A warmer morning with a blanket of mist over Hangzhou. Some solid practice in the park before breakfast and a 9am start. Today we worked with the 2 handed exercise of ward off, roll back, squeeze and push. To begin we practiced without stepping, then stepping forward and back. After lunch we progressed to walking in circles then put it together with the exercises from the last two days with freeform transitions. Lots of fun. Much emphasis on staying soft and balanced with lively footwork.
9-5 again with lots of instruction, practice, and correction. As well as push hands we had detailed instruction on weight distribution, breathing, chi circulation, visualisation, power vs. strength, fa jin, circles, standing and more. Teacher Liu has a great sense of humor and a counter for every move. He lets you choose how he is gong to defeat you, waiting for you to try to attack then moving with your force until it dissipates then recoiling explosively. he describes a three part process. Defuse incoming force, trap, then attack.
Overnight rain has washed the streets clean of the brown pollen from a few days ago. Some early morning forms at Westlake and we met Teacher Liu at the hotel. Kevin Hu was there to help us communicate with Teacher Liu and we walked a short distance to a community centre where we were met by Lin Guoqing, a Disciple of Master Li who knew us from the Xixi Wetlands retreat.
The days Push Hands lesson went from 9am to 5 pm with a break for lunch. A review of what we had done before, with more detail. The major theme was to yield, taking away the opponents force, creating all movement from the waist. To attack start second but finish first, fast as lightning, faster than the blink of an eye.
Quiet at our morning practice area on Sunday morning. more tourists than Tai Chi. Lots of young tourists taking photos of us and imitating our warmup exercises. A little cooler today with a breeze but in the bright sunshine it was warm enough. The breeze brought out kites. The photo doesn’t catch most of them, only the near ones, there was about 20 kites in view.
We spent the day exploring another part of town and found lots of public street art depicting historic events and cultural scenes from daily life. The streets were packed with young people and family groups. There is a festival this weekend which celebrates older family members and dead ancestors.
More great food including noodles for lunch served cold.
Saw some great sword forms in the park early in the morning. We practiced forms for about an hour and attracted a few onlookers. Another pedestrian adventure finding our way around, exploring shops.
I had excellent noodles for lunch but Kieran got a huge surprise with his point and shoot method of choosing from a menu board. He managed to select a bowl of mixed sea monsters in garlic, ginger and chilli soup which was big enough for 4 people.
Late afternoon there was a sudden storm of fluffy brown flower pollen falling from trees. People everywhere were covered in it, trying to keep it out of their eyes and nose.
Beautiful, sunny, jeans and T shirt weather exploring on foot for bits and pieces to make our stay more comfortable. By the time we stopped for spicy noodles by a canal for lunch we had found everything we needed except a beanie for Kieran, who had fun miming a knitted beanie in various hat shops. We were interviewed on the street for a student project about tourism. They were surprised at the places we have been, some they didn’t know about!