Hangzhou Wushu Morning

Fan Dancer
Attended a Wushu club house gathering in Hangzhou. My first time to visit a wushu club in China. Dozens of wooden tables and chairs set up and a dias for the speakers–teachers/sifus/laoshis of wushu and taiji. All smiles and fun, mostly middle-aged and retired folks, probably about 100 in attendance. Happy members came around the tables and poured big piles of sunflower seeds, peanuts in the shell and bags of jiuzi [mandarin oranges] on each table. Women [I later found out, senior women teachers] came by with paper cups, long jin tea and hot water. Pretty towels were handed out to the members when they came in the door.
My friend and I were the only weigouren, foreigners/westerners, there. My friend is a member of the club and has been training with a taiji teacher from there for a few years. We all munched the delicious seeds and oranges and the hot tea helped warm our cold hands. It was a raw, wet day in Hangzhou, but as is normal in the PRC, no heaters are used to warm off the chill. Nevertheless, the mood was festive and chatty and fun.
The teachers on the dias spoke about the importance of daily practice and lots of respect was paid to the elders of the club. It is not often they are all in one place at the same time, I was told. There was one younger women on the dias with the other teachers. She teaches a wushu sword form, my friend said. They are grooming her as one of the next generation of teachers and so she was afforded an honored seat on the stage with the laoshi.
Teachers for the Wu Lin Wushu club
The opening demonstration was a daoyin gong form created by one of the leading teachers of the group. Everyday they practice this daoyin gong before doing their wushu/taiji near Wu Lin Square. It is a lovely form to look at. Daoyin forms are meant to be gentle; opening and stretching the meridians and preparing the body and mind for whatever practice one is about to undertake.
Daoyin Gong
A fan dance was next and a pas de deux with the fan dancer and a retired gentlemen doing some shaolin-style [?] form followed. The singing of the Wu Shu anthem accompanied the pair.
Fan Dance & Shaolin
There were several other performances, singers, a native flute player piping a lovely folk tune, a group of women using hand gestures along with a song about Hangzhou and, of course, my friend and I were asked to sing. He chose Auld Lang Syne. With his low voice, I couldn’t be heard. Probably a good thing.
Playing a gourd/flute
I was treated like family and asked to come back. They wouldn’t allow us to help clean or put away the chairs though. Membership for one year is 10Yuan or about 1.50USD.
My friend’s says his taiji teacher teaches Classical Yang Family style taiji, not the wushu competition form that was created some years ago by the PRC. Next week, I have been invited to see the teacher and his forms.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. hirasenthil@gmail.com
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 18:55:44



  2. hirasenthil@gmail.com
    Feb 17, 2010 @ 18:56:27



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