China 2019 – Day 12, Monday, 29th July

Back into the weekday routine and it seems to go something like this: wake up, revise Mandarin, training, lunch, Mandarin lesson, have a coffee, training, dinner, bike ride (taking photos), training, writing/reading, sleep…

If there’s a Groundhog Day scenario that I could quite happily go along with, that’s the one!

Again this evening I happened to be in the right place at the right time, accidentally on purpose, and had an hour and a half push hands training with Master Ping. I have yet to train anywhere where the teachers are so open, genuine and generous with their time.

Afterwards we spoke about discipline in the martial arts and I asked his thoughts on why it didn’t seem to be as strong as it once was. He explained that as nowadays people are not training in tai chi as a martial art and potentially finding themselves in scenarios where they might have to protect their life, so there does not need to be that sense of discipline, or urgency.

He went on to say that most people are training for health – and in fact the government only want people to train for health, not to learn how to fight.

He also explained that in previous times, when discipline was more paramount, a student may have solely been given standing meditation for the first few months of their training – it was a test of their character, their determination, as well as, crucially, teaching them how to strengthen their bodies in the right way and how to relax correctly. Ironically, when they started learning the form, it would have been a lot better for those opening few months of tough training.

Sadly, instructors can’t get away with such training anymore…but that’s not to say that I can’t introduce more into my classes😀

So another great day here in Yangshuo, lots of learning, lots of training and knocking off a few of those 10,000 hours on the road to never reaching perfection (read yesterday’s blog if you don’t know what I mean!)

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