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Master Chen’s Sword Class

Extrait de mon blog dédié à mes séjours d’entrainement en Chine (séjour 2015) Reportage 9

Since officially October 1st I have a two weeks training again with Master Chen Chixing. As his assistant has recommended to me after the first class to choose for the “sword” and my trainer and good friend in France confirmed that to me during a discussion – hurray to Skype and its availability in China! – I will go for the 2 weeks sword training. Why it has been recommended to me is basically very easy. As first the assistant has seen my Taiji – stile and my push hands and additionally the master has created one form out of two Wudang forms. With this newly created form he became multiple champion already and is very famous for his art to handle a sword. Normally the master does not teach his own form to others. – But this time. Seen like that a unique chance to get trained on something special. And regardless the fact that I will have to cultivate the learned on my own as until now nobody but the master and 6 others, me included, knows to perform this sword form.

Furthermore the use of a sword is a very good method to see how fluent my own Taiji isand how I transmit biomechanic Energy as well as the famous “Chi” (“Qi”)because this becomes visible in the movement of the flexible blade of the sword.

Well, as so often the training started under chaotic circumstances. The 1rst of October came on a Thursday; usually Thursdays are free days. Therefore I informed myself in beforehand if training will be hold on this Thursday or not. The answer has been a clear “no”. By chance on Wednesday afternoon I was talking with someone from the office and this person said like just by the way, the training would start on Thursday. Aha. So I bravely show up on Thursday just before 09:00 a.m. and well dressed. And again the same person stepped out of the office, the more or less by chance, telling me just by the way that I may not have to take part in the morning session from 09 – 11 as I did it during the first class I had already. The definitive start would be at 15:00 than. Ok so far. Therefore I changed clothes again, walked down to town and have been back in time at school.

And indeed classes started. A huge mass of students this time. And it has been….. boring to die. Extremely boring even. Of course also due to the matter of fact that I knew all what has been shown already from the first class I visited. And because so many people didn’t know anything and asked so many stupid questions. – Something that nerved visibly the master the more and more as well.

Therefore I searched for some more information to know what would be done during the evening classes. Clear answer: The repetitions of the afternoon. Therefore I decided to better to go with others down to town to party a little bit. A good fish restaurant, a cocktail in the youth hostel, everything so fine.

Then, the next day it finally started for good. As like for the first time together with all “normal” students the usual stretching. After that basics for how to handle a sword. It became more complex as I initially thought as I do have a sword form already. However this one is from the Yang – stil and very clearly asks for another way of dealing with a sword than here in Wudang.

Anyway. Always do train circulating movements and for sure to take to use the entire body because otherwise the shoulder area of the sword arm will slow down and hurt a lot…

After 2 ½ days of basic training it finally continues with the real sword form. The master shows it, the assistant has to learn that as well and to correct us straight after and hop! Some in discrepancies do appear…! Has the sword to be turned more straight forward or more in diagonal? Sometimes like that, sometimes the other way around and I start to loose patience and ask her in English even though she does not understand or speak it. I want her that she gets fixed and to know the facts. So it goes for a while forwards and backwards until a break and everybody does his own thing. – And finally she got screwed by the master for not knowing how to perform. Well. It’s like that. The master himself, who comes over for corrections from time to time, is more interested in that we correctly do the basis positions and that’s it. This is because, and mentioned once again, the rest is up to our own cultivation.

One of the main difficulties however is, that the master explains a lot, however in Chinese only. And he does not do any effort, by which reason ever, to give a single word in English related to his explications. Therefore I do have to pay double and triple attention and have to kind of “look, see and understand” the movements, that the others already could kind of have listened to because the master said something about. And this even I can state that my Chinese vocabulary became better. Consequently I have difficulties to follow and understand when the sword i.e. is to be turned with the hand in which direction. And there are many turnings with the hand as well as the arm and the entire body in the form!

In the middle of the second week they finally noticed that for us non – Chinese speakers it is a real huge extra effort to follow correctly the training. And therefore finally the master himself and even his assistant start more to lose the once or other word in English. The assistant is even volunteer to get teached some English words and sentences by me. – If this is not a success!

So we finished already on Monday afternoon the form and have the next days to train ourselves, just to get our movements more fluent and complete. At the end of course the usual photo shooting is not to be missed. This has than been done under hot sun. A very funny thing to do! Unfortunately my weekend has been cancelled. The master has given order that all out of my class have to be in school to continue to train “his” form, on Wednesday and Thursday, days being normally our weekend. At the other hand side it is understandable as we 8 remaining people are going to be the only knowing and practicing this form but him. – Worldwide! 1 person in Japan, I in Europe and the others in China.