FANTASTIC, EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT SIGUNG'S BEST
Sifu Christ Didyk
Shaolin Wahnam USA
3rd July 2012
Alright, now that it's been a short time since the course ended, I can finally put together some of my thoughts!
As everyone else has said, the course was truly fantastic. I went because, like many others, I've always been fascinated with Baguazhang. In that regard, I went despite knowing that the art isn't Sigung's best.
The first powerful lesson I learnt was that with Sigung's level of kung fu genius, along with his dedication to transmit high-quality teachings, saying that Baguazhang isn't his best art is like saying one priceless piece of art isn't as nice as another. In the end, both are priceless, and you would be incredibly lucky to have either!
Furthermore, Sigung uses the art he's teaching to transmit core skills that can be applied anywhere. Other attendees frequently talked about how dragon-like they felt when practicing Baguazhang, and I'm sure that deeper level of dragon will transform how we practice the Dragon set, Taijiquan, or anything else we wish to make "dragony".
I had a great but hard time on the course. I felt great on the first day, pretty awful on the second day, and slightly less awful on the third day, but that helped make my feeling of re-emergence on the fourth day all the more wonderful. Interestingly, how I felt at any given time didn't seem to affect my efforts on the course itself.
Even on Tuesday, I still felt full of energy with a clear mind. And I was surprised that I was learning and retaining the sequences much faster than on previous courses. The best way I can think to describe it is that everything we did just made sense.
It was also a great help to be surrounded by so many wonderful members of our kung fu family, and I really enjoyed the meals, drinks, and general time spent together outside of course sessions. Spending time like that with such wonderful people is *almost* as nice as learning from Sigung! It's a big, less-spoken-about reason to attend these sorts of courses.
Now that I'm back home in the real world, I'm training lightly and sleeping a lot! I'm regularly sleeping 10-ish hours a night, and a couple of nights ago, I slept for 16 hours!
When I practice Baguazhang, I feel a new, deeper level of stillness, relaxation, and power. I frequently feel my energetic body more distinctly, and it extends a bit beyond my physical body. I can feel how my energetic body flowingly changes shape to match the intention and postures of the Baguazhang patterns I'm performing, which makes it feel all the more dragon-like. Honestly, it's a little strange, but a lot wonderful. And sometimes it feels like I'm going about my day in a perpetual cosmic shower. No wonder I'm sleeping so much.
I'm really looking forward to months if not years spent integrating Baguazhang into my regular kung fu practice. The stances require a bit different movement, but flow nicely into and out of the deeper Shaolin Kung Fu stances. The sequences are incredibly complete and somehow feel like an improvement of Asking Bridges.
Practicing the mother palms feels similar to practicing Grasping Sparrow's Tail. What an amazing art, and a big thank you to Robin, Fleur, Tim, and any other organizers I'm missing, of course to Sigung, and to my family who attended and helped make this course such a wonderful experience. I hope to see you again soon!
Shaolin Wahnam USA
The above is taken from the thread, Baguazhang! @ UK Summer Camp in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum