During my research field trip I visited master Yuan's school in Wudangshan. You can see the Wednesday's test of progress, featuring the great young practitioner who the foreigner students started to call "The Dragon Boy". You will recognize him when you see him. Enjoy!
Read about the training here!
After the few days in the school of master Chen in Wudang I moved on to the school of master Yuan Xiu Gang. Frozen, I was looking forward to have a hot shower, and I also had a kind of coming home feeling.
It was, of course, absolutely inappropriate for me to have such feeling, because I never practiced Wudang style myself, nor I spent any longer period of time in the school in Wudang. But few years ago, on a competition in China I met this group of foreigners from master Yuan’s school. Then, year or two later I was traveling in China and went also to Wudang. One of those foreigner students helped me to get a room in the school and so I could meet them all again. They were doing a 5-years program in the school, “an international traditional class”. That time I was not aware of what “traditional class” really means here, but this time I found out.
To start with, I do not want to contribute to the discussion of the (non)Wudang styles. I am now in the middle of my field work in China and that brings me to places where foreigners practice their wushu, either modern or traditional (kung fu). In that sense Wudang seems to be a logical step. I contacted first several schools via email to find out if they have any European students during the time and finally was welcomed by two of them. Not exploring origin of any style, but really only the practice itself through people’s experience and its overreach to their life. I could join the training group too, which is typically much better for the trust and the whole atmosphere, even when it makes my body suffer (and my soul happy).
The first school I visited was China Wudang Kungfu Academy. I stayed for three days and the first emotion I had to deal with was shame – when coaches found out how short I will stay, I could see the negative thoughts they suddenly had about me. Time is a big topic in the (traditional) wushu. Therefore, when the international students asked me how long I will stay, I said: “Three days. I came for enlightenment.” After the ice was broken I told them about my research and as I am used to with the traditional wushu people, they were willing to help with the project. Thank you again guys!