A little thread about teaching, practicing, and public


Lao Tou
Staff member
I probably should have done this sooner. A thread about the weird encounters out there teaching and practicing in the US (or anywhere) and the situations we face is necessary. The things we have seen over the years. I suspect others will add to this thread and some very weird old stories will come up. For now I will just tell one that just happened today, especially for the students who left early.

So first there is a history here. For some years we have been holding class at a local park that is in a known to be wealthy town that is allegedly kind of liberal and educated, expensive. There is a combination of woodland, wetland and park (with sport areas) at this park and it is big enough that there is generally a bit of space and even privacy. But of course we've had some odd people there. This particular story focuses on one guy. The first memory I have of him from this park goes back a few years to one nice day training at the park near the tennis courts. I believe it was a sunny warm day, people were out, and there are kids around.

This guy enters the tennis courts when that are not being used and proceeds to throw the ball for his dog in there off-leash. This goes on for a while and the dog, as dogs do, gets very excited and takes things to the next level by humping the owner's leg vigorously. It's making a bit of a scene in there so people are starting to look, and when you'd think he would try to corral the dog into a bit of civilization things turn the other way. At this point he elects to get on the ground and place his head directly under and in the path of the previously described dog humping action. This all evolves into this guy lying down and caressing/embracing the dog while allowing and encouraging the dog to vigorously hump on his head, in front of kids and others. Unfortunately I cannot remember how this moment ended, maybe I blacked out.

So the above is some background, but for the past half a year at this local park this same dog head-humper has been strolling around and stopping to watch us practice, which is something I don't like in general. I mean, who really wants someone standing there staring at them practice? And a dog fornicator at that? We do have a host of other annoying tourists as well but this guy is really something disturbing. On this day the weather was sunny and a brisk fall day. We had I think 6-7 people in class and a group of us were practicing YiLu and maybe half way into it and this dog-humper comes over and plants himself maybe 15 feet directly in front of my head on and just stands there caressing his dog and watching, intently. This laster for probably 10 whole minutes until I had had enough. This day was my limit I guess. I finally took a break one some Dan Bian moment and said to him directly, "Excuse me, a little space please? This is not a show. A little space thank you." He kind of nodded and then moves 3 steps and turned to the side to look at my other students practicing to the side, which also pissed me off, but I wanted to practice more than get into a conflict with a doomed interspecies cranial procreator so I just turned back to practice. This may have been a mistake.

At this point some random women (who I have seen walking the woodland paths at this park and always greeted me with utter grumpiness) on her route around the park decides to stop and engage this dog-humper because his dog is "so cute" (it's average in attractiveness at best, unless you really like to get intimate with things on 4 legs) and she proceeds to baby talk to the dog. Then they start their deep conversation, JUST IN FRONT OF ME PRACTICING. They start in for real now, loudly talking about every Covid conspiracy they can think of and how the invisible powers that be are keeping us down and orchestrating our lives. It's all quite thrilling when you are trying to remember what move comes next. Then they move on to indignantly illustrating how Kyle Rittenhouse (recent US news the 17 year old who illegally bought a semi-auto rifle and had his mom drive him across state lines to go "protect" retail stores (??) from people protesting the killing of black people and killed 2 people) was totally justified in defending himself by murdering after looking for an opportunity to murder. This when on for a few minutes and that was definitely the limit of the day. At this point I said "EXCUSE ME"- three times before they could even here me as they were so passionate and loud. I asked them to take their loud conversation elsewhere.

The response was unsurprisingly idiotic. Strangely, the dog humper who was doing most of the talking said basically nothing, but the woman, all of 5 ft 2 in tall became very combative, telling me that we should move if we did not like it. Keep in mind here that this park is quite large and there were very very few people in it. Out of ALL that space these two decided they need to come plant their mentally ill asses directly in front of us and just talk the most inane shit possible, as loud as possible for as long as possible.

The park is 35 Acres 🤣 But they just sought us out and the lady was yelling at me that is was a free country and we should leave, after she attached herself to dog-humper and started a conspiracy summit. She then proceeded to attempt esoteric Yoga poses and yell after I explained that we were just trying to practice and have some calm and they did not need to come over to us and start all this. Of course such logic was a hard sell as she just became more and more indignant that her rights had been violated. Somehow after a lot of yelling that they should get the fuck out I managed to ask her why the hell she was standing in front of us with all that space. She claimed I was "disturbing her" which I replied yes, because you are disturbing us. This ALMOST made a dent, but she resumed yelling. I eventually resorted to just replying "here you are" after every stupid thing she said, and just kept repeating it along with "move on-" and when there was nothing left besides awkwardness they disbanded and when their separate ways, away from us.

We do have to deal with weird shit like this at public parks and even woods. In this case it is extra odd because we rarely have such problems in the City park areas, but this is more suburban woods and a very affluent town, which apparently means insanity. This one I have to reflect upon the reasons why. We have a lot of other stories that some of the long time students may want to contribute to this thread. This is just the first and most recent, but I think it is time to abandon this park.


I was logging on to a zoom meeting for work and thought I would just skim through this real quick. Then I got to the part about the dog humping the guy's head and was like "abort! abort! run away!"...


Lao Tou
Staff member
I was logging on to a zoom meeting for work and thought I would just skim through this real quick. Then I got to the part about the dog humping the guy's head and was like "abort! abort! run away!"...

It's not easy reading. Probably best with med-evac standing by.

Robin Wu

Taiji Kitten
Months ago, in the same park, I was practicing the last Taolu sequence I know on the edge of an open Basketball court which is right next to a fenced up Pickleball court.

Then, an elderly dude and a wheelchair elderly dude left the Pickball court and passed by me. They muttered something about having done Tai Chi in the past to each other. Then, the elderly dude turned around and asked me a bunch of questions:

Elderly dude: "Hey, I've heard Tai Chi could be used for fighting. Is that true?"

Me: *Inhales*

Elderly Dude: "I used to do Tai Chi for a bit, and I heard if it can be used for fighting."

Me: "Well... it depends on the style and lineage."

Elderly Dude: "What do you guys practice for?"

Me: *Inhales*

Elderly Dude: "Health?"

Me: *Inhales*

Elderly Dude: "Internal Energy?"

Me: "..." (I have no idea what his notion of Internal Energy might be, and I'm afraid to find out.)

Elderly Dude: "Getting hot girls?"

Me: :oops: *Gestures towards the group* "As you can see, it's a pretty male-dominated group. So no... it's not for getting hot girls."

*Elderly Dude and Wheelchair Dude laughs*

Elderly Dude: "What happens if I throw a punch at you?" *Forms a fist and punches in slow motion in my direction*

Me: (Uh... I don't want to do anything to this guy.... he looks old... and his friend is in a wheelchair. Would I get in trouble if I do anything to him?)

Elderly Dude: (Gently bumps my chin with his fist) "Guess you get hit."

Wheelchair Dude: *Looks off into the distance and watches Marin and his senior disciples in the middle of Er Lu* "Hey..." *points towards Marin who's off into the distance* "That guy is moving very fast..." 😰

Me: "Oh yeah... he's the teacher." (😊 Yup! Marin is fast.)

Elderly Dude: "Oh... We thought you were the teacher..."

Me: :oops: "What!? No. I'm the newest student here." (Is that why they started talking to me?)

Wheelchair Dude: "Maybe it's because you're tall."

Me: o_O (Because I'm tall?)

Elderly Dude + Wheelchair Dude say their farewells and left the scene.


As someone pointed out to me, it was probably because I'm Chinese, not because I was tall.
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