The first time I passed through the gates of the Shaolin Temple, I was both excited and terrified. What had I signed up for?? Oh, just to traveling to the birthplace of Shaolin Kung Fu, to train there for three months, without any martial arts background what so ever. Ok.
The second time, however, I was quite familiar with the routines, the kung fu way of thinking and the training. I had even been told I looked like Beatrix Kiddo (Kill Bill) when I preformed my staff form… the greatest compliments of all time!
In the video below, you can have a look at my experience with the Shaolin training.
The village life started early. At 5 A.M. We would wake up either by the rooster’s call, the nuns praying, or the children shouting to the count of four – YI, ER, SAN, SI! The strict regime the children had to follow everyday was both admirable and scary.
Although our training might be incomparable to what the Chinese kids went through everyday, it was quite hard nevertheless. Monday to Friday, 7 hours a day we were running up and down the mountain, kicking and stretching and learning new moves. All of this under constant encouragement from Shifu: "Faster!" "Lower!" "Many Qi!"
I learned a lot during my stay in China, not only about martial arts, but also about myself. About how my Norwegian lungs were struggling through Chinese powertraning, and how my stiff legs were forced into positions I thought impossible. But most importantly, I learned about Qi.
Qi is described as “life force” or “life energy” and it’s the underlying principle in Chinese martial arts and traditional Chinese medicine. Qi is both external and internal energy, and through practice like Qi Gong (which represent the study of Qi), you build your inner strength by stimulating the flow of internal energy. When your Qi is balanced, you will have benefits such as improved health, increased power and awareness of oneself.
"Faster!" "Lower!" "Many Qi!"