Whew. That was a close one. This is what I think to myself as I settle into some strange, not quite kungfu half-stance, my arms in some sort of poise pattern, as if I’m about to square off with my adversary, in this case the frigid temperatures and the icy ground beneath my feet. Another fall somewhat gracefully avoided thanks to the skills of the Shaolin arts.
There are a lot of benefits that come with training Shaolin Kungfu, some obvious, others less so. When I talked last week about some of the fundamental skills that will be trained in the upcoming level one Shaolin Kungfu course at Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities this spring, I spoke at length about stance training and its importance. A proper foundation of stances in kungfu training helps us move well and helps our kungfu be alive without deteriorating into kickboxing. But those same benefits carry over outside the classroom and outside of a sparring situation too.
Stance practice in Shaolin Kungfu trains a calm and powerful mind, and it trains the body too. As one would expect, it trains powerful legs, but it also trains poise and balance. That’s worth its weight in gold out in the real world.
File it under ‘things I never would’ve expected from my kungfu training’, I started to notice pretty quickly that I was hardly falling down anymore in winter. Any Minnesota native can tell you about the gauntlet that is the sidewalks and streets here from December to April. Prior to learning kungfu, I would fall down each winter at least four or five times. Now it’s maybe once a winter, but I haven’t for at least two years, a testament to the balance and stability I’ve gained through years of stance training.
Beyond dodging ice patches, I’ve seen my training have a positive effect on other areas of play. I love to downhill ski. Around the time I started my kungfu training, there were a few years where I just wasn’t able to get out on the slopes. When I finally did find myself at Vail after a long time without being on skis, I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only was I skiing better than ever, but also, you guessed it, I wasn’t falling down at all. When I tried my hand at water skiing up at my brother’s cabin, I popped up out of the water on the first try and took to it lickedy split. Surfing, snowboarding, I don’t think these things would’ve come as easily to me without my kungfu background. Truth be told, prior to that, I was a bit of a klutz.
For those who aren’t interested in training kungfu, fear not. Simply training Cosmos Qigong alone will give you a surprising amount of stability and agility, though admittedly not quite as much as one would gain in Shaolin Kungfu. For me, it’s a gift that continues to unwrap itself through the years. A gift that gives calm, clarity, insight, confidence, energy, poise and stability, strength, joy and health. That’s more precious to me than any gift card or Instant Pot could be. Ready to experience all of these things yourself? Register here.