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My first Shaolin exam

Updated: Dec 5, 2022

This story is more for YMAA members - if you didn't practice YMAA programme will be difficult to understand. But you are more than welcome to read it :)

We came to Tychy (city in Poland) very excited, it was supposed to be our first exam. While still on the train, we trained Chin Na (apparently one of the examiners was "crazy" about this subject, as our instructor confirmed), which almost ended with getting off earlier, in Katowice, because the old lady complained to the conductor that: "... you know that hooligans are fighting on this train! ”. Fortunately, Mr. Conductor turned out to be an understanding man... so it ended up with a fine only (I forgot to buy a ticket from the excitement).

after San Da with (my instructor) Master Robert Was

We arrived at the exam room without any adventures (because there is nothing to mention about being accosted by the locals at the main station). Our instructor was already there and the exam was due to start in 30 minutes, so we started warming up. After a loose warm-up (we were at the end of the exam list) it's time for Lien Bu Chuan. Slow pace and high positions, so we were supposed to warm up and we did it 3 times. Then Shang Xia Zhi 2 times and Fighting Forms each 20 times per side. We picked up Chin Na on the train, so we skipped it. It supposed to be light warm-up but somehow I was overheated and sweat was pouring in streams. My t-shirt was wet. We just finished when the Head Instructor (the one who pays so much attention to Chin Na) asked everyone who is prepared for the exam to line up. When we lined up in the row - there were 40 of us in total, including over 25 for the first stripe exam. The exam has started. Imagine my and my friends' surprise when the Head Instructor read my and Eustachy (my colleague) names first. We didn't expect that, we still should stretch while waiting for our turn... Here's what happened: Lian Bu Chuan. Fatigue and nervousness or nervousness and fatigue caused that I did the sequence as in the warm-up (slow pace and high positions) and stiffly, leaning over and tearing my back foot off in Deng San Bu (I learned about this later from my instructor) Result: my trainer on the rug and then the Head Instructor's "request" all teachers to verify the persons taking the exam earlier. Sequence, of course, failed.

Shaolin Kung Fu - White Crane (YMAA)

Shang Xia Zhi. Better, much better. If only we hadn't stopped at the beginning of the second part. Eustachy hadn't punched me on the nose at the end (he started from the wrong side) then there was supposedly a chance to pass. Result: broken nose and sequence failed. Fighting Forms. Fighting Forms supposed to show our skills. This is our the best of the best. The first one went quickly: we tear off the feet, the hips didn't twist. The second was better, we slowed down and Eustachy passed I did not... The third and fourth fightig forms were done, good. But the fifth was bad... The lower block should be for two, not one pace (by the way, one of the Examiners remembered that we both did this block wrong in San Shar Tzy). Result: the forms were not passed and the dream that San Shar Tzy "almost passed" was broken.

Chin Na (that's not Eustachy)

Chin Na. Well, this supposed to be really good, after all, I paid for this tuition dearly (increased train fee). And it was up to the third lever... And it is: Twist the Body to Capture the Monkey. Eustachy was so taken over by the suggestion that we should perform the techniques faster that I only heard a dull "crunch" and my left hand was hanging loose and I shouted, "Awaaaa !!! F… oh !!!! ”. Result: as per our new standards - failed plus dislocated shoulder and remark of the Examination Committee that we should control emotions. I had two hours in the emergency room, it was not a problem, we had a train in four hours. The problem was Eustachy who was running next to me all the time saying: "... sorry, sorry, sorry, I really didn't want to." But as we entered the hospital building, he was so eager to help and run to find out where to report that he forgot that I was just behind him and let go of the front door, which, as you can easily guess, hit my shoulder (guess which one???). Thanks to this, I immediately knew where to report, because probably all the medics in this emergency room heard the scream. In the evening I managed to get home, which I greeted with relief and my parents with horror. Exam result: arm in plaster (two months), nose purple (six days), full correction of the training material. Am I depressed ?? What a question. Of course not. After all, when I take the next exam I will know "what's going on".

This story is fiction :)


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