Reminiscences of Yao Zongxun – pt III

There is a great couple lines in this portion of the interview, “M Yao had already started using protective gear and kickpads in Yiquan training in the 30s and 40s. In this respect, M Yao was ahead of the curve. The protective gear meant that, firstly, there was more protection for students, and secondly, it allowed for sparring that was closer to actual fighting.” It then gets weird after that. Enjoy.

Masters of the IMA

A: You mentioned punchbag work just now. Is there a process to this too, or did students just start straightaway?
C: There’s a sequence to everything. M Yao divided our punchbag training into several stages. First we hit small cotton balls, then next small punchbags, until we finally started training on heavy bags. For the cotton ball training, small cotton balls were suspended from a piece of string. Students would stand at a distance where they could open up their shoulders and their guard hand could come completely round. We would then punch at the ball so that your fist only just made contact with the ball . At this point you still had to relax, you couldn’t use force; if you used physical force the cotton ball would fly away. But at the moment when your fist touched the cotton ball, you had to clench your fist, the cotton…

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