We arrived this morning to discover that we had an audience. A couple of the younger boys have been training with Master Yao for some months, and for some reason the entire family came along with them today. They stayed for about half of the morning class, then politely made their farewells.
In that morning class, we worked on the stepping forms of techniques we’ve previously worked on: pushing, turning, curved downward chopping.
We also worked on the stepping form of Heavenly Turtle Emerges from the Sea, a technique used to develop full-body power. This one was quite hard on the legs. I gave my camera to one of the Chinese lads to film, but unfortunately he wasn’t too tech-savvy, so we just got a couple of snippets.
In the afternoon session, we worked solely on a series of “one leg post” postures. With one foot supported on a chair, we worked on the six directions in sequence (forwards-backwards, expanding-contracting, rising-falling), followed by mixing them up in random order, followed by responses to attacks from all directions. We also did the same postures with hollow fists, imagining a small bird held in each hand, and using body movements to neutralise the birds’ efforts to fly away.
This doesn’t look difficult, but it is! Certainly for me, it stretched and loaded every old injury, area of weakness, and misalignment from the soles of my feet to my shoulderblades. It really, really hurt! It will be fantastic exercise in the future, one of the best yet, but my word, it hurt. Andrzey said that when he started yiquan, after practice he hurt in every point of his body, and yet was relaxed because no point hurt more than the others. I can believe that!
After the class, the three of us went to a Yunnanese restaurant in a hutong near the Drum Tower, and had a chilled out evening over some very good food.