Chris and Andrew just leaving class with Wang Laoshi on the way to the subway.
Josh taking care of business in the luxury suit of one of the 3 Si He Yuan's at our hotel. Si He Yuan means "4 house yard" where the buildings our joined in a square creating a small courtyard.
Andrew's first Post...
Well first off let me say please forgive any mistakes I might make typing this as I have not slept since Sunday morning Halifax time, and its Tuesday evening now in Beijing. We arrived safe and sound yesterday with few hassels. We had our first day of training today. Chris was kind enough to meet us at 7am and from there we stuffed into a bus. When I say stuffed, I mean we couldn't move an inch. In fact it took the aid of people waiting for the next bus to push my pack in so the door could close. Its all part of the training. I was great to see my teacher Wang Heling. Despite being so tired I was quite charged with energy the moment he rolled up on his bicycle. We started with running followed by Chuo Jiao basic kicks and punching for Josh, and Chuo Jiao staff for me. The staff set I'm learning is called Chuo Jiao "Throat Locking" staff. Hopefully my translation of the name is correct. Despite being near 70 Wang Laoshi(Teacher) doesn't look a day over 55 and moves as good or better than most people in their 20's. He was very swift with the staff applications too and was able to control my attacks and counter with an easy that makes it look to easy (trust me its not). I was pretty happy that I was able to do a clean Ce Kong Fan (no handed cartwheel) with the staff that I had been working on daily for quite a while. Its in the set I'm learning so that should be fun. Wang Laoshi was very pleased with Josh's Chuo Jiao which is a relief for me because if he wasn't it would have been on my shoulders. Chris and Josh started learning the Yanqing(named after a historical martial arts figure) and it looked really cool. They did a lot of moves today and there will be a ton tomorrow aswell. Wang had asked if Alex and Aaron were still training and hopes they can return again next year. I had given wang Laoshi a book I put together of Chuo Jiao Fanzi pics I had taken over the past couple of years. He really liked it and was impressed with the picture of Stevie doing the Mandarin Duck kick, saying it was quite beautiful. Ok, we're off to eat and then practice a bit more before bed. HOPEFULLY I CAN SLEEP!!!!! Hope everyone is well, see you next update. Andrew
We have arrived. Our plane came in on-time (around 5:00 pm), although neither Andrew nor I slept on the flight. When we arrived at the Hotel (around 6:30 pm) many of the staff knew Andrew from his previous visits and were very friendly. Unfortunately we could not get the internet to work in our room so we could not contact anyone. The hotel staff tried to assist us with no success. After unloading our gear we went for a walk around the area-although it was dark and we were groggy and forgot to take the camera. We went back to our room to try to sleep somewhere around 9:00 local time (11 hours ahead of Halifax). Andrew slept for about 5 minutes and I had about 3 hours. We were both giddy and groggy by 6:00 am. At 6:30 am we went to meet Chris Rayner (Lu Yan's husband) at a bus stop as Chris lives in Beijing and trains with Wang He Ling. Chis had purchased bus and subway passes for us and lent us a cell phone for local use. Very helpful of him. Getting on the bus was sort of like an adult version of trying to cram into a volkswagon bug except no one knows each other and they arent doing it for fun. We switched from bus to subway at Tian-An-Men Square. Then we walked to where we were meeting Wang He Ling for instruction. We will post photo's of the training area tomorrow likely. We began training at 8:00 am. The training was very fun and challenging, even though it was supposed to be an easy day to allow us to adjust. Sadly, I popped my left hamstring doing a Mandarin Duck kick-its happened to me before-so I'm hoping for a speedy recovery. It shouldn't prevent much learning on my part, so no big deal, just annoying. The training is outside in a public area and there were LOTS of local gawkers eager to hand out their 2 cents worth on our training.
This is the entrance to our hotel. Its in the middle of the Hutong's ("alleyways") located just behind the Forbidden City and Tian-An-Men Square in Downtown Beijing. Its a government owned hotel so there are security guards posted at the gate day and night.
This is Andrew at the entrance to our hotel room. #307 if you are calling or stopping by for a visit. We were in #308 last night but the internet didnt work so they moved us to #306 this morning. The bathroom didnt work in #306 so they moved us to #307 with smiles all around. We are very lucky that Andrew has a good rapport with the hotel staff who have been extermely accomodating to date.
This is the view of the court yard right outside of our hotel room. Note the water feature which is somewhat confusing as it sounds as if its raining all the time.
The lions guard the entranceway to our court yard. We are trying to practice what we learnined this morning so we dont appear too lame tomorrow. I starting learning the 8th Yanqing Fanzi set. Its called "lost track boxing" as it is hard to follow the form. Which will make learning it a challenge!
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