I went to bagua school again last night, a bit late again after work.
Once again, there were only three students there: myself and two Chinese. The teacher got me working on strength exercises again: kicking, punching while holding bricks, the “da gun” (big staff), etc. It is big too, twelve feet long and made of some kind of heavy hardwood! He pointed out that bagua uses “big for practice, small for use” with all weapons.
After that, we reviewed what i’ve done so far of the linear form, which is gradually sticking in my memory!
Finally, we worked on so bagua qin na routines, which is completely new to me. It’s quite a revelation: many of these moves are so simple, and yet competely non-intuituve (to me at least!).
Most interesting is that the teacher, when he’s showing new moves, reinforces them by reciting the old bagua songs. Of course, I can’t understand the words – this is probably pretty advanced stuff even for fairly advanced second-language Mandarin speakers – but I’ve got the book, and I should perhaps start paying more attention to it!
On another note, I got an SMS the other day from Kong Cheng, Liu Jing Ru’s disciple – it seems the long silence was because he’s been out of town for a while. Hopefully we’ll catch up soon.