Monday, July 25, 2005

Taiji Legacy

Woke up this morning and could barely move. Muscles in my arms, neck, and back were so stiff and sore that even turning over was a pain. Couldn't imagine what I'd done...then, I remembered - that push hands match and practicing moving push hands with Lily Mak. Ahhh, no wonder I'm so sore! Practice in class and a push hands match are two different animals. If I compete in push hands again, and I loved doing it, I will have to do something about increasing my upper body strength. Partly because, at 110 lbs., I'm at the bottom of the weight scale and don't have enough skill to divert the strength of heavier opponents without resorting to trying to match them in strength. Inspite of what I "know" about dissolving and diverting, my instinctive reaction is to just resist, not use skill, when attacked with sudden force. Actually, in all of the women's push hands matches, there was only one woman who genuinely had the instinctive ideal of listening and responding with appropriate small force to uproot her opponent. Nina and I were really impressed with her. I did win my match (small miracle) and found it excellent experience for showing what I'm doing wrong.

The Dallas trip was fun in many ways: good company, seeing people from previous years, watching outstanding performances, and so on. However, there were some problems: as usual things ran late, but even later than usual; the Masters' Demo was way too long (it is a real shame when one ceases to appreciate the skill and grace of the performers); several rings had only 4 judges, and without 5 judges, the high and low scores can not be thrown out; several published rules were not followed. Overall though, after enjoying the process of complaining, I still consider it a great trip and enjoyed dissecting every move, event, performance, style, etc. with Thomas, Nina, Beth, and Jimmy. Especially in internal weapons where all styles compete, and we can see Yang, Chen, and Wu saber performances for comparison.

I was pleased with my performances and had less anxiety. Thomas is always cool and calm and perfectly timed. Jimmy competed for the first time, but seemed untouched by nerves. Although we went for 12 hours on Sat. with only the sustenance of two breakfast bars before getting to eat at about 10:00 PM, as soon as we ate, we regained energy.

Erin and Eric found a house to rent that they are very pleased with and were pretty pumped. I talked to Erin on the phone Sun. morning, but they left around noon, and I didn't get home until that night. Mila delighted Fee by calling him "Granddaddy," and I am jealous because I didn't even get to see her.

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