Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 15 2007

9/15 Tai-chi

I was still getting used to cooler weather, and I woke up early missing the sound of the air conditioner. Thus, I arrived at CKS Hall at the same time as Teacher Xu. The balcony was occupied by a group of excessively annoying college students who were busy prancing around playing games more suited to 3-year-olds. Except for one point where they tried to emulate a military assembly (poorly), much giggling was involved. A conspiricy theorist friend of mine blames the plastic in water bottles for the apparent feminization of young Taiwanese males these days. I’m not quite convinced of this, but there’s definitely something going on.

Anyway, I tried my best to ignore the giggling and screeching and went through the form. Teacher Xu taught me some new parts, which I practiced over and over, getting the hang of the moves. He also filled me in a bit more on our group’s history.

It seems that one of Master Zheng Man-qing’s students, Master Song Zhijian, made a few changes and came up with his own variety of the Yang style Master Zheng had taught him. Over the course of his long life, Master Song took on many students, accepting or rejecting them on the basis of their ba zi, which is a kind of fortune-telling based on one’s name and other details, but at some point he said, “No more. No more students.” One of the last students he took in was named Yu Wu-nan, who was a quick study but unpopular with the other students, who shunned him.

It was Teacher Yu who began teaching Xu Wu-long, aka Teacher Xu, before Yu died a few years ago. Little Qin also studied under Teacher Yu, and so calls Teacher Xu “Elder Brother Teacher”.

In the meantime, the followers of Master Song looked upon Yu and everyone who studied under him as a kind of bastard line of Master Song’s style, and they refuse to acknowledge it, calling it “illegitimate”.

And that’s where we are today. Interesting, no?

Bacala sprayed water everywhere, which is better than the guy who sprayed insecticide all over the place last week, while I practiced tuishou with the Guy Who is Not from China. He was really going at it, grabbing, shoving and twisting with a great amount of force and very little flexibility, all the while telling me that I wasn’t flexible enough. He told me to attack him, which was asking for trouble in my opinion as he would take any offensive move as an invitation to go crazy, and I was afraid someone would get hurt, which would suck if it were me. In the end we spent a lot of energy and time on a completely pointless shoving match.

Little Mountain Pig showed up, and Teacher Xu told us to do some tuishou, but he wasn’t really interested, so he taught me some Qin-na moves instead. I recalled some of the things I’d been taught in the army, which seemed to work ok, but for the most part I don’t know much about qin-na. Pig told me I was too soft and that I needed to use more force, throwing him back at least two steps. “I can attack you more easily from one step away,” he said.

I’d gotten all my exercise quota from Not from China, though, so I was pretty tired, and after practicing my sword form for a while, I headed off to lunch.

posted by Poagao at 7:32 am  

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