The extra practice I put in last week seems to have paid off, and yesterday’s pan guan bi lesson made some real progress.
When I went to Master Sun’s apartment, I was greeted by my teacher from Singapore, Madam Ge Chun Yen. She’s in town for a while because her father is ill. We chatted briefly, and then I went outside for class with Master Sun and Mi Lao Shi; Madam Ge stayed inside.
The lesson was good. Mi Lao Shi corrected me on a number of fine details, and is particularly trying to get my performance to flow more smoothly. When we learned this set in Singapore, it was in poor light, and with a big class, so everything was broken down into small steps; I’m still mentally counting “yi, er, san, si, wu, yi, er san si” etc as I go through the stages, and I’m tending to stop at the end of each move rather than flow seamlessly into the next. My arm movements also tend to be stiff and cramped, rather than sweeping and expansive. Lots to work on; for the first time, I’ve used my phone to record Mi Lao Shi doing some moves, and then asked her to film me so that I can contrast the two. Hopefully that will help my solo practice; should have thought of it before!
Master Sun seems to have decided that I’ve made enough progress that he’ll get more actively involved, and for the last ten minutes or so we started to work on some applications; he showed how to block some attacks, and respond with strikes to pressure points in the arms, throat, and shoulders. Of course, I found that under pressure, I couldn’t remember the specific moves – I need to practice more, to get this ingrained and automatic! Heh, it was very cool, though; this is what I’ve been aiming for. Mentally, my challenge for myself is to get good enough that I could use the bagua judge’s pen against the Piper system – some hope, eh?