Quote Originally Posted by mooyingmantis View Post
Now that I have been back from China for a couple of weeks and have had time to reflect on my experiences there, I wanted to share some of my impressions of training in China with Master Zhang Weifu. I will do it in a question and answer format, because I am weird and just process information like that.

Was training in China very different from training in the US?

No, not really. We trained twice a day. We started with a short time of stretching and warm ups. Then we went on to form and applications. Though there was kind of a set start time, class lasted as long as we wanted to train.

How was training with a shifu in China different than training with a shifu in the US?

Master Zhang was unpretentious. He wasn't expecting an ass-kissing and didn't want to be treated special. He seemed surprised at my constant courteousness. He was far from the American "drill instructor" mentality. I have personally had a few great shifu in the US, but I have also met a few " I sh1t gold" ass-holes in the US.

Was he demanding and did he push hard in class?

He was a perfectionist, without being demeaning. He knew about my recent heart surgery, so he was understanding and demanded that I stay hydrated and pace myself. Yet, he expected me to learn as quickly as possible (I relearned Zhai Yao Yi Lu and learned a new 70 move + form, along with all the applications in five days).

Did he charge a huge sum for instruction and expect expensive gifts or to be wined and dined?

Master Zhang is quite wealthy by Chinese standards. He owns his own business that provides machinery world-wide. So, money was of little consideration.
I have received more money in a one day seminar than he charged me for seven days training.
He provided every lunch and dinner. We dined in some VERY nice restaurants and he firmly refused to ever let me pay. He negotiated a wonderful deal on my hotel (I paid $120 USD for 7 days in a three star hotel). He paid for every place we went sightseeing.
Master Zhang is clearly not teaching martial arts for money. He is just passionate about what he does and shares his knowledge to pass on the art.

What was Master Zhang like as a martial artist?
He was a doer. He had an intensity in his eyes that convinced me that he was the real deal. It was the look of someone who was very confident about their ability. Though he will be 61 years old this year, he moved like a man decades younger. He is strong and very quick. His attacks are still fierce. And he walks TOO **** FAST (you walk rather than drive most places in China).

Since training in China wasn't much different than training in the US, was it worth the cost, time and effort?
Absolutely! It was a once in a lifetime experience (though I do hope to go back). China is a beautiful country and the people were courteous and delightful to deal with. And believe me, the bartering for items from street vendors is ADDICTING!!!

I consider myself very blessed to have had two wonderful shifu in the US: Mike Biggie and Yang Xiaodong. Now I have a wonderful shifu in China, Zhang Weifu. I hope in the end I will make all three of them proud.

How did training in China change me?
Because the training was intense, my physical health improved greatly. Master Yang stated in my first class after I returned back to Ohio that I was like a different man. He said he could see a change in my face. I had a more healthy color. Others have also mentioned this. I am even back to running up and down stairs. Not bad for a guy who had quadruple bypass surgery less than a year ago.

Am I any more important now that I trained in China?
Definitely! Now everybody start sending me your monies! LOL!!!
Cool! Thanks for sharing your experiences! And I'm glad to hear that you are feeling much better now.