After our free day, we face another 5 days of intense training. The programme remains, but there is far more to master for each of us.
The weather stays hot, around 30-33 degrees, unfortunately with a significant increase in humidity… After trainings you feel like leaving the shower.
The tong bei class keeps focussing on improving the different techniques and some one-on-one blocks. Master Zhang observes his pupils, with the all seeing eye of a master…
In the Tang Lang class master Sun gives us the third and final sequence to memorise. He clearly explains us some of the practical applications of the different moves. The easiest way to grip those moves, is keeping the praying mantis in mind. Short, rapid, circular movements to disarm or harm enemies. Often executed with the forearms.
The Xing Yi lesson in the afternoon continues with a 3rd sequence as well… I find this a really useful, yet complex style. He differs in much from what I’m accustomed to, yet there are some very interesting features… This is one to keep on practising throughout the year.
I conclude daily with the tai chi 32 form sword sequence from master Li. Our whole group works hard to master those sword moves together with the master, who corrects as many details as possible.
The closer performance day nears, the more nervous all the masters get… This is a real important moment for them! That morning we show what we’ve been able to master during the camp and the masters see what we’re capable of. After all the trainings, we can happily conclude the camp. Once again we’ve learnt a lot about martial arts, thanks to a combination of all those different styles. With every step taken, I realise more where the art stands for in the wu shu.
As tradition requires, we conclude the camp with a dinner… This time an Arabian restaurant at the other side of Beijing is chosen. A nearly 2 hours bus ride offers us the opportunity to experience the Chinese view on belly dancing and Arabian kitchen. My Egyptian friends will look surprised – perhaps even shocked – about this approach.
Saturday evening we say goodbye to our team members, since a big part leaves early Sunday morning. Karen, Boris, Kevin and Micha head home. Jeroen will return to Beijing with us, as his plane leaves on Monday morning… Lieve and I have another 2 weeks of China exploration ahead.