China 2019 – Day 23, Friday, 8th August
Another full week of training done and my final weekend of this trip is here.
It feels as though I have been here for a long time – and simultaneously time has gone by in a flash.
Training, eating, studying Mandarin, sleeping is a pretty good routine that hasn’t been too hard to adapt to!
There are two instructors here and two groups – beginners, who learn the short Chen 18 move form, as well as a more advanced group who learn the Chen 74 move form.
As I had previous experience in tai chi, I skipped ahead and joined the 74 group – and with just 7 moves left to learn, it looks as though I will be able to get through the form and learn all of the moves.
It’s pretty rapid progress for learning a new form – especially such a long one but I have the rest of my life to perfect it – and more trips to China planned!
The 18 moves of the beginners’ form are all taken from the 74 (but not in order). Within the 74 there are quite a few repetitions, which is nice but it meant today that I had to get my head around 12 new moves!
If I thought that was a lot for my poor little brain, Mandarin tuition the last couple of days has been focusing on not only doing the moves, but describing them as I go along. It’s been an interesting exercise and Becky, my Mandarin teacher, has been really pushing me.
Standing meditation has also been a big daily focus and we’ve had some 30+ minutes of standing, knees bent, arms in a circle in front of the chest. It’s a great way to improve posture, mental focus, rooting your stance, relaxing the muscles of the body, strengthening the bone structure.
My day got off to a nice start with a run/walk along the river and through paddy fields with Hotpot (the school dog) – and likewise it is getting off to a nice end with a Tui Na Chinese massage.
Tui Na literally means push and grab – the massage is performed on a massage table and techniques include rubbing, kneading, rolling and pressing.
Usually it’s pretty vigorous and knowing what I am like post-massage, I won’t be doing anymore writing today!