Sleepless in Portland.

Posted Wed Sep 12, 2007, 10:16 AM by Tracy

I had another one of those nights where the only way I knew I slept was I dreamt. Our black belt test is mere weeks away and I am whipping myself into a tizzy.

The last couple weeks my training, both in class and out, have been disrupted with my mother’s death and the arrangements for her memorial service. Now I have nothing to distract me.

I feel pretty good about my street fighting and forms. Even sparring is okay. I’m ready to answer any probing personal questions. I need to work on my forms breakdowns and fighting principles. Bike commuting has done great things for my physcial stamina.

The thing that has me worried most is the stances.

I can hold a horse stance, it’s not pleasant, but I can do it.

The “toilet bowl” is a stress position that I believe has been banned under the Geneva Convention.

Japanese sitting position (kneeling) seems like it would be easiest of all, but not for me. My right ankle, the one I crushed several months ago, still does not bend all the way forward. If I lean back into a proper Japanese sitting position, I put pressure on the bones of the tops of my feet. If I lean forward I put pressure on my knees. In any position, it compresses my legs.

I just have to keep reminding myself what Laura says: trust the training.


Seek & Find


Chattering Magpie home

Kung Fu Diary home

Search all Magpie

More Magpie

Chattering Magpie blog

Magpie Knits

Magpie Writes

Photo Gallery

Sections and pages still in the "old" look, still accessible:

Related links


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.