Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 07 2006


Two of the more violent newer students were going at it when I got to the park last night. They both typically use brute force as much as possible, though both have improved a lot since they started. I went through my sword form several times, once to recall the moves, once as slowly as possibly and once quickly, while they struggled with each other.

Not long after Teacher Xu arrived, big fat drops began to spatter the ground, and we moved into the shelter of the battle memorial along with the 30 dancing women and several hip-hop dancers. It was a tight fit, and the rap music clashed with old US dancing tunes under the concrete roof as the rain poured down outside. A heavy man in a black shirt watched us practice for a while, and he and his wife asked our instructor some questions as I did tuishou with one of the other students from before.

Having an audience and face to lose seemed to make him even more determined to win, and though he started out softly, trying to use the principles of tuishou, he soon gave that up in favor of a rougher, more forceful approach. I had to keep telling myself not to follow his lead, to keep trying to do it the right way, purposely losing to him again and again.

Teacher Xu stepped in several times with advice: Don’t let your opponent speed you up, take your time. Find and create a direction of resistance, and then reverse it, effectively trapping your opponent. I found that, while straightforward pushing wasn’t effective, I could knock him off balance quite easily by suddenly changing direction.

I didn’t get much form practice in last night, but that’s ok, I am not in a rush. By the time we finished, the rain had stopped, and deep puddles littered the park.

posted by Poagao at 4:11 am  

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