I think I’m developing impostor syndrome.

Last night was Master Yao Chengrong’s birthday dinner. It was held in a restaurant in Xinjiekou, and pretty much everyone from the school was there. I find it very difficult to believe that I deserve to have been there 🙂 Surely it’s just luck that I’ve stumbled into being a student of this school, and got to be invited to an event like this!

As a dinner, what can I say, it was a typical Chinese celebration dinner – piles of food, lots of speeches: Master Yao first, giving a “State of the Yiquan” speech, then lots of students honouring Master Yao as their Master. One by one, the tables went up to Master Yao’s table to pay their respects and toast him, then Master Yao went around the tables one by one to chat and toast them. There was a cake, and what can I say – Master Yao is a genuinely nice and humble guy; no sifu who takes himself too seriously (and you know the type I mean) would have spent the evening wearing a cardboard crown like that…. Heh.

There were a smattering of foreign students – German, Taiwanese, Japanese, Russian… I was sitting at the same table as Shanti, the French student I mentioned before. He told me some interesting things. It seems that his month-long visit to train in yiquan isn’t entirely in a private capacity; he’s here as a representative of the French Kung Fu Association. It seems that they want to develop Réunion as a centre for martial arts expertise, and they’ve allocated a substantial budget to get it done. That’s very French: come up with a grand vision, and fund it. Anglo-Saxons would come up with a half-assed idea, subject it to a thousand cuts by committee, underfund it, and come up with something that didn’t work for which no-one could be held responsible. So, look to be hearing a lot more about Réunion. If I got him right, they’ve already had taiji and bagua masters holding residencies there, and they’re looking into getting Master Yao out there. Wow. Sounds very good to me; I’d dust down my schoolboy French for that! I wonder if there are any universities there that need business lecturers…

(Hmmm: Réunion is one of the French Departments, ie, it’s regarded as an integral part of France… My EU passport gives me the right to live and work there… hmmmmm).


  1. Hi Emlyn,

    Glad to read that you have bounced back to your training schedule.

    This is unrelated to this entry… I was in China recently and found that for some reason I could not view your blog when I surfed the internet there…I wonder if its due to the connection or….?


    1. Hi Kim,

      Yes, my blog is blocked by the Great Firewall of China. I can only get to it (and Facebook / YouTube / Twitter etc) because I subscribe to a VPN that tunnels through the GFW.

      I think it’s because I host with Yahoo! rather than anything to do with the blog as such, though having said that the Chinese government recently banned any computer games that were connected with ‘jianghu’, so perhaps I’m deemed to be bad for society… The knock on the door at 3am hasn’t come so far, though….


  2. “I think it’s because I host with Yahoo! rather than anything to do with the blog as such . . . ”

    Ah, no, Emlyn . . . I have it direct from Hu Jintao that it’s because you’re scheming with the French to steal away one of China’s martial arts treasures and seduce him with the sultry charms of Reunion.


    1. Curses, I would’ve got away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling… martial arts discussion board webmasters!

      Wait, what?

      Anyway, it sounds like a plan…. Think Hawaii, but with a French lifestyle…. C’est pas trop mal, ca….


  3. Guys…. I don’t know what you did… but as of today I’ve been un-blocked. Now I’m spooked! Well, let’s see how long it lasts….


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s