From Martial Arts to Traditional Chinese Medicine
—Traditional Chinese Culture Lights up an Australian Youth’s Dreams

[Source]    Guangming Daily [Time]    2017-08-15 14:18:56 

Hua Hantong performing Shaolin Eyebrow Height Staff—file photo

【Chinese Culture Going Global • Confucius Institute】

The famous American science fiction writer Neil once said: “a man, even if in his 20s, will still sometimes wonder what it would be like if he went to a Chinese temple to learn martial arts and learn it diligently for a few years.” Eight years ago, Josh, a handsome Australian fellow at the age of 19, with his heart full of fascination with Shaolin Kung Fu, did exactly so.

At that time, he did not even know where the Shaolin temple is in China, nor did he know anyone who has anything to do with martial arts. He could not speak Chinese, and what’s worse, he had no money. Therefore he found a part-time job and worked hard. When he saved up enough money for a plane ticket, he traveled alone to China to pursue his dream: Chinese kung fu.

He gave himself a very interesting Chinese name, Hua Hantong, and stayed in China for six years during which he studied diligently and trained hard under the guidance of his master. “The more you sweat in peace time, the less you bleed in war.” This saying on the wall of the martial club constantly inspired Hua Hantong to break through the limits and helped him become the role model of the other fellow students. In his spare time, he worked hard in learning Chinese, learned how to cook sweet and sour pork ribs and made many good friends in China. The hospitality, friendliness and mutual aid of the Chinese people left a deep impression on him.

After accidentally got injured, Hua Hantong went to the doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and tried bone fracture reduction and acupuncture and other therapies of traditional Chinese medicine with a grain of salt. Unexpectedly, the injuries caused during the training were actually cured after the treatment. This made him deeply feel the magic of traditional Chinese medicine. It was at that moment that he suddenly had a bigger dream: rather than practicing martial arts for his own physical fitness, it would be better to become a professional doctor of traditional Chinese medicine to help patients reduce their pain and remove diseases with what he learned. Since then, he began to learn the main functions of various acupoints from his own perspectives of martial arts studies. He began to think about and understand the meridian transmission between different acupoints, and was determined to study professional traditional Chinese medicine.

After two years of hard work, Hua Hantong finally became a student of the Department of Chinese Medicine of the Australia Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). In the freshman courses, he got to know more Chinese medicine theories, gained a better understanding of qi, yin, yang and other basic concepts of traditional Chinese medicine, and further comprehended the saying “yin and yang unites as one, and the Tao follows nature” that is highlighted in martial arts. In order to experience “breathing the essence of nature, and standing meditation” expressed in the Chinese medicine classics, during the holidays, he went to New South Wales to attend a 10-day meditation training course and practice to be calmer and more focused. After school, he would invite some friends with the same interests to learn from each other and exchange views on martial arts on campus. For example, they would practice tai chi pushing hands to feel the internal and external balance, perfect fusion and harmony in the Chinese culture. He formed ties with Chinese culture through martial arts and traditional Chinese medicine, and he hoped that more people can have the opportunity to do this.

In May 2016, as a contestant selected by the Confucius Institute for Chinese Medicine at RMBI, Hua Hantong participated in the 15th “Chinese Bridge” Competition in Melbourne. His wonderful Shaolin Eyebrow Height Staff performance won warm applause from the audience, and eventually he bore away the third prize in the Melbourne final. At the same time, he also received attention from the AusNet, the official WeChat public account of Australia national broadcaster ABC and many other local media in Australia. His transition from learning martial arts to medicine also inspired many young people who love Chinese culture as he does. As the third prize winner in the Melbourne “Chinese Bridge” Competition, Hua Hantong was given the opportunity to visit China. However, considering the schedule of visiting China was in conflict with that of his favorite Chinese medicine courses, Hua Hantong gave up this hard-won opportunity and devoted himself to the theoretical study and clinical observation of traditional Chinese medicine with firmness.

Hua Hantong believes that in the future, he would have other opportunities to visit China, meet with traditional Chinese medicine teachers and learn how to better exert traditional Chinese medicine’s advantages of simplicity, convenience and low-cost testing so as to benefit more people. For this purpose, at present he needs to concentrate on his Chinese medicine study in the university. He knows very well that there is still a long way to go in the future to become an outstanding traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, but he believes that “where there is a will, there is a way”. When Hua Hantong practices martial arts, people all praised his “good martial skills”. But what he looks forward to more is that, in the future when he practices professional medicine, patients will praise him: “Dr. Hua, you’re great!”

(Author: Zhang Yanping, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine at Australia RMIT)

(Story by Zhang Yanping, Guangming Daily, page 10, August 10th, 2017)


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