First bagua class

I met Master Sun Ru Xian at his apartment at 9am. We were waiting for some other people to arrive, so we chatted for a while. He’d already prepared a personal curriculum for me, based on our conversation the previous Sunday: the basic eight palms, including the I Ching diagram for each, single and double palm changes, and the nine palaces.

Then we went to start our class. The others trickled in slowly: the Chinese student I’d met before, who’s studying xingyiquan and a Shaolin form, plus a younger couple, a Dutch guy and an English woman, who are studying tanglanquan.We each worked on our own thing, as Master Sun moved between us.

For me, Master Sun had me working on the first three basic palms, plus the single palm change. He teaches Cheng style, but there are a number of differences from what I’ve learned from Madam Ge, especially “Great Roc Spreads its Wings”, and the Single Palm change.

I haven’t been practising for some time, so my bad habits are reasserting themselves – in particular, my qi being too high, causing my stepping to be unrooted, and my shoulder muscles being tight. To deal with the former, he had me hold bricks, especially in the Great Roc palm – the muscles get tired really quickly and have to un-knot.

After the class, the Chinese student (Peter), his wife, and I went to a nearby martial arts supplies shop to buy strap-on weights for the wrists or ankles. We each bought a 4kg set for the wrists, and a 5kg set for the ankles – at only 10RMB per set, why not?

I enjoyed the class a lot; it’s nice to have a bunch of people around training in different forms. At the end I was tired, but not too tired… I’m thinking of taking a training in xingyiquan with Peter, and then following on immediately after with another class of bagua…

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