Kung Fu Thoughts

Food For Thought


Why It Sucks To Be The Wife Of A Martial Artist...

...by Kent Fung

  1. Your husband never wants to see any movie anymore unless it stars Jackie Chan, Jet Li, or Bruce Lee, or was directed by Akiro Kurosawa, or made in Hong Kong. Martial-arts themed movies were probably a big reason your husband decided to start training in the first place, and you might even have enjoyed Jet Li's "Fist of Legend" the first or second time he made you watch it. But you've now seen the ^%$!@% flick 302 times and counting, and you hate that you can now remember all the dialogue, word for word.
  2. Even if you liked chop-socky flicks before, they're ruined for you now because every time a fight scene occurs, you're subject to constant comments like, "That would never work in real life," or "What a beautiful version of shiho-nage!" or "I'm faster than that guy, you know" or "Let's rewind that. I want to see it again."
  3. Odd-looking gadgets and gear now fill the house. Padded sparring gear. Twenty-five different kinds of punching bags. Rattan arm rings. And loads upon loads of exotic, menacing-looking weapons that make any visitor to your home suspect that a serial killer is in residence. Your significant other has channeled his innate male instinct for buying random gadgets into the martial arts. Other men buy plasma TVs and hi-fi equipment. Yours has a selection of butterfly knives, balisongs, and crescent swords, which seem to exist solely so they can either collect dust or destroy the furniture.
  4. Your friends and relatives suspect you've turned into a raving harpy who takes a frying pan to her husband's face on a regular basis. It never fails: a few days before a big event - Thanksgiving dinner, your office's holiday party, a family wedding - your husband will come home from a class with a very visible and nasty-looking injury - a black eye or a broken nose or a fat lip. It's nothing serious, and he almost never gets even a scratch in class. But now, right before pictures will likely be taken, even your father will wonder if his poor son-in-law is a victim of spousal abuse.
  5. Of course, that's assuming your husband actually shows up to said event. You've lost track a long time ago of how many times he's been late because he couldn't tear himself away from a post-class training jam. You learn that if there's someplace he absolutely HAS to be, he can't be allowed to train for at least 12 hours beforehand.
  6. Six words: "Honey, let me show you something!" You come to dread your husband's return from class, because he has almost always just learned a really cool technique and wants to show it to you, for your benefit, as if he was a dog dragging a dead rabbit home for your approval. Of course, what he really wants to do is review the material and delight in its sheer coolness factor. And since he just learned it, he can't really control it yet. He'll promise that he won't ACTUALLY do it or that it WON"T hurt. But you know better.
  7. Remember when you always wanted to know, "what are you thinking about?" Now you don't dare to ask because it's probably some martial-arts topic, and you'll be treated to three-hour lecture, complete with demonstrations, on whatever related idea he's playing around with. Be careful what you wish for, indeed.
  8. It embarrasses you to be seen in public with your husband because he's always practicing hand techniques in his head. Of course, to you and everyone else staring at you with a mixture of pity and revulsion, his "techniques" just make him look like an escaped mental patient on heavy doses of Thorazine.
  9. Invisibility. At first your husband just went to class two nights a week. Then he throws in a weekend class too. Then starts practicing every day. Soon he's even leaving town to attend weekend seminars and training camps. Before you know it, you're no longer sure if your husband was just a figment of your imagination. (For some spouses, I suppose this actually might be classified as a good thing.)
  10. The infection can spread. Just when you've gotten used to items 1-9, your resident idiot decides that you or the kids should start training. "It can be a family thing," he says. But you know that he's just trying to make it more acceptable for him to get even more obsessed with his training and turn you all into freaks just him.


Rocks, Pebbles, Sand – As Life Goes


A philosopher professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him.  When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rock, rocks about 2” in diameter.  He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.

So the professor then picked up box of pebbles and poured the pebbles into the jar.  He shook the jar lightly.   The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks.  He then asked the students again if the jar was full?  They agreed it was.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured the sand in the jar.  Of course, the sand filled up everything else.  He then asked the students once more if the jar was full?  The students replied with a unanimous YES!

The professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour the beer into the jar – effectively filling the empty space between the sand.  The students laughed. 

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.  The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, and your children – things that if every thing else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. 

The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, and your car. 

The sand is everything else.  The small stuff.” “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks.  The same thing goes for your life.  If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have the room for the things that are important to you. 

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play with your children.  Take the time to get medical checkup.  Take your partner out dancing.  There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the disposal.  Take care of the rock first - the things that really matter.” Set your priorities.  The rest is just sand.  One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer was for.  The professor smiled, “I’m glad you asked.  It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”  

This story was given to me from a student Shifu

Getting Old

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know. Old Age, I decided, is a gift.     I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.  Oh, not my body!  I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt.  And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.  As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.  I don't chide myse lf for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio.  I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.  I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.   Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will. I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old. I know I am sometimes forgetful.  But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I  ev entually remember the important things.  Sure, over the years my heart has been broken.   How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car?  But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion.  A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.  So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.    As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think.  I don't  question myself anymore.  I've even earned the right to be wrong.   So, to answer your question, I  like being old. It has set me free.  I like the person I have become.  I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be.  And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)  

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime...  

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.  When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,  To aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend and they are.  They are there for the reason you need them to be.  Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,  this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.  

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.  Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.  They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.   Believe it, it is real. But only for a season..

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant...