Age 21 from England
Before attending Rising Dragon Martial Arts School I had trained in Seiken-Ryu Karate to a 1st kyu level and to 5th kyu In Aiki-Jujitsu.
Being very used to the rigid form of Japanese style martial arts, the switch to the more beautiful flowing Chinese style, for me, was not an easy one. Choosing to learn internal Sun Style Xingyi under Master Deng Fu Ming meant constant diligence, both physically and mentally to perfect the fine level of detail required in each technique.
Since leaving the academy, the patience and endurance that I learned there has rewarded me in my life every day. While I was at RDS I studied extensively in the use of Chinese swords, since returning I have continued to train in various different sword styles (nine in total). I took up fencing, and with my martial arts training I quickly became one of the best at my university, I still occasionally use borrowed moves from Chinese sword to confuse my opponent.
The other students of my 'generation' are all still in touch, many of us try and see each other at least twice a year, we meet up, have a huge party and swap all of those great stories that begin "There was this one time out in China...
My advice to anyone looking for any kind of adventure out in the world is that this is it, the one, no experience in the world teaches you more about who you are. How far can you go? What can you do? How much can you take? And trust me, throw yourself fully into this, and you will have a lot of fun finding out.