(I was walking past the exercisers and took a snapshot of them with my GX200. The unintented tilting rightly draws the viewers' attention to the man who is the master. The image would be bland otherwise)
One of the best thing about walking around town in the morning in Hong Kong is the chance of bumping into people doing exercises in parks. In huge regional parks or small local parks, there are exercisers in a motley of causal wear enjoying their fitness sessions in diversified forms. But you've got to be an early bird. Most of the sessions will finish be half past eight in the morning.
You may see people practising what seems to be Kungfu. Taichi, maybe. But not all of them. Take for example people in the photo above, they were moving in fast actions. Surely, that wasn't Taichi. The kernel of the Chinese-style exercises is to regulate the co-ordination of and circulation within the body.
A popular Kungfu-like exercise is the Luk Tunk Kuen (LTK), or literally Six Circulation Boxing. It is a form of exercise which comprises of 36 movements involving all parts of the human body with the purpose of promoting circulation of blood and strengthening nerves and muscles. Some movements brighten the eyes, promote coordination, normalize blood pressure and improve memory. The first word “LUK” means six. Six parts of the body are the two arms, two legs, the body and the head. The second word “TUNG” means circulation. The third word “ KUEN” is boxing – the LTK boxing is down with your fists folding your thumb into the palm of your hand and wrapping the other four fingers over the thumb. This positioning of the hand brings power and strength to the movements.
Here is a site which teaches LTK with videos.
Dancing (I had kept watching the dancing ladies for a while before taking the picture. I walked quite near them, having asked for the master's permission. It's important to ask for permission if you are going to shoot a group of strangers. Try the position they are holding and you will see that it takes much practice to do)
The essential elements of Chinese dance are five-fold, namely Appearance, Spirit, Vigour and Rhythm. If a dancer can do the dance with smooth steps and gestures, a wholly focused heart, the right beats and coordinated bodily movements, the dance is considered great. These requirements for Chinese dance turns it into an ideal form of exercises to improve co-ordination of the body parts.
Don't be alarmed when you see people doing Chinese swordplay in a park. The swords are heavy as real ones but without bladed sides. Chinese swordplay as an exercise requires the fencer to manage a quiet heart and skilled movement. It can be practised in various pace as the fencer can afford.
Next time you are in Hong Kong, get up early and check these exercising people out.