Again, a long hiatus here. No reason, really. I write when I feel like it.
I have been practicing, regardless of any progress or lack thereof. Other students have come and gone. I rarely see Little Mountain Pig or Yang Qing-feng these days. Perhaps they go on other days. I do see Little Qin often, and of course NL Guy and Mr. V grapple for hours each time.
Last week an unfamiliar student showed up at the park. He was tallish, with an average build. People said he was from another group. I was practicing moving-step tuishou with Teacher X, but he hauled me over to practice with the new guy. Teacher X does this often. I suppose he thinks it’s good for me, and he’s probably right.
As usual, it started out well enough; smooth interaction, give and take, etc. He wasn’t very used to tuishou, though, and seemed frustrated. We switched to moving step. Then we switched again, or at least he did, to Wing-chun sparring. At first I tried to just keep going, but he was just waving his hands around and making little taps here and there. “I’m not even using any force!” He said proudly.
“Yeah, ok,” I said, stopping. “Perhaps you’ve misunderstood what we’re trying to do here. The group for guys who have seen Yip Man too many times is over there.” I pointed as Little Qin came over and began teaching the fellow actual tai-chi. Little Qin is far more suited to this particular task, as he is 1) very good and 2) he has a very high tolerance level.
Yesterday another two outsiders came over. I’d seen them around, though, and Teacher X said that their style was similar to ours. I practiced with the younger one while Teacher X practiced with the older to the two. Again, we started out normally, but, as I’ve witnessed many times when practicing tuishou with other people, the other man became tense and frustrated, using more and more force. He telegraphed every move, every push, and tightened into complete inflexibility. Whenever he did this, I just relaxed. When he grabbed my wrist, elbow or shoulder, I just gave it to him. I made some exploratory attacks, but even these resulted in overblown reactions. His mouth was set in a concentrated frown, and eventually he ended the session with a curt “thanks”.
It’s always educational to practice with people outside the group. I’ve found it’s best to just interact, even lose a few times first, just to see what they’re about, before doing anything else, although sometimes they just seem to fall over on their own.
In other news, I’ve updated the WP install, so I might do some tweaking here and elsewhere on the site. Or I might not. You never know.