I mentioned that a chat with Carlos had got me thinking about yiquan… So, I did a bit of googling, and discovered that I’m not the only one with yiquan on my mind. That in turn led me to realise that Tabbycat is blogging again, which I hadn’t been aware of. More than that, he was in Beijng! So, I dropped him an email… but a bit too late; he’d just left for the States again. Well, I’ll be here for a while… Anyway, as I’ve often mentioned over the last couple of years, I have a real problem with being stiff, particularly in the shoulders. I’m very tempted to sign up later in the year for one of the Yiquan Academy‘s 30-day intensive beginners’ courses; I really think that intense sessions of zhan zhuang might do the trick as far as relaxing and opening the joints goes, not to mention posture…. Well, we’ll see.
I’ve caught up again with Will, who was the senior student at the Beijing Milun School back when I was here before in 2004/5; he’s too busy running his restaurant these days to do much martials arts beyond a bit of Chen taiji. The food is very good, though!
I called Master Sun Zhujin, to talk about meeting him for classes. If I understood him correctly, he’s free to teach on weekends. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand where he lives! It got a bit frustrating; I’ll have to call him back again when I’ve enlisted a Chinese-speaker to help me….
As I’ve mentioned, Master Liu Jingru lives way down in the south of Beijing; I’m way up in the north, and it’s just not practical for me to get down there. However, I’d been in touch with his main student, Kong Cheng, who was so helpful to me last June (it was Kong Cheng who took me to Dong Hai Chuan’s grave). Kong Cheng happened to be in Wudaokou this morning, so we met up. He was in a real hurry; he’s flying Italy tonight, and will be there until June, teaching acupuncture and bagua in a series of cities. We met at Lush, where I was having breakfast.
As we chatted, I mentioned the difficulty I was having, ie that all the bagua teachers are very far from the University district. “Oh, but there’s one very close!”, he said, “Do you want to meet him?”. A couple of minutes later, we were in a taxi, on our way to meet Master Sun Ru Xian, who lives just north of Tsinghua University, near the Yuanmingyuan ruins. He’s studied a lot of internal martial arts, and is first and foremost a xingyi man. I spent a few hours talking to him; he’s really nice and down to earth, as is his wife. He has a few very friendly dogs as well! My luck continued to hold good; one of his students was there, a Chinese guy who had taken his MBA in Singapore (U of Chicago), and speaks excellent English.
Master Sun asked whether I wanted to learn for health, performance or application; I said application, which was clearly the right answer. He spent a lot of the time throwing me around (his apartment fortunately has big, soft sofas), and it looks like I might start training with him next week. He’s a heavyset guy in his 50s, very strong. He’s a student of Liu Jing Ru amongst many others. We also chatted about Yiquan, which he learned from Wang XiangZhai; he pointed out quite rightly that it’s only something to study if I have a lot of spare time.
Well, funny how things turn out…