Our final day!
In the morning session, we worked on stepping movements combined, in turn, with:
- Striking with the head;
- Sriking with the shoulder;
- Striking with the elbow
- Striking with the kua/inner hip;
- Striking with the knee
This was hot, hot, hot work, and by the time we’d got through this we were all drenched and dripping with sweat.
We finished this session with the same exercise as yesterday: working in a standing posture with empty fists, moving throught the six directions, followed by the same but with no set sequence. We then moved on to a new variant, in which we imagined we were being circled by a murmuration of small birds, which was drawn towards us bu inaccurately; as they dived towards us, they overshot. We used the connection between our bodies and the birds to draw them back towards us.
In the afternoon,we returned to more static postures, hands up, palms facing forwards. Once again, we went through the sequence of moving in the six directions in sequence, moving through the six directions with no sequence, and responding to attacks from all directions.
By this time, I was struggling, I have to say. Too many long-unused muscles were complaining too hard, and in particular something just under my right shoulderblade was very, very tense and painful. However, this – like some much else of the pain I’ve felt this week – is essentially a postural issue, since it went away when I made certain adjustments to the way I was standing. However, that’s for my final, summmarising post.
After the class, we went to a restaurant just around the corner from the wuguan, and ate a very substantial meal! All told, there was present Yao Laoshi, Andrzey, two of Master Yao’s Chinese students, a Swiss student based in Shanghai, who came only to this afternoon’s class, and then the three of us. It was. good evening with a lot of chatter despite the language barriers.
And that concludes my week of study at the Zongcun Yiquan Wuguan. I’m hoping to be back there in September, and thereafter to manage my work schedule to do this kind of intensive week of study every month. I’ll post a general review of the week soon. Thanks are very much due to Yao Laoshi for his teaching, Andrzey Kalisz for organising everything, and to Thomas and Ricardo for being such good companions on the way.