A Strange Location for Kung Fu Training

Dow Jones Index, January 2008
Credit: maveric2003

Some Americans find the park a strange location to practice Tai Chi, or other martial arts. The Chinese, however, consider it normal behavior.

Visit any Chinese park in the early morning, and you will encounter scores of people conducting their daily exercise regimen; not only kung fu, but also gymnastics, dancing and of course ping-pong. Basically, their park is our health club—without a membership fee.

Exercise machines in Ritan Park, Beijing

Capoeira group in Ritan Park

Their outdoor practice is not confined to the parks, either. I once saw a woman practicing Tai Chi in the median of a four-lane highway!

Such things happen when fulfilling one’s often-inconvenient commitment to daily training. Personally, I have performed in a nightclub parking lot, at a homeless “tent city”, next to a downtown monorail stop, at the hotel cabana…and the list goes on. Not because I was looking for attention, but because honoring my commitment was more important than avoiding attention.

What is the strangest location you have ever used, or seen used, for kung fu training?

9 comments on “A Strange Location for Kung Fu Training”

  1. I dont see what not. A park has most things needed to train martial arts. bars for chinning and placing legs on for stretching, ropes to climb, slides to lie inclines or declined for performing exercises, and like you said, ITS FREE

  2. Strangest places to practice? I’ve seen…
    … in an airport concourse
    …a sidewalk in front of a dorm
    …in a movie ticket line

    Personally, I practice footwork exercises in my bathroom while I’m brushing my teeth.

  3. Ah yes, the airport. Practice is an excellent way to spend a 3-hour layover. I can recommend a good spot at Minneapolis-St. Paul: walk to the very end of concourse C, then duck behind the elevator. At LAX, you’ll find a quiet spot by walking down the stairs, and through the adjacent maintenance hallway. If anyone asks, you’re looking for a bathroom. 🙂

  4. Good examples. Even something as simple as opening the door can be a training opportunity.

  5. I leaks into many corners of my life, opening doors in particular. My favorite is the kitchen with knife and scrubby pads.

    Don’t forget sweeping!

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