From teen hobby to a ‘miniature China’
SANTIAGO, Chile — When he was 14, Aznous Boisseranc spent hours watching the martial movies of his idols Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.
At that time, he could not have imagined that his hobby would turn into a lifelong passion that would one day lead him to create “a miniature China” in his native Chile.
“I just wanted to jump and hit everything that moved. But in time that changed, I matured, and learned discipline and self control,” said Boisseranc.
Boisseranc tried his hand at various types of martial arts, from kick boxing to taekwondo, karate and even Brazilian capoeira, but he did not find them challenging enough.
He soon turned to the Chinese martial arts, enrolling in a kung fu class. The experience, he said, changed his life.
“I was hooked on the form’s structural complexity. Everything has a reason: placing your chest in a certain way, the alignment of your head. Everything is part of a whole that must be in harmony. That captured my attention,” said Boisseranc.
He was then introduced to Xing Yi Quan, another millenary Chinese martial art form and the one he has dedicated his life to.
To fully immerse himself in the discipline, he decided to learn the Chinese language.
He was good enough to win second place in 2010 in the Chinese Bridge proficiency contest organized by the Chinese embassy and the Confucius Institute at the University of Chile.
He also won a scholarship to study in China, although the offer of a year in Beijing that he expected turned out to be four years in Jinan, Shandong province.
His training led him to win as many as 25 competitions during his time in China, which came to an end in 2015.
Back in Chile, Boisseranc took up a job teaching Chinese at the UC’s Confucius Institute, and opened his own martial arts school.
“It’s my way of creating ‘a miniature China’ in Chile,” said Boisseranc, who suspects his lifelong ties with China will eventually take him back east.