Today’s practice was brought to you by the number 3. As in the third section of my nanqan form, which is what I was spending most of my time working on today.
The first part of class started off like most others. Warm ups (led by Yuan Ming), stretching and basics. Then it was time for sections. I started with my 4th section and went through it 4 times (I guess today is also brought to you by the number 4) but when it was time for me to start on the 3rd section I realized I didn’t really have it fully figured out yet.
Some of the athletes, like Xiao Yu, were on the other carpet working through their stuff, so I joined them and spent most of the class trying to fix the things that didn’t feel right with my 3rd section. Part of what I was working on was utilizing some of the suggestions that Gao Song had made regarding my movements in Hong Kong. But utilizing that feedback requires me to really retool some of my form.
Actually, most of my form. He sort of shifted my paradigm a bit so I need to go through each movement and re-evaluate how I do it and whether or not it fits in with my personal style of wushu and nanquan. A daunting task to be sure.
Anyway, after class I needed to pick up a memory stick that Xiao Yu had borrowed, but since she had left it in her dorm room she said I could go with her to check out what the living conditions are like for the athletes.
Actually, I had a few surprises. Which I suppose I shouldn’t have had since I’ve seen the dorms before, albeit a different building. Back in 2008 during the China Nationals in Xi’an, Wu Di and Zhao Qing Jian were living on the same campus while training with the China National Team for a demo in Taiwan. I got to visit their room then. In fact, here is a picture from that:
Zhao Qing Jian and Wu Di in Xi'an, 2008
Ma Ling Juan playing cards, Xi'an 2008
Anyway, the dorms are pretty much as I expected them to be. Think post-industrial concrete meets pre-modern industrial. A little utilitarian, but still quite livable. The one thing that I was really impressed with was that each room only housed two athletes (unlike the 6 person rooms back in Beijing or the 4 person rooms in Shanghai) and each room had its own bathroom. Thats right! No communal toilets. Rather nice.
Yue Xiao Yu’s roommate was Zhang Yang, who you might remember from
this blog entry. Xiao Yu is also quite the entrepreneur. I remember when she came to my house a few weeks back, she mentioned that she would take the bus (1 RMB each way) to the train station to buy candies and various 点心 and then bring them back and sell them in her room.
The store at the school sold them for a little more than she did, so the students would prefer to buy them from her since it was cheaper and she was closer than the store located in the next building over. She made a small amount of money because her costs were lower than she sold them for. Not a ton of money (we’re talking a few mao per sale) but it was still pretty industrious of her.
Fast forward to today and I got to see the operation in action. Actually she stopped doing it, but she still has some stock left over from her last trip to the Train Station so until she sells out she can keep selling them.
One of the little kids (
from this blog entry) came in while I was there, clenching a 20RMB note in her hand ready to buy some candies. It was pretty cute. One of the Taiji athletes came in as well and bought something to eat. It was mostly candies, crackers, chips .. that sort of thing.
While we were there I tried to show her my
alive.tom.com blog (since it is the only place my photos are viewable in China) but her connection was super slow so it didn’t load up. In the meantime she showed me her QQ page and the little girl also used her computer to check something. I got some pictures of them here:
Yue Xiao Yu looking studious
Xiao Yu using her laptop
Little Girl using Xiao Yu's computer
One of the things we talked about was a few questions I had related to having foreigners come and train with the Shaanxi Team. I’ve had one or two requests for specific information related to training here (mainly for people wanting to come during the summer) so I was doing some investigating.
I have to say that, while I enjoy having a professional wushu team all to my self, I realize that this is a pretty nice situation and a decent facility and that some other folks out there might be interested in knowing more about what it would take to come train here too. Especially since planning for your summer China training trips are probably in the works.
The other nice thing about this location is that it is probably the only city in China that has a richer history than Beijing (or at least pretty darn close), and some of the greatest tourist sites in the country. Add that to the fact that it is sooo much cheaper than training at Shi Cha Hai (but also keeping in mind that it isn’t a fancy 5 star hotel either — in case that sort of thing is important to you), and I personally think that it is a nice option for those who might be interested.
In any case, I’m not a travel agent, but if you want some information feel free to contact me through
my website’s contact form and I will keep you in the loop with whatever I find out regarding training options in Xi’an.
Log in to alivenotdead.com with one of these trusted providers
NOTE: Users of the original website please Click here to reactivate your account.
New users - Join the alivenotdead.comcommunity instantly by confirming your identity with a trusted authentication service.
Returning users - Please use with the same authentication service to login to your alivenotdead.com account.
First time users can create a new account from scratch by authenticate using any of the following trusted services:
WARNING: If you disconnect all your social media accounts your profile will be locked and you will not be able to access it again. If you want to keep your page, please add another social media account and then remove this one.
If you understand the risks, click this box to deauthorize your account.