Mathilda Grönlund

Age 20 from Sweden

 

To make a short but fair summary of a four month period in China, that was so much more than simply an incredible fitness experience, will be an impossible task but I'll do my best.

 

When I first arrived at RDS, with little martial art experience, I didn't really know what to expect. The only thing I hoped for was to experience something out of the ordinary, to get to see the Chinese culture and learn martial arts in a proper, traditional manner.

 

Right from the beginning I decided to practice the art of Sanda, which is similar to the western form of kickboxing. I stuck with the Sanda training for the whole four month period I was there and overall I learnt more than I thought was possible about the style. Everything from punches, kicks and take downs but also to be able to stand in the ring, take punches, being exhausted but still keep focus on your opponent, on the fight and to not give up.

Apart from the martial art aspect my strength, cardio and flexibility all increased. Although the most valuable lesson I learnt was not about my physicality, but about my mentality. I learnt how to push myself to my "imaginary" breaking point just to realise I’m not even half way to reaching my full capacity, how incredible self-affirming that is and I also realised how valid the strength of your mind can be.

 

If you are truly willing to dedicate yourself to the training and the experience that Rising Dragon School has to offer you won't learn what physical and mental strength is, you will realise that you had it all along and learn how to perfect it and use it. 

 

A couple of months after I left China I joined the military in Sweden. During that time I was grateful for everything I learned at the Rising Dragon School, it helped me a lot. In other words, the things you learn at the school are things that will benefit you throughout your life, independent of how your future takes shape.

 

Not to forget that the physical and mental parts of the journey is far from everything. Just as important are the cultural experiences, the travelling, the good and the bad memories and the bond you form with all the incredible people you meet at the school and in China. Everything combined is a huge and unforgettable journey. A journey that will give you so much more than you actually can put into words.

 

With that said I would also like to thank all the students, the teachers and Scott for making this experience one of my best memories!