Poagao's Journal

The Adventures of the Worst Student in the Pushhands Class

Sep 21 2009

9/20 at the park

Sunday was a beautiful late summer day, a little cooler than usual. The number of cicadas is decreasing these days; the end of Ghost Month was being celebrated at a paper temple set up by the restrooms nearby as I exited the subway station at the park. I’ve always felt like the station should be named the 2/28 Park Station rather than NTUH Station, as the most significant exits are in the park, but people seem to think that hospitals are a trump card as far as station naming goes.

NL Guy was wrestling with one of the students who seldom comes to practice, while Teacher X instructed Little Mountain Pig on some of the finer points of sword form. Being rather rusty in the sword department myself, I joined in. I can still do the form, but, after going through the whole thing with Teacher X, the point was driven home for me that there are many areas in which I need work. Teacher X is going to the US for his calligraphy course soon, possibly next week, and we’ll have a month or so without him before he returns in November.

After Teacher X left I did some tuishou with Little Qin, who told me that the body can be divided into Yin and Yang portions, which change depending on how you use them. For some reason this struck a chord with me, one of those “Oh!” moments that has an immediate and apparent effect on one’s performance. It got me thinking of pandas for some reason, possibly the visualization of one’s body being covered in shifting patterns of black and white.

The more you use this, he said, the less you need your hands. Little Qin discourages the use of palms in tuishou, as “Anyone can use their palms to grab and push and pull; what we need to learn to do is use everywhere else.” As Master Zheng said, “Your whole body is a hand.” We transferred the idea to swordwork as well, with the edge of the sword being generally a yang part and the flat part the yin, but not always: Little Qin demonstrated how each can be used as the other, and told me the story of Master Zheng disarming a Japanese samurai by simply controlling him instead of fighting him directly. It was all quite neat.

posted by Poagao at 10:54 pm  

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