Arrived safe and well after a long but uneventful day of transit. This morning was a late start but we emerged to a beautiful morning. Spring is here well and truly with flowers blooming everywhere, birds singing in the trees. Bright sunny morning but quite cool. Coffee and eggs for breakfast outdoors at the YHA Ming Town Cafe. Looking forward to a rest day exploring and collecting supplies.
Thursday April 3 to Wednesday April 16 Stephen is returning to Hangzhou China for Tai Chi Push Hands training with Teacher Liu Zhen Wei. Follow the adventure through the daily Blog posts on this site.
While away Stephen's classes of Tai Chi and Pilates will be cancelled. However, Master Li will still be doing Sunday 8:30 and 9:30 am classes in Caloundra. Contact Wayne 0407 025 770 to book a place if you want to attend.
It's school holidays so there are no Karate kids classes after Wednsday 2nd until school goes back after easter. Tang Soo classes will be ad hoc when Kev or Ted are available to open the door. Keep in touch with them to make sure you know when it's on or not.
Blue sky and sunshine for a walk in the Xixi Wetlands Park there were groups of flag waving tourists already celebrating tomorrows Peoples Day (China Day) national holiday.
We went to the Western side of the Park where an old building museum is under construction. A bit like a housing estate full of stone mansions from the Ming and Qing Dynasty.
Our afternoon training was with Octogenarian 5th Generation Masters Ding and Yen. We demonstrated sword and short form. Ding performed section 1&2 of the long form. Yen performed a unique form using an umbrella as a weapon. Also a young student of Ding performed sword. With only 2 years training she is very skilled. Demonstration of push hands exercises followed.
As Kieran and Stephen return home tomorrow, we had a banquet with the Director and staff of the Hall of Heroes in the courtyard pagoda, surrounded by images of the legendary 108 Heroes. The atmosphere was high in energy, and as we left there were fireworks in the distance. Carol, Jan, Wayne and John are staying for another 4 days of training.
Step back while drawing down with the right then pivot while drawing down with the left.
More perfect weather for training today and another lesson from Teacher Liu. Review of the push hands exercises done earlier in the week, and some new lessons on breathing, stepping, looking, and attitude. Teacher Liu has been very generous with the information he has shared and we look forward to incorporating it into our practice.
At a banquet lunch to thank Teacher Liu, he made a gift of a needlepoint tapestry depicting a classical Chinese image captioned "Success Immediately Upon Arrival." Teacher Liu's wife worked for more than 40 hours to create the tapestry.
Pull down while stepping forward and turn while pushing with the shoulder.
Another cool, clear morning for early self practice. A local shop keeper has been joining us and following our Chi Gong practice for a few days now.
In the morning we left the Wetlands and visited the National Tea Museum and surrounds. Sword practice and a walk through some of the extensive gardens was followed by lunch at a farmhouse restaurant with Master Li's wife Sumo joining us.
In the afternoon we met some of the Hangzhou Disciples of Master Li and were treated to a performance of teat ceremony.
We exchanged some performances of Sword and Short Form, and Sumo sang for us.
Carol and a local Tai Chi student were initiated as Disciples of Master Li in the evening and we ended the day with a sumptuous banquet.
Half step forward pushing, sink back pulling down, lift as you settle then brace and push forward.
Early morning quiet time in the Xixi Wetlands National Park was cool and beautiful. Chi Gong practice at the top of the pagoda overlooking the entire park. Some personal practice of forms in the empty village square was a welcome solitude.
Our first session we had demonstrations from an 84 year old grand master of Eagle Claw. His hands were soft as if they were empty with high temperature in the centre of the palm and cold to touch on the back. His movement was beautiful, and his manner very humble.
We then had demonstrations from Wushu Masters from too any styles to mention, They includes very famous chinese people, many the heads of their own styles, some of whom have visited Australia.
After a banquet lunch with the Masters there were many more demonstrations, so many the video will tell us who they were, and endless keepsake photos.
Eventually they left and we had a lesson in push hands from Loa Tao, first Disciple to Grandmaster Meng Xianming. His approach used very small force.
We finished the day with review of Tai Chi Daoyin Gong to keep it fresh, and Master Li taught some detail for the sword form.
Look to the right, look to the left, turn, move forward, look to the right, turn, move forward, look to the left.