Summer Intensive 2013

The intensive summer program gave us a glimpse at the endless resources one can find through the practice of this traditional art:

Practicing a martial art is special. Practicing at the Shaolin Kung Fu Training Center in NYC is a gift. The opportunity to train during our school’s Summer Intensive Program over 4 week ends was challenging yet rewarding. It required efforts and discipline. Not always easy to let go of the Friday and Saturday nights parties with friends to go to bed early before next day’s trainings instead!! Being fresh and relaxed is key. Took me several times to learn that lesson…so if I can share that first advice with you: Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! In other words, practicing a martial art is a lifestyle. Depending on how seriously involved or available you are, you need to make certain choices.

Split over 10 hours during the weekends, the summer intensive training program gives you access to Shifu’s and Shimu’s thorough attention to develop and refine your technique. Through repetition you’ll learn how to correct, fail, readjust again until you feel the movement and explode. As Shifu kept insisting “you will not learn in one day, in one month, nor in one year!” This is an attitude one needs to be ready to develop over the long term through patience.

Learning a new form, repeating basic stances, wielding a wood staff, stretching hard, building endurance and executing new series of movements together, as a group from all ages, sexes, nationalities and levels was a refreshing experience regardless of the high temperatures! But it seemed we would all have lost the true dimension of the new Shaolin form we were cheerfully learning had Shifu not introduced us to the Chinese Poems behind it. Like any art, Shaolin Kung Fu breathes a philosophy. And the poems Shifu translated revealed the spiritual roots behind the movements of the new form “Heart and Mind” we were taught. What appeared as a simple circular movement in the form now represents the power of the eagle and the power of the Qi – vital energy - circulating. Shaolin Kung Fu is a subtle and harmonious chemistry between Man and Nature. Between our heart and our mind. And we were lucky to discover that.

Learning from Shifu is somewhat magic. His discreet yet intense presence transmits what words alone cannot say. Something rich. Something the heart or spirit or both (!) absorb all at once to inspire you and go beyond pain with a thirst to do better. Shifu always crashes your limits. When you think you are there. Start over again! And Shimu’s stamina and positive spirit help you keep a smile while your ego is often at work inside learning how to deal with reality. You learn how to push and accept yourself and others who might outdo you. You try to stop comparing and do your best… Shimu brings this sparkle that helps you rejoice in the face of difficulty. This is intense. You learn how to progress externally and internally.

This constant battle to push your limits opens your eyes to your true nature and the martial way. Your own limits bring you closer to others who also have their own limits. You come to see things a little more clearly. You realize you cannot cheat nor lie to yourself. It is kind of a reality check. This constant exercise brings about clarity. Through your new eyes and truer heart you also slowly learn how to develop other virtues like kindness, humility, resilience and confidence that you are not lying to yourself and are being fair to others. You are being real. And this is what gives you the courage to go. Keep practicing! The Shaolin Kung Fu training Center can do wonders for the honest and patient ones. Learning that the “way” has no ending and that Shifu and Shimu will guide you through the toughest challenges on it is a chance we can only appreciate.

Training as a group made this journey memorable. We came closer together as training days passed by. We shared a unique experience. It impacted our lives. This is what Shaolin Kung Fu Training Center does to you: not only does it train your mind to be sharp but it also fills up your heart! See you all next Summer.
Written by Julien L. 8.13.2013  BACK TO EVENTS PAGE

  Photo by Joe Pickard
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