Kung Fu and Love

Kung Fu and Love
A great gift for Valentine's day or Chinese New Year

Monday, March 19, 2018

St. Patrick's day

I sort of felt like we did St. Patrick's Day last weekend because that is when we went to a parade. The 17th was actually my first official day teaching Kung Fu Class at Murray Hill Chinese school. All the previous classes I taught were lion dance classes and I have a feeling I'm not really going to see the two students I trained for the CNY performance that much.

The class I ak teaching now is Kung Fu first, but I snuck in some lions and dragons and drums. Drummers are actually a hot commodity in the lion dance world because for some reason... not that many lion dancers can drum. To br honest... I heard the drum and I could do it. Of course I still had tips and improvements. Yes I've gotten better... but basically  I could just play. And that is actually true of a lot of drummers for lion dance.

But I also know that the skill can be trained. So I handed out 10 pairs of rolled up magazines and we did drumming meditation and stretching. The drumsticks were held for Chuen pow cup... and then used for light sabre dagger fencing...ie. the kids play fought with the them under the condition that they didnt actually hit or hurt each other. It was just for a few minutes but I figured it was important to introduce the concept of fighting in their minds and not through a static drill that might not even be that effective. Better to break up the class with some fun.

So my St. Patrick's day wasn't that Irish.

Then I realized that Grace's cousin had sent me a picture of tha parade the week before... of himself! Marching and playing the bag pipes... suddenly I totally aanted to do that. Truth is as a kid, I wanted to do lion dance... and bag pipes. Hell maybe both at the same time.

Maybe this is a sign that I should get on that.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Forced basics

Noah's Kung Fu looked really good yesterday. He could even do roundhouse kicks and sweeps I thought were beyond his ability. He looked as good that I taught when we did 100 basics for class...is ut because asnpunishment he had to do 90? Does doing more basics enable you, even within the same class to perfirm your forms better? He said it was because he was angry for being punished.

In any case we all worked hardbat Kung Fu yesterday because I was also pissed that he wasn't listening and out it into my Kung Fu. Instead if Chap sau I yelled Chap Shao! We were tired and cracking up from being tired. We did three round of everything except lion danve... because I forgot and by the time we stopped it was dinner time.

Basically I realize that there really is no getting around skipping aspects of the class. Basics are importantband so are meditation and stretches and calisthenics. And inside all of this I am trying to add in ground fighting and jiu jitsu mives just ti expose them to it. But they will not "roll" the kicks come out and also they cannot do the jiu jitsu moves... not really.

I think they woukd have to lose to children there age who are also weaker to understand.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


I've been watching this on Amazon.. and so had Noah. Too violent for Jonah. I think they ttied for aspects of historical accuracy because I read the book entitked the Druids and aome of the events recorded by the Romans appear in this show, the response to the dead by burying the messenger with a note in his mouth in particular. Woukd live to know what Joe Callahan blogger on Arete has to say about it, given his expertise in history and his own genetic background.

Basically I ended uo having some deep conversations with Noah about racism that were easier for me since the cast, although it has black romans... basically the savages are white. And therr is disiote about how the Druids really were given that most of the history about them thay has survived is written by the Romans.

But see if we are watching Naruto or something American depicting Chinese or African Americans....well it gets complicated. I mean we watched Black Panther, and although black people seem to love the movie now....I wonder if it would be considered racist or blackploitation in 50 years.

Anyway befor e Black Panther, and I do believe that Levar Burton's assessment that the movie is probably a turning point especially since it made so much money.

Shows about White Savages were so popular. Because everyone would watch it. Black people will enjoy it despite a lack of representation, because it is depicting whites in a way that people of color were often depicted in movies pre 1960.

And white racists woukd love the same media because it is often about their pantheons. Think Vikings.

Anyway, if I talk to Noah about representation, even when talking about Asians I will have to dabce around a ton of political correctness because not only will Noah repeat what is said... he will get the terminology all mixed up and then all this bs will be pinned on me.

However if I talk about Romans and Druids people have nothing to say about the poltical correct terms of either group.

Even many Nordic people find the word Viking to be offensive because it means pirate and not all people in Iceland were robbers on the high seas. Many did not participate, choosing dairy farming instead.

I mean the only people who could possibly get offended woukd be a Latin teacher or a historian of the Druids. I think they would give Noah a pass.

It's also interesting how race is not yet quite in the structure that is in today. Again there are pale skinned barbarians. And there are Dark skinned Romans. And since being Roman or speaking Latin is that time periods equivalent of being "white" today... well you see its just an interesting concept. That there can be racism that isn't based on color, but more so on language.

Group leadership

My punishment for Noah when I get emails from school is thatbonstead of doing chuen pow cup... we have to do all the basics. So there us a consequence for the whole group for his behavior... that actually is something we shoukd be doing anyway. When I taught littke Kelly and August and Brandon, who are now in college and highschool, we always did All of the basics each class. Grabted those classes were once irbtwice a week, and these classes are every day. Plus we have other stuff to do. Lion Dance, fighting forms... I found it ironic that having done all the basics, we finished earlier yesterday. Its because I didnt try to teach them any ground fighti g or grappling moves for break.

The truth is, even though the i ternet us sull of BJJ instruction for a few moves... thise moves are actually pretty complicated and difficult to do. Thats why there are so many instruction videos.

Could I get as complicated about a punch? Yes probably, but I don't think it woukd help. And it is also true that my kids punches leave a lot ti be desired, especially Jonah... but then its not like they can't punch at all. The answer is of course... more basics.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Group punishment

I have been reading Noah a book called Sadaharu Oh. He was a Japanese baseball player... also Chinese because his father was Chinese and in Japan, you don't get to become a citizen for being born in ghe country like in the US.

Anyway, he talks about being pu ished as a group. Like the team woukd have to slap each other if one person made a stupid mistake abd how that built group dynamics.

I have seen this done badly in BPS mainly because all the boys received punishment but not the girls... but more on this another time

Nice cover

Once when I worked as a bank teller a Si Hing of mine visiting from Chicago daw me getting ready for work.

"Nice collared shirt..... nice tie...stable job.....Good cover!" He joked.

From now until I pick uo my kids I will play at the daily grind...which in all honesty for me is easier than a lot of people's jobs.

But I do want to get to the point where I am teaching Kung Fu or doing my mystical crazy dances and arttistic stuff and that is my main identity. I'VE GOT BUSINESD CARDS LOL!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I found the perfect show to watch with Noah leading up to St. Patick's day. I live atuff about the Druids and magic. But in that nasty way where they show the flaws of those beliefs too.

I'm obsessed withe the Merlin story and all that kind of stuff, which seems u related, but most of the stuff I read tries to tie Merlin to the Druids, rightly or wrongly.

I guess I woukd love to go around in the world drumming and lion dancing and storytellibg but also meditating and doing the esoteric stuff as a way of life... and I realize writing this... what is stopping me. People actually make living teacjing Kung Fu, wushu even, after clearing rent and have asked if I would teach lion dance and work with them. Some people make a living teaching traditional Kung Fu which is out of fashion and people travel quite far to go to their school.

At first I feel I wouldnt want to open a school for various reasons, but a chain of schools that teach various artistic movements, yes Kung Fu, MMA, weapons fighting... but also playing with lightsabers or playing pirate, making lion heads out of cardboard and drums out of buckets....something more open andnout there.... that woukd be more up my alley. The money maker would be birthday parties and events.

I always think of a school as a place that I had to teach and protect, which sojnds like being chained. But if it is a chain that collects money, a business that I run. Like McDonalds....exceot healthy and creatuve and inspiring, the good stuff without the bad... that woukd be awesome.

The concepts and spirit of what I learned and love, even with some of the core movements retained, but not so much that it would hold a business or movement back.

This idea I was afraid of... or I saw as impossible... but the nore I think about it, it isn't.

What is even closer though is me going around doing what I have always done, lion dab e and Kung Fu.... but what not put on the mask of other seasons and holidays as well. Other creatures... yes I was doing thatbin Boston, my eagle and my Kei Lun were tossed in the move but I can make new ones.... just because people are hiring me for "real" lion dance ( which people take very seriously in NJ in terms of choreography and drumming... but nobody even bothets to buy gongs and cymbals... go figure)

Doesnt mean I can't make a deer and a wolf head and fashion a bodrhan out of tape and an old basketball hoop.

I yearn to teach a Kung Fu... that honestly needs to be called something else, as it might not be recognized as Chinese to someone whose eyes cannot see.

Something that touches deeper andbhits the more universal. A Dragon dance that is like the Dragon ranging from the pendragon to the Naga and the luong.

A Nian beast that is the questing beast and the southern lion, and buraks and kei luns and unicorns and even creatures from my own dreams.

I don't want to limit myself with tradition, but to unlock that feared place of the human psyche with it while still looking to science...