So I don't even know why it's so hard for me to write things. I kinda like writing. I guess I get bogged down in the process of building something when I can't tell how long it's going to take and I might not get done or be happy with the result. That's silly though, you can always change something or put it on hold as you create it. I feel like lots of things happen in my life, but I don't really take the time to put it down anywhere. Well, I'm going to try a bit harder at that.
I can't believe I didn't write about it when it was going on, but I decided to attend a kung fu rank test on April 22nd and 23rd. I began taking Wing Chun Kung Fu at SLCC in January from Bill Smith, Si-gung of the Sil Lum Kung Fu Club in Salt Lake and the surrounding regions. It was a fun class where we were allowed to fight and yell and stuff. I really enjoyed learning kung fu and even though it was physically taxing a lot of the time I knew there was knowledge and skill to be gained so I went for it and it payed off.
I don't really like working out, in fact I almost try not to it seems. I hate feeling all shaky and tired and sweaty and smelly and like I can't move properly or breathe well. I think what I hated about it the most was the lack of mental stimulation. I know how to lift this weight over and over, I know how to do something until I can't anymore. It just seemed so pointless, the only thing all of this mind numbing repetition was for was the results of more definition in my muscles and better health. Don't get me wrong, those are good things, and who doesn't want to be healthier and have better musculature? I know I do, but the mind numbing part was just too much. That's why I love kung fu! You're learning skills not just doing something over and over that doesn't mean anything. You're doing something over and over so you can be awesome!
So, back to the kung fu rank test. BRUTAL is the only word to describe it. I have never been exhausted so entirely in such a short amount of time. Oh, it didn't feel short while we were there, but three hours isn't that long really. A three hour workout is definitely a long time though, and since it's composed of partially warm-up type things and doing precise kung fu moves the exam judges never run out of things to make you do better, more, or harder. But that three hour session was only the first half of the test, you see, there was another round of this slotted for the next day! I usually work on Saturdays in the morning so this would have posed a problem, but luckily my work was scheduled to be closed this particular Saturday so I was free... for more torture. We did more of the same, including doing a whole lot of horse stance, and then we did stations where we had to do stuff like holding containers of weight out to the side at full arm extension while flat walking down the Kwoon (like dojo) and back, going all out on punching bags doing all manner of kung fu to them the whole time, practicing kicks against targets, and attacking iron sand filled wall mounted targets. And whenever we were in line for a station we were to sit in horse stance 100% of the time practicing blocks. Then we paired up and did some conditioning (beating our arms together with a partner's or kicking each other in the ribs/shins etc.) until our judges were satisfied we knew how to condition. Then it was on to demonstrating The form, and then techniques with a partner and that was actually really fun. At one point while defending against punches my partner didn't do anything when the sifu said hai, so I actually punched him in the face. He was really good about it though, and laughed that he had just stood there. It was right in front of one of the judges too and he just chuckled and said, "do something!"
Finally the test was over and we sat on the mats in silence and waited. And waited. And then they came out and began presenting us with our rank advancements. Everyone starts out as a white sash, but after this test, if you pass it, becomes a gold sash. I'm a gold sash in the wing chun system :) It was kind of funny when we were presented with our certificates and sashes I remember thinking: "I hope I don't get called first, I want to see what I'm supposed to do," and then guess what happened... yeah, I got called first. Hahaha well so much for that, I just did the best I could and that was all I had been doing so it worked out.