Muhammad Mudassar Riaz (M) tries out mantis style boxing at a national intangible heritage base in Yantai, Shandong province with Yu Yongbo (L), a ninth generation inheritor of mantis boxing. (Photo source: chinadaily.com.cn)
"It's really different and amazing. I hope I can learn it," said Muhammad Mudassar Riaz from Pakistan while visiting a national intangible heritage base for mantis boxing during a trip to Yantai, Shandong province on Oct 28.
"Before coming here, I tried a different kind of kung fu in Beijing. But this one is really impressive."
Mantis boxing is a famous type of boxing that originated in Laiyang, a county-level city in Yantai, Shandong province.
It has a history of nearly 300 years and combines 18 types of boxing, embodying the strengths of many Chinese martial art schools.
Yu Yongbo (in yellow), a ninth generation inheritor of Chinese Mantis boxing, performs with learners. (Photo source: chinadaily.com.cn)
The national base for mantis boxing was initiated by Yu Yongbo, a ninth generation inheritor of mantis boxing. Yu in his fifties has been learning mantis boxing for more than 40 years.
Yu said that he hopes the base can serve as a platform to teach people about mantis boxing and further traditional Chinese martial arts.
"He's really impressive because he's super fit. Then when he like just try to hit me and honestly even I'm near to 90 kg, I feel it difficult to control my weight," Riaz said of Yu.
Riaz is currently studying for a PhD focusing on the role of communication in the development of Chinese and Pakistani culture. He is also a regular writer and reporter for DiploMag and CPEC News.
"I hope I can come here again and explore the city and culture more."
Riaz participated in a two-day trip to Yantai for expats. The trip gave the expats some insights into Yantai's rich culture, coastal scenery, and booming apple industry.