From teen hobby to a ‘minia­ture China’

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - World -

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.

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