Andrew's post for Wednesday
Last day training with Wang Laoshi
Well today was interesting. Unfortunately Josh and I had our last day training with Wang Laoshi. The day started with me getting stuck on the subway as a result of some mis communication. Josh managed to get off at our stop while I just waved through the window and continued on down the line. When I got off and caught the subway back it was crazy. It was so full they had guys pushing people in so the doors would close. When I got back to our stop I was only 2 feet away from the door but 5 people deep. You've got about 15 seconds to exit/board the train so I was met head on with a rush of more people. I managed to exit the train just as the doors were closing thanks to being pull out waist level by a security guard. Lovely start. Class was great. We ran and stretched, did some basics and worked on forms and applications. It went by to fast. I really enjoy my time with Wang Laoshi. After class Josh and I went and did a bit of shopping, hit the bank to change some money and had a bit of a walk back to the hotel, 45 minutes or so. Tomorrow we may start training with Di Guoyong Laoshi if he's made it back from the US. Andrew
JOSH'S POST FOR WEDNESDAY
So...Andrew and I are chatting away on the subway when I think I hear "Wukesong" (which is the name of our training spot with Wang laoshi) mentioned over the speakers but it is so crowded you cant hear very well. Also it was so crowded on the platform that you couldnt see the signs. So I stepped off to read the sign, that did indeed say Wukesong, however Andrew didnt step off...a bit of a drag for him, but humerous for me. Training was excellent today. Generally we start with a light stretch, then an easy jog twice around our training area, past tai chi groups, fan dancing groups, people flying kites, people playing with giant chinese yo-yo's, crazy people, people doing odd exercises, military people, people with tiny dogs, etc., then stretch a bit more, then do lines of basics, then stretch a bit more, then do lines of kicks, then go into forms and instruction. Chris and I worked on the 8th Yanqing Fanzi set. Andrew worked on the Chuo Jiao Fanzi staff set and also had Wang Laoshi examine his Xiao Fanzi Set that he had learned previously to see if he was practicing it correctly. Wang laoshi told Andrew that he was indeed practicing it correctly, added a move (which was fun) and told Andrew that the set would look even better when his legs werent dead tired and he could jump higher. Alex had shown me a Chuo Jiao Fanzi pipe set and I demonstarted it for Wang laoshi to see if I was way off base...I wasn't WAY off which was good although there were a lot of corrections (I'll let you know what they are Alex...). Wang laoshi brought his pipe to class-it was made for him in 1967-and looks well used. It seems to be the model that is used to make all of the new pipes.
After class Andrew and I went shopping at the Silk Market. More gifts. Plus a custom made 3 piece suit that was MUCH cheaper than at home but Chris advises that I overpaid slightly. I paid 1050 RMB for a 180 weight, cashmere and wool blend 3 piece custom made suit. That equals about $150.00 with the deal that it would be made within 1 day and that they would come to our hotel to custom fit it tonight at 8:00. Chris paid 600 RMB for a 2 piece suit, 180 weight, wool and cashmere blend, which is less than $100.00.
So many people were grabbing and pulling on us in the market that Andrew and I both had the idea of grabbing them back...but we didnt. More to come later....
Me, (Andrew) working on some staff techniques while members of the Red Army march past in full dress.
Wang Laoshi and Josh reviewing some of the Chuo Jiao Pipe, while the Drum ladies practice in the background.
A couple of shots of the subway. Don't be decieved by the shots, as most times Josh and I have to force our way through the crowds.