Shashkas in Ditan Park

I got up early this morning, and headed over to Ditan Park for a change, just north of the Lama Temple. As you can see, it was a beautiful morning, with large numbers of people standing below the trees – stretching, chanting mantras, meditating, and doing lots of different forms of qigong. I spent a while in zhan zhuang with my back to a cedar (?) tree, and facing a small pine, inhaling the intoxicating scent of an early northern hemisphere spring day…. ahhhhhhhhhh…….

I took the shashkas. The pictures will give you an idea of what they look like compared to my taiji sabre. What surprised me is that they’re heavy – much heavier than the taiji sabre; of course, they’re stainless steel, while the sabre is aluminium, so it’s natural, I just hadn’t thought of it. The scabbards are also steel, covered with a very thin layer of faux-leather, so it was quite a bit of weight to be carrying altogether! The handles are hard plastic. I think they may get very slippery if I use them in hotter temperatures than this morning; in addition, the grooves were really grinding the skin on my hands – I have a few blisters. I think that somewhere I have a roll of non-slip tape, and I may put that over the handles.

That aside, they were a joy to use; they handle really well. I can see that using these babies will be a good workout for wrists, shoulders, back and waist…. Once I get the hang of it!

OK, I’ll report more later; now I’m off to yiquan class, and then I think I may head off to enjoy a sunny afternoon in the hills….

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