Rediscovered passion

Looking at the title you could be fooled into thinking I am in love with another , but no just a title for my rekindled affection for Wing Chun.
Since having this latest back injury I have been consistently training the Hunyuan 24 step form despite it giving me a little pain and after discomfort, I don’t think this is the fault of the system but more my own imbalance as I am not walking that well. I decided to look at Wing Chun as my salvation to training and as I knew the three forms of Sil Lum Tao, Chum Kiu and Bil Gee I decided to use them to help me back on the road to recovery. My obvious start point Sil Lum Tao was great as the goat riding stance position helped my back and because it is static no real upsetting of the back, I continued to train it twice sometimes three times a day for a week and saw some improvement in my Sciatica issues, I added Chum Kiu and though cant kick very high managed it relatively pain free, I tried Bil Gee yesterday and it was fine so today i practised all three, and with the help of local clinic feel that I am well on the road to recovery. Training like this has made me realise how much I know and what I had thought forgotten but was there just waiting to be rediscovered. It is not the end of my affair with Wing Chun as I think I will incorporate it into my daily routine always room for improvement and who knows where it will take me.

Unfinished Business

I am 52 years old and been doing Martial Arts, most of that time but I still feel like I have unfinished business another thing to learn a style to try, I watch boxing and think yeah I should go back to it get myself back into boxing shape, just to show that I can? My training with Chu Sifu was about getting rid of ego training in an art to keep that art alive and to be part of a culture and to learn skills that are no longer taught. When I went to Krishna it was like an epiphany in a lot of ways what he was doing and showing sort of made the jigsaw whole for me, it made my Kung Fu better by opening my mind to different concepts and ideas. After illness I started Taiji but not just a mainstream style I wanted to train in a little known and rarer style, so went to Sun Style Taiji and in Dave Martin found a great guy with no ego who just wanted to do the best he could in promoting his chosen style. I am not sure where this blog is going as I write it I just need to get some thoughts down as to why after all this years I still feel I have something to prove to myself? Is it ego? is it vanity to be known as one of the best? or is it just the way I am made? I lost my dad when I was 12 years old and maybe not being able to prove to anyone that I was good at anything, academic has driven me on as I really feel within Martial Arts I have found what I was born to do, I have trained with some of the best guys in the world within their chosen arts and continue to do so when opportunity arises, as I sit here typing I think well I could train the old stuff pick up the sticks again, push myself to new heights physically and mentally, but I don’t want my mind writing cheques my body cant cash, to me that would be detrimental to my development, I think where I am I am meant to be, training in what I should be for my health and well being, I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone who cares to read this but would appreciate any thoughts you have, I have stopped at many crossroads along my Martial path, stumbled and fell many times, been kicked and punched without a blow being thrown, I suppose I have answered my own question, do I have unfinished business?yes, with myself

The value of training

About a week ago I had a stupid avoidable accident where I fell down three stairs and injured my back again! But I had not been training with any consistent frequency due to time restraints etc but what a lame excuse, I would always tell my students that everyone can find 20 minutes a day to practice, and I was not and as a result my injury is taking longer than it should to heal. I was surprised how much I missed the training and the injury was stopping me doing what I really wanted to do and love to do, for the first time today I was able to practice pain free, and it felt great to be able to do the Hunyuan 24 form I think things will improve for me and I need to make note to self, don’t stop training, until you are unable to do what you love for whatever reason you don’t realise how much it means.

Training Hunyuan

Since I started training in Hunyuan like anything I felt it would take time to adjust from the Sunstyle I had previously been studying as I had practised Sunstyle for over 12 years including Xing Yi and Bagua.
I can honestly say the results have been surprising I feel much stronger in the core and also more flexible and supple in my lower back which is great for me as I have an herniated disc at L4/5 that since starting to practise the Hunyuan seriously has given me no probs at all.
It could be a culmination of all the years of training but I believe it is the Hunyuan and the way I was taught that is making the difference.

Cycling Chiangmai 1

Cycling in Thailand can be such a rewarding experience, the people are friendly and the roads not too bad as long as you have the right kind of bike and watch where you are going but the most important thing to have is awareness, some road users are as ignorant of cyclists as in other countries but in Thailand there are not that many rules regarding driving on the roads and they overtake, undertake don’t signal when turning just stop where they please even in the middle of the road, motorbikes go the wrong way on main roads as there are not many right turns so instead of going to the next u turn junction they just drive on the wrong side putting faith in other road users and Buddha.

That said the weather is good although can be very hot and in Hang dong the pollution not bad at all really as I stick to the back roads mainly so rice fields and mountain views the norm.

I was hoping to get a bit further afield and write about traveliing to Lamphun or Lamphang but my little Japanese folder not up to the job so just local routes for me.

Todays ride

Did about 10.5 km today in 50 minutes I know not great compared to some but on a small Japanese folder its not bad going. I think I could maybe do 15 km but that would be it regarding comfort. I am not trying to prepare for anything just trying to maintain my fitness and hopefully improve it. I incorporated some sprints into my ride today and felt the benefit, even on a small bike you can get something out of your ride besides site seeing or just enjoying the scenery.

I am hoping to start going to the gym soon to supplement my riding with a bit of strength work in preparation for returning to the UK where I would like to take part in some CX events during the Autumn/Winter, I need to get a new bike for sure but I have found it really does not matter what you ride just as long as you ride!

Back In The Swing

Now I am back in Chiangmai I am doing some serious daily practice that includes the 24 Step Hunyuan Taiji form, Qigong and Wuji standing. The place I practice is great as it is secluded, but visible to other people. I get lots of people looking at my practice as they pass going to work or school, but that’s fine as I am used to that, having studied in China where the people always watch whether you are a foreigner or not. I am enjoying the practice but I will also supplement my training in the coming weeks with some cycling and swimming as I have joined a fitness centre locally and will take advantage of their excellent facilities.