Dear doc
Thanks for answering those questions.

The one thing I would like to follow up concerns the price.  Given the current exchange rate, 900 euros translates to somewhere in the area of just over AUD 1,800 for me. I have to say I was blown away when I received your quote; realising that this would significantly alter my travel/training plans for the next twelve months I plan to spend in China.

In truth I was expecting (read: hoping) for something  around the AUD 900-1000 (450-500 euros approximately) mark per month max.

It is fair to say that as far as having any idea about training fees I have none. I don't know if this quoted amount is standard, or I can do better elsewhere but under present circumstances, I'm sorry to say, I will have to decline this offer.  

I've been saving for the trip for 9 months; money that I've worked hard to come by and which was set to last me my twelve months of training if I was to pursue that option.  I don't tell you this to renogotiate and haggle you down or even evoke some sympathetic response but so you can try to understand why I am not prepared to spend this much on my experience.

Once again I don't know if I am being realistic or unreasonable. I am willing to negotiate, though if DeCheng is firm on this amount I will need to look elsewhere for a school. No hard feelings.

I don't mean to stuff you around Doc, I'm very grateful for all you've done on my behalf already. Your input on this will be eagerly awaited.

Looking forward to your reply

Fully understand. I don't know what a Euro or an Aus D is; I just think in Baht and dollars. But now that I look at it, 900 Euros is about 1100 USD. Which is about 35 dollars a day. Considering that price includes training, food and housing, it's cheaper than what it was years ago, and much cheaper than the wushu guan, which is charging (my price) 65 USD a day.

In the nineties, when I trained at the wushu guan, the fees were anywhere from sixty to a hundred dollars a day (those bastard chinese...). I paid 25. This was back in 1997.

Let's face it. Prices have gone up. And they've gone up a lot, especially over the last few years, with everything tourist related in China. Decheng's price is not a bad one, but I understand that you're under the constraints of a budget.

You might want to consider not doing a year, regardless of where you go. As I've said repeatedly in the site, almost everyone I've ever met has not liked it for long periods of time. Quite honestly, there are better things to do with your life than spend an entire year in Dengfeng.  I've spent two years there, spread out over a long period of time (month or two at a time).

Lots to consider. I'll see if I can get that price knocked down for you even more,, but I can't promise anything. I have no control over these things.

Hi Doc,

Firstly, I just wanted to know a little about the curriculum that is set for the foreigners; the Shi DeCheng website is succint to say the least! Personally, I am up for trying a little of everything (forms, weapons, qigong, etc) however I would really like to focus on the sparring/self-defence/application aspect of the kung fu training. Is it possible to have some influence about what I am taught? Will this reflect poorly upon me (and ultimately my training) if I make a suggestion about what I would prefer to learn?

You can pretty much kind of direct what kind of training you'd like to get. Once you get to know them. Shouldn't be a problem.

Lastly, just some details about DeCheng's school. How many students does the school hold? and is there internet access within the school or will I need to find an internet cafe in Dengfeng?

Not sure how many foreigners will be there in March. Varies all the time. Expect it to be cold though. As for domestic students, you won't be training iwth them anyway, and those numbers vary all the time.

Another thing was buying presents for the hosts of my new home, whom should I buy for (the school, Decheng, the coaches, students?) and can you recommend an appropriate present/s.

Decheng will not be there, he will be with me in Thailand. Don't bother with presents.

And as far as accomodation is concerned, are the foreigner rooms at the school liveable? I saw you wrote they contain a hot shower and Western toilet. Is there anything I should know about staying on site as opposed to the hotel?

The latest school has hot water and western toilets. It is livable, but it will be cold. don't expect heat. you can buy a portable electric heater in the nearby store, and use that to keep your room comfy. Wasn't an option when I lived there many years ago in Shaolin, shouldn't be too bad now.

As of yet I haven't booked flights which I will do early into the new year, along with the visa and some other necessities like travel insurance. I will let you know as soon as I have the details.

make sure you have emergency evacuation insurance.
Read the site.

Any other information that you think may be helpful will be greatly appreciated.

Read the site. There's a lot of information in it. You just have to find it.
Any other questions, let me know.