Recently I had the pleasure of giving a private class to introduce Baguazhang to a new student.
Now over the years I have developed a lot of tools to do this, introductory exercises, stories, ways of explaining important ideas. Some of this material is to help explain what Bagua is, I have learned that it is also important to explain what it is NOT (there is a lot of bullshit out there).
In this case the student does not live in Paris so I wanted to give them enough to get chew on if they decide to actually practice consistently. I probably give way too much information for the person to catch all of it – but in this case rather too much than too little. This covers exercises themselves, the details of how to practise, the individual changes a student may need to make according to their body and habits. Then there are also the summaries, the conceptual points, ideas expressed in few words, usually with big implications.
Luo laoshi is good at these – though they may not mean much unless you’ve seen/felt them explained. Here are a few of Luo’s
“Minimize risk, Maximize opportunity”
“+1, -1” related to above but not the same at all
“Pok, pok, pok”
“Just do half”
I like the next one, it makes me smile
“Why are the best push hands people old?” dunno? “Because they’ve been doing it longer”
I realize that to a lot of readers these will not mean much, but there will also be plenty who will nod happily at these. If you want them explained, I suggest you get along to one of Luo’s seminars. He’ll be in Paris May 2015, exact dates soon.
Recombining all these ideas for a student is mentally exciting, and the energy does not just stop at the end of class. As I cycled away another part of my mind was thinking about the nature of martial arts. Given some of the dangerously unrealistic techniques and expectations I see in martial arts, my mind settled briefly on the idea “Don’t die”
Briefly because – everyone dies, and there are situations in which death can be embraced as a best choice.
Another word joined the first two.
“Don’t die stupidly”
RIP Bozo the Bagua clown.