Challenge 8: ACCOMPLISHED!

Posted by Adrian on August 15, 2010 under Challenges | 3 Comments to Read

Map updated!

Challenge 8: Study a martial art with an old master.

As we took a walk last night, between the walls of the ancient city of Xi’an (a city famous for its warriors) and its former moat, we came across an old woman who lurked in the shadows wielding a long sword. We watched her unnoticed as she moved in and out of the trees in front of us. When she’d finished we made our move…not away from her, however, but towards her. She was exactly what we’d been looking for and it wasn’t long before this lovely lady had invited us to join her Tai Chi association at 6 AM the following morning!

Every day at dawn and dusk, hundreds of retired people can be found in parks across China. Every activity from sewing to ballroom dancing to whip cracking is represented. So is learning and practicing various forms of Tai Chi. It’s really quite a sight. As music blares out through speakers, dozens of people can be seen standing in rows moving slowly but deliberately in perfect unison.

Despite our lacking all of their grace and poise, the Xi’an Tai Chi association welcomed us to join them with open arms. Whether it was performing with a fan or a sword, they never stopped encouraging us. The man everyone in the park calls “Shifu” (master) happily answered our questions and politely said we had potential to learn, although you’ll see from the photos below that we spent a lot of the time facing the opposite direction to the rest of the group!

All in all, it was another highly successful challenge, another fascinating story for the book and a lot of fun.

Photos (click on them to see the full image)

(To see captions for each picture, please visit the website)


(To see videos, please visit the website)

3 Comments on “Challenge 8: ACCOMPLISHED!”

  • Cheney said,

    Hey,that’s cool.The woman in the last video seemed weird~~but she’s really a master!I’ve been to Xi’an before n it’s a historic city in China.Have u been to other places of interests in Xi’an too??BTW,Adrian played shuttlecock pretty well.

    Aug 15, 2010

  • Kat said,

    Xi’an was my first overseas teaching site. I loved it, with the exception of its horrid air pollution. Every morning there were dozens of residents in the parking lot of my hotel practicing their various marshal arts. First was T’ai Chi, then came the swords. It was great.

    Congrats on Challenge Number 8!

    Aug 16, 2010

  • Ana said,

    Ah,that music is exactly the same with what wakes me up in where I live in and what I hear in Zhujiang early in every morning.

    Aug 28, 2010

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