Thank You Covid 19!

by Steve Doob on 2020/09/28


I haven’t heard too many people praising the pandemic, but for me at least, it’s been great. I mean, I’m not fond of wearing my N-95 mask in buildings; it tickles my nose and fogs up my glasses when I talk. But these are minor problems compared to the boost it’s given my tai chi training.
Previous to Covid I’d go to two workshops a year, one in Phoenix in the winter and one in Iowa in the summer. They were excellent. Sometimes I’d even splurge on a private lesson. I’d get re-inspired every time and come home with lots of new things to practice.
But now the disease has done in the workshops I love. So, how come I’m happy with it? It’s because it’s resulted in the biggest bargain I’ve ever had in my training: four private lessons a week for $100 a month. Even though there are 30 or so people at each of Master Chen’s Zoom lessons, we’re all getting private lessons. He can see each of us on his screen and correct our mistakes both individually and as a group. It’s the best training I’ve ever had and is improving my martial arts quickly.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be very happy when we can go to workshops again. I miss the getaway vacation, the camping feeling and seeing all my tai chi friends in person again. But the training can be too much, too overwhelming in such a short amount of time. So, I hope the Zoom lessons don’t go away, because my progress would suffer. Private lessons four times a week are incredible; may they never end!
So, thank you, Covid 19. Yes, you’re killing lots of people and creating immeasurable sadness in the world, but at the same time the news is not all bad. For me and all the other people taking Master Chen’s Zoom lessons you’ve created the most marvelous learning opportunity. I guess I can’t think of the disease in the customary way anymore. It’s not all bad; rather it’s another yin/yang thing. There’s good balancing the bad.

About Steve Doob

Studied Kenpo Karate with Ralph Castro in San Francisco from 1963 to 1967. Studied Yang Style with Choy, Kam-Man in San Francisco in 1968. Moved to southern Oregon in 1973. Taught Yang Style and self defense at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass, OR from 1978 to 1995. Brought George Xu (Xu, Guo-Min) to Grants Pass for weekend workshops from 1987 to 2005. Been to Shanghai with my wife four times where we studied martial arts with various people. Moved to Durango, CO in 2005 and lived in a large house shaped like a pyramid. In 2021 we moved to a lovely house surrounded by rhododendrons and old growth trees in Port Ludlow, WA. My wife practices "energy" tai chi and I've narrowed my efforts to Practical Method. First saw Chen, Zhonghua in online videos and am trying to learn his style, because I think its structural emphasis is correct.

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