Three weeks ago, I returned from my most recent trip to China.
While there I trained extensively in Tai Chi, learning how to use a weapon known as Guan Dao or Da Dao. In the western world we call it a halberd.
Prior to this trip, I had no experience with a weapon of this sort. And shortly after the training commenced, I caught myself jokingly asking, “And you chose this?”
It turned out to be the most incredible training I have ever received, mostly because I had to learn to move my feet, my hands, my body and a weapon in ways I had absolutely no experience.
On top of that, all the instructions were in Chinese, sometimes in words I was not familiar with.
I found myself struggling to memorize the patterns and the forms because there was no existing software in my brain for them.
It appeared that all my training in memory and super learning was out the window.
Then one afternoon, at the apex of frustration, I took out my notes, both the Chinese and the English versions, along with my hand-written notes.
I grabbed a pen and began to come up with different associations and names for each movement.
Instead of going by the Chinese name for the move, or the translated equivalency, I gave them English names that I could remember.
“Michael Jackson Moonwalking,” became one of the movements.
Another, a combination of Chinese and English, “Mao Zedeng flashes the leather.”
Or this one, “White monkey turns the cloud upside down.”
Within what seemed to be minutes, I had the form memorized (in my head), which was a huge plus.
Every sequence of moves now had a file and to my surprise, all the sub-movements within the overall movement were accessible.
Essentially, all the movements didn’t have a file my brain recognized, so they were scattered and irretrievable – until I put
an easy-to-remember label on each file.
The above illustrates why learning news ways to exercise, to train, to move – is always a high priority for me.
The more ways you learn to move your body, the more neurons you’re creating and the sharper your mind will be.
I’ll be covering this in more detail in the future, especially for members of the FureyFaithful.com membership site.
You’re welcome to take a look at the promo on the site to see if you think it’s got the goods you’re looking for.