Saturday, January 16, 2010
WT journey thus far...
2004 to 2008: Baby steps
Finally, my dream of learning Bruce Lee’s original kung fu comes true. While I was in Toronto in 2004 I had the time and money to start training in Wingtsun.
When I first started out in WT Toronto, I only had some basic training in Hapkido/TKD from the odd session run after classes in high school with 2 of our social studies and science teachers (ninjas in disguise). Lucky for me, there was not too big of a cup to empty prior to learning WT.
So, I was introduced to things like IRAS, advancing stance, footwork, chain punching, etc. More awkward and uncomfortable than a silent moment on a blind date. Just for your interest, I attended the Calgary Stampede last year and noticed that they really do use the IRAS stance in sheep shearing contests (In Chinese, the name for IRAS is actually “character two sheep grasping stance”).
Soon after starting, I injured my right MCL while playing Ultimate Frisbee. I almost didn’t continue with WT, but was reassured I could. And so I continued training with this knee brace on. Thanks for the encouragement Si-Hing/Sifu Asad!
I still remember my first test in February 2005 with Sifu Lau: “More fierce!” Whenever we “screwed up” a defense/attack and stopped (you know, don’t you stop and pose in a fight for the photo shoot?), he wanted us to just plow through and go ahead. More fierce! (it sounds better with a Chinese accent...)
Also, whenever visiting Vancouver from 2007 onwards, I had the occasional training session / tea-drinking conversation with Si-Hing/Sifu Steve. Fun times! My first visit to WT Vancouver was on Boxing Day of 2007. I still remember my “initiation ceremony” of chain punching to Sifu Ralph’s chest to no avail. And when faced with a grinning menacing Mr. Hyde, I started backing up with my hands up “I don’t want to fight”, until I found myself trapped between him and a closed door (which was probably locked – yikes!). “Be aware of your surroundings…”
Anyways, I found Calgary WT in January of 2008 while I was in town. I recall having food poisoning and still wanting to meet up with Si-Hing/Sifu German. Vomiting in a Kung Fu teacher’s bathroom – bad idea. Even better, thinking I could stomach dinner afterwards and having to excuse myself after the 4th shrimp wonton. What a great night afterwards… walking out in the -40 weather to buy bread and lots of Gatorade.
Then, just when I was about to start assimilating everything together to adapt and flow more, I moved from Toronto to Calgary in July of 2008.
2008: Freeing myself from my own force
So, I started attending Calgary WT, and met most of the students in group class - the “initiating ceremony” here being partnering up with Craig (a ninja in disguise as a ninja).
This was a good year - trying to get that body moving more and to start getting rid of all those tensions throughout my body. Started this blog in 2008. First seminar with Sifu Ralph.
2009: Upgrading the foundation, seeing the blueprint
An even better year - going back to the basics: structure, foundation, rooting. Big anniversaries in Calgary and Vancouver. A WT vacation.
Also, I was able to plan the WT road ahead by finally realizing what lies beyond.
2010: Back to square one
I’m looking forward to building up everything again from scratch, hopefully with a stronger base of support. Plus, applying the principles of how to best train with each other. Analyzing and answering the question “Why?” Opening my eyes more to Chi Sau training methods.
Exciting year ahead… I can feel it. Maybe almost taste it. And it doesn’t taste like chicken…
Good kung fu!