Thanks for sharing, now I'm not the only one talking here.
We did not get anywhere near as much time to push hands as I had hoped. But you did get to see how terribly inept I am at pushing hands! The simpler pushing hands I can do pretty well, but the fancier forms I have only just begun to touch and so have a hard time keeping up with.
Beyond that, I have to agree about the unexpected feelings in between the styles. Jim and I were discussing that very thing this morning in an email loop we had going on.
I will let him post his own comments, but I also had very unexpected reactions to the various styles.
I'll start with Yang style, as it's the one I am currently training as so my response was pretty predictable:
I really enjoyed GM Yang Zhenduo's way of teaching. His jovial, even way of moving the class along was every bit as awesome as I've heard he can be. I noticed some very slight differences in form emphasys from what I have seen Yang Jun teach, but nothing that was so different that I had any kind of alternative reaction.
All in all, very much what I expected which was a wonderful experience.
I feel honored to have finally met GM Yang Zhenduo and to have finally taken a class that he taught.
I have studied Wu style in the past but not this branch of the Wu style. I studied what is called the "square form" that Wu Kwong Yu teaches. I was surprised quite a bit by both the similarities and the differences of the square form to this flavor of the Wu style. I think knowing the square form actually worked against me a bit in learning this rounder 16 form.
I truly loved this branch of the Wu Style's 16 posture form and will continue to work on it in future. While there were no big suprises for me there were quite a few small ones.
And for those who attended the Symposium in the B group...
My sincere apologies for being on the wrong leg! I will always blush when reminded of that...
I had no opinions of the Wu/Hao style going into the classes. I had only rarely even seen film footage of this style before and have never met anyone who knew it even a little. I was curious and eager to see and experience it first hand.
And I LOVED it!
I absolutely fell in love with the footwork, the hand positioning, all of it.
The seeming simplicity of this form was VERY deceptive. It LOOKS like it should be very easy to do the movements but then you get into them and you realize very quickly that there is nothing easy about this. Their "Lazy About Tying Robe" at first glance doesn't look like anything particularly martial, but then you do it a few times and suddenly you realize just how precise and energetic those movements are.
I am DEFINITELY going to continue to train the Wu/Hoa 16 posture form and if I ever get the chance to study the style in more depth I will leap at the opportunity.
Some of this may stem from the absolutely magnetic personality of GM Wu Wenhan. That man is simply one of the nicest, kindest and most personable people I have ever had the good fortune to meet.
And FUNNY! His classes were always filled with humour. Though...
Most of that may have been me hearing myself laughing at my attempts to learn that form...
I love watching Sun Style in film clips. I have long watched the Sun style videos online and wished that I could one day learn from this branch. The inclusion of Xingyi and Bagua into the Tai Chi forms was always something that I aspired to learn.
For some reason Sun style confused me beyond belief. It may be that inclusion of the sister styles that did it to me but...
I simply could not follow along.
After the first class I pulled out my DVD and practiced, practiced, practiced, because I was simply NOT picking it up. I thought I had to have missed something during the class and so I tried to fill that gap by watching and following along with the DVD.
However, during the second class I realized that I was still completely, utterly, hopelessly lost with this style.
I simply loved watching GM Sun demonstrate as I love the fluid grace of the Sun style.
I just didn't "get it" while I was there.
No aspersions cast on Sun Style!!! All fault was mine and mine alone.
For some reason I just didn't pick this style up at all during my short time being introduced to it.
Someday I hope to have the leisure to delve deeper into it but for now I will have to chalk this experience up to "didn't work for me".
Again, entirely my fault.
LOVED the warm ups. LOVED the tantien rotation being SO clear!
Also did not "get it" during my short time but I was not as mystified as I was for Sun style. I could follow along easily enough but once I got back to the room I stood there going, "Ummm........?".
If I plug in the DVD I can follow along with no problems, but as soon as I try to do it by myself I get to just past Buddha Warrior Pounds Pestle and once again go, "Ummmm.......?"
Again, it's my own fault. I do love the Chen style and found it very easy to do for the most part, but I just don't seem to be able to retain it for very long.
I'm hoping that's more due to information overload that my own impinging senility...
But I doubt it.
Back to work!!!!