By Jason Lee
I drove to a small town about 60 km (37 miles) from central Beijing. I couldn’t believe there was an International Kung Fu Club in such a quiet and remote place. The Lixian Fusheng International Martial Arts Club is the home of Master Chen Fusheng and 11 students currently studying and living there.
Master Chen was an orphan. He was sent to a local nursing home at 8-years-old, where he started learning moves and skills from some elderly martial arts experts. This marked the beginning of his Kung Fu life. Chen says he aims to promote “Real Chinese Kung Fu”. To Chen, a master of many types of martial arts, some Kung Fu has become a sort of performance. He believes though his students didn’t travel thousands of miles to study performance, they want to study the real thing which could help them defeat their opponents and protect themselves.
Master Chen has taught them the ethics and spirit of Chinese Kung Fu; always be patient and tolerant, know how to control strength and power, to resolve danger and not to hurt or kill people (some Kung Fu skills are lethal according to Chen).
Chen has taught more than 100 students from 23 countries since 2008. He said he likes his foreign students as they are very committed and hard-working, some have even exceeded his Chinese students. He also loves the straightforward minds of his foreign friends — they never hid their feelings. He can see clearly whether they like or dislike what they are learning and whether they understand or not. As a result, even though Chen isn’t a master of English, he can easily communicate with foreign students with moves and sign language.
Most of his foreign students are on tourist visas, paying $650 a month, which covers 9 hours of practice every day, simple accommodation in the club, and the only modern service – wireless Internet connection.
Chen doesn’t have wild ambitions for his martial arts club. When asked to describe his feelings on his 50 years of practicing Kung Fu, he said it was fun. He continued to learn different kinds of techniques, summarizing and evolving all the techniques he learned to invent his own martial discipline Ba Ji Zhan Dao (8 extremes battlefield style) because it was more fun.