Still in china. I got about a week to go. I am finally getting into the swing of things. I am keeping up with the team better and better these days. Not in terms of level — in that frame of refrence I am way behind — but as far as keeping up with the workout and not getting sore. I sleep alot more here than i do in the States. Part of that is because of the training and part is because I have more time with less destractions. I like having less distractions. None of that tedious going to work crap or the like. I basically have no side projects that i need to deal with. Just training and sleeping. The occational shopping and/or sight-seeing.

China is a much better place once you learn how to do things like go to a little store and get a drink and a snack. That first week i had no idea what was going on. My chinese was plenty good to deal with situations like that, but i was intimidated and never actually tried. In reality I was probably just rolling around in my own self pity at the time and didn’t want my situation to get better. … Well, now that i really think about that, that is not compleatly true: maybe 50% true. I also didn’t want to be embarrased. Stupid pride.

Beijing has alot of very interesting places. The Summr palace. Shi Cha Hai. This smoky internet cafe. Wang Fu Jin. I would really like to stay here and learn mroe chinese and train for longer if i could. Mind you that “if I could” includes a very important detail, beisdes money, i would have to drag my wife along.

Even with the the fun and cool things to do around here I don’t think I could take if for more than a semester or so. At least a semester at a time. Being here really makes me like the place i live. That mid atlantic reagon is a nice place as far as I am concerned. I know I coudl also be happy on the west coast or northeast, but I think mid-atlantic is my favorite place. Of course I have little to compare it to. I have seen alot of the US but very little of the world. I need ot make a serious point to remedy that. Even if i only can go out and prove that I like the place I came from.

Ok, I know I am rambling. I dont have any place I am going with this entry. I should really sit down and decide what I want to write about and give my log some sort of focus. I don’t know if I do abetter job with pen and paper or not. Mostly I think every thought through and have a fully composed monologue in my head but before I can get it on paper I get distracted.

So I quick view on two important issues on my mind: Training & Cirque.

Well really they are the same thing. Most of my training these days is to get ready for Cirque. I am learning Pu Dao and 9 section whip mostly for cirque (and because i think they are cool). I can’t really learn them from the peeps at Shi Cha Hai per se, but Morgan is teaching me after class type thing. Or during the classes that the coach dosent show up to. (Those are great. It’s like a little open gym with the beijing team.) But I figure I otta get some viraty under my belt before the audition. I know I need to concentrate on 3 events for team tryals but I think it would help set me out and get attention if I wasnt doing the same weapons that everyone else is.

Most of last week was conditioning in the afternoons and a little tao lu practice in the evening — more conditioning than forms. I would really prefer it to be the other way around, but it is sorta off season for these kids and time for them to get in to good shape. However I get little from that sort of training at this time. When I do train forms I mostly do sword. A little chang quan and no staff (so far). Only today did I even buy a staff. I got 3. However I intend to make one of those into a spear — maybe something else to pick up after team tryals.

So far training here (aside from the time running and conditioning) is very similar to what we do back home. They will spend more time on each specific skill the pratice in basics — for example we regularly train tornados for 15 min and butterflys for 15 min. But they also do fewer basics all together. Often we will compleatly skip jump front kicks (even though we do the jump-with-out-the-kick warm ups for them. No one is in a big hurry to get things moving through basics and onto the more meaty part of class (be it conditioning or forms). Of course this has alot to do with the amount of time they have to train. A couple of 3 hour session a day are a big diffrence from on class a night (and that is alot) back home. The format of the class is pretty much the same. Right down to the actual skills we drill. Of course when we are doing front sweeps they all go around 2 or 3 times to my one. Same for tornados. But then I will get a good happy feeling when I see that i can out butterfly a number of the team members (remember I train with the b-team). I honestly feel that a few weeks is going to make a diffrence in my level — but i think that I am just now mature enough (in my wushu) for it to do so. In a few years it would probably be even more helpful. I know there are alot of good people in the US wushu scene, even at my school, but I feel as I get closer to that celing that the US atheleates hit immersing my self in the training with people that are a much higher level makes a noticeable diffrence. At least to the person doing the training. I don’t know if anyone back home will be able to tell that i have changed or improved but I know that I have. I jsut view things diffrent now. I see how things are supposed to be done. What should be fast and powerful what dosent really matter. Another frame of refrence adjustment.

However I hope the diffrences that are made are improvements that the recruiters at the Cirque audition will notice. This little event is much more important to me than team tryals. The team tryals are pretty much a novilty at this point. I woudl really really like to make it, but I don’t really know if it is within my reach or not. I think I can go to any US wushu competition and not be embarrassed right now, but i don’t know if I could get to the point that I could win them with authority (as opposed to some blind luck/faith/mistake in my favor) . Cirque is a diffrent story. I have only been doing wushu for a few years (3 this Aug.), but I have been doing martial arts related acrobatics all the way back to when I was in middle school. The front yard of my house back in san berdo — jason myers and i would flip each other, do dive rolls, spin kicks, chorograph fights. That was the start of the path that lead to skating and to Tang soo do and to TKD and gymnastics and so on. In college gerald adn i really wanted to get more advanced stuff. We did the best with what we had and it really started my serious effort towards preformance — something like cirque. It is everything I coudl possably want in that relm of my life. Martial arts. Acrobatics. The entire package. Much more pressure than something like team tryals. Of course I gotta stop thinking of it like that or I will blow it out of proportion. It is nice right now because Morgan also is goign through the same thing. His audition was back in december in LA. Now he is being called out to come reaudition in NYC with me (nice to have a friend there too). I am wondering if it is because they now have seen more wushu and know what they are looking for or what. We spend alot of time talking about it and speculating about the details like pay, the basic training they do before you sign a contract, and the audition process. At least I have a bit more insite for what to expect in the audition now. I got to play my wide varity of talents right. There are alot of big name peeps that showed up the the Vegas audition — He Jing De, the Hsu sisters, a number of the older big US wushu names. But how many of them can tumble? or have played on a trap as much as I have? Not that i have great skill in either, but a little training I could be up to speed in no time. And i have a month to get ready. Just wish I knew where I should be going with my training. But then again I am sure that the cirque peeps don’t even know what they want yet. Prolly I should work on my acting, dance and improv skills more than anything.

Current focus: Clean up and tighten down straight sword. Add speed and power to staff (I know where I jstu need to put it into pratice). Drill that tumbling pass to death. And pick up enough pudao and 9 section whip that I can do a few sections at the audition.

Of course I need to fit this all in with catching up on some serious time with the wife. I love that girl.