Sunday, 10 January 2010

Going for a slash in the park

Decided to tackle tai chi again – tackle being the operative word is this case. Found an instructor who taught a number of styles, including sword form which I wanted to learn here, so I popped along with a friend. After numerous phone calls and 20 minutes roaming the park, we eventually found the class. It didn’t seem particularly like tai chi to me, although the instructor had said that he doesn’t teach his classes in the usual manner of a tai chi class. After practising some moves in pairs about how to deflect a punch to the face, the instructor then pulled some knives from his bag. They were blunt training knives, but looked enough like the real thing to freak me out a little. Then we put the deflecting moves into practise armed with the knives.

“Aim with intent” he kept encouraging us. “Don’t aim for the side of the head, aim for the middle of the face.”
“Great”, I thought to myself. “With my slow reflexes, I’m bound to get stabbed in the face.” Thankfully, I didn’t.

However, I did manage to keep tangling my arms, so I asked the instructor where exactly I should be positioning my hands on my opponent’s arm to deflect the attack. “It doesn’t really matter. In the heat of the fight, you’re not going to have time to check that your hands are in precisely the correct position.”
True, but then in the heat of the fight, I’m more likely to kick my opponent in the nuts and scarper than try practising some new martial arts moves. And what’s the point in learning the moves if you don’t learn how to do them properly in the beginning?

He then whizzed through a sequence of moves for the sword form and asked me to repeat them on my own. All I could think was – if I was doing this with my class in the UK, what you’ve just sped through would take at least three classes to teach properly. So it wasn’t the class for me, which was a pity. I think the instructor is probably quite accomplished, just maybe not suited to teaching people. Well, not suited to teaching me anyway. Although I do now know how to stab someone in the face with a knife. Which is bound to come in handy back in London…

1 comment:

  1. I'll take you out for a meal when you get back to the UK but I'm afraid it'll be plastic cultlery for you from now on missy.