Uncle Frank's Tai Chi Tips

When I was doing Crime watch somehow one of the older American guys who would later learn from me was talking about whether Uncle Frank did Martial Arts. Now this is actually more than just American Stereotyping. Some Asians may groan and say, "Just because a person is Asian and is old doesn't mean they know Kung Fu."

But look, if you were to make a movie about the Drama in Chinatown, and it was made in Hong Kong.. frankly all the powers that be would have superhuman Kung Fu as well as their mental strategies and political pull. This is because, Jin Yong wrote a lot of novels where the people in these political positions had secret and powerful Kung Fu. Part of it is just for entertainment.

Plus, Chinese people like to explain greatness through practice. Training done after birth. Whereas Americans like to explain it through Divine right or genes. I.e. you are great because it is something you are born with and this power cannot be taught.

So the explanation for Uncle Frank making it to an old age, is be because of some 9 ring manual of eternal youth. (Again this would be the TVB Drama's explanation. The American explanation would be a combination of genes, diet, exercise, and staying active both mentally and physically.)

In any case, as far as I know Uncle Frank did not do Martial Arts. In fact, he told me he was really into ping pong instead. But there were a couple of times when doing crime watch when his quick reactions going over s step or other things like that made people wonder.

But Uncle Frank did talk about a cousin or something that did Tai Chi.

"Everyday he would go to the basement to practice at night with all the lights off. Every day he practiced for exactly three hours. Always in the basement. Always with the lights off."

This sounds vague and I think Uncle Frank thought it was weird.

But I admired the daily discipline of this man who I had never met... and actually I totally understood why someone might want to do it in the dark. Not so much to hide the technique... but there is something psychological and even spiritual about enveloping yourself in darkness. Like the practice is somehow deeper and more subconscious. I noticed this when I practiced in  the dark outside. And that was not complete darkness. However, my basement is not great in terms of air quality and I think air quality is very important for your practice as well.

Well for my next post I'll probably write something about Memorial Day.