Chengdu Living, Kung Fu Fighting: Gong Fu Family Martial Arts School now open

Travel | by Aimee Groom
Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Updated: April 19th, 2011 | Comments
Bruce Lee "If you dream like I do about kicking an apple down from a low-lying branch and handing it to your love, or if you too are determined to feel the buzz of Qi flowing from your diaphragm, up through your chest and down into your fingers then this type of training — and only this type — is your chance to fulfill those hopes." Sound romantic? Intense? Fun? Intriguing? Whatever your personal take, the qi-buzzed writer is Sascha Matuszak and the training in question is a traditional form of the Emei Style Southern Fist Gong Fu System. Matuszak is a writer (and fighter, apparently) who has lived in Chengdu on and off for eight years and currently makes his home just outside the city in San Sheng Xiang. Writing on  Chengdu Living, Matuszak asserts that Southern Fist is the real deal when it comes to gong fu (kung fu) fighting—unlike the watered-down version taught in  martial arts schools around the world (including the tourist-friendly Shaolin brand). This, Matuszak claims, is the gong fu that harks back to the days of total commitment to the Master, the days of:
getting up early and running through the dark streets of broken down Sichuan towns, backwaters rife with crime and violence and poverty, and returning to do a full workout. It means kicking a sandbag filled with sand and stone until you can’t walk and then kicking it some more and then going to the iron circle and banging until your forearms are purple. Afterward, the master will rub a traditional Chinese medicine concoction on your appendages and sit you down for a discussion on what it truly means to be a kung fu person.
But it's not all about pushing your body to its absolute physical limits. It's also about teaching, instilling and upholding the values of traditional kung fu spirit: honor, courage, justice and respect; and this, says Matuszak, is exactly what is being taught at the new Gong Fu Family Martial Arts School that has opened near Sascha's home in San Sheng Xiang village. It's a family-style affair led by one Master Li Quan, and it certainly sounds like an interesting—if extreme—alternative to many better-known gong fu training options around China. Plus by the sounds of it, country living around San Sheng Xiang is pretty chilled out affair. If you're planning to travel to Chengdu, here  are some useful links to help you on your way: Chengdu flight schedules Chengdu hotels About Chengdu ... and of course, there's Chengdu Living, which covers local Chengdu events and attractions, restaurants and bars as well as offering  insightful and entertaining posts about life in China.
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