Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

May 24 2007


Due to editing deadlines, I wasn’t able to practice last week. Possibly due to lack of exercise and the pressure, I’ve been feeling sluggish lately, like my blood’s too thick. My qi isn’t flowing, and I can feel it lumping up inside me. Not good.

I was free on Tuesday night, though, so I went down to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial and, after a beef dumpling dinner at the Harbin place, I practiced the forms on the veranda. It’s always kind of awkward as there are so many other groups up there practicing dances or other martial arts or even, as was the case that night, honor guards practicing their rifle tossing. But I eventually found a space. I also found that I need to work on my stretching. I’ve never been very pliable; even when I was a kid I had trouble trying to touch my toes. Maybe yoga would be a good idea.

Wednesday found me back at the park. Teacher Xu didn’t arrive until much later, and before he came most of the students congregated on the square’s curb over under the street lamp. One guy even went to buy fried chicken. Chaos!

I started out with the Guy Who is Not from Hong Kong, and did reasonably well. At least it didn’t devolve into wrestling, as often happens. Then I pushed with one of the guys who is not from the mainland, which didn’t go so well. He didn’t seem to want to connect somehow, and kept himself out of reach until he was ready to make his Big Shove. The Big Shove came out of nowhere and was quick and powerful and hard to resist. We only did a few rounds before he begged out, saying he was tired. No wonder, I thought, though it’s possible he thought he was wasting his time practicing with me.

The guy from a few weeks back, the student of the other school who periodically comes to “test” us, showed up. He was wearing a white shirt so it was easy to keep track of his whereabouts. He apparently comes from the “Push as Hard as You Can” school, and after he left we all talked about the differences in our styles, with a heavy bias towards our own, of course. “TC wouldn’t have a problem with that guy!” Teacher Xu joked. Ha ha!

Teacher Xu showed us some examples of how relaxing at the right moment could result in the release of energy. He went at us one by one, showing us each what it felt like. It’s always difficult to get my head around a lot of these principals as they are mostly internal, but being shown does help. I need to add more softness and flexibility to my repertoire.

posted by Poagao at 11:59 pm  

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