For the first time in weeks, I was able to make it to Kung Fu practice. Even though I forgot Hon 2, the last form which I had learned, Pastor McClure was kind enough to reteach it to me. Jeremy was also kind enough to give me some pointers on how to improve my technique, such as the fact that certain techniques (like the eye gouge) are supposed to be fast rather than strong. He showed me how to make my tiger claws more powerful by thrusting them out from my body rather than just using my shoulders.
Additionally, I started doing Qi Gong again about a week ago. I've been using the DVD titled "Qi Gong: Fire & Water With Matthew Cohen." I'm not sure whether or not I've got the hang of it, since I haven't been scrutinized by an instructor in this internal martial art yet. However, my flexibility, movement, and breathing have significantly improved because of it, especially in my forms. So I will keep using Matthew Cohen's DVD while I wait to take actual Qi Gong classes.
After form, we did an exercise called "Soft Hands." Basically, the goal is to throw your training partner off balance. You have to do this while staying connected to them with your hand and foot. Pastor McClure showed me that I was way too tense, and that allowed him to better sense where my momentum was going so that he could slip me. Indeed, I got slipped repeatedly. However, he did mention that I improved a lot during the exercise. Since it was my first time, I appreciated the encouragement. I am confident that continued practice with "Soft Hands" will improve my grappling tremendously.
All in all, I am glad that I can finally train again. That being said, I needed the hiatus from it. The martial arts had consumed my life. I was bowing down and worshipping self-defense as an idol. Now my perspective is more realistic. The martial arts will always be an important part of my life. However, it will no longer be my sole purpose for living. It will be one of several tools which I will use to grow as a person and cultivate my spirit.