There's no such thing as It's Only Lunch
Date 16th November 2008 Location Yue Restaurant Hong Kong Time 12:30pm
Lunch with Yeung Ma Lee (Mary Yang), the daughter of Yeung Sau Chung the first son of Yang Cheng Fu, was never going to be “just lunch”. This most extraordinary person has incredible presence, not just a gift from her family but something she has earned by her endeavours to further Yeung Family Tai Chi; just as her father and fore fathers have always done. Her slight physical size only made her stature that much bigger. With 6 foot 15 stone plus people dwarfing her, she and her husband James could have looked very small indeed. Instead it was as if she owned the banquet hall, at least while she was with us. Specifically asking us to treat it as an informal lunch, and appearing as a devoted and happy couple, even embarrassed at the attention they were receiving.
As the tea and delicious food flowed, slowly we could attempt to relax and were encouraged to talk amongst ourselves rather than hang on her every movement. Not easy when just 6 feet from you is a part of the source of the Yeung Family's Tai Chi. Living proof that Tai Chi can be an active component in everything you do. While this was “only lunch”, snippets came pouring from her mouth, as to where our training was going, how we should help others, eg how to help elderly, youngsters, people with injuries, training differences for ladies. Detail that most have never thought of, let along been instructed in. Then as lunch smashed any normal time frame, we were invited to ask questions directly.
People seemed so awe inspired that some questions asked were not phrased as well as they might have been. But we were put at our ease, as answer after answer came, sometimes part replied by her husband, seemingly as if they were at times both replying at once. She even explained how she made time and space for her own training. Successfully juggling being a teacher with people queuing to learn, a wife and mother of a young son, who is preparing for imminent examinations to get selected for his senior schooling. Putting us all in our places as we can no longer say we alone lead busy lives. Questions were answered on many levels showing that we are being supported in our training across the board, with responses coupled to the current training programs & hints dropped as to in what directions our training is going. Cross references were made to our teachers, so that we all could benefit from the clear instructions in the future. Illustrations were shared as to what the Yeung Family actually mean when they say for example “Loosen” as opposed to what others have interpreted the Yeung Family might have meant. This was as much a full blown lesson with a free format Q & A session as it was lunch. Indeed this was Direct Oral Transmission!
This friendly & yet quite scary women demonstrated not only part of the Form, but showed her control of the room by freezing everyone with questions of her own. Getting individuals to stand up to ask questions and then verbally attacking their stances from across the room. Clearly illustrating that when you know yourself you can know the opponent, not just where their weight is, but where they are able and unable to move from as well. Thus without lifting her little finger she appeared as both in charge & as diminutive as the cartoon character Oogway, as wise & long necked (without any trace of a single wrinkle) as Shifu, and both as graceful and swift as Tigress and as ferocious, cunning, powerful & dangerous as Tai Lung all rapped up into a sweet, timeless, elegant, lady, women, mother, wife and lineage holder. Whilst I felt like an overweight Panda, with my pants falling down.
We can only say Thank You and if that was “Only a Light Lunch” then roll on dinner time .... in perhaps another 8 years or so. We shall try our best in our training and in promoting Your heritage. It may have only started out as lunch but it grew into a monumental, magnificent feasts of the senses.