Today I experienced my first kung fu class. It hurt like hell, but was loads of fun.
The instructor (Eo Omwake -- http://www.flowinghands.com/) apparently mixes a large base of Shaolin style with northern long-fist, southern praying mantis, kempo, and a bunch of other techniques. But today I just learned the basic stances, watched the first form in Qigong (chee-gong), and learned a couple self-defense techniques and a short-range upward kick with a name I forget. All with lots of repetition and movement.
"Practice big, apply small" is a Shaolin saying that expend more energy in grander motions than when you fight, so when you fight, you can explode. It makes sense, but my thighs are burning because of the very low, very very wide basic stance -- and the continuous getting up and going down into it. My vocabulary obviously isn't that descriptive, so here's the gist:
My sweat soaked all the way through my two shirts, through the band of my pants, and through my silk waist sash. My legs burned yet felt like noodles. And it was so much fun.
Next class is Monday evening. Hopefully I'll have recovered by then :)