Not much to write today, but the lesson was mindblowing.
After training baguazhang with Sun Ru Xian from 6am till 7:45am, I headed to Lush at Wudaokou for breakfast. Afterwards I took the subway, and got to the Yiquan Academy at 10 sharp, rather wet from the torrential rain that started while I was changing lines at Xizhimen, and carried on for a couple of hours…..
Master Yao wasn’t there for most of the lesson; the senior student (must get his name) took charge, with occasional help from Huang Shan, the older guy who speaks some English.
I worked on three variations of the same exercise. The only one I can cut and paste from the website is this:
浑元桩 ( 前后摸劲 ) UNIVERSAL COMBAT POST (SEEKING FORCE FORWARDS-BACKWARDS)
The other two were (according to my printed syllabus):
UNIVERSAL COMBAT POST (SEEKING FORCE IN LEFT-RIGHT DIRECTION)
UNIVERSAL COMBAT POST (SEEKING FORCE UPWARDS-DOWNWARDS)
These three exercises only confirmed what I felt yesterday. In themselves, they’re very, very simple but – according to the book – in these three movements, the whole power of yiquan is contained. The movements are very subtle; I was repeatedly reprimanded for doing them too large, and over-doing the concepts of the movements. These are going to take me a while to get right; I think I’ll push for next Monday’s class to be simply a review of these three – I don’t think I can really progress until I’ve cracked these. It was very, very painful; my feet were bearing a lot more weight than they’re accustomed to taking, and I could hold each stance for about 45 seconds before I had to switch directions. Lots of potential for improvement, let’s put it that way!
Master Yao arrived around 11:30, and corrected me on many small and large errors. He demonstrated the usage of these three moves – much of it involved breaking through an opponent’s defences to deliver a finishing blow. My arms feel OK now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re bruised tomorrow…
I had to get back to the office in the afternoon, so I couldn’t attend the afternoon session. No matter, I’ll try to practice over the weekend, and I’ve warned Master Yao I will probably turn up on Monday with lots of questions.
OK, some context: I work for a Chinese university, and I’m paid local rates in RMB. The Yiquan Academy charges foreigners like me in USD which, even with the dollar falling in value, means that this course is painfully expensive for me.
It’s worth it. This stuff is gold. I’ve never been so impressed with a systemized martial arts system, but you’ll have wait for the Huge Post About Where I’m Going In Martial Arts (HPAWIGIMA) for more about that.
Man, yiquan rocks.