Poagao's Journal

The Adventures of the Worst Student in the Pushhands Class

Sep 07 2009

9/6 park

I was the first one of our group at the park last Sunday when I arrived at 10 a.m. The others didn’t begin to arrive until half an hour later, so I spent the time warming up and running through empty-handed and sword forms. It was promising to be a hot day, but at least the leaves are still on the trees, providing some shade. Mr. V and NLguy are quite chummy these days; they spent the entire time wrestling each other; I guess it makes sense as their approaches have always been similar.

Teacher X was telling me how he would have to leave for his calligraphy class a week early due to the October holiday rush when Little Mountain Pig called on me to practice with a guy from outside our group. He was surnamed Liu, in his late 50’s and small. I started slow, taking Little Qin’s advice to see if I could push my opponent up to the point of defeat and then stopping. At first I though that Mr. Liu was taking the same tactic, but it appeared that he was getting bored with all the pussyfooting around, and his moves became a lot less smooth, exerting a constant, rigid force.

This became quite tiring, but I was still curious, so we kept at it. Then the quick, hard shoves began, and it was NLGuy all over again. Mr. Liu seemed frustrated as well, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like practicing with me very much. Oh, well. It’s like LM Pig says, with tuishou it seems that you’re either interesting in learning or winning.

I practiced tuishou with Little Qin, who always has some interesting move or observation to impart. Usually it turns out to be something I never would have thought of or guessed, some move that completely doesn’t make sense and yet works flawlessly. “Yi jin dang chang,” he said, which roughly means putting everything into the action. Afterwards we did some swordplay, with me switching hands when I got tired. The practical work is good for me, the equivalent of tuishou with swords.

Little Qin tried to dispel me of my notion of studying taichi staff before scimitar. “Sword takes 10 years of practice,” he told me, “and scimitar three after that. Staff should only be a year.” In any case, it’s still a bit early to be thinking that far ahead, but I still have my doubts about the scimitar. A military man, Little Qin compared sword to a light tank while “the scimitar is a heavily armed helicopter.” To be honest I’m not sure what to make of that. Little Qin often says things that go way over my head; I just file them away in the hope that I might realize what he was talking about some day.

posted by Poagao at 5:58 am  

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