I grew up watching martial arts movies and felt that I had to at least learn some basics after living in China for almost five years. My husband and I signed up for 3 full days of lessons and we also opted to stay at the school and have all our meals there. It was one of the best things we did during our 2-month travel and wished that we stayed for at least a week instead. Since we only had 3 days, we focused on learning the Chen style 18 forms (not sure if this is the right English translation)
- The Taichi lessons:
Ping was our teacher and he was great! He had an acute sense of every student's ability and pace so even though we sometimes had lessons where there were 1 or 2 new students, he masterfully balanced everything as I know this is sometimes a concern because we would not know who the other students would be. His English is good and instructions are clear. He pays attention to the details but can also read you well enough so that he doesn't overwhelm you by trying to perfect everything. He also provides you with good context so you have a better understanding of the different moves you are learning. Ping also has a very pleasant personality so in between lessons it was fun drinking tea and chatting with him.
- Staying at the school
It is a short drive from Yangshuo (about 10 - 15 mins) and located in a little village. We really enjoyed being away from the hustle and bustle and the school itself is in a renovated Qing dynasty courtyard, which was quite pretty. The other teacher, Kim has an older brother who is a sort of groundskeeper and cook at the school. After being on the road for so long, it was such a nice relief to have home-cooked food that was simple but delicious with lots of vegetables! If you are a vegetarian, you can let them know and they'll prepare accordingly for you as well. When not practicing Taichi, we took pleasure in drinking tea with the teacher and other students and enjoying our meals on the rooftop. The room is basic but clean. Make sure to bring your own toiletries and towel otherwise you could also buy these items in Yangshuo town.
Overall, we really enjoyed staying at the school and taking Taichi lessons. We highly recommend it as a relaxing vacation where you also get some exercise in and learn more about Chinese culture. The basic Qigong and Taichi steps we learned were very useful and can be easily practiced at home. One week would be the ideal time so you can finish learning the 18 forms and also have some time to explore the surrounding villages which we heard were beautiful. Would definitely return in the future if we get the chance!
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