I've got a little "Shaolin" problem..
Alright, I had an experience today that immediately made me think of Bullshido, and I knew I had to bring it to you guys for input.
Now I haven't been to the site in a while, not even to lurk, I just had stopped training a while back and focused more on school, and Bullshido fell on the backburner (I was never a big poster anyway).
Much to my surprise, when I sign on today, the very martial art I'm about to write about was featured in a write up on the front page, but more on that later..
Earlier today, I set off across town, in search for what I was told was an Orthodox mission church in my city.
I won't name the city, because I am rather fond of the people that run the school other than this bit..
..but I was told the mission was housed inside of a Kung Fu studio.
The "Bullshidite" in me recoiled at the words "Kung Fu", but, hey, I'm going for Orthodoxy, not Kung Fu, and we've got Fedor Emelianenko and Troy Palamalu on our side, so the heck with it.
Well, I get there, and "Shaolin Kung Fu" is written in big red letters on the side of the building.
"This does not bode well" said the aged Bullshidite within me, but nevertheless, I entered.
The floor was littered with young human larva, all doing some sort of stretching. A woman walked up to me, put her hands together, and bowed.
I told her why I was there, and indeed, it was the right place.
We talked about the church for a bit, and then the conversation drifted to the studio..
"So what do you guys train here?" I asked, fearing the worst.
"Ah, yes, we train Shaolin Kung Fu. It's the ancient style of martial art from China, we cover all of the animal forms"
"Ah, cool. Do you guys compete locally or something?"
"Oh no, no we don't compete, most of what we learn can't be used in competition"
"God.." I thought, "..it's like right out of McDojo 101."
"Oh. Well, where did you guys learn all of this stuff?"
"We learned under Master Gary *points to a picture of a posing bald guy on the wall* and he learned from Master Zen(?)/Sin(?)/Shen(?) *points to a picture of an asian dude with a mullet and an obscene number of patches on his gi*"
"That's a lot of patches"
"Well, he's the last living grandmaster"
"Alright, well, I have to catch the bus back, I'll see you guys at Church"
"Ok, let me give you a brochure of the school. Have you ever done any martial arts before?"
"I've uh..dabbled here and there.."
"Ah, well, you'd really like it here"
And this, my friends, is where I made my mistake.
I could have said no thanks.
I could have kept my mouth shut.
But no. Be it the cute girl that was practicing some tai-chi looking stuff in the corner, or the fact that I've not trained in a year or so and wanted something to do..
..I don't know..
..but I opened my mouth and I said
"I might check it out some time, see what it's about"
Her face lit up.
Next thing I know, I'm loaded down with brochures and schedules, and now I'm obligated by the rule of manners to attend.
I'm on my way out the door when one of the guys who lives in the same neighborhood as me says he'll give me a ride rather than me taking the bus..
..so I accept.
On the ride home, I'm trying to make small talk.
"So..how long have you trained?"
"Shaolin? About 12 years. I did Aikido and Tai Chi before this."
"I messed about with Savate a bit, got into ground fighting through Combatives in the Army, attended a few Judo seminars"
"Well, you're in the big leagues now."
"We do some ground fighting too. Jujitsu picked up most of it's groundfighting from Monkey Style Kung Fu"
"Do you guys roll around ever? Spar?"
"Not really. This isn't like kickboxing. Some of the moves you learn here will put someone through a wall even with pads."
Heaven help me..
What have I gotten myself into?
Am I really going to stick around and subjugate myself to this?
The cute girl really was cute, but is she worth this?
Every Bullshidite bone in my body is crying out in anguish at the thought of it.
But it's not like I'm training right now, I'm not really doing anything physical other than jogging the 2 miles to and from the bus station in the morning.
And then I find this thing on the front page about Shaolin-Do.
I'm not even sure if it's the same group..
But I'm going into this knowing it's bullshit.
Anyway, I figured I'd come here and gripe.ask for advice, since it brought out all of the old feelings in my gut that made me join this site back in the day in the first place.
Keep in mind, these aren't "bad" people, I feel kind of guilty bashing their school behind their backs, they seem like genuine, nice folks.
It's just the martial art they train..it's Bullshido in it's purest form..