Nigerien student becomes "top martial artist" in China

(People's Daily Online) 16:21, June 21, 2021

A Nigerien student with the Chinese name Xi Ma, who has been practicing martial arts for six years due to his love for traditional Chinese culture, now has the right to call himself a "martial arts expert".

Photo shows Xi Ma practicing Chinese martial arts. (Photo/yangtse.com)

After graduating from high school, Xi attended Niger's Niamey University. Following his mother's advice, he applied for a scholarship to study in China. In 2011, he finally arrived in China and started to study the Chinese language at Beijing Language and Culture University. One year later, he was formally enrolled in the Chinese linguistics program at Hebei University.

"I used to hear people speaking Chinese only on TV. When I first came to China, I was so surprised to learn that Chinese is such a beautiful language in reality," recalled Xi, who can now speak the Chinese language fluently.

While learning the language, Xi gradually developed a keen interest in traditional Chinese martial arts. In fact, before coming to China, Xi's impression of this form of art was limited to Kung Fu fighting in Bruce Lee's or Jackie Chan's movies.

"I was deeply attracted by these movies. I even thought that all Chinese people could do martial arts, but when I finally set foot in this country, I found that only a small number of enthusiasts can do it," he said.

Photo shows Xi Ma taking part in a martial arts competition held in Foshan, south China's Guangdong province. (Photo/yangtse.com)

In order to gain mastery of the Chinese martial arts, Xi decided to join his university’s school team in 2015. Xi enjoyed group training, and threw himself into practicing what he considered the perfect form of art. Meanwhile, in a bid to master more skills, he pursued further education at this university as a postgraduate student one year later.

Today, Xi has gained skills in a broad array of traditional martial arts weapons, including broadswords and monks' canes, as well as many traditional styles such as “Eight Extremes” boxing and Tai Chi.

While studying in China, Xi not only took part in various martial arts competitions for foreigners, winning more than 20 awards, but also received written recognition from the Embassy of Niger in China. What's more, when staying in his home country during summer vacations, Xi helped set up a martial arts association in Niger.

"I want to be a disseminator of Chinese culture. At the same time, I intend to bring China's advanced technologies to Africa," said Xi, who revealed that he plans to work in international relations after graduation and open a Chinese martial arts club in Africa.  

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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