Saturday, January 7, 2012

unfinished business (1)

In terms of the harder / external / gongfu styles, I didn't set out to learn any chang quan / long fist routines. I was after the nan quan / southern fist routines from the start. But the place where I was taking my daughter had a strong emphasis on chang quan. Good teachers, good environment, and most importantly, my daughter was interested. So I worked out with her every time and got to know some of the basic chang quan routines (though i cannot claim to perform them well!!).

After a couple years the doors finally opened and I was introduced to the nan quan competition form as well as some weapons. I kept the chang quan alive to have something to do with my daughter, even while strongly preferring the nan quan. Besides, good basics are good basics and are always something useful to work on.

We had been looking forward to a big finish, both my daughter and I just starting on new routines about a half-year before leaving Japan. Then the earthquake hit and almost all local school gyms were no longer available (curtailed electricity usage). We stumbled along here and there but it wasn't enough. Practice routines finally got back to usual late in the summer - and by then everyone was focused on upcoming tournaments = drill in the familiar stuff to compete with, not time to learn new things.

In principle, my daughter and I both reached the end of our new routines but neither of us learned them well and they have been on hold. As with the other Chang Quan routines, I have learned in tandem with my daughter (mostly so I can check her practice at home), but I was really in the dark on the Elementary Routine for the straight-edged sword or jian. Anyhow, I have finally put it back together -- not well at all, but enough to show my teacher when next we meet. She will not be satisfied with the result, I am sure, but it should be enough stimulus for her to become disgusted with my attempts and whip me into better shape.

Now - while keeping that one alive - it is time to get back to my own unfinished business, the nan dao form.

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