This is something I will need some time to think about. Irrespective of what comes of this, March will still be my departure date and I intend to study at a kung fu school somewhere when I arrive.

I will be toying with the idea of another school, purely for financial reasons. I would appreciate you talking to DeCheng however (and I'm sure this goes without saying) there's no need to burn any bridges for my sake, one way or another this will work itself out.

Regarding living in Dengfeng for twelve months; I'm sure you're more informed than I about what exactly an undertaking like this entails. And you're right, I probably won't want to stay (or last) that period of time, but it would be reassuring to know that I at least have that option available; totally unfathomable on my budget given the current economic situation.

I will be looking at some other schools in the Dengfeng area, DeYang, Tagou and most others mentioned thoughout the site. Do you think I can do better elsewhere or is DeCheng's price the best I am likely to come by?

If you can help with this process that would be fantastic; I'll understand for whatever reason otherwise if you'd rather not, like I said, you've been more than kind with your help, which I am greatly thankful for.

Meanwhile lots to consider.

You'll hate Deyang's school. I think Deyang is great, but the school is a shithole, and you probably won't get to train with Deyang much, if at all. Nor will you learn traditional stuff; his school is leaning towards dance wushu. Read the site. I even have video of it from years ago.

Decheng's school confirms 35 USD per day. I have asked them about rates if you stay one year.

Rates I got from him last year state "greater than 60 days, 26 USD per day. That's kind of hard to beat.

Tagou is huge. If you don't mind being with twenty thousand little Chinese kids, the training is good. i don't know the cost; I have nothing to do with them, nor do I know anyone there.

Other options come and go in Dengfeng like the wind. Keeping track of all of these schools is impossible; they open and close all the time. New "masters" arrive daily. I once tried to put it all together, but it really was impossible. Going into one of these schools cold will leave you disappointed: the Chinese are Chinese, (mainland), and they are brutal money hungry bastards most of the time. you have to be careful.

Read the site. Read the site. There is a lot of information in it. twelve years of people's experiences over there. Get a feel for what you're getting into. One day I'll get the Forum Archive back up and running, there was a lot of training information there. Going there cold to look for a school can get you into a lot of trouble.

My suggestion: go to Decheng's first. For a month or two. If two, you get the lower rate. They will not screw you; I am too close to them. While you are there, explore other options. Carefully.

Going without knowing anyone, and plunking yourself down in some school, paying for a year, will lead you into disaster.

USD 26 per day is a price I am happy to settle for, even if that means I will be paying for two months at a time. Thankfully, the exchange rate is significantly better in US dollars than euros. This is a compromise I am willing to make, that is, if DeCheng's prices from 2007 are still accurate.

I have heard nothing but positive feedback from DeCheng's foreign students and from watching your videos of different schools, it was my first preference. If you can arrange this price I am perfectly happy to commit to this.

The training component is something I want to get organised as soon as possible; before I leave the country. I could just see negotiating on the doorstep becoming a huge disaster, not preferable at all.

I suppose all I can do is wait for your response and see what's on offer. As always, many thanks.

Also, one more totally unrelated question: do you think I will need a sleeping bag? you mentioned a heater, but as far as living the Spartan lifestyle, is it a comfortable enough arrangement with the bedding/linen supplied. Those walls in the videos look paper thin as do the windows, not really the ideal insulators for cold weather.

sleeping bag is a good idea, march is cold.
waiting for better price from china. I'll let you know.
have you investigated visas yet?