Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Monday, May 29, 2006

My Kung Fu (Or Kick, Punch, It's All In The Mind)

Happy Memorial Day! Coincidentally, I just heard the 21 gun salute here in the Presidio, home of one of the National Armed Forces Cemetaries. I live less than a mile away as the crow flies. The gunfire set all the dogs in the neighborhood barking, including Timmy- my 10 year old mutt and best buddy. Hope you are enjoying your day off and pause to reflect on why we have this day off in the first place.

So if you are a regular reader of this blog, you may have been wondering what the "school" is that I keep referring to attending on the weekends. On top of my animation "career", maintaining this blog, and the Pop Zeus project, I am also training for my black belt in kung fu! The style I am learning is Choy Lay (or Lee) Fut, one of the most practiced styles in China, particularly in the cities. And I believe its popularity stems from being a modern style that combines elements of many other styles, both Northern, Southern (a combo of Southern hand striking and Northern high kicks) and weapons forms. Its kind of a "greatest hits" of kung fu (so to speak, heh)!

And where I practice is the Tat Wong Kung Fu Academy here in San Francisco. It's honestly one of my favorite places to be. The students are very cool, helpful and respectful and the instructors are nothing short of awesome. And I have mucho respect for Master Wong who is an unbelievable martial artist. Been practicing there for 3 years or so and I am currently an advanced brown belt, which means I should be testing for my black belt sometime in the fall, I figure. Learning a sword and fighting staff form currently, my 7th and 8th forms (a form is a choreographed series of moves for performance purposes).

Both of my brothers are athletes and I was always the more cerebral and, of course, artistic odd-ball of the family. So it has been great to find my own niche. Never been one for the gym or running around aimlessly (as I see it)- not stimulating enough for my overactive brain. Always been into martial arts in film- from Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan. And now its a part of my life, which is pretty cool. My school is closed yet again today or I would definitely be getting ready for class as I write this.

So if you hear me bitching about being too stressed, busy and burned out, now you know another piece in the puzzle. Thankfully, this piece is one that generally gives me energy and relieves stress. It does contribute to my frenetic life of late but it is too important to me to drop. Anyway, I will keep you updated on occasion as I head toward my black belt. To quote Supersonic Love Funky Love Gun- Pow!


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