9/16/2007 12:44pm, #11
From a Wu style perspective, Cullion is correct about the weighting. Other things to look for as distinguishing features are forward lean with upper body in a straight line with back leg and parallel stance in most postures.Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
9/22/2007 1:50pm, #12
- Join Date
- Sep 2007
- St Paul, MN
I finally made it to a Wu Lung class. The address in Google is wrong, which led to me walking around a few blocks on Chicago St. and getting propositioned by a wired-out male prostitute who inquired whether I wanted to pound his pooper. I politely declined. (Wife just said I should have misinterpret this as a invitation to take him somewhere and beat the **** out of him, but he didn't look very clean.)
Eventually I found the right place. Class is taught by two students of Eddie Wu, originally students of Larry Hawkins (the Wu disciple who is no longer in the area Meataxe mentioned) and travel to Canada to study themselves; one of them had just gotten back. Both are certified to teach short form and are about to certify in 108. I was the first one there, so I talked with one of them for a while about Wu style and did some push hands. Wu push hands is also different from what I had been used to due to the small circle approach, as I was used to countering out pretty far and letting the enemy push sink closer felt vulnerable. When the other senior and students arrived, I joined them in warmups, learned the first step of the form, did some stance walking with resistance, and watched the 108 and short forms and their push hands. The forms were very different from Cheng as expected, but from what I could tell were very well executed and explained by the seniors. After class I hung out with the seniors and talked with them about sparring, countering long range, and the politics of the Wu family which I'm not personally interested in but figured would be good to know. They were interested in free sparring cross-discipline, so I directed them to Bullshido. :P
The senior that I pushed with was able to neutralize and counter me pretty easily, though I did get one folding elbow to the chest in unexpectedly (I think that may have been outside the realm of beginning Wu push hands though). Also promising was when I grabed his wrists in response to a question about the forward lean on the first posture, he tossed me back about six feet with no effort by raising his hands, and I figure I outmass him by about 90 pounds or so.
Now the bad news: I think the original place Larry taught, GOMAC, is closed (in the area where I got invited to pound a pooper) and the two disciples don't really have a place so they're teaching in a church gymnasium, which is fine except they have some very old and scary mats, a wavemaster, and some of those really bad foam punchguards on site. Doesn't bode well for full contact. There was also no hard contact sparring when I was there, but this is probably because the only ones who were really interested in it were the two seniors. (They affirmed all of this as problematic.) Money is the problem as they obviously aren't making any at this to get a good facility, gear, and insurance. I suggested they try to rent some mat time at a bigger place, which is fine except that the other Tai Chi schools in the area are a little reluctant. I suggested they try Warrior's Cove or another more MMA-oriented place. They also don't have many students, and mentioned that some of their students left after expsure to hard sparring when what they wanted was noncombative Tai Chi. Bummer.
So it seems like a good place to learn, with seniors who have a good attitude and a verifiable lineage to Wu and from what I could tell excellent abilities. It also seems that they really want to do more hard sparring and cross-style throwdowns, but lack the resources and willing student base to do it regularly. If I asked I'm sure they would be happy to kick my ass around the place, assuming we could find a place to do it. My other choice of school is Warrior's Cove, which I've written about in different posts, where they regularly do hard contact and tons of alive training, but all in external styles.
Advice? Should I study with the Wu guys? Should I just go external? Should I have pounded that pooper with a broken bottle?