Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meihua Poles

A few years ago, when I had the time and an available instructor, I practiced Tai Chi. One of our fundamental warmup exercises was a posture. Now before I even tell you the name of that posture, let's just let that thought marinate in our head: we warmed up by standing in a spot for a long time. :)

The posture was called "embracing the tree" or "get in a horse stance and hold your hands up for a really damn long time" if you're not into flowery names. If that wasn't enough, we would also practice the posture while balancing on bricks that were laying along their longest edge. Nothing like the gentleman in this picture. If we got good at that, we set them up on their more narrow edge, and a good time was had by all. I still remember the pictures from Dr. Yang's book of him standing on stacked bricks and thinking that he must have a genetically superior inner ear. or something...

The posture practice on bricks really told you a lot about your stance, balance, weight distribution, etc. Crappy stance? Fall over. Easy.

Meihua, or plum blossom, poles are a whole other monster. We're talking Shaw Brothers movie style body conditioning. And now you move on them? Ok...

Naturally, I think this is completely awesome, and I'm one step away from buying a post hole digger and start planting 4x4s. My wife, meanwhile is contemplating cracking me in the back of the head with said 4x4 before I make our backyard into a wannabe 36 Chambers of Shaolin playground. Side note: You've NEVER seen the 36 Chambers of Shaolin? Shame on you.

That's OK, I found a portable version using PVC pipes. So I can make it, bring it to clinics and torture Cho Dan Bo. Mwahahahaha!

What will I do on them? Heck that's easy, I found a book in the OSU Library with very precise step-by-step details outlining their use.

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