Summer Intensive Training 2012

Martial arts is more than just a hobby and more than just a way to stay in shape. Kung fu is as much an art as it is a fitness routine. There is an extensive culture surrounding Shaolin, a rich history that all kung fu practitioners are a part of. Shaolin kung fu becomes deeply personal very quickly for those who study its traditions seriously. Sometimes it is easy to forget this amidst a busy work week. After a stressful day, it is therapeutic and healthy to walk into the school and commit yourself to an exhausting physical trial. For that bubble of time, an hour or so, we can forget about everything and focus on improving ourselves. But it's brief; that is the nature of practicing martial arts  while maintaining a life in a busy city. Sometimes you need more time to immerse yourself in your art. Sometimes you need to distance yourself from the city routine and find out how far you can really push yourself. I think this was the intention behind the Shaolin Kung Fu Training Center Intensive Program, and I think it was the motivation that brought me to attend.

Rather than worrying about work, chores, shopping and ordinary life matters, the students in the intensive training program saw dawn for a different reason. Warming up in the silent stillness of Riverside Park at sunrise without another person in sight, no one was worried about anything but making it through the hours of practice to come. Before long, even that concern passed. The energy of being with the group in the sandy, tree-surrounded park overlooking the Hudson River was amazing. Everyone knew we were there to experience something unique and see what we could learn in the process. No one quit, not the older students and not the new. We inspired each other. We ran longer, we jumped without a ceiling over our heads, we climbed down steps. We stretched until we ground our teeth, we meditated and breathed the fresh air while we saw our sense of limitation lifted. We moved together in the traditional steps of the Sunrise form. We listened to Shifu teach about the roots of the art and philosophy we all love. It wasn't Song Shan, the Shaolin Temple atop its mountain, but maybe it was a peek into that life.  Written by Vincent Di Giacomo 10/26/2012  BACK TO EVENTS PAGE

  Photo by Joe Pickard
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