We’re alive and kicking :) The semester is in full swing and it’s back to 15 hour days.
As previously mentioned, I wasn’t able to train much last semester so I feel like I’m starting from scratch. Endurance for sequences and speed training was the first thing to go, but that’s slowly returning. One week into daily stances, kicks, and sequences made my weak and scrawny legs feel solid again. The more difficult parts to regain are rooting, reaction, softness in Qigong & Taijiquan, and sensitivity in Taiji partner drills, but those will come.
It feels great to be back on the mountain. While in London, I kept longing for stillness, fresh air, clean water, less people, and more trees. It was a good city as far as cities go, I’m just more of a nature person and went to Hyde Park when I could. It’s huge and can be surprisingly peaceful for being in the middle of a city.
We’re not only training of course. That would make life easy! We’re also working on a big project involving website design and video production and it’s been a long learning process. I can’t give more details at the moment but I hope we can launch soon.
We have a few big events this semester:
YMAA South American Summer Camp (February 13 – 20)
Jon will be accompanying Dr. Yang, Nicky, and Kathy to South America for the 4th annual summer camp in Córdoba, Argentina. The rest of us will be holding the fort down and enjoying the cold and wet season. (On the plus side, we had above average rainfall for January so hopefully won’t have a water shortage during the dry season.)
Grandmaster Li’s 90th Birthday Celebration in Taiwan (March)
The day after we arrive in Taiwan, we’ll meet up with Grandmaster Kao, Tao (Dr. Yang’s Taijiquan teacher), go to his school and take a day tour around Taipei.
On the next day, it will be my first time meeting Grandmaster Li Mao-Ching, Dr. Yang’s Long Fist teacher. The Retreat Center and other YMAA students are preparing for what might be the most important demo of my life so far. Most audience members don’t fully understand what we’re performing, but Grandmaster Li will know every move and observe how this generation has preserved and interpreted the style. No big deal. Students from other schools will also perform.
After that, we get to relax, enjoy delicious food, and go sightseeing around Dr. Yang’s and my parents’ home country.
Tiger Claw Elite in San Jose, CA (May 21)
This will be our 6th year attending this tournament. I haven’t really thought about whether or not I will compete. Apparently, the Push Hands competition will have no weight or gender divisions and Piper and Bob have been encouraging me to push with the guys. I would have last year if they would let me. Now, I don’t know. There were some pretty huge guys who were probably 200+ lbs. I still have ways to go and I need to get used to the tournament rules because we push differently here. I’m not sure if I want to compete with sequences either. I haven’t competed for many years, but I already feel like retiring :) It’s unfortunate when there’s one or no other competitors. If it happens again, I think they should collapse the divisions and let the women compete with the guys.
As usual, we’ll also have a few media projects in the pipeline. I enjoy the process and I’m challenging myself to take better photos. I even started an Instagram account although technically, my posts are never instant. Jon also started his own account and we still use our joint account to share both of our posts.