23 May 2011

The Truth from a Monk

A few years ago I went to China with a boat load of people from United Studios of Self Defense. If I remember correctly there were almost 500 of us. Yes, we pretty much invaded all of the little towns we went to. I felt like I'd reversed rolls and instead of the little Japanese tourists mobbing everything it was us, the big, American tourists. Eh-hem, I mean Kung Fu artists. (haha, yeah right)

Anyway, at one point we got to train with a monk in the Shaolin Temple. Honestly I'd have to say that those two days rank in the top five on my “Coolest Things I've Ever Done” list. I have pictures somewhere, but I think they're on a back up disc. Sure enough, all I've got is the video of our trainer monk doing our form.

Okay, so imagine with me a group of average Americans from Utah and Colorado, trying to keep up with this energizer bunny monk who is trying to teach us a form. Keep in mind that this kid (who couldn't have been more than 17) does Kung Fu for hours and hours every single day. He has no concept that most people can't put their feet up and behind their head.

Now we were eager learners. Our group was the only group of 20 (remember, 500 people here) that got through the entire form. And I think this is probably the reason why.

A few hours after we started, our monk had his supervisor (for lack of a better term) come over and watch us. No joke. The supervisor monk watched us do the first quarter of the form. We finished. He blinked. Then he laughed at us.


Laughed. He laughed, shook his head and walked away.

Okay, I'm sure we looked ridiculous. Probably bordering on terrifyingly horrible. And we probably deserved it. However, we pushed to finished the form before we left. He seemed pretty happy with that, and the next day we got a reluctant nod of “better.”

So, back to the present, Saturday at the Shaolin Summit one of the monks was sitting two rows ahead of me. The others were all practicing, so I figured this guy had to be supervising or whatever. Well, he stood up and turned around and . . .

Holy cow. The supervisor monk from China! I probably started at him for a whole minute trying to figure out if it was him. Pretty sure it was. I totally wanted to text the whole group of people I was with at the temple and tell them that the guy who laughed at us was sitting in front of me. Unfortunately, I don't have any of their phone numbers. My bad.


Antiquarian said...

sooooo did you get to tell supervisor monk that you had gotten a bit better and had earned a black belt? of course with the caveat that you were still a humble learner and felt honored to have been given the rank. That you felt you really weren't worthy of the rank and that you will continue to attempt to live up to the trainer monks inspiration?

Just asking.

-Jo- said...

Heck no! I don't remember much of the form we learned. Like I'm going to admit that to someone who can kill me with his chi.