|Jachym testing hard WC qigong|
Our second day of testing started right after meditation at 7am.
We began with hard White Crane qigong. We had to use the basic patterns that we learned and put them together for two minutes. This wasn’t too bad because we were able to use the few patterns we knew and change angles to target different muscles. Dr. Yang was mainly looking for how creative we could be, the timing of our movements, and how rooted we were for each movement.
|Santi and I testing hard WC qigong|
After practicing solo, we had to find a partner and use our patterns against them. We would have to try to trap our partner by using these patterns with stepping and angling. This was harder because we usually just practice one pattern at a time for a short period of time. However, today, we had to continuously have pressure for the required two minutes. I was paired with Santi, who can be pretty aggressive when it comes to hard qigong, so I played defense most of the time. Even though it was hard, I enjoyed this exercise. It was challenging and by mixing all the patterns together with a partner, made me think about different uses for each posture.
|Santi testing soft WC qigong|
When we finished hard White Crane qigong, we took a breakfast break and then moved to soft. Our soft White Crane qigong test was split into three parts. The first was performing solo for 5 minutes with 5 lbs attached to our hands. We had to move around using all the soft White Crane qigong patterns that we were taught. Not only did we have to mix them, but we also had to add stepping, angling, hopping, and jumping. Dr. Yang also expected us to showcase some jing with these patterns. The second part was another 5 minutes. However, this time we wielded short sticks with 1 lb weights taped to the ends of them. We practiced with these sticks because they would help condition our wrists as well as teach us good body structure for future short handed weapons training. The third and final part of our soft White Crane qigong test was to practice with a partner. We were given a choice of using weights or sticks. I paired myself with Jachym. I chose weights, he chose sticks. I had to try to get in while he had to try to keep me out. This was hard because I kept imagining his weapons as blades. Luckily he slowed his movements down for me so I didn’t get beat up too badly :P
|Jachym and I testing soft WC qigong|
|Frank and Santi testing Taiji ball|
Once we finished with soft White Crane qigong, we didn’t get a break. It was straight to Taiji ball qigong. We had to do 3 minutes solo and then 2 minutes with a partner. Solo consisted of mixing all the patterns we knew. Regular circling, rotations, and wrap coiling. We also had to add stepping and angling as usual. Then we had 2 minutes of partner practice. We had to take turns pushing and neutralizing each other, keep good distance, and give each other a little trouble.
|Taiji ball qigong with a partner|
|Javi testing saber basics|
Taiji ball qigong was followed by Taiji saber. We started with 5 minutes of mixing all of the fundamentals that we knew together. We had learned many patterns and now we had to make them flow and have each movement make sense.
After our solo testing, we moved to using these basics with a partner. I paired myself with Jachym again and we began to give each other trouble. We hit each other’s hands countless times. My knuckles are still a little sore. I guess we should have used gloves :P
When we finished beating each other up, Dr. Yang tested our Taiji saber sequence. We all went at the same time as he sat to the side and watched us carefully.
|Javi and Dr. Yang centering|
The final test for the morning was our centering test. Dr. Yang took us on one by one to see how much we had improved from the semester before. Personally, I felt an improvement. Although I still have many things to work on and many bad habits to break, I was happy with how things turned out.
Afternoon testing update… tomorrow!