Chapter 23 - Bajiquan (Beginner)
After getting off work at 12 midnight, Wei Xiao Bei returned to his apartment. He did not do anything else and just went to bed, falling into a deep sleep. He only woke up at seven in the morning as he hurriedly went to work.
After getting off work at six in the late afternoon, he hurried to the dojo. Second apprentice brother Zhang Zhi Long brought him to the side and educated him, “Xiao Bei, your working conditions are pretty bad. You don’t even have time to train anymore.”
Wei Xiao Bei himself knew about the bad effects of the three-shift system on his training, but he had no other way to go about it. If he did not work, then he would have to let himself starve to death.
Looking at Xiao Bei’s downcast appearance, Zhang Zhi Long understood what he was thinking. He smiled, “How about this, this apprentice brother of yours found you a night job. The only question now is if you want it or not.”
Zhang Zhi Long was actually thinking that Wei Xiao Bei should just directly help the dojo, but he did not know how to tell him.
There were no wages in helping the dojo, only food and drinks were provided.
Zhang Zhi Long simply did not care about a trivial thing like money. He was even willing to give Wei Xiao Bei wages. However, he also took into consideration his junior apprentice brother’s self-esteem. After all, who was willing to accept other people’s pity?
This was Zhang Zhi Long’s point of view.
However, if he let Wei Xiao Bei know his thoughts, Xiao Bei would probably just kneel down and say,“Second apprentice brother! Don’t! Don’t worry about this junior apprentice brother’s self-esteem! Paying me wages or eating meals in the dojo is all fine with me!”
Naturally, Wei Xiao Bei did not know of Zhang Zhi Long’s thoughts, thus, he was extremely grateful of his help.
However, Zhang Zhi Long overestimated himself. His family did not live in Cui Hu City, as a result, it was harder for him to find an easy yet high-paying job for Wei Xiao Bei.
After eating dinner, Wei Xiao Bei was called by Cheng Bi Wu to the inner practice ground. He began to teach Wei Xiao Bei a bit about Bajiquan’s principles, history, tradition and other knowledge that was needed.
“The origin of the name Bajiquan came from the ancient meaning of Baji. Ba is the number 8, and Ji means the peak, the far end. Baji means the extremity of all eight directions under heaven or in short eight extremities. The classic [Huai Nan Zi, Chapter 4 - Terrestrial Forms] has this remark: ‘Between Heaven and Earth are nine continents and eight poles’ and ‘Going beyond the nine provinces there are eight alignments, beyond them are the eight connections, and beyond them are the eight poles.’ This explains the basic principle of Bajiquan.”
Cheng Bi Wu explained the principle clearly as if he was a private tutor, slowly explaining things to Wei Xiao Bei.
Wei Xiao Bei committed his teachings into his memory as he kept nodding.
“To master Bajiquan, you need to learn the eight core ideas, the eight stances, and the eight aspects!”
“The eight core ideas are namely: alertness, calmness, maliciousness, boldness, determination, fierceness, agility, swiftness! In modern times, these would be called the eight mentalities of fighting! Mastering these core ideas to the extreme would allow you to blow away all your enemies!” After Cheng Bi Wu spoke, We Xiao Be only looked at him blankly. He was impressed that his master was able to keep up with the modern times.
“Now, let us talk about the eight forms. These eight forms are namely: dragon, tiger, bear, monkey, swallow, dog, eagle, quail! You need to understand each animal’s intent and use them as the basis for the eight forms.”
“Dragons, they can soar through the skies, call the winds and rain, disturb the seas, hide their tracks, appear and disappear unpredictably.”
Cheng Bi Wu explained this to him for more than half an hour to the point where Wei Xiao Bei’s brain had already short circuited.
To be honest, Wei Xiao Bei was never good at the theoretical stuff. However, he had to remember his master’s words. During this time, Wei Xiao Bei had almost gone crazy.
Luckily, Cheng Bi Wu did not explain anymore theories after that. Instead, he tasked Zhang Zhi Long to explain to Wei Xiao Bei about the basic skills of Bajiquan.
Wei Xiao Bei let out a light sigh after leaving the practice hall. Zhang Zhi Long laughed at his appearance, “Junior apprentice brother, that type of force feeding method of teaching is unpleasant right?”
Wei Xiao Bei nodded his head, “If master was about to talk for a few minutes more, I would have killed myself.”
“Hahahaha, I was also the same. It was much worse during my time. Master had talked for an hour straight.”
Zhang Zhi Long’s face showed that he still had lingering fears.
Wei Xiao Bei couldn’t help but let out a cold sweat after hearing Zhang Zhi Long’s words.
An hour long? Dying would be better.
However, Zhang Zhi Long’s following explanation was not that different from the master’s.
“You first need to understand the strength behind Bajiquan. There are three essential factors behind Bajiquan namely footwork, breathing and exerting force. This is the basic difference of Bajiquan from other martial arts. Without these three essential factors, then it would not be Bajiquan anymore. Thus, these essential factors are the foundation of every technique. Anyone who learns Bajiquan must grasp these factors. They will allow you to elevate and strengthen your skills.”
Zhang Zhi Long was used to teaching youths, and as a result he began speaking continuously.
Luckily, after letting out this wordy explanation, Zhang Zhi Long began to progressively explain how to train in footwork, breathing, and exerting force. For each training method, he would let Wei Xiao Bei follow him, to make him remember.
At this point, the explanations had slowed down until 12 midnight. Wei Xiao Bei had not yet even learned a third of it. And after learning them, he would have forgotten the others by then.
Sigh, this is probably due to my six points in learning.
It was already midnight but Zhang Zhi Long did not let Wei Xiao Bei return. After Zhang Zhi Long washed his face, he prepared a steel bed for Wei Xiao Bei and let him stay in the same room as him.
Zhang Zhi Long was a sound sleeper. By just lying down on the bed, he was able to sleep in an instant.
Wei Xiao Bei was the opposite. He was slightly picky with his bed. Adding the hot weather to the equation, it kept him up until the a.m. He also did not dare move too much, afraid that he would wake up his second apprentice brother.
After a while, Wei Xiao Bei decided to use this time to review everything he learned.
Wei Xiao Bei felt helpless at his inability to learn the more he tried to recall. After a while, he couldn’t help but let out a sigh, knowing that the amount he forgot was greater than the amount he remembered.
It seems that I have to bother second apprentice brother tomorrow.
After recalling the ones that he remembered, Wei Xiao Bei concentrated on the status panel.
A few changes had occurred to his status panel.
He saw that there was a new skill: Bajiquan (Beginner)
Wei Xiao Bei was shaken when he saw this. He couldn’t help but concentrate on this new skill.
After concentrating, the spare evolution points in the status panel quickly decreased, and the status for Bajiquan changed.
When all 50 evolution points were used, Bajiquan had changed from a beginner level to intermediate.