Eight Drunken Immortals: The Blog

May 07, 2006

Weekend in Boise

What a great weekend. This was the fifth festival (two of them have been here at our school) that I have been two and the first one with Grandmaster The. We left Portland Friday morning around 10:30 am and arrived in Boise around 7 pm. It only took us around six and a half hours but it seemed longer when we take into account gaining an hour because of moving into another time zone.
Grandmaster The on the right

We arrived at the Boise school in time to see some of their students, and several students from other schools, testing to the next level. I wish I could have tested. I'm sure I could have tested if I had had a couple more days of practice. Everyone passed and did well. After testing we went out to dinner and then went to stay at a Boise students house for the night. It was interesting seeing some of Black Belt students practicing some of the forms that they have seen. They were all colorful and complicated. I can't wait for the chance to see them. I am so looking forward to September when I can have the chance to test to Black Belt.

Saturday morning we met at a local Boise park. It was a beautiful day. It was cool, never getting so warm that it got to be uncomfortable. The sun was shining, bright and clear, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky for much of the day. We learned the first of the two forms, Praying Mantis Pick and Play (don't know the Chinese name) in the morning. It is a great form with lots of strikes and chops. I would like to learn it because if I don't see it again at some other festival, this is a form that I won't see again until I'm a 5th Degree Black Belt testing up to 6th Degree in 15 years or so.

Grandmaster The (pronounced Tay) is a soft spoken man. He is very friendly and approachable. He is also quick to laugh and loves telling jokes and stories. I was in awe of him. I'm just a brown belt and his is the 10th Degree Grandmaster. He is the best in the world while I'm a nobody.

After coming back from lunch, we learned the form, Chinese Broadsword and 9 Section Chain Whip. That was a form that was very complicated. You hold the Broadsword in your right hand and the Chain Whip in your left hand and you have to coordinate your moves as you spin them around each other and in front of you, to your side, in reverse. I just don't have the coordination to do some of those moves. It also is a 5th Degree Black to 6th Degree Black. I will be happy if I don't have to see that one until I'm a 5th Degree Black myself but until then I will just be satisfied if I can just see how to do some of the chain whip spins and moves.

After the festival was over we said our goodbyes and left. I have made some good friends. I wish I lived closer to some of them. I'm looking forward to going to Denver for the annual Grandmaster visit to the Elder Masters school. I just need to figure out how I can afford to get there. I'll go even if I have to hitchhike there. We got back into town last night around 12:30 am. We left around 6:30 pm and drove straight through. The drive back was beautiful. I had never realized just how beautiful Eastern Oregon is. God, sometimes I really love this state. I hope I can stay after I graduate.

After getting to my apartment, I had to clean up the mess my cats left, checked up on my email and any news I missed during the past several days. I didn't read any newspapers or check the web. I then went to bed and slept the sleep of the totally exhausted. Today I did laundry, relaxed in front of the TV and caught up on the news. Tomorrow I will go back to political commentary and there is a lot that needs to be talked about; Democrats, Iraq, CIA Chief resignation, Venezuala, etc.