I wrote a short while ago that I’d met up with my friend H for a farewell evening before she went travelling for a month, and then back to England. During the course of the evening, after several beers, I happened to mention that after my contract ends I’m hoping to take the 1-month course at the Yiquan Academy. H, whose background is in Tanglanquan (Northern Preying Mantis), was curious, and asked for the URL. She checked it out the next day, and immediately cancelled her travel plans; her last month before going home would be spent doing this course. What with one thing and another, we haven’t had time to catch up since then, but she just called me, and I want to write it down before I forget. It went something like this:
Me: So how’s the course going?
H: Well, it’s nothing really like it says on the website. It’s not in a park, it’s in this basement somewhere in Chaoyang, where there’s no natural light. They only go to the park on weekends, but I couldn’t go this weekend so I’m none the wiser where it is. We don’t do anywhere near the number of hours they say on the website, and everyone’s smoking, in fact it seems like its almost encouraged to smoke. Plus, there’s a number of modules we’re supposed to get through, and it really feels like we’re rushing it a bit.
Me: Crap, it sounds like I recommended a really bad course to you! Sorry!
H: No! It’s f*****g brilliant! The guy’s a really good teacher, he explains things really clearly, and I’m learning loads. Most of the students are Chinese, which is great, and the style’s really effective! There’s no bullshit here. I really want to carry on with this style!
Me: Wow, cool!
So, there you have it – my feedback so far… I’m still looking forward to trying it myself in July!