Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 25 2007

11/21-11/24 Tai-chi

Wednesday: I started out practicing with the older new guy, who is a bit more aggressive than he used to be, but he’s improved a bit. Either that or I was having an off day. It happens. Sometimes I am very easily pushed, for some reason. Usually it means I’m thinking too much and am not relaxing enough. The ONG said he found it hard to push me, though. “Yang Qing-feng can push me almost every time,” I said. Qing-feng was there, so I switched to practicing with him instead. Practicing with him is like pushing smoke; I have to sort of waft around and be extra careful not to get caught in his well-laid traps.

The next partner was moving quickly, almost frantically. He would launch a surprise attack and push me over, time and again. Finally I got tired of it and pulled one on him, but he scolded me, saying, “You know, that’s not tuishou. That’s cheating!”

“I know, I’m very aware of it, actually,” I said, looking right at him. Of course he didn’t like what I was implying, and that was that. I started practicing with the Guy Who Is Not From Hong Kong, who was extremely rigid, practically the mirror image of the Tree Root Master, who wasn’t there. In fact, I hadn’t seen him around in a while. Not From HK was trying to teach the ONG as we practiced, which explained some of the latter’s changes in style. That night’s pushing was a bit rough; I found bruises on my arms after I got home that night.

Later, I was talking with Teacher Xu, who said the Tree Root Master and Mr. You weren’t going to be attending class for a while, but he didn’t get into just why. I asked him about matching an opponent’s speed and how to not get caught up in the rush. He picked up a leaf and flicked it with his finger. “The leaf isn’t doing anything, it’s just being flicked around. Like that,” he said.

After practice I was sitting on the curb while Weeble and Qing-feng practiced. Everyone else had left. I heard a rustle in the grass behind me, and something hit my back. Weeble laughed. “That rat ran right smack into you!” he said. I looked around, but the rat, or whatever it was, was gone.

Saturday: The cheerleaders were practicing their routines on the balcony again, not leaving much room for forms. I practiced with Mr. Hu at the edge of our territory as the teenagers moved in. Periodically, whenever they tried to gain ground, I would throw Mr. Hu at them. Eventually they got the message and backed off, leaving us enough space to practice.

Teacher Xu told me that I was moving my feet too much. “Don’t involve your feet in your strategy so much, ” he said. “Turn your waist, not your feet.” He also said that tuishou is not so much about forcing your partner to move a certain way as much as taking what they’re already doing and using it, either by slightly modifying it or even exaggerating it, to your advantage.

After everyone else had gone, I practiced with the UPS Guy for a bit. After he left, I went through my sword form a few times, and a couple of the teenagers came over to talk to me. “How long have you been here?” they asked. I said since about 10am. “No, in Taiwan,” they said. Of course I knew that was what I meant. Instead of answering, I asked them their ages. After they told me, I said, “A bit longer than you.” I’ve found that to be a real conversation-killer. But that’s a topic for another blog.

posted by Poagao at 12:35 pm  

1 Comment »

  1. http://taijiquestion.wordpress.com/2007/12/15/the-random-the-weird/

    Comment by taijiquestion — December 15, 2007 @ 2:56 pm

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