The Yiquan Academy, day 3.


AHAHAHA! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! WOW! Yiquan rocks! I’m in Starbucks at the Friendship Store now, having a coffee after a Subway lunch.

OK, so I had high hopes for this course, but I was prepared to be let down, or even to find out that it was good, but still only just another martial art. Maybe the good stuff was there, but it would take a long time to find it.

Nope. This morning’s class, day three, totally confirmed my hopes. I learned four new moves, and they are totally rewiring me – somehow, they kicked off a process, maybe it was just waiting for a spur, that’s totally meeting all of my targets, right now.

When I got into vipassana meditation first of all, and started doing the body scanning, I found that there was a muscle on the left side of my jaw, next to the ear, that was really tense. As I focussed my attention on it, it would relax, and I would spontaneously smile. Every time; worked like a charm. Eventually, that muscle relaxed completely, so I didn’t get that effect anymore.

I getting the same thing in class. There’s a muscle in my back which is very tense. I hadn’t realized it until the zhan zhuang. Once I turn my mind to it, it relaxes, and BOOM, my left shoulder shifts into a much more natural position. I’ve realised that I tend to stand with my weight on my heels; moving my weight to be more evenly balanced means I have to open my hip joints a bit more, which puts pressure on my knees until I relax my ankles and tendons, at which point my whole weight sinks down, and the response sends an upward force through my body – which makes me stand more upright, which fixed my lower back’s stiffness….

All of the issues that I’ve been struggling with for years, and which I’ve frequently moaned about in this blog and its predecessors…. fixed. These are all things that loads of my teachers have told me about, but when I’ve said “yes i know about it, but how do I fix it”, they’ve just said “relax’, as if that were such a simple thing…. Wow, all – well, not sorted out, I still need to work on this a whole more, but for the first time I know what I need to do…

The first taiji book I ever bought was by China’s Foreign Language Press, about Chen Style, and there was a bit of advice there that I’ve never forotten – something like “if the waist hurts, move the legs; if the legs hurt, move the waist”. This morning’s experience was like that, a cascading sequence of feeling pains and then identifying the cause.

Hee hee – day three, with three more weeks to go! What other surprises and insights lie ahead?

Now I’m in between classes. We’ll start again at 5, and I’ll have a couple of hours to review what I’ve done so far. This evening I’ll be catching up with Dragoncache for a beer or two.

Right, that’s enough for now; I’m off to Ritan Park to practice bagua for an hour or so.


I had a fun hour or so in RitanPark with the bagua. Very hot… I’ve drunk many litres of water today… The evening session was tough; only revision, but by then I was tired, and my feet and ankles were starting to hurt like crazy…

Master Yao wasn’t around in the morning, and only appeared for the last hour of the evening session. However, once he arrived, it was very impressive; he totally took control, and seemed to be checking up on everyone, no omissions.

I left at 7 on the dot; the “opening hours” seem to be only for foreign (or just ‘external’?) students; everybody else stayed, and seemed in no hurry at all to leave…

I went back to Ritan Park, and met Dragoncache at the Stone Boat for what turned out to be more than a couple of beers. We had a lot to talk about concerning what it means to be a foreign student of bagua and other martial arts in China. I think each of us left with new ideas about our future; it was a pretty wideranging and direct conversation…I’ll blog a bit more about this conversation some time in the future, but I need to think through the implications first.

Anyway, you don’t want to hear about that; you want to hear that yiquan is cool. It is. Today was a very exciting day!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Emlyn, Sounds great!
    I am really glad you are finding Yiquan so benificial. As you know I am sooo jealous.
    As you mentioned I think you knew what your problems were and what you were supposed to do but sometimes you can not see the trees for the wood, and being part of what sounds like such a knowledgeable and proffessional group gives you the focus and singlemindedness you needed. 3 days and so much learnt “if only” I was single ;-).
    Catch up with you soon in SIngapore.


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