Sunday, February 18, 2007

Know Your Place in Line -- Turtle Style

Yesterday was a small class -- 19 of us, led by Joshua. Yowza!

So, normally I'm more of a back of the line kind of girl, lately inching up a few people up just because there are so many new people. I guess that happens when one has been training for over a year now.
So when we split into two lines on Saturday to do basics, somehow I ended up second in line behind Branden. Yikes! I had never been that close to the front of the line, and I debated dropping back, but given number of relatively new people in my line, it was kinda appropriate that I stay put. So, I decided to challenge myself and run with it, quite literally.

I did okay, sticking tough through caijiao, gong bu, lunbi caijiao etc., but I found myself trying to keep pace with Branden who was ahead of me and who is always consistently either first or second in line. And it was rough, I realized, because not only has Branden been training longer than I have, but he is also taller than I am, so that in itself made it difficult to keep up. As a result, I found myself not going the full length of the carpet, as I usually try to do, and being sloppy.

So by the time we got a few of the basics in -- I think it was maybe around lihetui -- I decided to drop back and settle into 4th place in line, where I was much more comfortable and was able to do everything properly.

I am pleased that I tried the challenge and understood myself. I know I probably ought to push myself to move up in line a little bit more, but I also want to make sure I'm not rushing for the sake of looking speedy.


(This is a classic rendering of the Chinese character for Turtle, pronounced Gu or Gui. The turtle is a symbol of longevity, an animal who can neither run nor jump yet makes steady, unrelenting progress toward his goal.)


  1. I've been constantly struggling to really know where I stand in line. There are some forms I'm not as comfortable as others. For example, my fanyao right side is faster than my ten kong fan yao, etc. It does get a bit trying when a person that is still learning the basics steps in front of you in line. Last night was a bit trying because I was behind a tall person but was a bit slower than what I was used to.

  2. Another comment I forgot to add! More repetitions for those who are short! Or should I use the PC term...petite!

  3. I think you should just kick his ass next time.

  4. Forget your ego! Faster, sharper, stronger! If the person behind you can go faster, let them. If you can go faster than the person in front of you, go in front. Otherwise, no problem. Don't worry about it! Look at Heng Zo, who is in like in 50 different places most classes, always pushing himself.

    Sometimes I'll find myself further in front than I "should" be. I used to think about it, but then I realized that was dumb. (tags: overthinking) Do the best you can, take inspiration from the people ahead of you (or the fact that you're in the front), and let the chips fall where they may. If someone behind you wants to go ahead, they need to learn to understand themselves and ask. ("Understand others -- understand yourself!")

  5. As Sifu says, "Push yourself!" Awesome!

  6. i don't find myself in the very front of the line much these days. it makes me feel more rushed than i should be. i start out towards the front usually and then fall back until the person behind me isn't uncomfortably close. I'll switch a lot with one person throughout class sometimes too. I don't think of it as such an absolute thing. As long as you can do your thing, it's all good.

  7. It's wonderful to be behind someone with alot of qi. I found out it eventually rubs off onto you!