I used to practice martial arts with my grandfather’s students. My grandmother often suggested that I was too slim and too young for martial arts. I said it was a form of exercise and a good way to learn self-defense.
My grandfather let me run around the rice field in the morning. After running I drank a cup of warm water, then sat for a half hour and watched his students practicing martial art. I loved to hear the energizing sounds they made, and enjoyed watching their body movements. For me, it was like the dance of the cranes, loud like a thunder storm, strong and fast moves like a tiger, Some time they would jump and land down on the ground so lightly like the sound of yellow leaves falling in the autumn. I wished I was one of them. My grandfather said it that it took many years of practise.
Many years later I now practise Tai Chi, which is done solo, because I could not tolerate the pain when I did martial arts with others. My grandfather taught me different methods of nurturing and directing the movement of vital energy for my body. For a half hour my movements allow the integration of mind and body that makes me calm and happy.
Many people ask me how many movements I do. I reply that when I do Tai Chi, I complete the set. Most of the time, I do just 20 minutes with my five month old grandson. He smiles at my movements, and he tries to move also. Both of us are exercising in different moves but the result is the same: we are both getting exercise regularly during babysitting time.
From now on, I will regularly need “babysitting exercise.”