Picturesque landscape attracts foreigners to practise Tai Chi in Guilin

NANNING (XINHUA) – As many foreign visitors come to Guilin, a city well-known for its lush mountains and lucid water in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, they are often attracted by a traditional Tai Chi school in the countryside while enjoying the quiet atmosphere and picturesque landscape.

“I like Chinese Kung Fu, but my body is not suitable for intensive exercise. Tai Chi helps me realise my Kung Fu dream,” said Greg Shaffer, a 64-year-old American.

Two years ago, he found the Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School by chance and the beautiful scenery made him stay there to learn Tai Chi.

At the beginning, Shaffer was not good at it. He always gets up early in the morning and practises it four hours a day, and after a year of hard work he is now an intermediate-level student.

“The key to practicing Tai Chi is to be slow. You just feel the breath and movement in slow motion, and now I can feel a balanced and harmonious life philosophy in it,” said Shaffer.

In his view, Tai Chi not only helps him keep fit, but also appreciate the charm of Chinese culture.

Greg Shaffer practices Tai Chi. PHOTO: XINHUA

Affected by the epidemic, the tourism industry in Guilin was hit hard. Nevertheless, there are still foreign nationals learning Kung Fu in Guilin. Laura Smith from the United States is one of them. She has been learning Tai Chi for almost a year, and can complete a set fluently.

“Tai Chi emphasises control of the body and emotions, and it helps me calm down when complicated situations appear,” she said.

Wu Yuping, the founder of Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School, said that more than 2,000 overseas students from over 120 countries and regions have studied in the school since its establishment in 2010.

“Chinese Kung Fu is a cultural card and also a bridge for international communication. I hope more and more people can come here to know about Chinese culture while learning Kung Fu,” he said.