Poagao's Journal

The Adventures of the Worst Student in the Pushhands Class

Jun 29 2009

6/28 at park

Sunday was a fine day, at first, beautiful weather, cicadas and squirrels and birds under the canopy of green leaves at the park. NL Guy was throwing a skinny foreign guy around on the ground, while The Dentist arrived apologizing for his purple polka-dotted shorts.

Teacher X reiterated the fact that being able to “collapse” in compartments of one’s body is useful in tuishou. I also found while practicing with him that I often expose a weakness by turning my back more or less towards my opponent. So far, only Teacher X has really taken advantage of this; none of the other students have, and thus it’s become somewhat of a bad habit.

I practiced with NL Guy for a bit. He was surprisingly mild this time, though any attempt to push him resulted as always with a flurry of activity that he didn’t seem to want to cease until I was on the ground (not that I gave him that satisfaction). He managed to pull me in such a way to give him a head-butting as well as a couple of blows dangerously close to his genitals; not the safest practice, but we don’t call him No Lose Guy for nothing (well, I don’t, anyway).

It was HOT, and I sweating buckets. But Teacher X wanted me to practice with the skinny foreigner, who turned out to be French. He’d arrived in Taiwan a mere two days before, didn’t really speak much Chinese or even English. He said he’d studied tai-chi and tuishou for three years back in Paris. He wore a white T-shirt with a small red Yinyang symbol on it that he’d bought at a martial arts supply store nearby.

We started out slowly; often I’d have to make a move to provoke a response. He seemed quite wary and tense, understandable after being thrown around by NL Guy, who left scratches on the Frenchman’s arms. It wasn’t too bad, though; he eventually regained a little confidence and put some effort into it. I then practiced with Little X, who is getting a bit chunky to be honest. He remains very easy to push for some reason. I can’t quite figure out how relative tuishou prowess works; there must be a logic to it somehow, but I don’t know what it is.

Mr. You, whom we haven’t seen at practice in years, showed up, surprising everyone. He was visiting his mother at NTU hospital and came over to say hi. By now the sky was dark, and the wind was picking up. It had been a long, hot practice, and people began to leave, so I did as well.

posted by Poagao at 5:49 am  

3 Comments »

  1. Today was beautiful, wasn’t it? Beginning of the Taiwan weather cycle…tomorrow will be muggy, Thursday will involve lots of rain. But maybe that will clear the way for a sunny weekend.

    Are you doing the photo walk?

    Comment by Brian Q. Webb — June 30, 2009 @ 3:42 am

  2. I’m afraid I might have to cancel, as we’ve got a couple of gigs that weekend and I will be down south.

    Comment by Poagao — June 30, 2009 @ 3:58 am

  3. Stumbled upon your website googling mantou stemming from a recent article on new eats in New York. Random I know. You have awesome pictures of Taiwan. I’ve only gone through the first 3 pages. Hope you stay cool in the muggy summer…

    Comment by Peili — July 31, 2009 @ 11:28 am

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