Its cold out there. With lingering remnants of the rain we returned to our new favourite shelter at Westlake for practice. The wind off the lake was freezing. At one point we thought it was snowing, but it was mini flowers blowing around in the wind.
The few locals that were out had gloves, coats and warm hats. We were not so well prepared. The practice warmed us up soon enough though. The new aspects to the form are starting to sink in and the adjustments feel very comfortable.
Early morning practice at Westlake on a rainy day we saw very few people. The awning in a building entrance kept us dry while we worked at consolidating the information from yesterday.
After breakfast it was more training with Master Ding, a quick review of the 6 moves from yesterday then about 10 more finishing with Jade Lady. Lots of info about application and possible extra moves from each position, and many many adjustments. It will be difficult to remember all we did today.
5th generation Tai Chi master and recognised by many as the lineage holder of Yang Tai Chi, Master Ding spent 2 hours this morning reviewing the first 6 postures of the short form with me.
Focus was on martial applications and detailed refinements. Very enlightening.
Of course, every time I work with someone new, the emphasis changes, the application changes but thankfully the core principles remain consistent. I'm looking forward to more over the next few days.
Pictured is a student of Master Ding who is translating for us. She has been learning Tai Chi for 3 years and has excellent movement and is of great assistance in my training.
Late this afternoon we tried to practice at Westlake. It was very busy with tourists and many people stopped to watch the westerners doing Tai Chi. A crowd formed when we did the short form and a local named Lo exchanged some ideas and we did some push hands practice together. He was a Pa Qua and Tai Chi practitioner and was fun to play with.
An afternoon of tourist activities exploring around Hefang St amongst thousands of domestic tourists in the oldest part of the city. Many of he shops are traditional brand companies or display items Hangzhou is famous for such as tea and silk.
We visited the Bronze Museum, Tai Chi Tea House, Long Quan Swords, and many others.
A nearby street transforms into an outdoor food market at dusk with endless rows of food stalls of all kinds. Some stalls specialised in bugs (centipedes, spiders, scorpions etc) others more to our taste. We had several kinds of meat on a stick, mushrooms, noodle soup etc.
A late misty sunrise turned into a cool crisp morning at Westlake as I practiced Tai Chi to knock out the cobwebs from yesterdays marathon journey.
Departed Caloundra at 2:30 am yesterday and arrived at our hotel in Hangzhou at 23 hours later. Flew Brisbane-Sydney-Shanghai then caught the Long Distance Bus (100RMB=$15) to Hangzhou. 3 hours on the bus, freeway all the way, and disembarked in an unfamiliar part of town.
We elected not to get a cab (the easy way) which were plentiful at the Interchange, and spent about 2 hours finding our way. It turned we were not far from the Hotel, it just took some time to orientate. A young guy on a bike saw us looking at street signs and stopped to offer help. A nice welcome to the city.
After checkin we went next door to a very busy bar for a pint of Tsingtao before hitting our warm comfortable beds.
While I am in China there will be no classes. The usual timetable will resume on Sunday 14 April. I will be posting a blog article each day I am in Hangzhou if you wish to follow the adventure.