China Trip, Spring 2012: How I spent my time in China
I spent 10 days in Jiaxing City of Zhejiang Province for Zheng Mingxing‘s 80th birthday from 27th of January to 6th of February 2012. It was school break and spring festival, a.k.a. Chinese New Year, period in China. Although the official holiday period for spring festival is 7 days, Chinese New Year was celebrated for 15 days traditionally, therefore many businesses from the private sector were closed during my stay in China.
I spent every morning with my shifu, Zheng Mingxing, either in the hotel room or his flat which was less then 5 minutes walk form my hotel. Besides the usual Xingyiquan training, we had conversation about our past, martial arts in general, politics, economics, military, and just about anything in the universe. We also watched cable television in the hotel room and commented on the acting skills of the actors/actresses and bugs of the scripts.
I reckon this bonding process is the key of knowing Zheng Mingxing as a martial artist and as a person, in turn it gives a much clearer picture of what Zheng Mingxing’s Xingyiquan really is.
There were a few things I might do in the afternoon, I might do some catching up with friends in Jiaxing, I might do some shopping, I might continue to spend some quality time with Zheng Mingxing, I might spend some time with Zheng’s other students, or I might go to train at Jiang Lan’s training ground.
Jiang Lan vs. Little Miao, an afternoon training session at the Taijiquan training ground
I was usually at Jiang Lan’s Taijiquan training ground in the evening during my recent trip in China, I did absent for 3 nights because the dinner sessions lasted too long or I was too drunk from dinner sessions. There were many Jiang’s students came over from the surrounding cities and counties of Jiaxing City to learn from him during this holiday period, while locals took this holiday opportunity to catch up with family and friends. As a result, there were more nonnatives than locals at the training ground.
Did I mention that I had roommates during my stayed in Jiaxing? I did have two martial arts fanatics sharing hotel room with me, so there were martial arts talks and training during my spare time, sometime talks and training lasted way past mid-night.
Here are a brief profile of my roommates:
Litte Miao, Jiang Lan’s student, is a medical doctor from the neighbor city of Hangzhou who has picked me up from the airport and stayed in Jiaxing City to learn form Jiang Lan. Miao stayed with me from for 2 nights from 27th to 28th of January 2012.
Liu, form Liaoning province, is a lecture in military academy at Xuzhou City of Jiangsu Province. Liu met Jiang Lan in Beijing in 2011. He was so fascinated about Jiang’s Taijiquan skills, he spent 11 hours in train to travel to Jiaxing to learned from Jiang Lan. Liu stayed in the same hotel room with me from 30th of January to 5th of February 2012.