Kung Fu achievement!

Well I managed to post more of the written ‘challenge’ posts in a row than I have done before… 9 days in a row! Win! (Although some days it was just a piccy, so maybe that’s why)!

Then my brain started to waft in and out of existence like some sort of a quantum hiccup? Or something. Er. Anyway.. it probably didn’t help that on the 5th of November I pushed myself a bit harder in my King Fu physio’ class for my grading. Yep. That’d do it!

As I’ve said before (when posting about starting Kung Fu and gaining my white sash) I attend a class focused on technique, so there’s no press-ups or doing laps round the gym or weightlifting or any of that other stuff that would induce exorbitant pain levels and kick in first with a good strong near-syncope response! We learn techniques and we practice them slowly because we have to get them right. If we tried to do them fast we’d end up with a sloppy technique so it’s a totally different animal to the way the kickboxing, muay thai and MMA (mixed martial arts) are also taught there. In fact it is much more like the Tai Chi that I also study at the same gym. There is a large amount of overlap between Tai Chi and Kung Fu in the style of moves and their applications so I find that each one has insight to give to the other, which is pretty cool.

Anyway, there I was on the 5th at the gym demonstrating different moves that I had learnt, both on my own and in slow-mo ‘sparring’. (I don’t do sparring exactly, I suspect I look more like a crazy slow-mo flapping starfish heading towards my opponent / bemused classmate)!

Here’s a pic’ someone took on their mobile phone of me doing some basic punch exercises at the end (my body was trying to keel over by this point so I’m concentrating very hard)…

KF Grading for yellow sashI passed the grading and now have the honour of wearing a yellow sash…

KF yellow sash


As regular readers know, I don’t cap my potential. I’d rather enjoy the present and keep working to see where it might take me. I basically aim ridiculously high on purpose, and I strongly value each achievement that I manage along the way however far I manage to get.

I am lucky to have a teacher who is used to thinking adaptively from teaching Tai Chi to people with various health conditions, so she’ll help me find ways through wherever possible. There are no free passes and I wouldn’t like it if there were, but thinking adaptively around my health works.

I spoke to a fellow patient who used to teach martial arts (and who is wonderfully encouraging to me with my attempts at learning in this field despite the health issues – thank-you, you know who you are 😀 xx) and was ever so pleased to hear about adaptive teaching at her club where one wheelchair user was working up through the belt system. I know of others who have also followed right through to black belt despite only the use of one arm, and such like. There are many different styles of martial arts that have developed over the centuries which tend to suit different types of body sizes, strengths etc. It makes sense for someone like me to learn a defensive style which uses technique over strength, even if I was healthy I would choose from the defensive arts because it would work better with my frame and strength anyway.

To me, developing alternate aspects to allow for health / physical limitations is as sensible as choosing the right martial art for our body. In fact it is positively encouraged in Tai Chi – Eastern views of Tai Chi is that it is for anyone of any ability, and any good martial arts teacher will be willing to adapt for their students where required. I have spent lessons practicing my arm movements whilst sitting on a chair and I have spent lessons practicing only footwork when I couldn’t twist my painy lower back.

I incorporate the classes into my paced physio’ time, so that’s how I fit it into the pain management. The big problems for me are the autonomic sillies.. if I get slightly out of breath (pretty easy as I’ve not been able to exercise other than physio’ for so many years) then my heart goes far faster than it needs to, I get fainty and sometimes the palpitations and/or dysrhythmia kicks in. So I need to learn to go even slower when these start happening.

I’ve found that the palpitations and dysrhythmia are getting less common at the moment (they got worse on my current meds and the side effects aren’t improving so currently I’m gonna go with my ANS adjusting to the regular classes) (fingers crossed anyway)!

And that’s my exciting news! 🙂

Oh yes, and I’ve got a mini-tournament in Tai Chi at the gym on Sunday where I will be performing the Sun Style 73 form in front of others for the first time. It’ll be my practice at being in ‘tournament mode’ for next April because we’re learning more about how my health reacts each time I do it which means I can plan better each time. Fingers crossed that I don’t make too many mistakes!

Big hugs from me, I hope that you are all having as smooth-running a day as possible,


7 thoughts on “Kung Fu achievement!

  1. Congratulations! I took Tae Kwon Do lessons for years when I was younger and I really miss it. I learned a lot, not only the forms and technique, but also about respect, focus, being humble and about listening to my body.
    It’s great that you’re doing this sucessfully =^..^=

  2. Good job on the sash! Sounds like you go to a school where you really have to earn it. Some schools hand them out simply because you paid for the test and the belt! As for me, my school has no ranks, although we DO focus more on technique and principles than other styles I have seen.

    • Thanks! 😀
      Yes, I’m glad that we have to earn them and I feel that I’m very lucky to have found my teacher 😀 We are only entered for grading if we are good enough to give it a go, but the atmosphere is also really welcoming and supportive.
      I sooo salute the Eastern way of doing things, and I’m so glad you have a great school to learn with too. I have to admit that I’m kinda glad that I get to work for belts though, but simply because it helps me to feel like I’m tangibly progressing despite the battle against the health stuff. I find that it’s motivating to keep fighting the health issues if I can break a big goal down onto smaller ones, and having something tangible helps. (Which is why treebeard is wearing my Tai Chi medals in the front room, too. It reminds me of my next goal and so helps to keep me battling)! 😉
      So lovely to hear from you, thanks for commenting.

  3. You can check out my school on YouTube. (When I say “my school,” I mean the one I attend. I don’t teach wing chun yet.) Just search for Cichon’s Wing Chun.

    I hear you about the advancement measuring your goals, but for my mentality, it wouldn’t suit me. Let’s say you have a belt that is the highest one you can reach. That might make some people feel they are as good as they can ever be. Instead of continuing to practice so they can IMPROVE, they will keep practicing only to MAINTAIN. I don’t ever want to think that way. If I get complacent in one aspect of my life, I worry that it will seep into everything I do.

    But that’s just me with my own bizarre fears. Other people might not have them.

    • Cool, I’ll have a look when I’ve finished writing the post for tomorrow. Thanks for sharing 😀
      Oh yes, I totally see where you’re coming from on that one. I have my own bizarreness too! 😉 My bizarreness is that no matter how much I’ve achieved I always see myself as learning, so I guess I’m okay in the belt system on that front! My teacher is the same as me on that too – always looking to keep improving! I think my health has pushed me further into this bizarreness coz I’m always looking to set myself little goals now, always looking to learn more! I intend to keep working at the Tai Chi for life, and I’ll keep working at the Kung Fu for as long as my health allows. I looove a challenge! And this path is so fulfilling, it’s a lifestyle choice for me too 😀 x

  4. Pingback: Joyful moments from 2013 | Elle and the Auto Gnome

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