What if?

I just came back home from kung fu class and have to hurry up to get today’s posting  online before 12 AM. It is sometimes still strange to me that I ended up practicing a martial art. As a kid I was a big fan of Bruce Lee but I would have never thought that I would pick up practicing at age 34. In kung fu we have  “lat sau”. That means one trainings partner is the attacker, the other one is the wing tsun kung fu person and defends. Being the attacker is an amazing experience. You throw a punch at you’re opponent and at the same time he or she unleashes kung fu hell upon you. You see fists and elbows fly in your direction at that point I am always glad that this is a trainings environment and not real fighting. For a long time I was very afraid of confrontation because I felt I would not be able to handle it. Growing up I was not taught to be strong, I was taught to be weak and not to confront. Standing up for myself  seemed so scary, it seemed impossible. But who wants to confront anyway? That reminds me on the movie “Fight Club” when Tyler Durdon (Brad Pit) gives his fellow fight club members the homework assignment to pick a fight and to loose it. But all of them had a very hard time to find somebody to pick a fight with because nobody wants to have that kind of confrontation. I would always try to avoid to fight. But if there is no other way, what if you are in a situation where you have to defend yourself? Still when I go to kung fu I very often feel like I do not belong there, it is not me. But how do we know who we are? So I am peaceful not violent and just have to make sure that I never ever get into the situation of a confrontation because all I can do is a yoga bow and say may peace be with you? And again how do I know that I am really the person I think I am, how does this leave space for change? To me it feels that at a certain age I figured out who I was. I had labeled everything around me and myself. And then I started to live my life accordingly. There was no space for things like kung fu because that was not me. That was not the peaceful Carsten I had labeled myself to be, sitting in a full lotus on a meditation cushion with an enlightened smile on his face. How do we know who we are? I feel I was not able to live life fully because I would only do things that I thought suited me. What about being open to things, giving it some time and seeing what happens? What about not giving into the beliefs we have about ourselves and do the complete opposite? I think one reason why I have such a hard time with going to kung fu sometimes is that during the last three years of practice I have found a worrier inside myself. I have found a strength that I thought I would not have and still have a hard time to accept because I was brought up with the belief to be the complete opposite. Letting go of ideas about who we think we are is always scary because the idea gives us a certain level of security. But at the same time it is a stagnant place to be that does not give us a possibility to change.  Letting go of my ideas always helped me to grow to a different level. Maybe it is time to question who we are and do things we usually do not do and see what happens. And as I did with kung fu you might find out things about yourself you have a hard time to believe. If you decide to do that all I can say is fasten your seat belts my friends and get ready for a ride full of surprises.


Got a flyer today in class from my sifu (kun fu father). An image that I shot for the school a couple of months ago. Sifu Alex is on the right.The website is:  http://www.citywingtsun.com/

City Wing Tsun 


Where to go? Williamsburg/Brooklyn 01-08-08 at 3:23 PM




Please check out my website at carstenfleck.com


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