Scary Shan

No sooner had I posted Roll Call about the Australian brood, when my peeps from across the Pacific chimed in with their own China-inspired story…

My sister-in-law (Kai’s sister) posted this on my Facebook about my gorgeous four year-old nephew:

Poor Henry. I felt terrible! I don’t mind being Crazy Shan or Silly Shan, but Scary Shan? I don’t want to be that person. Of course my response was that I would never hurt him because I love him far too much.

And what good luck that the Seattle Crew will be in town when I return to Oz in October.

Bring. It. On!

Shuang Jie Gun… for dummies

One of the hardest things about learning Shuang Jie Gun is remembering the steps to the routines I am taught. The Chinese names mean nothing to me, and as I progress to harder routines (including using double Shuang Jie Gun*) I am left with this one, giant, twirling, jumbled, blurry and highly dangerous mess.

Until yesterday, when my Shifu came up with Double Shuang Jie Gun for Stupid Shannon.

“This step, like fishing,” he said as he threw them out like he was casting a line.

“This step, like hitting bee,” he said as he waved the nunchuks around his head.

“This step, like haircut,” he said as he brought them back down, dangerously close to his head.

“This step, like beautiful dance,” he said as he twirled them around his waist and back again.

“This step, like killing mouse,” he said as he swept them downwards at the side of his body.

“And this step, well, it just like cross your body.”

“So, fishing > bee > haircut > dance > mouse > cross > finish. Ok, got it.” I said, but not fully believing this was going to work.

He handed me the Shuang Jie Gun, and with one set in each hand, I took a deep breath and…

“Yes, good, like fishing!” He said.

“Ok, now hit bee! … Yes, now haircut! … Yes, now DANCE!… Good, now kill the mouse!… Ok, that mouse, he got away… now cross!”

And just like that, I had remembered the routine.

“Feichang hen hao!” Yelled Shifu. “Congraulations,” he beamed.

We high-fived, I did my little victory dance and then he said,

“Right, 20 more times, faster, do your best, and then we do it again.”

*  What I’m about to tell you confirms that I am crazy, and so too is my shifu for thinking I am competent enough to do this. double Shuang Jie Gun is one set of nunchuks in each hand, which effectively means double the chance of me knocking myself unconcious. This has not yet happened, but I suspect it will at some point.

Happy anniversary

Kai and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary on Sunday. Nothing says “Happy anniversary, I love you so much” more than Shaolin Monks! Which is why I organised a trip to Dengfeng (near Zhengzhou) to visit the Shaolin Temple.

It involved us leaving very early Saturday morning on a five-hour train trip, driving two hours to the temple and then a further two hours to the hotel (don’t ask) but it was totally worth it because there were all these cool people doing Gong Fu!

Funny guy

So it turns out my Gongfu Shifu is a funny guy.

Picture this:

I am in the middle of sparring with my highly-accomplished Gongfu Shifu (who incidentally is a lover of wine, but that’s a story for another post) when he says with his limited English vocabulary:

“Look, a UFO.”

To which I laugh, and say: “Haha, good one, you almost distracted me.”

In that instant, while I was complimenting him on his joke (and was quietly congratulating myself for not looking), he stood on my foot.

“Owwww! You stood on my foot.”

“Yes. Always you must focus!”

He’s always giving me good advice like that. Kind of like when he hands me the Shuang Jie Gun (nunchucks) and says: “Be careful.”

To which I always reply: “Thanks for the hot tip.” And then immediately proceed to hit myself in the head / back / eye / bum / all of the above.

Today he told me that I ‘make his heart fast’.

I know what you’re thinking… “oh, that’s a little awkward, but kind of flattering that he has a crush on her.”

No, he just meant that I give him a heart attack every time I pick up the Shuang Jie Gun…. shame.