Breathe. Relax. Focus.

Posted Sun Nov 12, 2006, 21:45 PM by Tracy

—Are you breathing?

—No, Sifu.

—Stop. The rest of you keep going. Tracy, come over here.

It’s the second Saturday of the month, which means advanced class. We’re doing continuous slow speed monkey line, with special emphasis on transitions from one attacker to the next.

—What are you thinking about?

—I don’t know.

—Yes you do. When you’re not focused on what you’re doing, you’re thinking about something else. What are you worried about?

Sifu knows me too well.

—I’m worried I’m not going to do it right.

—All you have to do is keep breathing and extend your energy. That’s the only “right”. You have the techniques. They will come out. We’re just putting a little extra attention on the transition.

—Yes, Sifu.

I rejoined the attackers, then took my turn at defending. It felt different. Everything flowed. I dispatched each attacker in turn, smoothly, calmly.

Afterwards, Jason asked, what did Sifu say to you? When you came back, you kicked butt.


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About Mo Duk Pai

Mo Duk Pai kung fu is a modern American eclectic system of martial arts, combining hard- and soft-style techniques Mo Duk Pai, which translates to “Martial Ethical Way”, was founded by Professor Frederick D. King. For more information, to see photos or inquire about training, visit the Mo Duk Pai web site, which I also maintain. I have been training since 1996 and currently hold the rank of brown-black sash.


Sifu (pr. see-foo [Cantonese] or shur-foo [Mandarin]) is a Chinese term for Teacher. It also carries the connotation of Father (teacher-father), referring to a tradition of teaching martial arts within the family, as well as being a title of respect. In America the title sifu is given to both men and women. In Mo Duk Pai the title is awarded to 2nd degree black belts at their teacher’s discretion.


Qigong (pr. chee-gung) is the practice of Chinese exercises incorporating movement and posture, breathing and visualization. Qigong exercises focus on maintaining health by energizing and balancing one’s qi, or energy.