By Jason Shoffner, a San Francisco brown belt!
The kung fu training is more than just punching and kicking to me. As the days go on, I have begun to apply the training so it can become a way of life. The Tai Chi push hands are the most difficult thing for me to understand right now because it demands a development of the mind. There are many things to focus on all at once that require deep concentration. It takes time to develop a process of quieting the mind. I try not to rush push hands since I’ve seen it pays off in the long run. Now, I am starting to feel and read my opponent when we do push hands sparring.
One thing I love so much is the Yin breathing. It gives me a natural high all throughout my body. I can feel my mid-section and core getting stronger the more I practice it on my own. I start my day with the Hou Tien Chi breathing early in the morning and it sets me on the path for my whole day to go great. Most importantly, it keeps my stress levels down. Lately, it seems like I hardly ever get stressed about what life brings. I know this is because the Hou Tien Chi breathing is in my arsenal to equip me for hard tasks and to mentally focus.
The external techniques and training has also had a lot of benefit for me. For instance, it brought back the flexibility I had when I was a kid. I also don’t have to run around the block twenty times to keep fit. I might be sore from the amount of conditioning we do, but in the long run it’s helped me out. My main interest is the internal training because I notice it infusing itself into my life more and more. Because of the internal training, particularly the breathing, I still have energy even after class. When I practice, I don’t get nearly as tired as I did when I first began. I’ve also started to make other positive changes in my life. I started eating healthy at work since I started kung fu, and it got me on the path to becoming the best student I can become and beyond.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!