Gordon Graham (UK)

Date:2009/7/27
Gordon Graham
Length of Training: 1 Year; - June 2009

My name's Gordon I've been training at the school a little over two months, although I've trained in China for over a year and under Wei shifu for about eight months.

I've enjoyed training and learning here in Qufu far more than anywhere I've been to , the masters are brilliant patient and good humored. They're constantly pointing out ways to improve technique, showing the little steps needed to improve and progress in forms and fighting alike! We generally do traditional stuff in the morning to increase flexibility, co-ordination and strength needed to improve the traditional aspects used in forms. In the afternoon we do Sanda (Chinese kickboxing) which is a not as complicated but does require a lot of hard work. Sanda requires you to learn few basic techniques, easy to learn hard to master, and then repeat them until it becomes second nature and you begin to punch with speed and power.

Jumps and rolls is another aspect of martial arts I've never been taught in any form which is tremendous fun, getting to throw yourself about like a kid whilst developing strength in areas generally not used whilst running or weight training, it's brilliant but your muscles will feel it the next day! It goes without saying every aspect of your fitness improves but with this comes confidence in yourself and also a resilience that comes from pushing yourself harder than you generally would and being able to look back on these experiences and use them in tough times in the future! Chi kung and Tai chi I have found really calming for the mind whilst also training you in a more relaxed less intense way, really good for knee and ankle problems which I have had over the years.

The classes in mandarin, which I'd encourage everyone to attend, are valuable as speaking with people in and around town is both rewarding and necessary, plus the fact you get to have more fun if you understand what people are saying!

The city near the school is beautiful, traditional and convenient to traveling to other parts of China, I myself have been to Tai Shan, the Shaolin temple and hopefully soon traveling to the yellow mountains.

The last thing I'll leave you with is this, the school, city and people are all really great but the thing you should be coming for are the teaching and the masters- which are the best I've learned from in my time in China and still keep me motivated through their sheer brilliance!!!!

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