Wuji and me

This is rather an embarrassing thing to admit, but I think I might be beginning to understand wuji long xing baguazhang, ie the form Master Zhou is trying to teach me.

I say “embarrassing” because, after all, I’ve been working on this form for months now, and I really haven’t got anywhere. This is entirely my own fault. I certainly don’t blame Master Zhou, who is really a great teacher. It’s more that I’ve had a mental block of some kind; I’m not sure why. I know it’s a great form, I know that Master Zhou can teach me not just how to do it but also how to apply it, and I know I really like the form AND enjoy the lessons (that’s why I keep going back, after all). But… I’ve never really got it, if you know what I mean. That’s to say, I guess I’ve never seen where it’s going, or where what I’m learning fits in.

The result has been that after every class, when I go to practice solo, I’ve worked on Ge Chun Yan’s bagua form; I’ve worked on Zhang Sheng Li’s bagua form; I’ve worked on bagua sword and bagua pen; I’ve worked on CMC-37, Nam Wah Pai’s Yang-24 form, Xuan Xuan taiji sabre… hell, I’ve even worked on a bit of capoeira on occasion. But, I haven’t worked much on wuji long xing bagua. I just haven’t been able to do it, even immediately after class.

At long last, I’ve had a breakthrough. Last week I filmed Master Zhou doing the whole set, converted it to mp4 format, and loaded it onto my iPod. I’ve been watching it a lot. Now, at least, I feel that I get it. After class tonight, I spent 90 minutes just working on this one form, and I finally have confidence that I can learn it.

Watch this space…

3 Comments

  1. Emlyn’s too modest, he kicked my ass twice with a couple of rock solid techniques he learned from his teacher. He gets my vote for “Understated Martial Artist of 2007” 😉

    The form rocks, he showed it to me and Nigel – Master Zhou (?) moves beautifully. It’s graceful, but powerful. It’s got no hard edges, but they’re there under a wavelike, fluid movement. And he looks like he CAN kick your ass… We didn’t get to meet him, but he seems like someone we would have loved to spend some time with.

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  2. Well, if you’re in Singapore, too… 😉

    But that’s a lot of baguazhang material Emlyn – how many baguazhang forms have you learned, anyway? 😀

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  3. @ Ed: Well, as for what I’ve *studied*, that’s the full list above! Maybe I could add a second bagua sword form that Zhang Sheng Li taught in Beijing, but he got distracted and stopped teaching it halfway through, so I don’t think that counts. That’s not the same as what I’ve *learned*, though, which would be a subset: I’m very, very shaky on the bagua sword form, for example. In fact, I think that at my stage, it would be fairer to say that I haven’t really *learned* anything at all… 🙂

    @ Lloyd, hehehe, thanks dude, but you’re too kind – anyone can demonstrate techniques when the target is just standing there waiting to see what would happen! Now that I’ve seen Piper live, I can vouch for the fact that I wouldn’t stand a chance against you guys if it was for real!

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