Taiwanese Drug-Dealer Wisdom:

For those of y’all who do not know, there is a new Taiwanese dude currently training with us. He is a young journeyman who travels the world, distributing “grass” and other “pills” to people in grass-less concrete jungles, in other words he is a world traveling drug dealer from Seattle. Despite being a high school drop-out, he is not only extremely knowledgeable but also very articulate with his ideas. So I have decide to help preserve his ideas by documenting his “wisdom”.

1.) “Getting woman is like fishing, you don’t just go throwing your bait at one fish. You will never catch any like that.”

2.) “If you want to sell drugs, don’t go big, cause then you have to deal with Mexicans. No one wants to deal with Mexicans.”

3.) “You think you are in good shape? I once had sex for 6 hours, non-stop.”

4.) “You live in fucking America and you don’t know what “herpes” is? Don’t talk to me anymore.”

5.) “It’s not about the size, it’s how you use it.” (i think you know what he is referring to)

6.) “Don’t be fooled by my appearance, just cause I have tattoos doesn’t mean I am a bad-ass.”

Out of all the places in the world to learn about drug-dealing, womanizing, and weed growing, it had my to be my time here training as a monk in the most peaceful and tranquil place I know. Oh the irony, but I never refuse an opportunity to learn. So I will continue to absorb and preserve his “wisdom”

Shaolin Penguin Fist

Instead of actually practicing our routines today, we spent the whole day sprinting up and down our mountain. Sometimes with one leg, some times with no legs,  a couple of times with tornado twists, and the rest were just all out runs for nothing but pride. Seeing that we were fatigued out of our minds, after only 3 hrs, coach decided to give us a break, so he said “go run 10km, then you are down”.

We were all so thrilled to hear that, so we smiled and skipped all the way down the mountain towards the trails, and on our way there we drove by the training house of the martial monks. At the time they were doing some weird form that none of us has ever seen before, so being the curious and brave (cause we would be beaten if we were caught there) individual that I am, I decided to stay awhile and try to learn it.

But when we back and I started demonstrating the what I saw, it ended up looking like “Happy Feet” meets “Karate Kid”. It was pretty weird, but had elements of practically such as the shifting from side to side with hands by your side, that could actually be used in a real right to distracted your opponents…if you were fighting 5 yr olds. We ended up naming it the “Shaolin Penguin Fist. I am pretty sure I am the first to create a penguin style, but I could be wrong

Jaden’s Teacher

So we were just training outside on the mountain behind the temple one day, when this very young looking monk comes prancing up the steep slope like it was downhill. When we train, it’s usually just me, the fat kid, the Taiwanese drug dealer, our class leader, and coach, we never really get visitors, so this was a pleasant surprise.

He starting talking to coach and us talkative folks decided to stop training and join in on the conversation. Turns out he was one of Jaden Smith’s coaches who helped prep him for the movie “Karate Kid” along with Jackie Chan. He was telling us that they actually put A LOT of work into training Jaden, training him for a good half a year before filming. He told us how cocky Jaden was at first, and how his room would always be so messy. And Jackie and the other coaches would always be on him about being organized and responsible.

He said their training was pretty intense, around 10 hrs a day, much like the training we do everyday, except it was 4 teachers for one student, not four students to one teacher like us. But their coaches would often discipline Jaden, cause he would easily get distracted, I thought that was good to not to give stars special treatment. Cause discipline is an important part of training. I get whipped whenever coach sees fit to, but it helps later on when we get into real physical altercations, to be able to take hits from opponents without falling or losing balance.

I am lucky to be able to meet and train with these awesome people.

Under the Moonlight

Each night, under the steady watch of the moonlight, we conduct our evening training sessions in the silence of the dark. To conserve electricity for heating in the upcoming winter, we turn the lights off at night. Leaving us alone with only the moonlight to illuminate our every move.

Whenever I see the round and luminous moon, my thoughts travel to those who are dear to me; my parents who are thousands of miles away and my good friends who are scatter across top universities all over the States. As the Lunar Festival approaches and as the moon gets rounder, my sentiments  amplify. I got a call from my mother yesterday while I was training at night, telling me that the whole fambam was over for the annual Lunar Night Dinner, and that they miss my “annoying cockiness” very much. I told them that I was training alone outside at night eating my moon-cakes, like a boss, and that I too miss them very much.

But no matter where I am in the world or who I am with, every time I look up at the starry sky and feel the scintillating moonlight, I know that I am not alone. Because somewhere out there are my family and loved ones and they too can enjoy the same beautiful moonlight that I am enjoying.

I hope those who have family and friends next to them can learn to treasure them when they are there and keep them in your heart and prayers when they are not.

Raindrops Are Falling on Head..

For the past wk or so, every day, every moment, consists of  “raindrops gently falling on my head”. As a long term resident of Socal, being pampered by the everlasting sunshine made me forget how beautiful the rain can be. Ok, at first I was like “WTF, I want to go back to sleep”, but after a few hrs or so, I started to enjoy the wetness.

I guess the coolest thing about this “constant rain”, is that whenever I train, steam comes out of every part of my body due to the difference in temperature and this really helps me focus my chi to my mid-section because it is actually visible. The happiest guy here would be the Taiwanese dude from Seattle, dude says “hey this is considered warm in Seattle”, and I was all like “that’s why the Sonics left for OKC”.

In a few weeks or so, the raindrops will be replaced by snowflakes, the only constant that remains with the change of seasons is the intensity and the amount of training. We will still wake up about 30 mins before the chickens do, and we will still run the same amount if not more, no matter how slippery or icy the ground gets. I like consistency though, i guess it’s cause I am a boring person.

It’s Been Awhile…

It’s been awhile since I have seen any woman, like almost a month. It is not a problem, I just suddenly noticed today that “oh wow I haven’t seen woman in awhile”. If you know me, sometimes I notice “weird” stuff, things that people don’t normally pay attention to or care about.

In a sense my not noticing the absence of females in my life can be interpreted as them being “not as significant”. But I think it can also mean that I am not as focused on being around woman as other people, for instance the Taiwanese dude from Seattle who lives next to me always complains about “the lack of chicks” in the vicinity and his growing “anxiety”. On a normal day, I tend to think more about the weather, what we are having for lunch, and how to better execute each move. But to each his own cup of tea, I guess everyone has their own interests.


I can finally speak English again

After weeks of pretending I can speak Chinese really well (which I can, just not as well as I pretend to be), life has finally given me an opportunity to speak English again. Other than “frog jumping” up mountains, getting punched in the face, and running “i don’t know how many” miles into the wilderness, I have managed to carve out enough time in one day to start English classes for my fellow “trainees’ at 6:00am, right after morning practice.

On top of that, we received  a new Taiwanese dude from Seattle, who use to be (and continues to be when possible and legal)a  drug dealer, tattoo artist, and a cancer survivor. He is one of the more interesting people I have ever met. Before meeting him, I never knew they had drug dealers or even a demand for drugs in Seattle (smh @Seattle), and he proved me ignorant in that part. He works in the Hostel business which has allowed him to travel to and sell drugs in over 30 countries before the age of 20, now that’s something we can all learn from, the power of the Hostel industry in allowing youth to travel cheaply and the prevalence of the drug industry. But honestly, the dude is really cool. He wants to better his health by training here, because of the pains he suffered while battling cancer, and that’s really admirable. I think I will learn lots from him, good and bad. What an unexpected, but welcomed guest.

Also, I recently befriended a French kid, who is the same age I am. And other than talking about how his countless ex(s) and how he lost his virginity at “age 13” (which I did questioned, until he revealed he was from Paris), I have actually learned quite a lot about French culture and weed from him. It’s really refreshing when you find out just how little you know, but to know that is already a big step in some direction.

But finally, I can use English again, for something other than cussing out Chinese peeps who don’t understand a word I am saying.

Every Story Has a Fat Kid……..so does mine

Almost every story has an “slightly overstuffed” character in it.  And now, my story is no different.

I have been living alone in my “dormitory” for the first 10 days, until suddenly out of the blue came a “slightly overstuffed” shadow, who turns out to be my new roommate and the missing “fat kid” in my story. He is 16, my height, about 40 lbs more “stuff” than me, and has the behavior pattern of a 12 yr old, which is why he was oft picked on by kids at the Martial Arts School, so his parents transferred him over here, to train in the mountains, surrounded by trees instead of people.

Ever since his arrival, there has been more laughter and tragedy than all of the first two weeks combined. Most of the time it is laughing “at” him, but occasionally comes a moment where we laugh “with” him, which is wonderful for all of us. Honestly, the dude is not that fat, but because he eats ALL day and pretends to be injured every time we train, it is inevitable that his stomach retains a lot of the energy he consumes, thus blowing his weight up and out of proportions with his body.

I feel extremely lucky and honored to have him here, for comic relief doing training of course, not so much as a roommate, cause most of the time I end up being “maid”, “mom”, “alarmclock”, “washing machine”, and “hater” all at the same time. It’s actually quite the experience.

But looks like my story has just found its very own “fat kid”

It’s Been a Long Time Coming

It’s been a long time coming since I first conceived the idea of “ditching school for a year to train with the monks at the shaolin temple” , but the time has finally come.

I arrived at Deng Feng today, and will head up the mountain tomorrow and as my American College counterparts would do, start the “move-in” process. Training will probably start as soon as I am moved in, so like tomorrow.

But wow, I am finally here. Only now do I realized how crazily unprecedented my whole “gap year idea” is. Honestly, this isn’t a very popular route for, well, anyone. But it is this level of uncertainty and room for (growth, exploration, pain, knowledge and etc.) that excites me.

Stay tuned, cause I hope to have an audience along for my journey.

Where the Hell Am I?

I am nearing the end of my “travelling days”, with about a little over a wk before finally heading over to Shaolin Temple to start my year-long training. I am currently in GuangXi province, in southern China, visiting relatives, climbing treacherous mountains, and getting raped by mosquitoes all day every day.

In exactly two days (Aug 14th), I will be leaving for Hong Kong, so if you are there and want to hang, PLEASE hit me up because I have all the time in the world. After HK, I will be heading back to my “first home” aka Beijing , from August 17th till August 21st. Walnut is like my “4th home”, I have lots of homes, literally and metaphorically.

For all my friends back in my “4th home” who are heading off to college for the first time, I wish you guys nothing but the best. Meet lots of people, makes lots of mistakes, and say all the wrong things. Cuz this is the time for those things. If anyone misses me too much, you can always reach me at koshimomo@gmail.com, I am a great listener.

Hahhahaha hahaha jk jk, only if you want to.