SHIJIAZHUANG, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Practising a set of gentle tai chi moves, Khamisi Ally Abdi feels his body warming against the morning chill.
The 25-year-old African student in Cangzhou Technical College, north China's Hebei Province, has practiced tai chi for two years. He is now a huge fan of the slow-speed martial art.
Having worshipped kung fu stars such as Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Jet Li and Donnie Yen as a child, the Tanzanian understood Chinese kung fu to be a fast-paced attack and defense art before he arrived in China.
"Tai chi is different from the Chinese martial arts that I knew. It is slow. But as I practice it, I have realized that the slow motions are far from being simple," Abdi said.
The school provides a tai chi course for all foreign students. Abdi has already learned to practice tai chi moves with balance and deep rhythmic breathing, which allows him to feel the charm of the exercise. It brings peace and calmness to his mind, while building and toning his muscles.
Ma Congying, deputy director of the International Exchange Center of the college, said the college has enrolled more than 300 international students from more than 50 countries since 2016, mainly countries along "the Belt and Road."
In the tai chi course, Abdi met a lot of kung fu lovers from African and Asian countries.
With rich historical resources of martial arts, Cangzhou was named the "Hometown of Martial Arts" by the sports authorities in 1992.
"It was my parents' wish for me to study international trade to better prepare me for job opportunities in the booming trade between China and Tanzania. But it is my own dream to chase the Chinese martial arts," said Abdi.
Practicing tai chi has led him to acquire a comprehensive appreciation of this Chinese culture and ideology. He now prefers people call him by his Chinese name Chen Yanzhi, as the characters of Yanzhi carry the meaning of talented and virtuous.
"Tai chi movements are tranquil and quiet but full of power. It has inspired my understanding of China, which has the same temperament. My mother has felt the same way after she visited me here," Abdi said.
He said his Rwandan classmate likes to post videos of them practicing tai chi on social media, and another Cameroonian classmate has learned from tai chi how to improve his boxing skills.
"When I return home, I will use my Chinese name to teach tai chi in my country, so that more people can benefit from this magical kung fu," said Abdi. Enditem