Guide to Banking in China

by www.teachingnomad.com

The Chinese currency is the Yuan Renminbi, it is referred to as Yuan, CNY or RMB (Renminbi). It is the only currency that can be used to purchase local items. In general, the Chinese do not use checks. Most payments, including payrolls, are done through bank transfer. Therefore, you will need to open a bank account before you get paid. Fortunately, this will likely be one of the easiest things you do in China.

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In the main cities, the three major banks are ICBC, China Construction Bank and Bank of China. Generally, the first two are more numerous in terms of branches. Check with your employer in China which bank they prefer you to bank with (if they have any preference at all). This is because it is cheaper and faster for companies to pay their employees if they use the same bank. Often, people have accounts with multiple banks just in case.

Apart from these three, there are smaller, more specialized banks also. Both China Minsheng Bank and China Merchants Bank get good reviews. There are some foreign-owned banks in the larger cities also, such as HSBC (British), Standard Chartered (British), Citi (American), Hang Seng Bank (Hong Kong) and DBS (Singaporean).

Although International banks are more geared toward expats, they may require large initial deposits and are not so numerous in terms of branches. Agricultural Bank of China is one of the larger banks in China, but is more suited toward those working in more rural areas, due to the number of branches.

Opening an Account

Opening a Bank Account is very straightforward in China. You will need your passport, a contact telephone number and a contact address. Branches in more central areas are more likely to have an English-speaking representative. You will also need to bring anywhere between RMB15 to 25. This will cover the cost of your bank card and your initial opening balance.

You will have numerous forms to sign, and you will get your card right there and then. You will be asked to choose a 6-digit PIN code. Note that your bank card will not have your name on it, just your card number.

After you finish account opening process, which takes about 15 minutes, your card is ready for use.

Internet banking

Note that when you have your bank account, and if you want Internet Banking, you will have to request this. When you open Internet banking, you will also activate your telephone banking, so you should have a mobile phone set up beforehand. You will have even more documents to sign, and you will need your passport. When they activate your Internet Banking, they will give you your account’s security devices, which vary depending on the Bank. It may be in the form of a USB drive or a code-generating device. You will need these devices whenever you make a transaction using online banking. They will also give you instructions for your first Internet banking login. This will likely be in Chinese, however, so consult a Chinese friend if you need any help.

Union payChina UnionPay

China UnionPay is the main (and only) debit card in China. It is similar to the Maestro, MasterCard and Visa systems we get at home. In China, you can conduct the vast majority of your banking (including deposits, withdrawals, bill payments and transfers) by using your card in an ATM of the same bank. Although China UnionPay is the only accepted payment system in China (apart from high-end hotels and restaurants), it is of less use in other countries.

Note that it is not guaranteed that merchants outside of China accept China UnionPay as a form of payment. For this reason, you may want to look into the possibility of transferring your funds out of China to your account at home before you go home for the holidays. Bank of China does issue a Maestro debit card, but this is only available upon request at the larger branches and after opening a US Dollar account.

International Transfers

Many of you may be planning to save extra money while you are in China and bring back home with you. In this case, you will probably want to wire the money to your account in your home country. This will certainly be easier if someone at your bank speaks English. The wire process is really pretty simple and your bank will walk you through it, but first you will need to convert your YUAN into your home currency. The bank will do this if you can prove that you already paid taxes on your money, therefore you will want to save your pay stubs! Without your pay stubs the limit for a foreigner is $500USD/day, so don’t wait until the last day! The average fee for international transfers is $25. You can also do an international transfer using Internet Banking. You will need your security device to do this.

There is another method for transferring money abroad, and that’s through PayPal. They will charge a 3% fee. Make sure you have two separate PayPal.com (not PayPal.cn) accounts, one linked to your Chinese account and the other to your account at home. Make a PayPal withdrawal from your Chinese account, and then transfer this sum over to your second PayPal account. Then, transfer the sum from your second Paypal account to your bank account at home. Note that you will need to have Internet Banking enabled on your Chinese bank account to do this, and you must activate your account to handle online payments. Instructions for this for each bank, in Chinese (use Google translate), can be found on here.

wechat and alipayWechat Pay & Alipay

These two apps are revolutionizing the way transactions and money transfers are made. First launched as a chatting platform, Wechat has now lots more to offer. First limited to Chinese citizens only, Wechat pay is now foreigner-friendly and setting up an account has become much easier. What you’ll need is a debit card linked to Chinese bank account and a phone number. Wechat has become one of the most popular mobile payment solutions and it will make your life so much easier and more convenient. Same goes with Alipay. Trust our word for it.

A few clicks now suffice to send/receive money from/to anybody with a Wechat/Alipay account; comes in handy to split restaurant bills, pay services, pay online, give money, etc. Paying your bills and topping off your phone were never simpler because you can do it from your Wechat wallet as well. No more trips to your phone carriers. Both apps also allow you to order a taxi, book flight/train tickets for your next holiday, and even pay for your bottle of water at the convenience store.

Useful phrases

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This blog entry is curtsey of www.teachingnomad.com

Teaching Nomad was founded in March 2011 on the basis of connecting great teachers with great schools in Asia. After moving to Shanghai, our founder, Brett, discovered a need to fill the gap between these two groups. A school’s reputation relies on its teachers and teachers must trust their school as they brave moving to a new country. Neither group wants to be let down, but unfortunately many people were being let down. Teaching Nomad has been designed to be a cut above other recruiters, to provide a trustworthy source of great jobs for teachers as well as a time and cost saving tool for schools.
Teaching Nomad is here to take all the guesswork out of the equation, make everyone’s job a little bit easier and ensure that no one has to go it alone. The Teaching Nomad staff, all of which have experience living and/or teaching abroad  know first-hand the positive impact that exploring the globe has on an individual. We see Teaching Nomad as our way of giving back and helping others to have great experiences teaching overseas!
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Chinese Martial Arts in the News: June 18, 2018: MMA, Taijiquan and Bruce Lee

Kung Fu Tea

A student performs at a demonstration near Mt. Song. Source:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Introduction

Welcome to “Chinese Martial Arts in the News!”  Lots has been happening in the Chinese martial arts community, so its time to see what people have been saying.

For new readers, this is a semi-regular feature here at Kung Fu Tea in which we review media stories that mention or affect the traditional fighting arts.  In addition to discussing important events, this column also considers how the Asian hand combat systems are portrayed in the mainstream media.

While we try to summarize the major stories over the last month, there is always a chance that we may have missed something.  If you are aware of an important news event relating to the TCMA, drop a link in the comments section below.  If you know of a developing story that should be covered in the future feel free to send me…

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Thoughts on an interview with Wang Yan, head coach of the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School — The Tai Chi Notebook

Born in 1990, Wang Yan became head coach of Cheng village training centre in 2013 and is as a Taiji fighter as well as a coach, not to mention an expert in forms. He was one of the “nine tigers” – the best nine students of Chen ZiQiang. There’s an interview with him in English […]

via Thoughts on an interview with Wang Yan, head coach of the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School — The Tai Chi Notebook

Study Martial Arts in China

Here’s a short video explaining why if you want to study martial arts in China you should book through www.StudyMartialArts.Org

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If you book your place before the end of June 2018 you’ll get 5% off your training, accommodation and food. Other exclusive offers can be found on the website’s current promotions for kung fu schools in China.

StudyMartialArts.Org offer – Martial Arts Training and Travel experiences in China and Thailand. With one point of contact and independent information as well as support its not just a booking platform but much more. Contact them now for further information.

What to pack for a BJJ competition!

Recently I stumbled accross this article on what to pack for BJJ competitions, written by the guys at Grapplers Planet.

The article covers what to wear in terms of uniform, what to bring in terms of protective gear, what you must do in terms of hygiene, equipment and clothing, food and other stuff.

Check it out here.

“I always bring the latest Grappling magazine because it passes the time before your fight, and often stimulates conversation between other guys competing.”

–          Chris Arsenault – Blue Belt, Pictou County Titans (Team Renzo Gracie)

 

“Underwear… you need new underwear after fights!”

–          Mike Aviado – Blue Belt, Body of Four (Franco Behring)

 

“An extra Gi.  You know…for those wardrobe malfunctions.”

–          Dan SETH, Purple Belt, McMaster BJJ (Franco Behring)

 

“Ah, I bring an apple to help settle my stomach.”

–          Paul Zenchuk, Purple Belt, Pura BJJ (Mendes Bros.)

Judo and the Chinese Martial Arts: the View from 1928

Kung Fu Tea

Judo at Ina Middle School. Vintage postcard circa late 1930s. Source: Author’s personal collection.

Staging a Global Controversy

Origin stories are very often political.  People everywhere intuitively understand this.  If you can pinpoint (or simply construct) the moment of something’s creation you can also attempt to socially frame its subsequent practice in all sorts of useful ways.  Rhetorical slight of hand allows us to claim that when we know about something’s past we are empowered to act as arbiters of legitimacy or authority in the present.

I suspect that this basic impulse is what first draws so many practitioners to the topic of martial arts history.  Even if the art we practice is only a hundred years old (relatively modern in the grand scheme of things), the moment of its creation is still far removed from our personal life experience. As individuals become aware of this…

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Lightsaber Combat and the Value of Myth in the Martial Arts

Kung Fu Tea

Chad Eisner (left) sparring with one of his students.

Solo, the latest addition to the Star Wars franchise, opens around the country tonight.  As such, it is only fitting that I share with readers of Kung Fu Tea my latest article, co-authored with Chad Eisner.  This piece was just published on the Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine webpage.  I was quite happy with the way the essay and accompanying photographs turned out, and I believe that this meditation has something to offer traditional martial artists and Star Wars fans alike.  Chad and I would like to thank Gene Ching, the Publisher of Kung Fu Tai Chi, for his support and willingness to expand the scope of our exploration of the martial arts.

On a more personal note I also owe Gene thanks as this essay accomplishes a longstanding goal.  I vividly remember rushing to the local convience stores as…

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Gikan Ryu

by Fane Hervey – Ninjutsu London

The Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu is the most unknown of the arts within the Bujinkan and is often translated as ‘The School of Truth, Loyalty & Justice‘. Possibly the main reason for this is that the secret techniques were only handed down from one Soke to the next Soke, (this would often be from father to son). Gikan Ryu was founded during the Eiroku Era (1558 – 1570) by Uryu Hogan Gikanbo. He was the lord of present day Osaka (back then known as Kawachi no Kuni). His castle was known as Uryujo. He was considered a good leader and real warrior. He is seen as being an honorable martial artist who strove to keep Japan at peace. Gikanbo specialisied in Koppo Jutsu (bone breaking), Hicho Jutsu (jumping), and Senban Nage Jutsu (blade throwing). The styles of this era were normally known as: Kosshi Jutsu, Koppo Jutsu, or Daken Taijutsu.

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Gikanbo was heavily influenced by the Chinese style of Cho Gyokko’s line (Gyokko Ryu Koppojutsu) and the Ikai line. From the teachings of Gikanbo comes the saying: ‘Bufu Ni Sente Nashi (From this side will not come the first strike). This is from where he developed Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu.

Gikan Ryu koppojutsu contains secret kicks, punches and throws and rumour has it that Gikanbo developed a special punch that could snap a sword in two! Grades were awarded through the traditional Japanese menkyo system using scrolls for: Shoden Gata, Chuden Gata, Okuden Gata, Kaiden Gata, and others.

The 10th Soke of Gikan Ryu had the same name as its founder, Uryu Gikanbo. On August 17th, 1863 Gikanbo fought for the Emperor during the famous battle of Tenchu Gumi no Ran. He is said to have fought valiantly, since even after being wounded by a rifle shot, he continued to attack with his one good arm until he was overcome by numerous sword cuts from the enemy. However, he was not killed and sensibly managed to retreat, despite being injured to the point of exhaustion. He retired from the battle to behind a nearby temple. There he was discovered by an Iga warrior, called Ishitani Matsutaro, who himself was on his way to join the battle. Gikanbo convinced Ishitani that the battle would be lost and that he should not waste his life. Ishitani tended to Gikanbo’s wounds and took him to Iga to recover. Ishitani Matsutaro, already the Soke of Takagi Yoshin Ryu and Kukishin Ryu, was then repaid for his kindness by being taught the Gikan Ryu, becoming the 11th generation Soke.

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In the Meiji Era, when Ishitani was 61 he was given employment by the father of Takamatsu Sensei at his match factory. It was from here that Ishitani met and started teaching the young Takamatsu Sensei. Takamatsu Sensei later would receive from Ishitani the Grandmasterships of Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Gikan Ryu, and many others.
Takamatsu Sensei awarded the Gikan ryu to Akimoto Fumio who was his senior student. This was based through his family’s connection to the Gikan Ryu along with the Shoken Ryu of Daken Taijutsu. Unfortunately, his scrolls and densho were destroyed during the 2nd World War. Sadly, Akimoto passed away in 1962.

At this point, there are two different stories that are being told by the Genbukan and the Bujinkan.
Shoto Tanamura, the soke of the Genbukan, who was at one point a student of Hatsumi Sensei, claims to have inherited the Sokeship from Sato Kinbei who supposedly in January of 1963, was awarded the sokeship for Gikan Ryu Koppo Jutsu. As the story accounts, from this time on, any information concerning Gikan Ryu was held exclusively by Sato Kinbei Sensei in the various forms of knowledge, scrolls and texts. Kimbei Sensei for reason unknown chose to keep secret the heritage given to him by Takamatsu Sensei. Sato Kimbei is regarded by Genbukan Schools the 14th Soke of the Gikan Ryu. It was however proven in a Japanese court that Shoto Tanamura is the Soke of Gikan Ryu, and he has provided the scrolls to prove it.

Massaki Hatsumi’s story is less complicated – After Akimoto’s death the the Sokeship came back to Takamatsu who gave it to Hatsumi along other eight Ryus that all together were used to create the Bujinkan Budo Ninpo Taijutsu School. However, when asked he has not provided any scrolls to prove that this is the case. It may well be that there is more than one sokeship for the Gikan Ryu that has been given, none-the-less, it is almost completely unaccessible to the general public or even senior practitioners of the Bujinkan. The only real way to study the Gikan Ryu is through the Genbukan, where the scroll has been given to the public.

However, on 28th February 2015, I had the great fortune to attend a seminar on Shidenfudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu lead by Dr. Kacem Zoughari. Kacem had just recently been allowed access to a few scrolls and densho from Soke Masaaki Hatsumi’s personal library, and one of the scrolls that he brought to show us in the UK was a never before seen scroll of sword on sword techniques within the Gikan Ryu. What was particularly unique about this scroll was that as well as the kanji detailing the technique, the illustrations of various kamae were quite beautiful and very colourful. Most scrolls have no illustrations or few, and those that do are not often coloured. This was a very nice exception to that rule. It also proved that Soke Hatsumi does have quite a few scrolls that until now he has not shared with people, or at least only a trusted few. This scroll also detailed that one of the defining characteristics of the school is for the feet to be pointing in completely opposite directions, like a ballet stance, which alone makes any technique very difficult.

Ultimately though, the strong influence of the Gyokko Ryu upon the Gikan Ryu, means one can assume that the differences between the two are not very big. Therefore studying the Gyokko Ryu is probably as close as we will get within the bujinkan to understanding the essense of the Gikan Ryu.

To visit Fane Hervey’s site or read more of his writing’s on Ninjutsu visit – www.ninjutsulondon.com

 

Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (11): Mok Kwai Lan – The Mistress of Hung Gar. — Kung Fu Tea

***In honor of the recent celebration of Mother’s Day. Enjoy!*** Introduction This post is the third entry in our series examining the lives of female Chinese martial artists. While it is the case that the vast majority of hand combat practitioners in the 19th and 20th centuries were male, a certain number of […]

via Lives of Chinese Martial Artists (11): Mok Kwai Lan – The Mistress of Hung Gar. — Kung Fu Tea