Ok, so I’ve been a bit shite at keeping this blog up to date whilst I’ve been at the camp, but as I explained before the internet here is balls. The good news for you blog fans out there is that you’ll just get the MOTD highlights of my activities here at the camp (4-1 FT).
Obviously most days here have been spent training, getting up at 5am and training all day and most evenings have been spent chilling watching films. There’s been a couple of nights when we’ve gone to the restaurant at the local village of Shin Show mainly just to get a change of diet from the same meals of rice we get practically every day! We usually get a nice mix of pork ribs, chow Mein, duck heart etc. just to get a fix of protein as the meat at the camp is pretty sparse (insert joke about women being meat here) and it costs around 4 quid so can’t really go wrong. We did have a day when we went to the Golden Lake to see some gay little waterfalls and a Buddhist temple but the weather that day was crap so it wasn’t all that spectacular to be honest.
Weekends are usually spent grabbing the bus to Taining to get battered at the ‘western’ which is as close as you get to a bar here and is named as such as they sell lots of western food, booze and fancy coffees. We usually hit dico’s at least a couple of times as they sell KFC style fast food for under 3 quid J Last Saturday was pretty much the biggest night in terms of alcohol, I remember getting a bottle of grants whiskey to share with this Dutch guy and vomming in the western toilets but not a lot else. Most drunk I’ve been all year. There was another night when we had a few beers and went to this karaoke bar where by I pretty much hogged the mic for about 2 hours solid as no-one else could be arsed to sing. The karaoke bars here are weird, you pay 300 Yuan (30 pounds) between however many people there are in your group (in our case there was about 10 of us) and you get your own room and beers are 5 Yuan each (50p each!). That was a pretty cool night.
Err, so in terms of the training I decided it would be a good idea a few weeks ago to do Sanda Boxing with the Shaolin class (I was doing white crane at the time) and was pitted up against a guy from Bristol who had been here for about 3 months. He battered the hell out of me, so much so that I nearly cried in front of half the school. You see the sparring here isn’t like the sparring I did back in England whereby you were trying to improve your technique and land a few gentle hits on your opponent, the object here is to smash the crap out of your opponent until you win. 3 x 3 minute rounds and by the end of the first round I was seeing stars. Obviously I felt like a total pussy nearly being reduced to tears but I’d never really had a proper battering like that before and it was a real shock to the system. Managed to keep a brave face on though and I don’t think any of the guys clocked that I was welling up (but they did see me get battered though!). After that I was up half the night with shooting pains going up my spine and wasn’t really back to full fitness and confidence for a few days.
Had a web cam chat with H, Andy and Emily which was really nice followed by a web cam chat to mother, trev, Cathy and Chris. So good to speak to peeps from back home and see my family J Dad called me last Saturday too which was really cool to speak to him.
This is my last week here so I decided that I’d got as much as I was going to from White crane and joined Shaolin on Friday. First day in and we did the Taining run which is a run from the camp to the local town – 23k no less! To my shock and delight I managed to do it in 1 hour 58 mins and was utterly chuffed having not really done any long distance running in the last couple of years (and even then the most I’d ever done was 10k which I did in 57 mins).
Monday came around and I spent the day with the Shaolin class which put me out of action for 2 days! Basically they train far harder in Shaolin and my back and neck took a major beating and needed to be rested. They do 3 5k runs a day, lots of acrobatics and at the end of the day they do squats up these set of stairs then press ups down them 4-6 times. Killed me! Today was my first day back training since my injuries and earlier today I did Shaolin boxing again, and lasted all of 30 seconds before kicking my opponent in the arm and bending my toes back putting me back out of action. Don’t think they’re broken but they’re pretty sore and I can’t put any weight on themL.
So my tickets are booked for the three busses that will take me back to Guangzhou where Pete Hull will be putting me up for a night before heading onto vietFUCKINGnam (Forrest Gump reference there). Frankly I’m really looking forward to getting the hell out of here. Don’t get me wrong, my time at this camp has been brilliant, really beneficial and even more enjoyable than I’d hoped but I’m looking forward to getting back to travelling and seeing some more of the world and chilling out for a while.
Thinking about buying a little motorbike when I get to ‘Nam and riding around like they did on Top Gear but I’m not sure if it requires too much planning, equipment and money. Would be a brilliant experience but I’ll have to do a bit of homework.
Ok, so basically I’m done training now, too injured to carry on today so I’m just going to watch the classes and chill. I’m travelling to Guangzhou with this English guy called Rob (who has over 100 sky dives under his belt!) and we may end up leaving tomorrow as he’s pretty much done with training now and there are some of our mates going to Sanming tomorrow for a night out. Would be nice to get some decent food and to stay in a warm hotel but I’m not sure if it would be better to rest my foot and head off on Sunday instead (which would be a lot cheaper too).
Rambling now. Laters on the menjay.