moving about. learning Chinese, practicing Tai Ji Quan, doing Qi Gong, or simply going out running. resisting the monkey impulses.

Monday, September 26, 2005


James brought along a box of swords for the class tonight. That means we are now learning two things now: the old first form (Chen style) and Chen Man-Ching's (Yang) sword form.

These are the totally blunt retractable practice swords, that you are unlikely to get arrested for, but still I managed to cut myself.

The sword actions, just the simple ones such as cycling the blade, really start hitting little muscle parts that not only other exercises do not reach, but parts that clearly have never been reached at all before. We had already covered these basic moves in the Norfolk course, but then we moved to the opening parts of the Yang form. My main worry at the moment is tassel control – I keep getting tangled threads and am constantly biffed by the pom-poms.


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Look back at the summer

The Castle Acre workshop was a great success. We weren't, after all, overwhelmed by the expertise of the others – a bit of a worry for this monkey's mate, but, truth be told, for me too – since there were all sorts of skills and styles within the group.

There are a few pictures at the head of my Norfolk holiday set which I hope demonstrate how nice the surroundings were.

We worked on a lot of qi gong, a good base of silk reeling every day, a fair amount of Chen short form and only a little push hands. We started to go into the lao jia yi lu, the old [Chen] first form, and I also took part in sword exercises, including two-person parrying and thrusting.

All very stimulating and enjoyable, and the surroundings and people were wonderful too.

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