Thursdays with Pooh

I entered the school with a big smile on my face, happy to see him after a two-week absence from his class. But I could barely get his attention long enough for him to bow. He was distracted and looked befuddle in a way that made him seem like an oversized, living teddy bear – a 21st century Pooh, who’s deadly even when confused.

Siheng C was working on a mystery when we came in, trying to determine who’d been in the school before he came to open up and why. As I listened to the most talkative instructor in the guan rattle off break-in theories to the parent with three children waiting to warm up for the sparring class, I couldn’t help but chuckle at how nice it was to be entertained by him again. My children have good taste in role models, I had to admit, though it took some time for him to grow on me.

Siheng C is a very big guy, who’s currently getting smaller. He has loud, adorable children who are incredibly fun to play with, though sometimes hard to teach. When I first saw him in the school almost three years ago, he looked much too out of shape to be a marital artist. I assumed he attended the school long ago and returned to get back into old form. He talked a lot, struck me as much too familiar with total strangers, and made the unthinkable affront of publicly disregarding Sifu’s directives. In short, he rubbed me the wrong way. His children made him someone I would get to know regardless, his and my own.

My son says Siheng C is like another father to him; my daughter is more comfortable with him than any other instructor in the school – which has sometimes been detrimental to her learning sparring, but that’s another story. The long and short of it is: he’s been brightening Thursdays for them a while now, and that eventually became true for me, too.

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About T. D. Davis

Baker and former journalist. View all posts by T. D. Davis

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