What an awesome class! :)

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So I felt that my two students should finally meet each other at least once, so I scheduled a group class. I figured I should do something a little different and fun for them :).

First we all sat down and chatted for a few minutes and I did introductions. Then I told them that they would be teaching the class, and that they had half an hour to prepare and decide which of them was going to teach me what. I gave them a couple of pens and a pad of paper and suggested they write the exercises out, then decide who knows each one better.

They had an awesome time at it, many laughs and much fun. They claimed they couldn’t remember any, but ended up only forgetting about 5% all together out of everything! They did extremely well. They also both loved the exercise and thought it helped. I figured that would help make them integrate it more, and make the exercises theirs. Well also it was a good bonding exercise hehe.

It was really interesting how each of them had remembered different ones, and were good at different ones. They have been both training for 6 months less than I have, so not that long to remember them all, so neither of them had it 100% obviously, but together, pretty close!

Catching up on the bits I avoid :)

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You know those less fun and less interesting aspects of the practice? Like Zhan Zhuang for example lol. Or certain exercises which aren’t as exciting as the newer ones you learned more recently? Well anyways, I have been trying to focus on getting the other stuff in as well. Fortunately I have two students, so that helps me to make sure I train everything, but that still isn’t often enough. It is sort of neat to revisit some of the movements, and also interesting to try out the standing still meditational stuff that I haven’t spent much time doing.

Sifu and I have talked about how we always tend to avoid the ones we need the most, funny that.

On a side note, it is still two showers per day weather here.

Boy have I improved!

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Well my students have mentioned I have, especially the one who has known me for 5 years. I know I have at least a little. However I thought there had been barely any improvement in the past 2 months since I last saw Sifu. However… I was watching the videos from that training session today, and boy have I ever improved! It’s actually kind of fun to see how much I improve over time. It is also kind of painful to watch old videos lol.

Lots and lots and lots and lots of Bagua :)

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Much Bagua. Much work too. Not quite as much sleep lol.

I have revisited the first set of movements I learned. I don’t do them nearly often enough. Fortunately I have students whom I have to make sure have those memorized, so I have to show them how to do each one, sometimes 20-100 times over! Needless to say I’m getting them in a lot more often lately. It’s pretty cool to see how much I have improved during this time. It is also nice to be able to now perceive new depth to each one. They are quite awesome movements :).

My achilles are resistant to Bagua!

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Well or at least the getting lower and sinking aspects thereof. I have been having a bit of trouble walking lately, and I don’t mean Bagua walking. Since the achilles are an important tendon, and easily injured (compared to most other parts of the body), I’m taking some days off of Bagua. Well days off of the circle walking and the original form.

I am using the time instead of catch up on the various standing practice and meditations which I have been slacking on ;). Class last night consisted of the various standing and meditative practices, and some discussion.

I think class today will focus on those as well. Speaking of classes there have been four so far this week; much fun!

Bagua seven star staff

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I have always been curious about this particular weapon and training with it. I was going to make one for my old teacher as an experiment…. however mercury poisoning one’s teacher likely isn’t a good idea, sooo lol.

I was thinking perhaps some perfectly round lead shot which would slide from end to end, and at least be close to heavy as mercury, with somewhat of the same feel. Water is unfortunately not heavy enough. One day I’m sure I will make one. Anyways, here is a Gao Bagua video using the 7 star staff.

Bagua keeps changing ;)

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It will seem the same for a bit, and it will feel as though I’m not progressing very much, then suddenly it will change, and I will get the most awesome Bagua session ever. Then my Bagua from then on will be a little better :). Bagua is awesome!

Well if it did stay the same, I’m pretty sure I would have been long since bored of it. It is sometimes annoying that the changes come after some tough challenges, but that is how we work through stuff.

Pakua in a sauna!!!

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Well that’s what it felt like during class today.

My student was surprised that she was so worn out from class; thinking about it, I think I know why now lol. Well there is also the fact that if I know students aren’t practicing much…. I just cover three times as much material in each class to keep them caught up heheheheheheh. I informed her of this today; she said thank you ;). Once I start covering lower stances for everything, she likely won’t thank me as much though!

There was at least some nice shade under a giant tree, and a nice cool breeze from time to time, so it wasn’t actually too bad. It was much cooler out than the other day.

I really love practicing Bagua outdoors, even when the weather isn’t the perfect temperature for it.

I’m amazed at all the differences in Bagua!

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Well first you have all the different styles of Bagua, which can be quite a bit different from each other! Many same principals of course, but executed differently. But then you also get the exact same form, yet done in 10 different ways by 10 different people! I did a google search to find the form I have been practicing to show someone (can we say too lazy to setup my vid camera? LOL) and the vast differences were amazing! I barely recognized the form in many of the videos. I wondered if I was perhaps doing it wrong after watching a couple of them lol. This guy seems to have it closest to how we do it… yet he’s about 10 times faster than I am 😉

Oh! Only 7 weeks….

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I was feeling sort of bad that I hadn’t gotten quite good enough at the exercises since last time I trained with my teacher. However looking up the dates of my flight down to California, I realize that it has only been 7 weeks! Whew! I was wondering why it was taking me so long to get things, since it feels like it has been way more than 7 weeks.

Since I did about 40 hours of training with Sifu, we covered a LOT! Then 2 months before that, we also covered quite a bit…

The stuff that I felt bad about not getting are the more advanced techniques… you know well beyond just memorizing stuff. I had flown down to train with Sifu only 2 months apart, so perhaps he thought he would give me a challenge to keep me busy for longer this time LOL.

I sometimes get a little frustrated that I’m not getting some stuff, but I just have to remind myself that these are lifetime long practices. My body isn’t going to move like Sifu’s overnight (darn!) On a side note, I am getting far far far less frustrated than I used to! When I started Bagua I would get extremely frustrated with myself for not being able to memorize or do certain things quickly enough. I’m really glad that doesn’t happen anymore.

I have been practicing in the very early morning and late evening to try to not overheat too much. Even then I practice next to my fan club (a giant wind fan, a tower fan, and a cold air mister). Yes I know you aren’t supposed to practice Bagua in a strong wind…. but it sure beats feeling like I’m going to fall over due to too much heat lol.