stories about training in public

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stories about training in public

Postby Tom on Fri Dec 04, 2009 11:53 am

What encounters have you had while training in parks or other public places? Any good stories--funny, poignant, insightful, scary? I've gotten funny looks and furrowed brows from post-9/11 maritime security staff practicing on ferries, and maybe even made it into a newspaper column (not sure if it was me).

Here's a video clip from a gent named Hans Menck (thanks D for the link), training bagua spear in the middle of an icy intersection when an old woman comes by . . .

The spring does not fear the iron hammer’s strike.—Martin LaPlatney
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Daniel on Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:13 pm

Training in dark courtyards under a bare light in Beijing summer nights a long time ago...training on train platforms in Europe, on boats, on bases, in apartments, ...training in parks, with weapons and without...having the police called out on me, and guards spotlighting us from a car while training in Green Park in London at night...

...training on ranges, with weapons and without...

...having a whole squad of young chinese security officers look at me in the dark of Beijing while the crickets chirped and the endless circles went on...

...training on rooftops in Amsterdam while living on the outskirts of the Red Light district...

...fighting once in the park after being challenged while training...

...training among the redwoods in California, in parks in Germany, in parks in Sweden and many other places...

...under full moons and new moons, morning, dusk and night...

And this video is just hilarious.



D.

Sarcasm. Oh yeah, like that´ll work.
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Haoran on Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:28 pm

I've had police come question me, fingerprint me, and kick me off public own property (closed down abandoned school grounds which everone else can use for BB, football, etc) for standing under a tree (wuji qigong practice).

That's why I now have 5 wooded acres where no one can see me practice and just practice by myself.

In China you have the onlookers who are ready to give you advice as to what you are doing wrong.
Last edited by Haoran on Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Wanderingdragon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:03 pm

getting a sincere Hao , from an older chinese couple passing by as I trained on the lakefront, still waiting for them to come bounce me around a little , to remind me I have a long way to go lol
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby fuga on Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:15 pm

having a worn out guy pop out of the nearby AA meeting and say, "What are you doing? Fighting ghosts?"

same guy at a different location "What would you do if I pulled a knife out on you?"

couple golf clapping after Cerebus gets kicked in the nads by Qiflow
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby cerebus on Fri Dec 04, 2009 1:58 pm

Heh, heh. Yeah I was gonna mention that old Chinese couple on the park bench clapping after I got kicked in the junk by Qiflow... LOL.

Then there was the time Greg & I were doing some sparring in the park and a tall, skinny guy came over and was watching us. After a little while we stopped & I said "Hello" and asked if he did any martial arts. He said "No". Then after a few more minutes of sparring he asks if he can try it. Greg and I look at each other and I say "Sure", so Greg takes off his gloves and hands them to the guy. He says "Naw, I don't need 'em". He's okay with me wearing gloves but he wants to be bare-knuckle, LOL. I'm not worried, so I just say "Fine" and we start sparring. Well... the guy is tense as hell and erratic, all over the place, and looking like he tried to learn Kung Fu from a Bruce Lee movie. I just remained calm and slapped away his incoming attacks. After awhile he stops and says "You see what I'm doing?" Greg & I look at each other like "Huh?" What the hell IS he doing anyway? The guy continues "I'm timing your breathing! I only attack when you inhale! See? See?" Well... I refrained from sarcastically asking "How's that workin' for ya?" At that point he was all out of breath from his spastic display and he proceed to tell us that he did Wing Chun and we were welcome to spar with his training group in Berkeley. We thanked him and let him go on his way...
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby GrahamB on Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:05 pm

This one time, at band camp... oh, sorry - wrong movie! ;D

Trecking up hill into wilderness to avoid local chav kids who make every decent place to train untenable by their presence - voice shouts out from behind a hedge "Will you teach me?"

Shout back: "We don't teach hedges!"
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby David Boxen on Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:18 pm

Most recently - guy riding by on a bicycle yelling at me to slow down and take it easy; I was basically standing still at the time.
We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves. - Norbert Wiener
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Tom on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:09 pm

David Boxen wrote:Most recently - guy riding by on a bicycle yelling at me to slow down and take it easy; I was basically standing still at the time.


;D


http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-02-13/diversions/ask-an-uptight-seattleite

Dear Uptight Seattleite,

Please explain the compulsion some Seattleites feel to practice tai chi in public. This week on the Seattle-bound run of the Winslow ferry, I observed a middle-aged man practicing tai chi who looked like he was going to mate with the bulkhead, until he almost fell down. Note that it was a calm day and there were no swells. A regular on the ferry told me the man does this every morning. My dog and I always see this other guy who's tai chi'd to death all the grass around a tree in a park near my house. I see the same thing at Volunteer Park, Green Lake, and other places around the city: middle-aged white guys sweeping the air in elaborate, self-conscious slow motion. Why do they have to do it in public?

Why Chi?


Dear Why Chi?

Why indeed? Why do these peaceful practitioners bother you so much? Is their presence a silent rebuke to your own rushing, unreflective state of mind? Please don't be offended—I'm exploring possibilities here, not pointing fingers. I do confess, however, to a concern about the disdain I sense is coiled up inside your phrase "middle-aged white guys."

These men may seem laughably irrelevant to whatever important thing you're rushing off to. They may be far removed from the glittering sideshows thrown up by the media to distract us from the true state of the world. But is it not the case that wisdom may be contained in the least comely of vessels? Next time, pause for a moment to ponder the contents of these headband-sporting gray heads. Consider that, as they slowly push at the air, they are also pushing at the limitations of our culture itself. They're urging it, and us, to slow down and feel the quiet rhythm of a healthy spirit.

Indeed, for them to practice in public is an act of generosity, offered to the world with great humility. Also, for the record, there were in fact very rough waters that day on the Winslow ferry.


I have, on occasion, been observed to mate with the bulkhead on said ferry.
The spring does not fear the iron hammer’s strike.—Martin LaPlatney
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Felipe Bidó on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:21 pm

Saturday afternoon, public park; Jose and yours truly, sparring. I get in, Jose throws me to the ground, I grab Jose by the neck, woman comes running, shouting at our classmates, saying 'BREAK THEM APAAART!!...BREAK THEM APAAAART, PLEAAASE!!'. We keep on fighting, but puzzled and laughing while the lady tries to make her good deed of the day...our classmate says: No, no!, see? They're laughing, it's just fun...

And, like waking up from a dream,she watches us and leaves.
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Void on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:47 pm

I was once walking back from training with a large sports bag, which held a sword. A police car pulled up next to me with the window down, so I stopped and the guy through the window said 'what's in the bag son' - 'a sword' I said - 'don't mess us about he says - 'what's in the bag' and I hear the other door open as the other guy gets ready to get out. 'a sword' I said pulling it out from the bag - there was a load clunk as the far door shut and locked .... the timing of the clunk and the change of plan was brilliant.

Surprisingly it took less talking to get out of that than I thought - turned out they knew of my teacher.

I was once fighting a boxer in his garage and got so absorbed in it that I was raining blows on him as he backed out and we ended up where he was bent backwards over his car hood on his drive with me still punching him. I suddenly snapped out of it and saw some pretty stunned looks from his neighbours.

I remember training bokken with a guy in a park who hit me square over the head when I stopped to talk - it knocked me onto my knees and I immediately had floods of tears roll down my cheeks - kind of looked like I was being knighted. Hurt so bad though that I just stood up so carefully and walked all the way home holding my head in my hands.

I used to break into a large park, climbing over locked gates, and train in an open pavilion in the early hours. On cold days I used to steam from the heat generated - I remember a torch suddenly lighting up whilst I was on the last stretch of a 1000 punches - I pushed on to finish them - the light went out and I expected to be asked to leave. They never came over though. One other time I got the torch when my friend had come in too - he used to attack me with a thick rattan staff which I used to block to condition my limbs and make me sharp - but again no visit. They just left me to it after that.
Last edited by Void on Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby AllanF on Fri Dec 04, 2009 5:33 pm

Most of the time i just get people saying i'm no good etc cause ya-know i'm a foreigner and would never be able to understand the complexities of taijiquan. If they say this to my teacher he just tells them to push with me and tell me not to push back, afterwards they normally change their tune.

Was doing taiji in my teacher's spot one day and i turn around to see a man squatting down staring at me while taking a dump! When he saw i was a foreigner he looked so surprised it was as if he was thinking "A foreigner doing taiji...have they no shame?" Then he pulled up his trouser (without an ass wipe) and walked off to tell his mates! Got to love China!
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby Strange on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:05 pm

@all: lmao muah ha ha
天官指星 单对月 风摆荷叶 影成双

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Re: stories about training in public

Postby cerebus on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:11 pm

One time while on my way to Bagua class, taking the train and carrying my Bagua broadsword wrapped in towels and bungee cords, this sketchy lookin' guy next to me looks over and asks "WHAT'S THAT?! IS THAT A SWORD?!" I was just like "Um, no." So he comes back with "WELL WHAT IS IT?! IT LOOKS LIKE A SWORD!" Of course I had it bundled up & wrapped pretty well (in an attempt to avoid just that kind of reaction from knuckle-heads) so I just said "It's a stick." He looked disappointed & responded "Oh..... DO YOU DO KUH-ROTTY?!" ::) :P
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Re: stories about training in public

Postby mrtoes on Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:39 pm

Er I disturbed a couple mating in the park when I was doing circle walking. I walked up and started practising and didn't even realise they were there until I saw them going at it. Feel a bit bad about it as they looked like they were getting to a good bit and I'd clearly disturbed the proceedings! Also a few random encounters with police, nutters, dogs (circle walking does something funny to them) and fellow enthusiasts, but no real drama. Mainly in Australia funnily enough, people in London are usually far too polite/scared/indifferent to cause hassle.
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