martial arts

Moving from a Small Town to the Big City of Beijing

By Monday night, my time at the Wugulun Kung Fu school had come to an end. Two months there had flown by. I can’t emphasise enough how much of a good experience it was. What I learned about myself, understanding the benefits of the repetitive traditional kung fu training, discovering the fundamentals of mastering any martial art and meeting such an open and loving bunch of guys. Before I left, I bought some gifts to give out to the students – sweets for everyone and for the students in my group – a badminton set for the young ones and some bracelets for the senior ones. When it was announced at the dinner line-up that I’d be leaving the following morning, 30 sad-looking faces turned to face me followed by questions like “tomorrow?” and “you come back?”. It didn’t last too long (realising there were sweets up for grabs) and I had a precession follow me back to my room after to find the sweets. The most senior student had them all line up outside and each one stepped forward to take the sweets, thank me with a hug and fall back into line.
It was a far cry from the initial culture shock I felt when I landed at the school. It’s amazing how things change. How much will I miss it? I’m not sure – but time will tell. 
After a two hour cab ride to Zhengzhou airport, I caught my flight to Beijing. Even at airport, I began to feel the changes moving from a small town like Dengfeng to a big city. […]

Dengfeng – A Rural Chinese Kung Fu Town

After living in Dengfeng for 6 weeks, I thought I’d do a photo blog to give you an idea what a rural Chinese kung fu town is like.

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    Useful Martial Arts Terms Translated In English/Chinese (Mandarin)

Useful Martial Arts Terms Translated In English/Chinese (Mandarin)

Part of my newfound dedication to learning Chinese Mandarin whilst here at the Wugulun Kung Fu school, I thought to myself “what would have been really useful for me to have learned before I came to the school?”.

You see, because I’m not getting on a train or bus every other day or asking how much things cost, I couldn’t make much use learning the regular phrase books before I turned up. Instead, I need to know what orders or corrections are being barked at me whilst sweating in one of the stances or how to ask about the details of the moves being demonstrated. What I was looking for then, was a set of words/phrases which are commonly used in martial arts, so that’s what I’ve compiled here.

Much as I’d like to include phrases like “How much longer of this torture?” and “Surely we’ve done enough practice of that?”, I’ve kept the list practical.

If it helps just one person in a similar situation, it’ll be mission accomplished as far as I’m concerned.

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