Porting over G+ posts, med school, and a punch to the face

Hey folks,

Like I mentioned last time, I’d been spending more time on other online martial artist communities like Google Plus’ Martial Artist and Internal Martial Arts forums.

Both are some neat places to get some scintillating discussions about the nature of martial arts and there are many people with varying levels of skill and different philosophies. I’d recommend taking a look at them; I have yet to meet any jerks there!

Anywho, one thing I’d like to do over the coming weeks is take some of my posts (and maybe a few conversations) and transcribe them here to my actual blog. I swear, I’m internetically active, just not very blog-active!

At any rate, I was lucky enough to get into the University of Illinois College of Medicine and am currently in their Summer Pre-Matriculation Program. I’m learning some fundamentals about anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and histology before taking my official M1 year. It’s a lot of fun! I can say with confidence that I now know the anatomy of the back and spine. Can’t wait to get to the abdomen and thorax in gross anatomy lab in week or two! Still rusty on histology (I had surprisingly little practice in that skill, despite being a microbiology major) and biochemistry (lots and lots of structures to memorize; at least I have most of the monosaccarides and disaccharides down, it’s the polymers and lipids I’ll need to get to next, alongside associated pathologies).

Because I’ve got a different workload (I naturally resigned from my position as an immunology laboratory technician to pursue medicine), I still plan to keep up with my kung fu training. Because my brother lives so close to me, we can meet semi-regularly for kung fu practice. He practices Xingyiquan under Sifu Wei-Chung Lin of the Chinese Taoist Martial Arts Association, one of the finest traditional kung fu masters in the Midwest. My brother and I sparred for about two hours earlier today and I’m proud to say that he’s gotten better! He landed a very nice Drilling Fist that not only deflected my incoming palm strike, but it also simultaneously drove into my jaw. Nice wake up call! I’m also proud to say that I’ve gotten more agile; I’m finding it easier and easier to use Baguazhang footwork to slip to someone’s side. Next level: circling to someone’s back!

My brother recently learnt his lineage’s version of the Five Elements Linking Fist, a well-known set in Xingyiquan that trains the five fundamental fist movements and basic footwork. In order for him to practice applications (his class-time does not emphasize application enough for my liking, and I want to ensure that my brother has a quality of martial arts that provides him with fitness, health, confidence, mental clarity, and the ability to throw down if it ever comes to it), I had him select a few patterns from the Five Elements Linking Fist set to practice in sequence with me, with him using Xingyiquan and me using Baguazhang. I really should get around to having someone record this, but the lighting is always terrible. Oh well, maybe another time!

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