I have been in China now for a little over two weeks and I can’t tell you how good of a time I’m having. I started my trip in Hong Kong which, as it turns out, isn’t that different from New York. It’s really Westernized so it didn’t feel like I was half way around the world. You can get most types of Western food and many people speak English.
The real trip began when I left Hong Kong with a chaperone, Aaron, from Legend Fighting Championships who spoke both English and Chinese. We took a short bus ride to an airport and got ready to get on a flight to Xian where the Sports University I am currently teaching at is located. Things got a little hairy at the airport. Our flight was delayed, which is common in the US, and an angry mob formed around a small innocent flight attendant. They angrily talked and yelled at her for the next three hours until a fist fight broke out and the police had to come in and break the mob up. It was strange to say the least. Shortly after the plane arrived and the rest of the trip was quite uneventful.
I am now staying at a hotel on campus. Some things have taken some serious getting used to. They don’t give new towels and don’t change the bedsheets. They expect you to hand-wash everything, even when it comes to your clothes. At first it was very upsetting but I have slipped into a different mindset and am now just going with the flow. I am here to train athletes and get better myself so I have left all the other distractions fall out of my mind.
The training here is amazing. It is somewhat misleading to say that it is a university because many of the athletes range from 22-29 years old and have lived here for upwards of ten years. Their only duty is to train in Sanda which is what many people in the US know as San Shou – basically Muay Thai with takedowns. I have been extremely impressed with the skill level and dedication of the athletes. They all have great kicks and overall striking which I have been very lucky to learn and continue learning from them. I am here to help them with more of a wrestling style and their grappling. Many of the athletes have MMA experience or are looking to transition into MMA.
All the athletes are so eager to learn and give me a ton of respect which is quite an honor. I will get more into the training and what live is like in future blogs now that I have my internet set up. I just wanted to give a brief overview and fill you all in on what my trip has been like so far.
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PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/FIVE OUNCES OF PAIN