The tale of Qiu Dong Xing.
It was back in January of 2001. My wushu school, USWA, was having a seminar from the head coach of the Beijing wushu team, Wu Bin. I had only been doing Wushu for about 6 months, but I knew that Wu Bin was the biggest and baddest name in wushu. This was granddaddy wushu. And he was coming here to my school to teach a few classes. it was great fun. Even more fun when I found out that he was bringing one of the current Baijing Wushu Team members with him. Qiu Dong Xing was amazing, spoke no english, but did some of the most amazing things ever. Stuff that I had only seen on crappy VCD’s from china — so much more impressive when you see good wushu in person. I was amazed at the intensisty and power he had. 1000’s of times more power than anything I had ever seen in Tae Kwon Do or Karate. My coach had him demostrate a few forms, he did a staff form faster than I had ever thought was possable, and his jumps were amazing. I found out fromt eh other students that he was able to do a double twisting butterfly, that was amazing. It was like th holy grail of tricks as far as I was concerned. Needless to say I was quite impressed with this little chinese guy.
Well, it turned out that Qiu Dong Xing (QDX for short) was there to stay. He was a new coach at our school. My coach needed help teaching the ever growing classes at USWA, so the made more classes and split them up among the coaches. Coach Pei, who primarily taught Taiji on the non-wushu days, was teaching his beginner classes and the little kids classes. Basically he tought the classes where the people could be easily scared. This was becasue of Coach Zhang. Zhang Gui Feng was Chris Pei’s wife, and she was fiesty. I remember being scared of her in the beginner class, I did not wanna be promoted because she was alwasy yelling at her students. I later became accustomed to it, just like everyone else who would stay at the school long enough to make it to the more advanced classes. Coach Zhang was the real wushu coach, she was in charge of the wushu people. And being a former professional wushu athlete in communist china was more than a little apparent. But she was a good coach, and really knew her stuff. She had made the students there do things I really wanted to do.
Now QDX was teaching, he assisted in the early afternoon kids classes, then he took one of the intermediate classes all to his own, which happened to be my class. The other coaches would would be in and out, but as time went by and he learned more and more english it came close to being just QDX teaching out class. Everyone of us in that class like him, he was very nice to us and pushed the advanced people to get better. A little hard to understand — he would often ranbel off in chinese to one of the chinese speaking students and have them translate to the rest of us.
I remember that he did not know my name, not for a while, he was learning the names of some of the other students, and I was so jelous. Even knew some of the names of the non-chinses speaking students. Always helped paulo out, I was convinced it was because he knew his name. I know paulo was very friendly and outgoing, and that had somethign to do with it, so I decided I would try. I wanted to be his friend. Maybe it was just how cool I tough it was that he was a beijing team member — or that I though that he could teach me cool wushu tricks — or something, I just wanted to be friends with him.
Then came that one class, he asked one of the otherstudents what my name was, and used it. Hell, he remembered it to the next class and used it again. I was so happy. I tried to hard, I wanted to impress him with my crazy wushu skills.
Things continued like this for a while, we would ask him to come along when we went out. Having dinner or hangin otu at someones house. He was kinda reserved about it, acted sad. Coach Zhang said he was depressed, and the coaches daughters had told me he was homesick. Coach’s oldest daughter told me he spent all his spare cash on phone calls to friends/family in China and California. I felt so bad for him. Kelly and I would frequently talk about what we could do to help him feel more happy here. I knew living with the coaches and their daughters must have been hard. He had grown up training in wushu for a job, living in the dorms at the Beijing team. This must have been a hard transistion.
The coaches daughters hated him. The girls would never stop complaining to their parents — felt like he was invading thier space. The complained that he had taken over their basements, and would make a point of showing it was their domain by going down there when ever they felt like it. I tried to help them understand why giving him some space would help, but they are as stubborn as thier parents. Poor guy, it appeared to me like he had gone away to college but had to live with a full blow nuclear family — and they were his boss as well. That has gotta suck.
Well things went on and it was getting closer and closer to QDX’s 6 month visa running out. I was starting to get worried. Until one day, just out of the blue there was Tina. I didn’t know where she cam from or how QDX knew her, but there she was. it seem like only a few weeks — a month or two at most, they were there over at our house for dinner with a bunch of other wushu peeps and QDX told us they were married. Go figure. Tina was great, she was chinese but raised in america so spoke perfict english and woudl translate QDX for us. Plus help us with our chinese — a number of use were taking chinese class simply so we could talk to QDX. Tina was a professional dancer, and was only gonna be in town for the summer when she had to go up north of a dance school thing, was only suposed to last a month or two. Then she would return and be able to do the planning for the offical wedding in china. But this ment QDX was staying in the US, and that meant I could keep training with him. By now, I was starting to be real, honest to goodness friends with him.
In the summer we would all go play soccer at a local high school, it was QDX’s idea, and we would just grab some wushu people and go out on saterday afternoons. The girls would scream when we kicked the ball at them, the guys would show off trying to impress them screaming girls. it was just healty natural fun. The sun was hot and the soccer game was unorgnized. I dont know if anyone ever won, we never could keep track. Well, maybe we kept track, but the next day noone would remember. I love being outside. I loved bringing my wife out and playing some fun games with all my friends. This was great.
Well, it seamed that the coachs were giving QDX everything he needed and more. He had a place to stay, coach Pei’s old car, and a monthly paycheck. But he was looking for supplemental income, he did have a wife to support now. And it is almost as hard to get a job as a professional dancer as it is for a professional wushu guy. Well, every year there are a few big Sport karate trounaments in the area. One of them is Capitol Classics. The thing about sport karate is they always seem to have prize money. You don’t normally get anything unless you win grandchamption, but if you win, you get a thousand dollars. QDX was in two divisions, so he had a shot at wining 2 grand. Easy money for a all around china champion.
Well he went in, and won the forms grandchampion, I think he would have wone the weapons as well, but Sport Karate rules say if you break your weapons you are disqualified. That really sucks because the judges heard a crack during his staff form in one of the run-off rounds. None the less he still walked home with a pocket full of cash.
I remember talking to people online about him. People from the rival schools wanted to train with him, kids from across the country were asking what it would cost to take private lessons fomr QDX. Well, with my large web presence, and the fact that I sit online all day at work, I was able tot talk to so many people about him. This started to grow as he started to compete. It was crazy.
After capitol calssics he started competing in more sport karate events. Kept winning them too, I don’t know of any where he didnt win grandchamion in at least one of his two events. He pretty much always wone. I know he lost a few times in one division or the other, but he was able to pay his way with his earnings. Well, not just his way, but also for Coach Pei and Tina.
This was the beginning of the end.
The coaches had QDX pay for coach Pei to travel along with them, but that was in exchange for insurance. QDX could not afford to pay for the trip if he lost, so they said if he looses and dosent make any money, they will cover everything. Both side though this was fair. No one had any problems with any of the trips they went on. Unfortunally both sides thought the other had problems. I dont know what went on when, I was told the story later — from both sides. So this is all hear say, and I don’t want to know more. I am gonna include some of the story here because if I don’t other things won’t make sence. Plus I learned alot from this and I don’t wanna forget.
well, hold on, before I get into the details of the issues between the coaches and QDX, I wanna just finish how I saw things happen.
I knew he was winning tournaments, I kewn Coach Pei was travling along with them. didn’t know why, seemed like he wanted to network with the promoters and other schools out there, possably even start up his tournament again. Donno, didn’t put too much thought into it.
Preperation for QDX and Tina’s wedding in china were underway, tina was only working part time so she could get suff arranged. I know QDX spent lots of time on the phone to china setting things up. Kelly was getting excited. We had even talked about going, it would have been so much fun. I missed out on a trip to china that summer because USWA had canceled their trip, and we would get to go to a chinese wedding. But we didnt have the money or the time.
Well, a bunch of us set up a going away party for them at a local chinese buffet — peter pan. I have no idea why a chinese buffet would be called peter pan, but it was suposed to be pretty good. Kelly and I had shown up, but not every one was there, so we just kinda stood in the parking lot talking. One of the students Keye was talking about getting a new job, and I remember someone said “you know keye, you can live off of less than fifty grand a year, I am living proof of that” Tina reacted with a surprised face, and said “Whoa! fifty thousand dollars, we are trying a lot less than that” or something along those lines. We all made our way inside, and found seats. Everyone kept going up for crablegs and sweat and sour chicken. After dinner QDX insisted that we all give him a list of stuff we wanted from china. We fewlt really bad, but he was pushy, I tild him I wanted a Baijing Wushu team weapons bag. I had hear they were so cheap there, so I figured it would not be too much for him. Some people were asking him to bring them back shoes and sliks and weapons. But a few of us insisted that those requests were too much, plus they should be supporting USWA and buying the stuff they can there. So it ended up most people wanted Beijing Team Specific Stuff. I think kelly wanted paper — some sorta chinese stationary.
I remember that when coach Zhang was invited to the dinner that seh said it wasnt such a good idea. I had no idea why, and when she explained it to me I had even less of an idea why. “We no can support when we have bisness, in feel this is not how I want to do. If I go then I say they are good people” or something like that. Later I had learned that this meant there was a falling out between QDX/Tina and the coaches, and they felt like they were doing them wrong, so they could nto attend or they would be supporting them. I thought my friends were going away for a month to get married, and wanted to wish them congratulations in advance.
It wasnt until after they had flown to china did I understand what had gone on. Coach Zhang Pulled the students one by one into her office and explained the situation. Apperantly they had gotten suspecious of QDX/Tina trying to steal bisness away from them, and wanted QDX to sign a contract that he would not teach for anyone else, or even work anyother jobs while he was working there. I was so surprised. I knew that QDX could not get a job teaching Martail arts anywhere like he had here. The coaches supplied him with a place to stay and a car and everything. I was thinking we have skewed his vision of how much money he needed to live off of up here. Pretty much everyone he was hanging out with was a yuppie, my self included. I Felt like we gave him the impression that if you cannot pull off 50 grand you are gonna starve up here. I wanted some way to reason with him, and tell him that all his friends would take care of him. Paulo and I decided that we could build him a computer out of spare parts. Kelly was replacing kitchen stuff, and was gonna donate her old (but good) stuff to the cause. We just had to talk to him. He would sign the contract after he knew how good of a deal it was. I just knew it.
So I emailed him:
Hope you got out there just fine and every thing is going according to plan so far. We are excited for you both – you are a wonderful, happy couple and it’s great that you will get to go celebrate that. We really wish that we could have come and hope that you understand the limitation that work puts on us in terms of travel. But you two should relax some and have fun! We will want to hear all about it when you get back – and will welcome any note you get a chance to send while you are there.
Anyway, I wanted to talk to you guys, Coach Z filled us in on the situation with USWA and the entire contract thing. We sat down and had a pretty detailed conversation since she was looking for our input about whether or not she was being unreasonable. But I wanted to know if you guys would let us talk to you before you made any permanent decisions. I believe that I have a good understanding of being a martial arts instructor in the US; I have done research and much thinking about teaching for a living. If you guys want to go do something other than teach wushu, that’s cool with me, but if you want to continue teaching I really think we should talk (or email) a
I know that we have talked about this a little in the past, however I never wanted to get into details because I didn’t want to be impolite. But I believe there may be a few things you might be overlooking or the coaches have been a little unclear about but have now explained to us. Also, you may have been inadvertently mislead a little by Kelly and I (as well as a few of the other people in our class) about the cost of living round here and the quality of life that can be achieved; I want to make sure that we clear these things up. You should also know that there are plenty of us that want to and can help make getting started in your own place much
easier – and that offer stands regardless of where you decide to work.
I don’t want to start dishing out advice, especially as you have a lot of other things to be busy with right now, but would like to offer it to you. Or at least an open ear and someone to talk to about all of this. I really think it would be good to hear you side of the story, and to try to fill you in on the way it (it what?) is supposed to be (as apposed to the way a few of us make it sound). But if you want to hear what I have to say, please say so.
So you know, coach has no idea that I am talking with you, and I would like to keep it between us so there are no other complications or sense of interference. I simply consider you guys good friends, and no matter where you work Kelly and I would love to be “Hao Peng You”.
Chris & Kelly
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 10:21:21 -0500
From: “Tina Chang” | Block Address | Add to Address Book
Subject: talk with xingxing
Hope you got out there just fine and every thing is going according to
thanks for thinking about us. We’re happy to hear from you!! everything is going well so far. We’ve been busy everyday since we got here. We didn’t even have time for ‘’jet-lag,’‘ because xingxing’s friends couldn’t wait to see him and his newly wed’K that’s me. :P
so far. We are excited for you both – you are a wonderful, happy
and it’s great that you will get to go celebrate that. We really wish
we could have come and hope that you understand the limitation that
puts on us in terms of travel. But you two should relax some and have
fun! We will want to hear all about it when you get back – and will
welcome any note you get a chance to send while you are there.
you and Kelly are a wonderful, nice couple, too, and it’s great to get to know you guys. We were really looking forward if you could make to the wedding, but of course we understand the limitations. Don’t worry, we’ll send you guys the pics as soon as get them.
Anyway, I wanted to talk to you guys, Coach Z filled us in on the
with USWA and the entire contract thing. We sat down and had a pretty
what contract? The one between you and uswa?
detailed conversation since she was looking for our input about whether
not she was being unreasonable. But I wanted to know if you guys would
us talk to you before you made any permanent decisions. I believe that
have a good understanding of being a martial arts instructor in the US;
done research and much thinking about teaching for a living. If you
it would be great if I can know a little about it. I didn’t even think about doing any research because we believed we would be helping coach zhung for some time. Do martial arts instructor usually have other jobs?
want to go do something other than teach wushu, that’s cool with me,
you want to continue teaching I really think we should talk (or email)
let’s do that. ‘’ in reality, we know that xingxing’s career will not go too far from teaching wushu. Because that’s what he’s good at, rt? Oh, and do you have any suggestion for him about his teaching? Because he would like the students to enjoy his class.
I know that we have talked about this a little in the past, however I
wanted to get into details because I didn’t want to be impolite. But I
believe there may be a few things you might be overlooking or the
have been a little unclear about but have now explained to us. Also,
for example what? And what were they unclear about?
may have been inadvertently mislead a little by Kelly and I (as well as
few of the other people in our class) about the cost of living round
and the quality of life that can be achieved; I want to make sure that
clear these things up. You should also know that there are plenty of
that want to and can help make getting started in your own place much
easier – and that offer stands
regardless of where you decide to work.
It’s our pleasure to meet all these nice people when we moved to this new city. We know that you guys are doing as much as you can, and we’ll always remember that, too. Especially xingxing, he has so many ‘’brothers’‘ because when someone’s good to him, he does double good for the others. As for me, I grew up in the church, I always see the good sides of the people and remember it. That’s why I felt so sad two days before we left. Coaches asked us what did we do, because why would someone ask if coach qiu’s still teaching in uswa in the internet?! They believe either xingxing or i must said something outside. We don’t know why that happened because we’ve thought that xingxing will be teaching for them in their new school in MD. That’s also why we still couldn’t decide if we should rent apt in MD or not. Didn’t people or them see that? I guess
it’s very possible that others don’t know it’s still coach zhung’s school in MD, so they asked that question. Coaches didn’t believe us (or I should say ’‘me,’‘ since they believe I have been planning xingxing’s future and telling others without him knowing.) I wish things could go back to the way it was, but it’s kind of impossible with my effort since we found that’s why coach zhung didn’t talk to us/me the last week we were there.
I don’t want to start dishing out advice, especially as you have a lot
other things to be busy with right now, but would like to offer it to
Or at least an open ear and someone to talk to about all of this. I
think it would be good to hear you side of the story, and to try to
you in on the way it (it what?) is supposed to be (as apposed to the
few of us make it sound). But if you want to hear what I have to say,
please say so.
We would like your advice. You don’t know how much I appreciate this email and your thoughts. Trying our best to have a good relationship with the coaches has been bothered us since we told them that xingxing will still represent uswa for the competitions but we’ll use our own money. (if you want to know our side of the story, I can tell you next time.) we still couldn’t be happy on the plane. Although xingxing and I try not to talk about it too much (since we’ve done our best, and there’s not much for us to tell them to change the situation), but I know we still think about it’K We needed some suggestions when things started to go ‘’wrong,’‘ but then we realized that we didn’t have other friends other than ’‘their students.’‘ Felt lonely and sad that we couldn’t share any of these with you’K don’t want you guys to be involved. However, we did ask Peter, as one of uswa’s employees, if it’s ok for xingxing to use his own money instead of uswa’s for competitions. We found out that it’s no more xingxing’s choice to go to the competition or not as uswa’s employee. That’s one of the two reasons xingxing thought about when coaches talked to us two days before we left. xingxing came here to teach, but now it seemed like he doesn’t have much freedom about competition or other activities in the morning/ not during class time. The second reason xingxing doesn’t like is that coaches do not want me, tina, to be closed with their students if xingxing still work with them. I know I’ll be sad if that’s what needs to be done. They think that I am taking away their students. but why would I do that? We already assured them that we’re not going to have a school, at least not anytime soon. Xingxing doesn’t want us to give up all these friendships because his job, and he would like me to have the freedom to hang out w/ whomever I like to. From the way they talked, I know they might think that we’re not satisfied with the salary or something (please tell me if I’m wrong). Xingxing and I, as traditional Chinese people thinking, we respect the elders. Especially xingxing and coach zhung have the same coach, so xingxing wants to be ’‘hao peng you.’‘ But we do need the freedom to survive (reason one: to do what he wants in his free time) as a family (reason two: to have friends together and not be separated).Heehee, I think I’ve said too much’K please tell us what you have to say. We’ll be glad to hear.
So you know, coach has no idea that I am talking with you, and I would
to keep it between us so there are no other complications or sense of
interference. I simply consider you guys good friends, and no matter
you work Kelly and I would love to be “Hao Peng You”.
tina and xingxing
Date: Tue, 04 Dec 2001 12:22:05 -0500
From: “Christopher Sexton” | Block Address | Add to Address Book
Subject: Talkin’ time….
Hopefully you have recovered from jet lag already, but 13 hours is a big change. I guess I will find that out for sure this summer when I go out there for Wu Bin’s Tournament. And trust me Kelly and I wish we could be over there now, Kelly mostly because if we would have gone for the
wedding we wouldn’t have to train. For some reason she doesn’t want to train
every day all day like me =)
We though you sanded sad that last time I talked to you, so I asked the coaches about it and got this big explanation about business issues. Basically she said that she asked Xing Xing to sign a contract saying that he can’t do any wushu related business with out USWA permission.
The reason she wants this is because she is scared for the school, she has been screwed over in the past by people who were working with her and she simply doesn’t want to leave any possibility for conflict between the coaches, so that they can concentrate on their job. I don’t see why this contract cannot allow for Xing Xing to compete with his own money and therefore keep all the winnings. There may be some red tape involved but it should be easily worked out. But the mostly want to find a way to protect their school, and are worried that if you guys ever decided to split off that you could take half the school with you. She did not say this explicitly but you can tell that it is her biggest worry.
I think she figures that it could possibly be a snowball effect, so that it would all happen over time but build up — however she should not need to worry about that as long as all of Xing Xing’s wushu teaching is done with USWA.
I was unclear about how you guys responded to when the coaches asked you to sign a contract. I had no idea of the terms of the contract or the duration. But I have talked to coach Zhang and she says that she doesn’t know them and was going to get you guys to agree to sign it before the shy paid the lawyer to write it. Honestly i think all this should not be needed, but that would require total trust and loyalty. And after getting screwed over a few times I understand why the coaches think the way they do. I probably would too in their situation.
With all this said and with the large amounts of control USWA wants over anything wushu related, I still think you guys have a great deal with USWA. Mostly because you don’t have to deal with the business side, only the teaching part. And most martial arts schools go bankrupt because of that business reasons. Even if the coach has amazing credentials and experience. But I would say as a standard in the US it takes years for a marital arts school to get going, and normally during that time the owner must work extra outside of the school in order to support it. I don’t know if you already knew this or not, but don’t take offence. And you have to understand that if you compare the salary that a bunch of us (people like
Me, Keye, Greg, and Paulo) make, you are comparing the wrong things. I remember the comment that Greg said to Kaye — you know Keye, you can live off of $50,000 a year, I am living proof. Well, I think that gives you guys the wrong impression. If you listen to us too much we will skew your view of how things are supposed to be. While one day you may easily be able to blow money on things like a motorcycle like the coaches do, it takes a bit of work to get to that point.
I think the work will be a lot less and much easier with this little internship at USWA for you guys. Think of it like a doctor doing his residency, your pay is crap and hours suck for a while, but it pay off in the end. I am positive the coaches don’t intend for you guys to continue teaching at their school forever, and I know they don’t want the trouble of running a bunch of schools by themselves so they will want to spin the other schools off to be owned and operated by other people. Coach Zhang has offered to let me use their name and curriculum when I want to start my own school, that’s a big deal. I know so many successful instructors that would never let a student do that. or would charge a bunch of money to do
so. She tells me that all she wants in return is for us to buy uniforms and weapons from her. Not that I would even know where else to get them.
As far as when things went wrong, I cannot say for sure. Maybe it was when you started your dance class or wanted to pay your own way to the tournaments. I understand why Coach Zhang doesn’t like those things, but
I pretty much don’t agree. However I think it will prove to be pretty minor once other details get worked out.
Of course you didn’t have friends outside of USWA. You guys were up rooted and plopped right in the middle of a strange city where most people didn’t speak your (well, Xing Xing’s) language. That makes things very hard. So there is very few ways to meet new people. Nearly all the friends that I have in the DC area are from USWA (the only exceptions being college friends). I know many people who only have friends from work. But over time it will change, but is take a while. As far as our friendship with you guys, we don’t care where you work, we will be friends.
The contract that Coach told us about might be a plus in other ways to you guys. If you sign promising not to teach wushu anywhere else, then you have an exact set amount or restriction placed on you, and if something is not mentioned in the contract then you can assume it is OK for you to do. I am certain that the contract would not have any restrictions on who you can be friends with. so that would help clear up one point. Plus it would probably make coach Zhang much more secure and therefore more relaxed
once she gets rid of the fear that Xing Xing has the ability to cripple their business. And now they know he is married and they know he will agree with you, just like he should, so if you decided against USWA he
would follow you. Not that you would, but you could.
I don’t think coach Zhang ever said outright that is was too little money, but that is sorta what I assumed. I understand that it seems very overwhelming. Kelly have been there and felt that plenty. But I don’t see why your two concerns could not be met, especially as long as Xing Xing doesn’t want to spend his free time teaching classes at O-Mei =) .
Kelly and I will be there if you need us, no strings attached. In fact we seriously talked about sharing a house with you guys, it would help us pay for one and you guys could get a cheap place to stay that involved no other business obligations. Just an idea that we have talked about. Once you guys move out of the coaches house you will find that you have much more freedom, however that freedom has a price, so it will cost you much more to live than it does at their house. It should just like children living
with their parents. The parents always want more control — and I think weather or not coach Zhang wanted it to be this way he can’t help it, she’s a mom. When Kelly lived at home the summer before the wedding she complained about the exact same things. Moving out might just solve almost all of you problems. But it would create new ones too.
So my advice to you, is to come back and give in to the coaches at first. I think they really have a great deal set up for you guys. Let some time pass to let things settle. I bet in a year this will be all but forgotten, after you have had a chance to prove your self. Once you don’t have the wedding and trip to china hanging over you it will be much easier to live when you work full time. If need be Xing Xing can get a part time job, I am sure he could find work in the Chinese community some where. Hopefully it won’t require 2 jobs for him, but I don’t think that it would be too difficult with his schedule at USWA. Just a little annoying.
Have fun over there and hurry back, Kelly keeps saying she misses her Coach.
We love you guys,
Chris and Kelly.
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 10:00:55 -0500
From: “Tina Chang” | Block Address | Add to Address Book
Subject: will talk more :)
Dear Chris and Kelly,
Thanks for even thinking about sharing the house with us. That’s very, very sweet of u. Like xingxing said, although he didn’t understand what you guys talk about most of the time before, but he knew you are a nice couple he’s ever met in US.
There are 4 things xingxing would like you to know on the issue”
First, coach zhung is a former bejing wushu team’s member, I respect her because she’s older and doesn’t matter if she was known in the team or not. That’s why i never mind about what she can offer me.
Second, about future, we never really think about opening a wushu school. (Which we told the coaches, and we also let them know that we’d never take any student from their school). But I don’t want tina totally
gives up her dancing, that’s why I would like tina to do anything relates to dance. If I have any thought about opening a wushu school, I would of try to learn some business side of uswa the past yr. But I didin’t.
Third, if it’s you’‘ working in a computer co. Without effecting the company, will you be ok if the company still bother you with what you do after work?? It’s impossible for me to teach anywhere else if I’m
teaching at uswa’‘ it’s a basic principle for ’‘basic human being.’‘ I assure this to the coaches already, so they know this is the way I do things. But I do need my freedom. (tina had an idea for us to show chinese culture (dance and wushu) to public schools in the mornings. I don’t understand why do we still need permission from my boss’‘ of course I don’t mind telling them, but they don’t seem like they want me to do anything besides teaching at uswa (or go to english class). Does that mean my wife can’t have certain jobs she wants because my boss doesn’t want
to? It’s even more awkward if we really want to do what we want and they ’‘kind of’‘ not allow. Ex: competition.) It’s impossible for me to do anything to harm uswa, but I can’t accept or agree to be controlled when I do everything. I bet no one likes it, even in China. (Tina: I don’t think move out will help, because it’s about what we do outside not at home.)
Forth, I stay in uswa because I respect them (1st contract already ended in June 2001), and of course I enjoy hanging out w/ you guys. If I think about my own future, I would have more opportunities when I’m still young, if I’m not in uswa. I stayed in uswa because I wanted to thank them for being nice to me and help them with what they need. However, there were some things they did I couldn’t accept. I don’t want to do anything to effect uswa, so I’ll leave’‘ let the facts to prove what I said.
It doesn’t matter what the life will be from now on, at least I know I’ll be happy. I’ll still be friends with them. Our friendship will always be there. You’re all nice people, and doesn’t matter where we’ll be, we’ll still be good friends.
Thank you for your advices. we would always like to listen to your opinion. I know I can’t compare with other people’s living
stander. However, I do know about how much we need to start a family. Of course I can see this as an internship, but the truth is that what can we get pay off? We’re not thinking about opening a school. Like xingxing said, we stay there because we want to help the coaches. After few yrs of working there, we need to start our new career, and we don’t think it’s worth it anymore if they don’t appreciate the effort’‘Xingxing doesn’t want to go into too detail (as he said ’‘there were some things they did I couldn’t accept.’‘) but there are something I would like you to know’‘ We understand coach zhung’s unpleasant history, and we can do as much as we can as long as they can be reasonable = still think about us as friends. we can’t give up our right or reedom for something we didn’t do, rt? of course we’ll be happy if there’s someone do the business side of work, however there was even problem when xingxing tried to compete with his own money (we respectfully asked three times. From my point of view they didn’t ’‘agree’‘ for us to do so. They gave up their side at the end because xingxing didn’t want to do anymore competition under that condition for another yr, which was what they wanted him to do.) They specifically told us that the ’‘contract’‘ they want xingxing to sign will be all about everything they want xingxing to do. From the tone they told us, we know that we are not going to have any choices like using our money for competitions. It might sound nicer when they told you it’s about protecting the school, however it’s also about them making profit, too. For us, it’s not called a “contract” because we are not going to have our voice anymore. Will you sign something like that? I would really like to go back to before when we’re all big family without conflict of interests’‘ I would really like to work out them more than anything, however I know it’s hard ’‘ especially there are also other issues, too.Anyhow, we still have chances to talk more when we go back, rt? :) can’t wait to see you guys again, too!!
Xingxing & Tina
That pretty much sums up what happened while they were gone. You can clearly see how I understood my coach and her side of the story. Things died down while they were gone, we all missed them and couldnt wait till they returned. They were suposed to come back after about a month — sometime in the beginning of January. However on the day they were suposed to show up we heard word that there was a problem with QDX’s Passport and Visa and that he was not allowed to leave China. We got a little worried, but tina sent us an email explaining that it was just some paper work mistake and they would be returning in a few weeks.
Well, the time for their return was upon us, and we were so excited. Their flight got bumped back to saterday and they guy who was suposed to go pick them up had to teach, so I jumped right in. I was so excited to see my friends. In fact, during our regular friday night after-wushu-go-out-to-dinner, we stayed late at IHOP talking about weather not not they were gonna return to teach at USWA. Our fingers were corssed, we wanted him to come back. I knew if they (the coaches and the Qius) could set their diffrences aside that the school would benifit. The more super-qulified instructors there the better.
We got to the air port early, sat around. The walls in Dulles airport have these huge concreat supports that go up at an angle. They were about 4 feet accross and went up at curve to the celing — starting off at a nice 45 degree angle or so. I climed up the walls and Kelly told me to get down. Suddenly my playing was interupted by a muffeled “Chris!” from down the escolator. It was QDX! We ran down and gave Xing xing and Tina a big hug and chit chatted while we waited for their luggage.
Well, in that chit chat we talked about them teachign at USWA, and they basically told us there was no chance. Well, we went to a local Chinese Food place, A&J’s. It was in a building with a chinese grocery store and some other chinese shops. QDX went over to the bulitin board to try to find places to stay. They were only gonna be in town for 2 weeks so they wanted to find a cheap place. We would have nothing to do with it, they were our friends and they sould stay at our house. We didnt have a bed for them, but plenty of floor space. I mean, they were stuck here because their flight had been booked weeks ago and plus there was another big Sport karate tournament on that last weekend. Made sence to us. Kelly and i decided that we should have our house open to anyone as long as it was no danger to us. Plus Tina and Xing xing would cause practically no inconvenience — we might even be able to help them mend relations with the coaches and they could possably make that long shot and return to teaching at USWA.
We swung them by the coaches house to pick up some stuff. Coach was a little distant, didnot talk to them at all, and she wanted to know where they were staying. I said they wanted to say at a hotel, but I didn’t plan on letting them. Besides being somber and quiet, she did nto let on that anythign was wrong with that at all. I pretty much took that as an “OK,” cause in the past if she did not agree with something she would be very outspoken about it. Even if it was none of her business.
Once we got home Kelly set up a nice bed upstairs in the loft of our apartment. We stayed up talking about all sorts of things. We over analized the coaches and their intentions. We talked about making movies, the comptition coming up, and married life. So nice. Pretty much this contineud for the rest of the time they were there. And let me tell you my chinese was getting much better.
Kelly decided she wanted to make them a welcome back dinner, she had been planning to do so ever sence they left actually. Any excuse to entertain. I swear she would use up all her money in college to feed me and my buddies. Now that we were married she was using my money to feed all of my buddies. A few of her’s too. We called all of our friends up. Weird thing about all of our friends: I used to spend all of my spare time at USWA, that kinda leads to all of my friends being from USWA. I mean, right out of college I moved up here and didn’t know but 3 or 4 people in the area. All but one of those people are just “people I know” types, no friends. Strangly enough QDX had a similar situation, the only people he knew were the ones from his teaching days, these people happen to be the ones who hung around and did stuff with the gang from USWA. Go figure. OK, I am sure you think I am rambling on about the obvious — but this is important.
Nice dinner, all our friends had a good time. Just played video games, ate some great food, and hung out. Didn’t even talk about USWA — other than to say it was time for QDX to move on. A nice stress free evening. That was one of the last stress free times I would have for a long time.
I went to USWA and the coaches were being crazy distant. I tried to talk to them but would get short-one-word-go-away answers. Well, I gave it a few days, but I had found out that coach was pissed off about the “party.” So I went in on Wenesday and talked to her. We talke for more than 2 hours, it was so long, and she basically told me she now questioned my loyality and integrety. I was hurt. I did not know what to do, I honestly felt like I did nothing wrong. But in her eyes I was helping the evil Tina spread her propaganda to all of her Students and Instructors (the friends QDX and I have in the area). She felt like she was being underminded and talked about behind her back. I must have heard that you cannot have you feet in diffrent boats with out falling into the watter a dozen times. Well there was much talked about, many things repeated, but in the end it boiled down to coach telling me not to get involved with USWA business and to not hurt the school. I told her that I had never done anything I would ahve ever thought would hurt the school, and that i had only indended to help. She insisted I had crossed the line. It was the party that was the step too far.
The next day I asked coach Pei if I could talk to him. It was a very frustrating conversation. Getting him to talk is quite a task and always has been. I think he keeps his mouth shut most of the time and observes to try to get you to answer your own questions. Well I wanted to know his openion so I would sit there and wait until he would answer. I was shaking the entire time, when I did talk my voice would crack. I was nervious and upset, USWA had become my life and I felt like I was about ot be kicked out. Coach Pei did reassure me that I am a paying student and that I would always be treated equal in class because of it. But he also told me that he will not associate with dishonest and unlyoal people out side of class. It hurt, he didnt say I was bad, but did tell me he thought I was “branching out.” I had not thougth of it as getting connections like that, but in fact I had been. What could I do, and why should I not be allowed to gain more connections in the wushu world besides him and his wife. But I did not think that at the time, I felt like I had betrayed my coaches and never knew what I was doing. I explained that I felt horriable for anytrouble I had caused him and he went on to explain that I had helped QDX make him look bad. Apperently he considered it a slap to his face every time we took QDX out to dinner, or when a bunch of people paid for his ticket to an amusement park. You see, we would invite QDX out to go do stuff with us, but he would decline and say he wanted to save his money, but we being in the yuppies that we were would often all chip in and pay his way. We thougth that the coaches were doing all they could to help QDX feel at home here — so we were gonna help them by taking our friend out. Now suddenly all those times we loaned him DVDs or bought him a burger were considered insults to coach Pei, because we had to help QDX sence USWA did not pay enough. I never though of it that way. Nor did anyone else I talked to. But the coaches at USWA felt like they could only ask for a certian number of favors from their students and every time QDX or Tina got some help they would loose one of their favors. The way he originally said that was by telling me that he saw QDX and Tina using his students. That he could not stand by and see his students being used.
I left that conversation with coach pei in tears. I was devistated and I didn’t know why. I thought I had blown it with the coaches and couldnt figure out where I went wrong. I asked to for what was business and what wasent, but was told that was for me to figure out. I figured it kinda hard for me to not be involved with business there — i had been for quite a while, but now it was bad. Lets take a look at my involvment there. First of all I was a paying customer there, that kinda made me involved don’t ya think? I also did alot of computer realted work for them. I mean that is my day job, so i figure I could help — I helped wire the place for eathernet, trouble shot the computer systems, fixed the printers, and did the entire webpage. This was a pretty major website, and Coach Pei wanted more and more, I was developing robust PHP scripts to interface with mysql databases — creating new content and updating the reoutene stuff. It was a full time job, and Coach wante bigger and better. I was all gung ho for it too, I was proud to be helping with such a content rich portal. I mean our involvment with the coachs back then was also personal, we took their daughters to the Zoo, went to dinner with them and came over for the girls bithday partys. It was both sides of the coin and I was happy with how everyting was.
On the plus side this falling out was good for my marrage. I would ignore kelly so I could do work for USWA, we can’t go out of town because I signed us up to teach wushu at a local chinese school on the weekends. This little soap opera forced me to look at what is really important.
Well, I had another talk with Coach Zhang, and things were really starting to come around. She told me only time could tell. So we would just have to wait it out. Things were starting to settle, I could train again, and started to sleep at nights. That’s when the news broke, I had found out that Sarah was leaving USWA for the rival school a the same weekend that QDX and Tina came back. Sarah was the last remaining wushu black belt, and had been a student for over a decade there. I was really sad to see her go. Even sadder to find out the problems I would have when coach found out she was leaving.
Emily was another black belt student of coach Zhang, but had left a a ew months back before sarah. She knew that telling coach was pretty much pointless and just kinda let things hanging allowign Coach Zhang to assume it was her buisy college schedule that kept her out of classes. Well, things started getting messy because QDX had returned — she broke down and told coach that she was out of USWA. There were a number of people who split for the rival school, O-Mei. Most people left because they felt ignored by the coaches at USWA, and were fed up with coaches quick temper (at least that is what they told me). Coach did not see it that way. You know what drove them away? Tina. Coach blamed Tina. Tina was schemeing and deceitful and evil in her eyes. And you know who helped Tina do these evil tasks? Me. All the stuff I had done trying to help out the young couple had been direct attacks on USWA — and now we have proof. Students — the best students at that — were leaving for the rival school.
Well, that made life suck. I felt so bad that I went as far as to ask QDX and Tina to go stay at another place. There was a nice Chinese couple who lived in the apartment complex next to us — not connected to USWA in anyway, and they allowed to for our friends to crash in their extra room. I feel bad about it now. I don’t think I should have asked them to do that, but once I hinted that it might help things with the coaches they insisted.
It turned otu to be helpful with, because in one of my following talks with coach I broke down and told her what I had told them and to her it won me bonus points. Not worth it, but helpful. The saga raged on long after QDX and Tina left for California, but once coach had the “do you know who is leaving” talk with me it started to simmer down. Sarah cam back and did a demo with USWA, even told coach she was gonan return — even though she had no intention of it as far as I can tell.
Oh, it was during that demo that my mouth had cought up to me. I had talked to everyone I could that was on the inside trying to get advice. I got plenty of great insight — but there was one person that basically told me to just kiss up to coach and do what ever she said. This lovly person was quite an impressive brownnose that of couse coach loved her. I mean, I would love anyone who did everything I said with out question. Well, I had told some people that he advice to me was to distance my self form QDX as much as possable. Well, someone asked if she said I I should kick them out on the street, and I agreed. Things went around and got juicer on the way — as then tend to do — until it got back to coach and her prize student. There was a big ruckus about how I as slandering her and making everyone hate her. I apologized and said I never intended to make people hate her. Now I understand why everyone had told me to no tell her anything and to no invite her out — she just rats everyone out to coach (and I was finally getting to like her). I guess this marked the peak of the drama, it is all down hill form here.
Things started to settle, I get ignored by coach pei. Half the time he won’t ever return my hellos. But Coach Zhang is the main wushu caoch, and she is back to actually training me again. Thank God. I mean, I would go to another wushu school if I had to (well, maybe I would just go back to TKD for while) but I dont’ wanna. I have so many good friends there at USWA. While we would not intend to stop being friends I would not get to see them very often, and we would drift apart. In my exteriance there is no way around that — we simply live too far apart and are too wrapped up in out buisy little activities.