Last night I started the third phase of my no-belt training
, which is "Shaolin movements." I got my first real instruction in Crane Stance, Dragon Stance, and Cat Stance, Light Leg, Cross Stance, Palm Strike, and Crane's Beak. Some of them were easy -- cat stance and light leg I can do with my eyes closed -- but some of them are very tough. Dragon, crane, and cross stances particularly make me look and feel very wobbly indeed!
I am glad to be doing something a little more interesting now. Between the schedule change and the difficulty I was having with jogging in warm weather, I was having trouble staying motivated. This also means that I'm roughly half way to my first belt -- woohoo! ;) I would love to earn a belt for my birthday.
Traditionally, Kung Fu doesn't use a belt system -- you just know what you know and at some point you become recognized as a master, or don't. But I like having the belts; it gives me a kind of roadmap to follow, at the beginning stages at least. And I've looked at the higher belt curricula ... they involve a lot of self-directed study and creating your own forms. So it's not that far removed from the traditional method.
The final stage, once I finish this one, will be to learn the first level of Shaolin Chuan, which is basically taking all the moves I've studied up to this point and putting them together in a single form.
I still need to practice my phase two material, particularly the Chinese vocab and Wushu Basics #3 and #4; I'll try to do that some this weekend if I get the chance.