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China Daily Website

Getting his kicks

Updated: 2013-08-11 08:25
By Liu Kun reports from Wuhan and Xu Lin in Beijing ( China Daily)

In October 2006, he volunteered to represent Hubei province in the second World Traditional Wushu Championships in Zhengzhou, Henan province, where more than 2,000 kung fu practitioners from 66 countries gathered.

He won the gold medal in egret-style boxing and the silver medal in men's cudgel play. His was the only gold medal for Hubei province that year.

"It's a pity that modern Chinese are not so interested in traditional martial arts. But more and more Europeans fall in love with Chinese kung fu," he says.

Back in Germany, Albrecht often practiced tai chi with the master's daughter, Li Qiaofang, and the two fell in love gradually. When he came to China, they often communicated with each other via telephone and e-mails.

More than one year later, Li Qiaofang told her parents they were in a relationship, but they were against it. Master Li started to observe Albrecht as he had to make sure the German would treat his only daughter with heart-felt love and a tolerant attitude.

To cultivate his tolerance and calmness, master Li taught him a unique kung fu, which is very slow and is good for health. Although he wasn't used to the slowness at first, Albrecht kept practicing.

In 2007, he married Li Qiaofang but still called Li Zhenghua "master".

"In Chinese 'shifu' means master. 'Shi' refers to teacher, while 'fu' has the meaning of father. In my heart, he is both my teacher and father," says Albrecht, while writing down the two characters.

In 2010, he co-founded Albrecht & Rudolph - Institute of Martial Arts Research with German martial artist Frank Rudolphin based in Germany, to do research about Western and Eastern martial arts.

One year later, he co-authored the book Wu - A German with the Masters in China with Rudolphin, which offers a journey though the landscape of Chinese martial arts.

Albrecht concludes in the book that the essence of kung fu is to learn a way to help others rather than compete with others to become famous. Several thousand copies have sold in Germany, and he has two other books about kung fu in the works.

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