I wish I had a memory; so does Bagua tech support I’m sure ;)

Posted in Baguazhang

That is what I have been saying ever since I started with John.  Wish I had a better memory.  But then I get to thinking, what if I did have a good memory?  If I had a good memory I would have continued on with my biology degree and gone into naturopathic medicine.  The only reason I stopped is that it was rather obvious memory of certain things was not my strong point.  So I changed my major to psyche, then went on a completely different path.  Well my completely different path led me to working for myself doing something I enjoy a LOT.  It has also led me to be able to travel the world and get paid to do it, to work from home, to work from anywhere in the world, and to teach.  So perhaps my crappy memory isn’t all that bad, as I apparently have some other talents which seem to include art, self promotion, teaching and apparently public speaking (so I keep being told).

If I had a good memory, perhaps I wouldn’t have learned Bagua as thoroughly and as deeply, you never know.  That is what my friends tell me to try to cheer me up anyways hehe.  I wonder if it’s true?  Or if I had a good memory, I would have never searched far and wide to see if anyone was doing daoist magical Bagua.  It was pretty neat to find people who are doing stuff very close to what I have already been doing, then they go and throw Bagua into the mix!  Well OK more like it was already there, but I’m still figuring out that bit.

Perhaps if I had a good memory, I wouldn’t have spent the first 6 months of my training watching the 24 form on youtube trying to get it really good, and thus instilling some good training habits.  Or maybe if I had a good memory I wouldn’t have pushed myself so hard for the past couple of years, I may have just done enough to get by (kinda like in psyche class where I could miss half the classes and still get an A).

So perhaps I can live with the crappy memory.  At least John gets paid by the hour :>.  For some reason he doesn’t seem bothered by my crappy memory, even though sometimes he seems a bit surprised by it (but I’ll bet he can’t do awesome engraving either, so there!)

Also one doesn’t need a memory to circle walk, just motivation.

I’m good at Bagua, y’all are just doing it wrong ;)

Posted in Baguazhang

No really.  Anyone who suggests otherwise will get palm striked, even if it takes me 1000 tries hehe.  Sometimes when people do dare to suggest my superior Bagua is not the best possible, I have to remind them HELLO NEWBIE HERE!  As they have forgotten their first few years in, and seem to expect me to actually have some skill, or at least what they consider skill.  Personally they would have to make my jaw drop with their amazing awesome Bagua before I’m going to beleive them anyways.  Fuck this beleiving folks when they seem to think my Bagua is sub par.  Also fuck taking corrections from people who either don’t do bagua or have their head so far up… so anyways, I will only be listening to complements about my Bagua from now on, or corrections from people who’s Bagua makes my jaw drop.  Well OK or who’s Bagua greatly impresses me lots.

Anyways, I’m not going to worry whether I’m good at Bagua or not anymore, I’m just going to do Bagua, since it seems to work.  Then I’m going to get so good at Bagua in the BKA kinda way, that I will just stand still and my circle will walk around me ;).  Well that and my opponents will just fall to the ground in dizzyed confusion before I even notice them.

It’s a good thing this stuff works well for health, because I’m clearly going to need more then a few years to do all this…

Well shit, I have to trust him now too? ;)

Posted in Baguazhang

So the other day John said I’m just going to have to trust him.  Then I asked can’t I just do the grouse grind daily instead?  Well OK I didn’t really ask him that, as it might have not been taken well lol.  I don’t tend to trust people easily in the first place.  Also a couple of things in my training went VERY badly from my standpoint.  On the otherhand though, when I have sincerely asked John to change something about the way he is around me or the way he trains me, for the really important stuff he has!  This may seem like not that big of a deal, until you think about how truly rare this really is for someone to do.  I personally hate it when a student points something out and suggests I change something, because it’s usually when I’ve been a bit verbally hard on them regularly.  I of course change it up if they ask nicely.  Sometimes a different approach is needed.

I’m actually really glad that I also have a teacher, it helps my teaching so much.  Sometimes you lose perspective about how much a teacher’s words can mean to a student, good or bad.  As a teacher I sometimes forget how a little comment can change the events in a person’s life.  In a way it’s a big responsibility.  Imagine if how you phrased something at an important moment completely changed whether someone continued on a particular path or not, or whether they took the steps needed to change their life or not.  How often have you heard someone talk about something one of their parents said to them 40 years ago, that they have never forgotten? This is sometimes something good and other times something bad, yet in both cases you can tell the person just said it, without putting any thought into it, just said it as part of conversation, yet it changed the person’s life forever, and set a certain series of events into action.  Sometimes we forget how much power our words have when someone looks up to us or highly respects us.

So anyways, I thought I’d give this whole trust John thing a try, and realized that it’s more something I have to work up to then suddenly completely fully and 100% trust him.  Not that he’s not someone worth trusting, more like the fear kicks in.  Do I trust this person with something so important to me? (Bagua)  Do I trust this person to not injure me (him yes, some of the meetup folks well…. previous experience would indicate low numbers here).  Do I trust this person to not one day say something I find devastating when I’m in a vulnerable place?  Working on that one…..  Do I trust this person to be good enough at Bagua to teach me Bagua?  Working on this one, which I have come to realize is completely irrelevant to John’s skill level.  Do I trust this person to not screw me over if things go south?  (I have had many people do so).  Fortunately for this one I can say yes.  Do I trust this person to be honest with me.  This one also gets a yes, but I do have a question or two to clear up ;).  Not many people go around not lying, it’s kind of amazing.

It must be kind of cool to be able to just completely trust your teacher from the start, and continue that trust all the way through the training.  It may have worked out that way in my 20’s.  At least it can be said I don’t blindly follow any teacher ;).  More like follow a teacher while being dragged (by my own request) kicking and screaming would be more of an apt description.  Perhaps follow isn’t even quite the word, as I tend to wander off lots lol.  I think John teaches me because when it was time to reincarnate all the to be bagua teachers were lined up and all asked who wants to teach BKA.  The rest of them ran screaming in terror…  John just stood there saying he likes a challenge, or perhaps he just didn’t hear them right and thought they were saying “who wants to train Jet Li?”

Now if on the otherhand he still trusts me, I’d be pretty amazed, but I just have to live with how things have gone.  At the very least he can trust me not to miss a class if I’m in town, and to email regularly ;).  He also knows if he asks me a question I will answer honestly.  He’s stopped asking me questions lolololololol.



Something I really don’t like about Martial Arts

Posted in Baguazhang

I could be dead wrong, and being a newbie I think I have that right :).

However this is something that really bothers me, all the “so and so is way better at Bagua then so and so”.  I’m sick of it!  From what I can tell half of it is based on popularity contests, politics or system biases.  Even when it is based on fact, it is still subjective.  Even if it is true, it is far too prevalent I think.  I has a bunch of martial artists going around trying to think they are better then so and so, or perhaps worse then so and so, instead of just training hard and being better then they were last year.

I ran into a LOT of this when I started training, the first thing I heard was how much so and so sucked, and how other so and so’s weren’t all that good.  It’s not like this was a rare situation either; I have talked with very few martial artists who do not talk like this.  I even noticed I did it a couple of times; I caught the horrible comparing one to another bug.  Fortunately upon realizing that any of the said people could  kick my ass with their eyes closed, I decided I’d best stop that bad habit immediately.  I’m glad I only did it twice before I really embarrassed myself.  If such things are to be said, I think at least having the ability to easily win against the person you are down talking is essential.

I asked a good friend of mine who never does participate in this kind of talk what is up, and he said “oh it’s traditional” LOL, meaning that it’s been happening between martial artists and schools ever since martial arts began.  Back then however it was settled fairly easily and quickly, usually with a little blood or something broken… today it’s much more subjective.

What unfortunately happened though is that hearing all the talk about so and so is better then so and so got me to thinking if I was any good, or any better then any so and so’s.  Well unfortunately I realized that my Bagua was about the worst Bagua humanly possible, so this was quite depressing.  Also unfortunately such talk had me questioning my teacher, and even any advice I got from people.  “Is this person good enough?”  “Is this person better then so and so other person”, and crap like that.  While I figured it didn’t affect me since I felt it was just personality conflicts between the people; I’m realizing now it did sort of sink in and made me question what I was spending so much effort practicing daily.

Perhaps this is a better game for the experienced folks, yet I still wonder what can come of it?  It’s all just talk, biased talk, popularity contests, and politics.  Or so it seems to me.  I’m sure some folks reading this are thinking “but so and so DOES suck”.  So what? Who cares?  Now I can see it being important if they are from a decent lineage or not, I know this from my metaphysical practices, but past that, it’s just a pissing contest.  Or sometimes people ask how many competitions has so and so won?  Does that really tell anyone anything about how well they fight in a real situation?  Or how much inner cultivation they have bothered with to perhaps get into a few less fights, and saving their skill for the important ones?

How do these people know who is better then the other at martial arts?  I’ve been told a few things to look for, and I see it in some videos.  Apparently lotsa whole body movement.  But then I thought about it one day and I asked an experienced martial artists if that moving the whole body around lots gets more subtle and less noticeable with lots of experience, and they said yes of course.  So what is it you look for?  Well aside from good structure, and not much arm waving…  What is important in martial arts?

Anyways, this is what I came up with when thinking about why I am so worried about being good at martial arts, but not running, biking, hiking and so forth.  Running is easy, one or two people come in first and/or second and it’s pretty cut and dry, it’s rather obvious.  The other couple thousand people are just there to have fun and say they finished.  There isn’t all this ego crap, or at least not much of it.  At least not much past showing off your newest barefoot running shoes… but I just don’t hear the talk of how so and so is better then so and so.  Instead I just hear “so and so is really good”.  That is more positive, I’d like to hear more of that with martial arts.  I hear this very seldom.

However with art, there are VERY few artists who’s work I like, it is very rare, so perhaps it’s more something like that.  In the art case it really isn’t so much about talent, but more about personal taste.  I wonder how much of that is in martial arts?

Well that’s it for the rant this week.

Flying soap opera of daggers

Posted in Baguazhang

It was an OK movie.  At least there were kickass martial arts chicks in it.  The plot was pretty weak though, and not much to the movie really accept for quite a bit of drama between various lovers.

Perhaps if you are in a cult (hey they acted like a cult) full of people who are expert with daggers, it is likely best not to fall for the new guy when on a mission, over your long term guy who has a bit of an anger problem and is expert with daggers.  He took the breakup a little hard.

Cool green dresses ;).

Are those all the same actors and actresses from crouching dragon hidden tiger?

John thinks my Bagua frustration is cause I listen to different people

Posted in Baguazhang

Instead of just one teacher.  He’s probably right.  I don’t recall being any less frustrated when I only listened to him though.  Well the first two months, they were awesome!  Then I practiced for 3 months outdoors in the winter with bronchitis, all the awesomeness stopped right then and there.  Then I started training with someone else sometimes as well… hey I thought it was qigong, completely different then Bagua….  I seem to recall quite a bit of frustration starting in November of 2010.  It hasn’t subsided since.

There have been times when I of course only trained with John and only listened to him for months in a row, and that didn’t ease the frustration at all.  I’m guessing a few months straight isn’t long enough though.

Everyone says you can only get good if you train with one teacher.  I’m still working up to that.

John must really enjoy teaching to put up with my shit :).

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

Posted in Baguazhang

Or is that the other way around? I don’t quite recall.  I somehow missed how the movie title relates to the movie.  Anyways, I liked the movie :).  How could one not like a movie with kickass martial arts women in it?  The wife of the main teacher guy character rocked, the teenage girl who could fight better then nearly everyone else in the movie rocked (I now think I wasted my teen years needlessly doing art), and then there was the evil teacher lady who was damn good at martial arts as well.  Boy did she have a few issues she needed to work on….

The movie actually had more of a plot then most martial arts movies which was cool.  Also the movie didn’t make the women characters out to be these useless brainless people who can’t fight to save their lives.  This is a refreshing change :).  Actually it was the male characters who were portrayed in this manner if you think about the restaurant fight that the leading role chick started!

I liked the teacher guy, he was cool, even if he did take his entire damn life to tell the woman he loved her :P, he was so dedicated to teaching that he put up with the leading role chick’s shit, and the fact she stole his sword.  He’s nearly as patient as John is with me.  Nearly.

I liked the leading role teenager chick, she wouldn’t listen to anyone :).  I think that is a good trait most of the time; she wouldn’t have been even a mediocre fighter had she listened to her parents, and only kinda good if she had listened to her teacher who she knew she could surpass…

I didn’t quite get the ending though?  OK so we can assume that chick jumped off to bring teacher dude back to life right?  Or that’s what I’d figure.  I figure she wouldn’t have jumped off just to grand her lovers wish of them being together forever in the desert because DUH HELLO, THEY COULD HAVE JUST WANDERED OFF AND DONE IT, NO JUMPING REQUIRED!  So one would hope she didn’t waste a jump and a wish on something that would just require a couple of days journey.  However we never do find out.  I think it’s the only movie in the history of all movies where they didn’t make a sequal, so we don’t get to find out which wish she made anyways.

I still don’t get why no martial arts teacher will teach me how to fly though.  I think that’s really unfair they are holding back on me like this.  I have been training for two years now, and still nothing about flying.  Damn closed door secrets….  Well OK hopping from bamboo branch to bamboo branch would even suffice.

Bagua classes, not so much

Posted in Baguazhang

So last class I was asked if I remembered a certain movement, I said no.  Then the surprised answer was “the movement we have been doing for the past 9 weeks at meetup?”  Likely in the private classes as well.  Is missing 6 of the last 9 meetups any excuse? Likely not since I did still do private classes.  It was also mentioned that my lack of health and screwed up shoulder holds me back.  I still can’t lift a bottle of water without pain yet.  I hope the shoulder heals soon.  Screwed up my shoulder during a meetup, and it was made worse during subsequent meetups, and now it just completely screwed.  Needless to say I tend to skip meetups whenever I can.

So considering my memory and my health, I just don’t think this particular class format is for me.  I will just find another way, and keep circle walking.  My health was so bad for the last week I could barely walk the 3 blocks to 711, so the Bagua has apparently stopped working for health as well.  Health was my main goal with Bagua, so with that part not working lately, the motivation is no longer present.

Well also I have stopped enjoying the classes lately, not that this matters a huge pile, but it does have relevance.

I just wish I was a lot better at self motivation so I didn’t need the classes to keep me motivated :(.

Some hiking :)

Posted in Baguazhang

So on Saturday my friend and I did the Lynn Loop hike. We started over at the little store instead of driving in further since we didn’t know if we would be back before dark when they closed the gate or not. There was snow on the trail, after the 2km mark in the actual trail it was all snowy. That would have been the 4 or 5km mark for us. If it hasn’t been so snowy we would have gone all the way to twin falls. However the slippery and soggy snow and mud got a little old, especially considering the fact that I was wearing running shoes not knowing there would be snow.

We sat and meditated by the river on the way back, while playing some peruvian music on the little mp3 speakers I acquired earlier in the day. We then both decided to stop said meditation after we became popsicles. We had been fasting for 24 hours prior to this hike, so it was actually the most difficult hike I’d ever been on, talking about a LOT of leg wobble! 3 hours of leg wobble all together. Fortunately we went to the raw cafe near my house afterwards and ordered LOTS of super yummy food :).

The next day we got up at 6am to get an early start on our next hike. It was nice to start off the day with some breakfast and some matcha. It was unfortunately only starbucks matcha, but I told them to leave out most of the sugar so it wasn’t too bad.

We went to Buntzen lake out in coquitlam. Fortunately since it was so early in the morning there were barley any people out, and I only got tripped by dogs not on leashes a few times. Next time it happens I’m going to yell at the dog about how he/she should have their owner on a leash!

So as my friend were huffing and puffing up the little hills and taking a rest break or two to sip some water, there were people jogging past us, many people jogging past us. So apparently Buntzen lake is a very popular place for trail running. Boy do I feel out of shape now. We were lucky to finish the 3 hour hike WALKING. When we started out we heard it was a four hour hike. You would have to go amazingly slow for it to take 4 hours. Another person who was speed walking said 2 hours, but she was half an hour in already.

The hike was just beautiful! I definitely want to do it again.

Ohhhhhhh I think I overdid it!

Posted in Baguazhang

So that ten video series I talked about in my last blog, it’s to go with a set of five VERY thick and dense books (I have those as well of course). All of this is to go with a training program that one takes to be a medical qigong doctor. There is some pretty advanced stuff there. Well advanced in some ways, but stuff I have experienced in others. Well anyways, it’s something someone takes at least 4-5 years of regular daily work to complete.

However I found out the hard way that it isn’t a good idea for one to run through half of the videos (the other half are for curing very specific ailments on patients such as cancer) and do every single exercise listed… in a matter of 2-3 days. I think I have energetically burned myself out a bit lol. I did some healing, but sometimes one can only do so much self healing at one time; I did some purging; I did all of the exercises one can do solo.

I think I will just do work which can be done from bed today. The good news is I don’t have head fog today so I can get some book writing done, and I do feel more clear overall, just there is this sort of exhaustion. I will also be sure to eat lots today to get back up to speed faster.

Toooooo much of a good thing!