I’ve been emailing a friend about martial arts stuff and part of something I sent him seems like it would be good to post here.
I think I’m finally fighting my way (literally it feels) out of my Chinese fog. I am told it takes about 6 months to do that. I’m working with Miss M. in the mornings at the park, so she can pick up where she left off in martial arts when we come back to the U.S. in the summer. She in turn is working with her brother and sister after school (on our balcony/deck area) to help them practice and remember. They all really miss martial arts. Funny to move to China and have to miss out on that.
We draw a bunch of spectators when we practice at the park by the "lake". The park is a great place here because every morning people come and form various groups and work on martial arts or other types of exercise – mostly various tai qi stuff. In addition to a lot of walkers and a few runners, I’ve seen Chen style tai qi, sword tai qi, fan tai qi, dancing, qi qong, some wushu (not much though, which is why we draw spectators). We don’t stand out too much, except that we are doing "wushu" AND we are Americans. The two combined draw interest, much like the nighttime line-dancing group does. That group is large, but there is always a small group gathered just watching. We just ignore everyone and keep working. It seems to be the standard protocol here. (For those who don’t know what wushu is, think Jackie Chan, in America it’s called kung fu.) Here in China, it seems like everyone loves wushu, but not very many people do it. Of course, we are only seeing the "old people" in the park, so who knows if school kids are learning it.
I haven’t figured out yet if the groups that gather to work together around our "lake" are organized and pay a teacher or if the people just see something they find interesting and then connect and start working together, or if they just get a group of friends and go do stuff. I think it’s a combination of things. I have to ask a Chinese friend so I can learn more. It would be so cool to learn sword or fan tai qi.