If you think about a sport in China, you probably think about Kung Fu or Ping Pong is that correct? Well as years have passed, China has really gone through an evolution when it comes to sports. China is always a gold getter during the Olympics. This is because of the investment they make in the youth by providing them with a hard working mentality while they are just children.We decided take a closer look at this mentality on sports in China.
First of all, there is a large variety of high-level sports that China excels in. Here are just a few examples: badminton, basketball, tennis, football, gymnastics, tennis, etc. All these sports are being funded by the Chinese Government to stimulate the youth in being active during their studies. It is even mandatory for every school to have small sessions of activities in the morning and sometimes even after lunch. While crossing the streets here in China it is not a surprise to see many companies or restaurants doing some type of activities with their staff. This provides the staff with a healthy dose of daily exercise. The government has also placed a lot of public exercise locations, which are most of the time occupied by the elder. When you walk down the streets of China in the evening, the chance of stumbling upon a group of elder people practicing Tai Chi is very high. As foreigners this is something completely new to see. While we are studying we can choose if we want to go for sports or not. Maybe this is something to be jealous about?
We love to see China pushing the youth and the elders towards a more healthy and productive way of living. The Chinese people have a much wider selection of sports than 10 years ago. Instead of just seeing Tai Chi, you see everyone playing soccer, badminton, volleyball, basketball, etc.. Who knows what sports we’ll see in 2020? What kind of investments will the government make to keep stimulating the youth? Some of them might even have a chance for an Olympic title in the future. Time will tell !
This Saturday, we organized a Chinese martial arts class and tried the Northern Praying Mantis style (螳螂拳; tánglángquán; “praying mantis fist”). Named after the predatory insect, this style is known for its speed and the use of wrist and arm techniques. Moreover, Qingdao was once called “Praying Mantis’ Nest” because a large number of people studied it in the 1960s and 1970s so the class was all the more interesting.
Our instructor was Pan laoshi (潘老师). He started to train at the age of 11. Because of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, he had to hide in the forest to train and that’s the reason why we had an outdoor class on the beach (and the weather was really nice). He is now around 60 but he still is very fast and impressive! He is also a very good and patient teacher so the class was really fun and interesting.
He first showed us the moves and then explained us how to use them in a situation where you need to defend yourself. We tried these with him and on each other. We learnt really effective wrist and arm lock techniques so don’t mess with us! :p After that, we lined up and repeated a choreographed pattern of movements and Pan laoshi demonstrated how useful they were against an opponent.
Finally, he also showed us another Chinese martial art called Bāguàzhǎng (八卦掌; “eight trigram palm”). This martial art was created to face 8 opponents at the same time. It’s a combination of circle walking, evasive footwork, spinning movements and relies a lot on open hand techniques.
This one hour and a half was awesome. Not only was it fascinating to watch Pan laoshi performing 8 moves in 2 seconds but it was also very fun to try to master some techniques and to get a glimpse of an important part of theChinese culture
I cannot believe how fast time flies by when you are having fun. It has already been 4 weeks since I first came to Qingdao. During these 3 weeks, I have met new people and visited many interesting places around the city. Intern China organizes events every week and it is through these events that I have met new people. Last Thursday, Intern China organized a Korean BBQ dinner and 20 people arrived, which, was great! We ordered a lot of food (beef, pork, vegetables and Korean pancakes) and drinks (Soju and Qingdao beer). We all had a good time and there was even a drinking competition!After the dinner, we all decided to go to KTV (karaoke) since the night was still young and we all ended up having an awesome time! We got a big karaoke room with a big screen and everyone sang. The atmosphere was good and I’m sure everyone had an awesome time.
On Saturday, there was a traditional event called Students’ Round Table where all interns and locals come together and hang out. The meeting point for this event was in a hostel in the old town. There were many interns as well as Chinese people. We could drink as much cocktails as we wanted for only 50RMB for girls, 80RMB for guys and 50RMB if you come as a couple. In conclusion, we all had a great time and it was an awesome week! This coming weekend, there will be a party in our apartment and kung-fu class!!!!!!
This sunday 4 braves (me, Franzi, Rita and Benjamin) decided to try out the Chinese mantis kung fu. The Northern Praying Mantis is a style of Chinese martial arts. It was created by Wang Lang and named after the praying mantis insect. The reason therefore is the similar hand posture. So we met the kung fu teacher Mr Pan with his pupil Mr Xin near the beach for one and a half hours hard Bruce Lee training.
First of all Mr Pan showed us the moves we would learn (or should learn) and it was absolutely impressive to see a 58 years old, 1,60 meters small Chinese guy doing these powerful exercises. After that it was our turn and I think we did it pretty well for the first time, mainly because of Rita who always translated for us. After practicing alone for a while everybody got an opposer and it was time to ‘fight’. It was an absolutely effective self-defence-training. After an hour we stopped the training as the grils really destroyed our wrists… no seriously, when you practice the whole time how to break ones bones and wrists you need a break. So Mr Pan and Mr Xin showed us further close combat techniques and different kung fu-styles.
All in all it was really interesting to get a look into the Chinese martial arts and we’ll definitely train again!
Today my hostmother took me to the TV-tower in Qingdao.She told me, that you can have a great overwiev of the city from there… (if its not cloudy or foggy 😉
But I´m afraid it was ^^
Anyway it was very beautiful up there.
After that we went through a park were usually chinese people practise their Tai Chi or Qi Gong daily in the morning.
Accidentally we met a 60 years old chinese man, who was practising Kung-Fu.
He was very kind ans allowed us to take a video of this art.
Afterwards we talked to each other and he told us, that he is practising every day Kung-Fu since 30 years. Wow, respect for that.
After all he offered me to teach me Kung-Fu for free the time I am going to stay in China…
I was just lost for words.
Of course I will take this oportunity to collect some more authentical impressions of this great culture.
Here is a screenshots of my videotape: