I was asked by Ryan Patrick St. George to appear on his "Talking Fists" podcast. I said, "Sure. When?" And he replied, "How about now?"
So we got on Zoom and talked for a while about training in two different "branches" of Chen style Taijiquan -- the Chen Village branch and the Chen Yu branch under Nabil Ranne.
Listen to the Talking Fists podcast episode via this link. It's also available through your favorite podcast distributor.
When I first began competing in tournament sparring, I was emotionally involved in every point. I would get upset if a judge missed a call. Not outwardly upset, other than a cocking of my head as if asking, "What?"
Mainly, I was inwardly upset. I wanted to win.
My opponents were often emotionally involved, too. Sometimes, I would stand across from a guy who was angry. And if I scored a point, he was angrier.
I kept careful track of the score. Am I winning? By how much? If I'm behind, how many points do I need?
And then one day, sometime in my forties, I got my ego and emotion out of the game. And I started winning more.
When I faced off against another black belt, I relaxed. When a point was scored, I didn't keep track. I stopped, let the judges call it, and then got back to the contest.
I stopped keeping track of who was winning.
If my opponent scored a point on me, I would congratulate him. "Good shot," I would say. Sometimes, I joked around, wobbling a bit on my rubbery...
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