China 2019 – Day 8, Thursday, 25th July
So I have to confess that today I woke up feeling a little weary (yes, it does happen!) and that in combination with a very hot morning first thing, meant a rather slow and sluggish feeling when I started training.
Personally I’m not a breakfast person, so a drink of water and I’m good to go… Today it was lots of water, as it was hot, hot, hot!!!
As we got into our warm-up routine of gently stretching out the joints, lower back, followed by some hip shifting and rotating exercises, I was back to my normal self and the training this morning flew by!
One thing we do a lot of here are static meditation/qigong exercises, holding our arms out, more commonly known as Standing Like a Post (or Tree). Now, I know students of mine reading this will be collectively groaning, expecting lots of this when I get home – which is true – but they are fantastic for training the bone structure of the body, allowing you to remain strong without using the muscles, which you can then relax. This does take a long time to achieve though…and in the meantime you have lots of discomfort to work through! (don’t worry guys, it’ll be fun!!!)
We had (lots) more of these exercises this afternoon, after my midday Mandarin lesson where my brain seemed to be doing the exercise, ‘I’m as Intelligent as a Post’.
The latter part of the afternoon was spent working on the Chen 74 form…and trying to refine a few details.
After a quick dinner, I decided to head out for a bike ride along the Yulong River and take a few photos and relax a bit. It was quite a bit cooler and I loved watching the sun go down over the mountains.
After heading back I started a little evening training and one of the two headmasters of the school asked if I wanted to do some pushing hands, which of course I did!
It always pays to show interest, practice lots, and hang around the training area and not the eating and resting area in your free time… you never know when an instructor is going to need a training partner (and after all, I am here to train and learn, not chat!). And in return for not so accidentally being in the right place at the right time, I had a 90 minute masterclass in pushing hands and competitive pushing hands from a Chinese master.
And that, I’d say, was a successful day!