Underneath my yellow skin

Bagua is my life now

I am continuing to talk more about Bagua and Taiji. Here is my post from yesterday. It’s been interesting in the RKG Discord. There is a gym channel, but I don’t visit it. Unfortunately, the talk of dieting and weight has spilled over into the general producer channel as wel.l I cannot do weight/dieting talk, so I have to skim past all of it. It’s funny because I’m used to women being the ones who are obsessed with their bodies, and in this case, it’s mostly men. That’s probably because it’s a Discord based around video games, which is still a predominantly male domain. Sadly.

Unfortunately, the three content creators are equally obsessed with weight and have bought into the whole ‘fat is bad’ bullshit. They would not phrase it that way and are quick to say that you should not fat-shame kids 9or anyone), but then go on at length to talk about how disgustingly fat they were as kids.

I am not happy that men are getting in on the body hatred.In part because it’s such a waste of time. Several of the guys are doing it for wedding reasons (or did it for a wedding), and it’s like, “Why?” I mean, I know why. But it’s so futile. that’s what I learned when I was in my twenties and thirties. Any idea of ‘let me lose a bunch of weight in this short period of time’ will end badly. Something like 98% of people gain the weight back and more. Bodies are pretty stubborn about clinging to the fat.

That’s not  to say that people can’t take it off and keep it off. Obviously, they can. But the question is should they? Is it wise? And the answer to that usually is no. Don’t get me started on how ‘eating healthily’ has replaced diet talk. And is classist to boot. And the danger in assigning morality to food. Food is not good or bad. It just is.

I will admit my bias. My body saw me through death. Twice. My body is fucking badass. The fact that it has padding probably helped. It’s better to be 10 pounds overweight that underweight because the fat protects your organs. And, not to be arrogant, but my body breezed through walking (non-COVID-related) pneumonaia, two cardiac arrests, and  an ischemic stroke. Without even breaking a sweat. It shrugged and said, “Is that all you got?”

I walked out of the hospital two weeks after I was admitted. To be more precise, I was wheeled out to my brother’s car, but then I walked into the house on my own. The occupational therapist said I would need six months to a year of nehab, if not more, to get back to anything close to normal.

My physical therapist watched me walk down the hall on the fifth day I was awake. She had a few things to say to me about how to walk, but not much. The next day, we did the same little trek. She watched me, but she didn’t have anything to say. When we made it back to my room, she said she had nothing left for me. She advised mo to do the same walk a few times a day and gave me permission to go anywhere I wanted.

This was less than a week after I woke up from my medical trauma. I have not done any physical therapy or rehab for what I went through. This was after being told I would have to do several months if not years of PT and rehab. I’m not bragging, by the way. I know it’s because I was incredibly lucky.

But, it was also my Taiji study. I firmly believe this. I have told people that the three reasons I survived were because of luck, love, and Taiji. Luck played a huge part. Love carried me through the actual experience. And Taiji? Yeah, that perpared my body as much as it could have been prepped for such an experience.

Now, let’s add Bagua to the mix. Just as there is a yin to every yang, Bagua complements Taiji. While the latter is reactive and more chill, the former is aggressive and in your goddamn face. I have talked to my teacher about the difference in the two, asking her if she found them complementary. She did.

What I love about Taiji: it makes me feel relaxed and in the state of flow. I am one with the universe and when everything comes together, it just feels so good. When I put on some music and start moving my weapons, I just feel so in tuned with everything around me. There are rare moments when I can’t tell the difference between me and my weapon. I live for those moments, to be honest.

Bagua, on the other hand, makes me want to attack everything and everyone around me. Not that there’s anyone around me. But it stirs up the aggression in me until I need to let it out.

My teacher told me that if a Chinese person knows you study Bagua, they’ll think you’re dangerous. Which I kinda liked. I don’t mind being thought of as dangerous, truth to be told. Here’s the thing about Bagua. Anything goes. And I mean anything. It’s like the MMA in that there are no rules (yes, I know that’s not exactly true of the MMA, but it feels like it form the outside).

Not to say there are rules in Taiji, but there are, kind of. Not in combat, obviously, but there are still some ruling guidelines. Such as, don’t attack. It’s about receiving the energy and redirecting it. Of course, with how fast the movements can be, it can be difficult to tell what it action and what is reaction.

What do I want, ultimately? To be able to mix the two effortlessly. I want to be able to go from being on the defense to moving to the offense without blinking an eye. When I watch videos of people mixing different martial arts, there is such a beauty in it. I watched two different kinds of martial artists fight each other, and I was awed by it.

Do I think I will ever reach that level? Probably not. My intent is not to be a master, but to be competent enough to use my martial arts in self-dense if need be. That’s my ultimate goal.

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