Team Quest in China Blog, Part 5

Oct 3, 2011
Wenbo Liu works up a sweat at Xian Sports University. | Photo: Liu Xiao Ming

Team Quest coaches Pat Healy and Brad Hannah are currently holding a six-week training camp for fighters from various Chinese teams at Xian Sports University in Shaanxi Province. One such fighter is Wenbo Liu, a light heavyweight who makes his Legend Fighting Championship debut against New Zealander Sam Brown on Oct. 30.

Over the course of the six weeks, Healy and Liu will blog their experiences for Today’s post comes from Liu.

Yesterday, we gave our new coaches a real introduction to China.

Oct. 1 is China’s National Day, the celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. We decided to take Brad and Pat out for some traditional Uyghur food (from the province of Xinjiang) and some Chinese baijiu (white wine that resembles vodka, but is much stronger).

Brad especially wasn’t ready for our tradition of the “gan bei,” or “dry glass,” meaning you have to drink a small cup in one shot. Baijiu isn’t easy for anyone to drink -- it is best described as trying to drink sweet fire -- but especially not for foreigners. I saw the look on Brad’s face when he took his first drink and we all knew he was in big trouble.

Pat seemed a bit more able to handle the baijiu, but he soon learned that sheer numbers in China, no matter how resolute you are, will eventually take you down. By the end of the lunch, Brad was close to sleeping and Pat looked like he just took a kick to the face. I thought that we would not be seeing them at the evening trainings, but sure enough, at 7:30 p.m., they came in strong! I was quite impressed by their ability to handle that lunch and still come train.

As these weeks are progressing, I think we are learning a lot about Americans that we never knew. Pat and Brad are great coaches, but they are also some of the nicest people I have met. They are really eager to understand China and help us to develop MMA here. Pat even offered for all of us to come join him and his team in America and train.

I think throughout this training we will not only improve our skills as fighters, but also our understanding of each other and the bond that comes from being an athlete, no matter where you come from.
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