Poagao's Journal

The Adventures of the Worst Student in the Pushhands Class

Dec 12 2009

12/9 at the park

It was a beautiful day last Sunday at the park. It’s been a nice winter so far, weather-wise. Teacher X was full of stories about his recent trip to the US to study calligraphy. It had been a while since I’d been to practice, so I went over some basics of the empty-handed form with him. Although I usually feel like a beginner when doing this, as there’s so many details within details involved, I felt particularly useless that day. Like many things, I suppose, tai-chi is a bottomless pit; nobody is ever finished learning it. In comparison with all there is to know, everyone is a beginner.

But I still felt useless. Nearby, NLGuy and Little Qin were locking swords again. He and Mr. V seem to be the only students who regularly show up on Sundays these days. I should go on Saturdays and weekdays as well, just to see who’s still around after all these years.

I went through the sword form, still feeling useless, before practicing sword-on-swordwork with Little Qin. This felt quite a bit better. In fact, it felt like a high-speed chess game, trying to think ahead, how he would parry and where he would strike next. Obviously, he’s a lot smoother than I am, being able to effortlessly catch the tip of my sword in the air and slide it around wherever he likes. My parries are far more crude and no doubt less effective. At one point I accidentally stabbed his hand, and it felt like I really got him, so I stopped, but he said it was ok. I noticed that his arms are covered in scratches and bruises. “I got that from NL Guy,” he said, pointing at an injury on his arm. I usually only get bruises and the occasional scratch, but I can see how one would come out like that after a bout with NL Guy, who is quite into that kind of thing. Little Qin said that he is thinking of getting together some kind of sword-practice getup together, but I don’t see how he can do it and still be maneuverable.

posted by Poagao at 11:50 am  

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