• MM Shelley

The M is for Martial...

My journey into Martial Arts began when I was sixteen. The first class I took was in the Kung Fu style of San Soo in La Puente, California. My first class had me making a proper fist for the first time, learning how to properly fall without causing injury to myself, and learning how to roll. Rolling was a difficult challenge; curving into a ball and propelling my feet over my head was unnatural to me. To help, two other students extended their arms and held hands while I kicked up and rolled, and I was worried I’d end up accidentally kicking them in the face.

Another style of Kung Fu I had the privilege of learning was Tai Shing Pek Kwar (a combination of Pek Kwar and Monkey Kung Fu). I learned this unique form from Grandmaster Jim Muse Furtado in Whittier, California.

Tai Shing Pek Kwar is a beautiful form of martial arts, the forms that I learned are similar to that of dance, and my weapon of choice was the staff. I’d practice for hours to ensure I had the proper footwork, stances, and hand movements. I learned about pressure points, where they are, and how/when to use them. I became a Second-degree Black Belt, and every day I wish I had continued my training at this school. But life always gets in the way. Although I stopped going, I continue to keep in touch with my teacher, a renowned champion, and has done so much for this community.

Not only did I learn how to defend myself, should I ever need to, but I learned how to develop a fighting scene in my books. One key takeaway is if you want to learn martial arts, you need to stretch properly or take yoga, you want your muscles to move fluidly, and they can’t do that if you are too stiff.

If you have any questions about this style, please let me know!

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