I started practicing Karate at the age of 14 and did some other styles on and off till my late twenties, after that I let myself go a bit like most people in their 30s. I always planned of doing something big for my 40th so with my love of Martial Arts it was an easy choice to make...head to Asia to study martial arts!
I researched dozens of different martial arts schools in Asia but I found myself drawn to the Rising Dragon Martial Arts School!
From the start I found Scott the owner very helpful answering all my emails I sent asking different Question about the School and China itself, so I made my mind up and booked a place for three months.
At the age of 40 my friends thought I was crazy going to china for Martial arts study, But to be totally honest it was the best decision in my life so far, from the moment I landed in China I have been made feel very welcome by everyone!
I was met at the airport by one of the school drivers, which gave me peace of mind of a safe arrival. I got to the school late at night and was shown my room which was basic but comfortable, after a good night sleep I met Scott in person and he showed me and the other new students around the school he told us about the different styles which the school had to offer and after that we was taken into the nearest town and was showed around for the rest of the day, this helped a lot from where to eat, banks and getting the basic things you needed for your stay at the school.
My first taste of training was the morning circuits at 5:30am, which was quite hard but was very good! I knew before I came it was going to be hard and I wasn't disappointed! After the 30 minute Circuit session I went to my first class of the day, as I could not make my mind up which style to choose, Scott suggested doing two days training in each style before making my mind up.
After trying all styles offered at RDS I could honestly say that there is something on offer for everyone all under one roof. I enjoyed the very physically demanding Shaolin classes but I think at the age of 40 I am a little too late to be doing it day in day out!
The White Crane was very enjoyable and I'm pretty sure that if I had of stayed with it for the 3 months my physical strength and power would of increased ten fold due to the type of training and conditioning they do.
Finally the internal group (Xingyi, Bagua & Tai Chi) is the style that I decided to stick with, out of the 3 internal styles on offer I trained in Xingyi Quan and Tai Chi, I feel that these are styles that I can do well into my later years and they will keep improving my health the more I practice them!
My 3 months is nearly up and I feel great in both body and mind! During my stay here I have learnt the 5 fists of Xingyi Quan and the full Sun Style Taiji form...I have enjoyed every moment of my stay from organized trips of a weekend to my training, the staff and fellow students have made me feel more than welcome!
If you ask me would I do it all again the answer would be yes, as I am planning to come back again next year.
I would just like to say thanks to Scott and the masters for showing me so much in such a short amount of time!