About three months ago I started a new movement training designed to enhance my "Shen Fa" (Way of the body training). It is one of the key components to harnessing power in every step. With good Shen Fa you are able to better blast, entangle, misdirect or off balance your attacker. This training can only be done after first spending crucial training time on footwork or Zou Fa.
The training I developed was to do one movement for one mile. The movement can be an attack or a defense with many different variations. More importantly it is the movement we use to engage the opponent allowing us to launch our attack more effectively. It closes the gap with the advantage in your favor. This spear hand can also be found in another article on my blog that I translated for my master, Wu Guo Zheng. I made a plan to practice this movement one time a week for the the next 25 weeks, giving me twenty five miles with the technique all together.
Unfortunately I didn't account for the change in weather conditions which hinder me from finishing this particular training. When I finished my 13th mile last week, I was forced to put an end to this training temporarily.
This actually is great news because it allows me to investigate other ideas that I have been researching and developing. The grueling cold winter is upon us and the snow will fall soon. It is this type of climate that most people fear to do any exercise in, yet I know it is the best opportunity for warriors. I want to spend the winter adding frost to my saber and staff.
Training weapons in winter add for many new pains to be revealed. The slippery surface and burning cold handles make it easy to feel uncomfortable. As my wife said, "You have to use real kung fu to deal with the blistering cold."
This forces us to keep Qi in our hands with every movement and a lowered center of balance and connection to the earth. The process is agonizing at times, but when I'm finished I really enjoy the comfort of my home. Not only am I enhancing the power within in my technique, I am also magnifying the treasures with in my own life. These are treasures that we neglect every day as we chase after things with lesser value. Only when I tire myself do I enjoy my time to rest.
This morning the sun rose as I tucked away my sword and I felt an energy I never get from my coffee mug before going to work. We must embrace our discomfort at times in order to remember why we live. We would never know who David was if he didn't deal with Goliath.
I will continue my Shen Fa training when the spring returns. For now I look forward to being baptized in the blizzard.