Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Aug 16 2008


I went to Sun Yat-sen Memorial on Thursday night, as I’m thinking of changing my class schedule to Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday instead of just Wednesday-Saturday. Yonghe is also a bit out of my way and runs too late. Also, I am looking into maybe adding another night of badminton, which I enjoy, on Wednesdays.

The space at SYS is smaller and more crowded, however, and it’s hard to find space to do the forms. I suppose it’s more about tuishou anyway; CKS Hall is better for the form stuff.

In addition to Teacher X and the one woman in our group, as well as Little Mountain Pig, NL Guy and some of the newer students, there were several students there I didn’t recognize. One of them was NL Guy’s 17-year-old son. He was surprisingly easy to push, the opposite of his father. He asked me if I was going practice there regularly. I said probably.

“That’s good,” he said. “I need to practice my English.”

“What does you’re English have to do with me?” I asked. We were conversing in Chinese, by the way. He hemmed and hawed a bit, then changed the subject.

“How long have you been in Taiwan?”

“Longer than you,” I said.

The other unfamiliar student turned out to be all attack and no retreat, I found after practicing with him for an exhausting 15 minutes or so. It’s good to practice with other people and extend one’s experience.

I borrowed the woman’s sword to practice that, but the balance was really strange, and I had a hard time of it. Pig lent me his scimitar, which, though shorter than most, was also really heavy. With a scimitar, however, you pretty much let it do all the work. I’m not sure I want to start on the scimitar form just yet, though. There’s also tai-chi staff, which I think would be more accessible, but again, I’ll leave that for later.

On Saturday I went to CKS Hall’s opera hall to find it practically taken over by people affiliated with a basketball contest. Our group was smushed into a corner. Little Mountain Pig wasn’t there, so Teacher X and I talked about how much he likes to teach other students. An older guy, not in uniform (I don’t think he’s really part of our group) was pushing with Mr. V and another student while NL Guy chatted with Teacher X and another student, the new guy from the kung-fu school.

I practiced the empty-handed form and then watched a firetruck crew release a pigeon that was trapped in the hall’s roof netting before going through the sword form. After everyone else had left, NL Guy and I had a pretty good practice. The reason it went better than usual, I’m guessing, was not only because I was avoiding attacking him, as he seems to take any hint of an attack as a personal insult against him and his entire family, but also because I figured being generous is the way to go when pushing with him; whatever he wants, he gets, basically. As little resistance as possible, just a smidgen of sideways effort to put him off course enough to disarm him. When I tried to explain this to him, he just said, “Yeah, but your attacks are terrible.”

posted by Poagao at 7:27 am  

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