Bas van der Laan
Dutch guy, 27-year old. 15th January 2013-17th July,2013. Email:
It was my first time abroad, and I wanted to start my adventures from one place, just to get used to the Asian culture... and learn KUNGFU!!! I already had some experience with martial arts, but except for the kungfu movies and my dreams as a kid, I had no idea what to expect. And when finally the opportunity was there, I booked my flight, quited my job, and before I knew I was on the plane to China. I must say the thought of "what am I doing here" crossed my mind when I arrived in Xuzhou, but it left the second Sophie and master Bao picked me up from the station. And also on arrival at the school, I was instantly welcomed by all the other students, Lisa and Master Can. My first 2-3 weeks were pretty hard, but combined with the very good food from the Academy (every meal 4 different plates of food, slowly changing during the seasons) and a steady weekly rhythm, you are in a good training shape in no time. The months after that just seem to fly, and before I knew my training was over. I look back on a half year in which I've learned a lot of kungfu, made a lot of new friends, achieved most of my personal goals and "mastered" some weapons(master Bao taught me the iron chain whip in the end). I also lived and participated in some of the Chinese habits and celebrations which they all celebrate with the students. This all, combined with the change of seasons, I can say that I enjoyed a complete Chinese experience which I will never forget.
Don’t get any illusions of flying-over-the-rooftops-kungfu, but if you train hard and love kungfu, you might get near it :p. The masters on the other hand have no problems doing those things, and it sometimes feels that you are in the middle of a kungfu movie.