for my potential ninja-hood!

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