So here we are (just about) on September 1st, school has started, the mornings are a bit darker, and we’re fully back at the gym. You read that correctly. As of this week, we’ll be back in person on Fridays. However, as we still have a number of you participating remotely for various reasons, we will maintain Zoom connections for all of our classes. As you know, some of these classes work better for this than others. For example, classes where people are learning a new form may be just as good via Zoom or in person – so long as you have your onscreen sense of direction figured out and enough space in which to move. Likewise, conditioning classes are generally pretty good remotely (consider that bicycle company that sells a very expensive at home product…) But, review classes where in person students are doing forms reps may be less useful, and application classes at home may not be good at all, unless you have an equally committed partner.
So what’s the plan? We have a number of beginners at various stages of competence with 16 step, 20 step, and 24 step (Chujiquan). As such, we will keep a beginner review class on Wednesdays at 5pm to go over these forms, the associated basics, and their applications. At 6pm on Wednesdays, we will continue with applications from all levels catered to whoever shows up.
On Fridays, we’re back in the gym. We will have padwork class live at 5pm, but for those who wish to attend from home, the combinations we are doing should be adaptable to heavy bag without issue and you can continue to attend via Zoom. At 6pm, we will work on a new beginning-advanced form called Er Lu Maifu, or sometimes known as the 2nd Way of Ambush. If you wish to participate in that class, I would strongly recommend that you have had either Shi Tzi Tang or Yi Lu Maifu, which are both from the same series and precede Er Lu Maifu. If you have had 12 Kicks, but not either of the other two, then you should be OK to attend.
On Saturdays, our first hour (11am) is the same: Tan Tui followed by Tumbling. I still strongly urge all students no matter their level to attend Tan Tui as it is the basics of our system and will help you to better perform no matter what your level. Also, it’s good warmup, and we often take time to work applications in this class. At noon, we will revisit Gongliquan, aka: Power Fist. If you are remembering your beginner forms: 16/20/24 step, then you should be OK to do this class. The form is somewhat more complicated than any of these and also significantly longer. On the other hand, there is lots of repetition. If you know Gongliquan already, it is still worth coming by because this is the first time we’ve done it in person in two and a half years, and you are apt to pick up some application skill. At 1pm on Saturdays, we will be working on our two person staff form. This is an extremely long form taught in two halves. It is significantly more advanced than 16 staff, so I would caution that you must feel VERY comfortable with that form AND/OR be at a solid intermediate level (think Zhongjiquan or above) to attend. Given the length of this form, if you skip weekends routinely, you will probably not learn the form adequately. The goal is to wrap this up (both halves) by the end of December so that those practicing can then start doing round-robins and extra practice in our applications or review classes.
Sunday is unchanged from previously. At 1pm we will have Taijiquan, and at 2pm we’ll do Open Forms. In Taiji, we are currently working on 24 form and its applications. As people finish and feel confident with the applications, we are likely to go back to doing some pushhands drills. Open Forms is an opportunity to review any and all forms in a more intense training format. If you are looking to be officially promoted this side of the new year, I would encourage you to come so that you can get feedback on your practice.
Regarding promotions, we have been relatively unconcerned about them over the pandemic and will probably remain so. It is possible to learn new forms/technique without getting an official promotion. However, should you wish to know where you stand officially, and challenge yourself to a standard, then you should consider testing for promotion. We don’t have a date yet set for testing, but as I hear interest, we will get one on the calendar.
All the best,
NOTE THE UPDATED SCHEDULE BELOW posted 9/10