My class this morning with Master Sun Ru Xian went pretty well; we reviewed the 5th, 6th and 8th palms of the Ba Da Zhang, he gave a demo of the Shanxi whipstaff, and then we all had lunch. “We” here meaning Sun Lao Shi, his wife, Rene, Rene’s girlfriend, and myself. All but me speak Mandarin, so on these occasions I just nod and smile a lot, and Rene translates when he can.
A bit of trivia came up – Wan Lai Sheng, the famous Ziranmen master, and one of the “Five Tigers who went to the south”, was a graduate of China Agricultural University, where I’m teaching. Heh.
Speaking of the university, we lecturers are still waiting to hear about our contracts – if we will have our contracts renewed (probably), and which subjects we’ll be teaching if we do get a contract. Some of next semester’s courses begin in September, others in October. If I start in October, I’m very tempted to spend most of September in Korea. I have an invitation to visit the Kwan Um centre in Daejon, and I’m really tempted to spend a week or so in the Golgulsa temple, where they teach Sunmudo. This latter would be a bonus – my reason for going to stay in the temples would be to get some intensive meditation done, which I really need at the moment.
I mentioned this to Sun Lao Shi, and he wasn’t happy. He said that I must practice bagua a lot beforehand if I go – since people in Golgulsa (well, one person) know that I study martial arts, I would be a representative of the Chinese martial arts community in general, and of his students in particular. In his opinion, I’m not good enough. He’s quite right, but I hadn’t the least intention of giving demonstrations… Still, as I mentioned, he’s the most traditional of my teachers, and here’s the proof. Yikes. Well, ok: there’s a challenge to me to practice more during July and August.