I may have had to admit, rather shamefaced, to Carlos and Yiming that I’m not doing much independent practice at the moment, but I have started going to yiquan classes again – yesterday and today.
I think that after watching a lot of systema recently, something has clicked. In these two classes I’ve found that I’m getting my shoulders and hips relaxing and moving in unison, which I had problems with before; plus, I’m finding much improvement in the way I add my body weight into movements. Speaking of which, a friend was asking about this stuff on Friday night, and I managed to use a one-inch punch to knock him off his feet (onto a sofa, I hasten to add). It’s really not so hard, is it? I wonder why people make such a fuss about it? (Joking!)
The class has been quite big this weekend; I think there must have been about a dozen yesterday, and seven or eight today. Master Yao actually called me on my handphone last weekend, just after I flew back in from Wales, to check when I would be coming in to class – he keeps contact with his students, it seems.
The atmosphere is very relaxed; he was chatting away with the Chinese students as we all went through our shi li exercises, mostly about different kung fu styles and masters, I think.
It’s probably something for a different blog post, but I was amazed at the amount of traffic that was generated by my last post! Right here, though, I should say that I’m really pleased with the training I’m getting at this school, Master Yao Chengrong’s Beijing Zhong Yi Wuguan.
As many readers will know, I first got a taste for yiquan at his brother’s school. You’ll find the posts elsewhere on the blog, but the reason I (and others) knew about it was largely because of Tabbycat’s blogging. Tabby responded to my last post with a blog post of his own, giving his own thoughts. I can’t compare the teaching of the brothers; I didn’t see much of Master Yao Chengguang and was taught by his main student. All I can say is that at my current school, the training has a lot of explanation of practical usage, and (in the week evening classes, rather than the weekend afternoon classes I attend), regular sparring. The training hall is well-lit and reasonably large, there’s no smoking, and there are a fair number of female students… Perhaps Tabby would like to give it a go next time he’s in Beijing 😉