Kaz Checks In From Humboldt

Got a nice letter from our gone-but-not-forgotten student and friend, Kaz, who moved to Humboldt a few months ago. Here are some excerpts:

How are you guys?¬† I miss you!¬† We are pretty settled in up here, and generally loving it!¬† Moving really discombobulated me; I was out of sorts for a couple of months, but now I’m feeling pretty good.¬† It is beautiful here, a land of vast forest, rivers, coastlines and fog.¬† I’m beginning to find some favorite outdoor places; in Santa Cruz I spent a lot of time at the river and the beach, but because it’s been cold and wet I wasn’t getting much outdoor time up here so far and that was¬†contributing to my funk (as was having to work a 40-hour a week job again after a decade of treating patients and having my own schedule.¬† Yuck!).

But for my birthday I spent my first whole day in the sun, at the Samoa dunes, and for the first time since moving I felt like everything was going to be OK.  Naked Kung Fu Guy even made his first Humboldt appearance!

One of the things I miss most about Santa Cruz is training at the Academy, and the community around it.¬† I’m feeling this great regret that I squandered my time and opportunity while in Santa Cruz, that I should have trained harder so that¬†I could have learned more from you (this includes you Debbie!¬† If Ted is the paterfamilias and Linda the gruff warrior grandma, then you are surely the beating mama bear heart of the tribe).¬† I miss class, I miss hanging out with Gene and Nick, and I will really miss watching little Archer grow up and take his first steps (and kicks, and rolls, and stances).

There’s a little park right across the street from our house, and I’m happy to report I am training again!¬† I always do some standing, some circle walking, lots of pi, always bagua, sometimes yin shou, bagua tui, long fist, or staff/spear/sword.¬† Though I am a dense student, I am really appreciating what I did manage to learn under your tutelage!¬† You’ve given me a lot to work with.¬† Ted, I remember so clearly I asked you once long ago if some move we were¬†doing was a strike or a block, and your response was, “It’s a shape.”¬† Now, more and more, my experience of practicing kung fu is that it’s a practice of forming my body into shapes, and mastering the fluid transitions from shape to shape, so that at any given moment you are able to express/absorb/deflect force.¬† And if you practice a lot, you are conditioning yourself, you are making a body and honing a mind that’s able to do that well.¬† So that’s what I’ll be working on.¬† Hopefully at some point someone will materialize that I can do partner practice with.

Anyway, I just wanted to check in!  I hope you are all well, and hope I can make it down to Santa Cruz sometime to say hi and work out!

Best,

Kaz

PS Check out my newly re-treaded FeiYues! Everyone raves about these shoes but I was disappointed how quickly the soft rubber soles wear out. A mountain bike tire, a bunch of Shoe Goo, and homemade leather-foam insoles for comfort, and they’re reborn for (I hope) years of use!

 

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