A colleague of mine volunteered to act as an interpreter today, so I finally gave Master Sun Zhijun a call again.
Since I last tried to contact him, I’ve been thinking more about what I want to achieve while I’m here in Beijing. My free time is extremely limited; my job is very time-consuming, and I have a lot of other claims on my non-work hours. So, my conclusion was: I can learn baguazhang in Singapore. I should spend my time in Beijing taking advantage of specialized skills that are only available here. OK, so I want to work on bagua applications with Master Sun Ru Xian, as I mentioned before; he’s very close to where I live, and personal experience has convinced me that he’s for real. With Master Sun Zhi Jun, I decided that I really want to work on the Emei Ci that I studied last year in Singapore; not just the form, but also the application.
So, my colleague spoke to him on my behalf today, as I sat next to her and contributed questions. There were a couple of things I didn’t quite follow. He corrected my colleague, and insisted he teaches Pan Guan Bi, not Emei Ci – and yet everyone else (including the factory that makes them) insists that the weapon I studied, with the ring halfway along the length, is an Emei Ci, and the Pan Guan Bi is something else entirely (see photos a couple of posts ago). I’m not sure where this disagreement about names comes from.
Anyhow, his view is that if I want to study [the weapon in question], I should study with one of his students, who specializes in it; this is probably Mi Jun Pei, who taught the course in Singapore. If I want to study baguazhang with him, ie the unarmed form, his rate is [January 2010: redacted, since this is an old figure]RMB/hour, which I couldn’t afford anyway. It doesn’t matter since, as mentioned above, with him, or his students, I want to work on the [weapon] and its real-life application, not the empty hand form. I’m going to try to meet him next Saturday to talk this over.