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…