Kung Fu Lesson in Yangshuo

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Kung Fu Lesson in Yangshuo

Helen our guide introduced our teacher, Teacher Gong at the edge of the Li River in Yangshuo. Teacher Gong was a muscular Chinese man wearing a loose Kung Fu outfit who spoke little English. This did not stop Callum, Tom and myself from enjoying our lesson with him.

We walked down the steps the very edge of the river and Teacher Gong picked out a good spot. He handed us all a piece of paper upon which were the printed the six forms of Taichi and the ten points of Taiga Quan.

To start with he tab through a series of warming up exercises and then lined us up behind him so we could work through the series in turn, watching and copying him as we went. While he had little conversational English, he knew all the important words relating to his teaching – together, back, around etc and it was easy to follow him. He then took each of the forms; grasp peacock’s tail, single whip, drive monkeys back from left and right etc and explained them in more detail, including their use in combat situations which the boys thought fantastic. He would show a likely attack and how the boys would apply the form to block it.

We worked for about 40 minutes with Teacher Gong and then after a quick video opportunity to get the boys doing Taichi on camera he showed the boys another series of moves which he demonstrated at normal pace.

Finally he indulged the boys a little further by showing them several different kicks which the boys tried (but generally failed!) to replicate at the same speed.