Shaolin Kung Fu Training in China
From a mere idea to the greatest adventure of my life
Does each of us have dreams? And ... have you ever thought to realize these dreams? I did not want to continue this "normal" life, I wanted to do something special and set the course for my future life.
I've been a fan of Asian martial arts movies since childhood, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, I knew them all and wanted the same body control, the cool kicks, somersaults and other acrobatics, but also learn the selfprotect techniques. What are these techniques and where can I learn this?
The origin of all martial arts leads back to the famous Shaolin Temple in Henan Province in China. 1500 years before the Indian monk Bodhidharma (also known as Ta Mo) came in the Shaolin temple and found the Shaolin monks in a catastrophic health condition. Bodhidharma developed the 18 boxing techniques of Shaolin and trained the monks to prepare their body condition willingly for the long meditations. The exercises should promote the health of the monks, the steely muscles and stimulate the internal organs, so they live longer. He also spreaded the Buddhist teachings of the Chan, which was very accommodating to the Chinese mentality. Even here, the close connection between Shaolin Kung Fu Training and Chan Buddhism (or even called Zen Buddhism) is clear. During the heyday of the Shaolin Temple over 2500 Shaolin monks have been trained with Shaolin Kung Fu in numerous styles. Especially 13 famous Shaolin monks have gone down in history because they have helped the famous General Li Shimin in the Battle of Qianglingkou to win. Their weapons are the dreaded Shaolin Gun (stick).
My mind was made up. I would practice Shaolin Kung Fu in Henan province in China just like the famous Shaolin monks. But is that possible? How can I contact with them? How can I get there? I do not speak Chinese, only English! What are the requirements for admission to the Shaolin Kung Fu training? What can I learn in chnia? Age? Men and women? How long can I stay there to learn Shaolin Kung Fu? Many, many questions that plague me and I'll answer on this site!
Follow me into the fascinating trip of Shaolin ...
Idea – Shaolin Kung Fu Training in China
Of course, you must be a little crazy to come up with this idea already. Why should I train Shaolin Kung Fu in China at all, there are also kung fu clubs in my area? The local clubs are excellent kungfu, to become familiar with the subject of Martial Arts / Shaolin Kung Fu / Tai Chi or Sanda. This sport is ever right for me? At home, I'll have the chance to train maybe 2 - 3 times (even up to 5 times) a week for 1 hour Shaolin Kung Fu. On everage 3 hours a week, 12 hours in a month or 144 hours a year.
The Shaolin Kung Fu training (it is also taught Modern Wushu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong / Sanda (Chinese boxing) and Chinese Language) is practiced daily 6 - 8 hours, 6 days a week, 4 weeks a month, 11 months (foreign students can train 12 months a year) in place, up to 2300 hours per year! The training intensity for Shaolin Kung Fu / Wushu Modern / Sanda / Tai Chi & Qi Gong training in China is many times higher and thus the learning curve!
Training directly at the Shaolin temple?
Of course, I would like to be just so trained 1500 years ago by the Shaolin monks in the Shaolin Temple. This is located in central China, in Henan Province at the foot of Mount Songshan, about 1 ½ hours drive from the capital, Zhengzhou.
Unfortunately, foreign students can not train directly Shaolin Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple with the Shaolin monks. For foreign students, there is the possibility to train in a Shaolin Kung Fu (in Chinese it is called wushu) school - of course with Shaolin monks.
What is the right Shaolin Kung Fu school?
This question may never be answered in general because each has different needs. In any case, you should notice the following things: The size of the Shaolin Kung Fu schools vary from 10 to 15000 students. Small schools of Shaolin Kung Fu often have no training hall, so that the Shaolin Kung Fu training will take place in rain or shine, summer and winter outdoors. It is important that the coaches speak English, so that understanding is possible. Every Shaolin Kung Fu coach is trained almost since childhood, do they also have experience with foreign students? Chinese students can not have rest even they are sick, in case of errors they are beaten and the training takes place in large groups. There are great differences regarding the accommodation, double room or a dormitory, western toilet in the room or a hole in the woods, hot water and shower. Quality of food, other activities such as teaching Chinese language, Buddhism, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, etc., assist in visa matters, obscure one-off fees are additional issues that need to be considered in the selection.
My choice of Shaolin Kung Fu School
I opted for the Wushu Shaolinsi Xuexiao because this school seemed perfect for me. I want to strongly recommend the excellent trainer Xie Xu Yong (Buddhist name Shi Yan Lin). He is now in the Yuntai Mountain International Martial Arts And Culture School (also known as International Kung Fu Training Center). It is located near the city of Jiaozuo in Yuntai mountains in a huge geological park, which has even been honored by UNESCO. Authentic Shaolin monks teach in the Yuntai Mountain International Martial Arts And Culture School who have studied in the Shaolin Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province!
Shaolin Kung Fu - Requirements
The Shaolin Kung Fu school is open to all students over the world. Both men and women can learn Shaolin Kung Fu. Chinese students start their 3-years Shaolin Kung Fu education between the ages of 6 and 11 years, foreign Shaolin Kung Fu students usually come after school or training to China. For minors, a declaration by the parent or guardian is required. All students of all nationalities are welcome, with or without martial arts experience.
It is not necessary to have martial arts experience, but you should be aware that the unusual long and hard training quite tiring and a good physical condition will be extremely helpful. Good preparation by jogging and stretching will alleviate the muscle soreness during the first weeks of Shaolin Kung Fu training much ;-)
Shaolin Kung Fu Training in China - Procedure
Plan. What do I want to learn? How long should I stay in China? When do I have time to leave? 1 - 3 months - for a glimpse of Shaolin Kung Fu, Modern Wushu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, Sanda Training in China. It is possible, to learn up to 2 forms Shaolin Kung Fu weapon forms in a month. 3 - 12 months are suitable for those who wish to lern more Shaolin Kung Fu techniques, forms and more weapons, additional Sanda / Tai Chi or a much better condition. It is appropriate for all martial arts fans to have more than 12 months of training who want still learn more Shaolin Kung Fu techniques (animal styles) and Hard Qi Gong exercises in your home or start their own school. I've decided to be trained 1 year Shaolin Kung Fu in China.
The next step I took is to get into contact with this website. Simply fill out the application form and inquire whether I can attend in the the Shaolin Kung Fu school in the desired period. With this application form I do not have to committ myself to anything! Now I have looked after a Visa at the Chinese Embassy. Simply fill out a visa form, in part, a letter of invitation is required. I have requested this "letter of invitation" by e-mail and and get it sent quickly via email from my school. You can get a tourist visa for up to 90 days with no problems. For a longer stay, the local school will help with a visa extension, but only the Chinese government has the right to decide on a visa-issue.
At the same time I have looked for a flight from my home to China / Beijing and from there a Chinese domestic flight to Zhengzhou.
Highly recommended is an international health insurance.
Furthermore, you should seek advice from your doctor regarding vaccinations.
Also, I have trained the physical fitness with jogging and stretching or climbing stairs.
Shortly before departure
For the Shaolin Kung Fu, Modern Wushu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, Sanda training or regular exercise light clothes are recommended. In winter, you should take warm clothes with you. However, clothes can be bought very cheaply in China.
I have notified the school my arrival data / time and flight number at the airport in Zhengzhou, so the school bus picked me up from zhengzhou airport.
The greatest adventure of my life begins - Shaolin Kung Fu Training in China
I'm sitting already in the plane to China. I have a quite uneasy feeling, especially with regard to the language. What if no one pickde me up? After a 10-hours flight to Beijing and another 1 hour flight to Zhengzhou, I was picked up by school bus and after 1 ½ hours, I'm pretty exhausted at the Shaolin Kung Fu school. Only then I booked my stay and payed the monthly contribution. I got a by Western standards simple, but to Chinese conditions extremely comfortable double room assigned, even with its own toilet and shower and hot water. I fall into bed dead tired.
Shaolin Kung Fu / Modern Wushu / Tai Chi & Qi Gong / Sanda Training
The Shaolin Kung Fu, Modern Wushu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, Sanda Training starts depending on the season, 5:30 to 6:00 clock. I can choose what to learn between Shaolin Kung Fu, Modern Wushu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, Sanda (Chinese Boxing). As prerequisites for all martial arts you need a good condition and good stretching. Each workout begins with jogging, sprinting, stretching, warm up all sorts of exercises. 1 ½ hours. I am very tired and look forward to the breakfast. The Shaolin Kung Fu training starts at 09:00, again starting with physical training, but also with Shaolin Kung Fu Basics, stalls, kicks, punches, acrobatic exercises.
It lasts with a short break to 11:30. At Lunch, I have heavy legs. I have a briefly rest before the main Shaolin Kung Fu training at 14:00 clock continues. Warm up, basics and finally forms, with or without weapons of Shaolin Kung Fu, depending on the proficiency of the students. At 17:30 o'clock the training ends before dinner and from 20:00 the free Shaolin Kung Fu training starts.
The foreign students can choose whether they want to learn Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, Sanda or Chinese language. It is also possible to learn a half-day Chinese language and half-day chinese martial arts. In addition, I can even switch between courses Shaolin Kung Fu, Modern Wushu, Tai Chi & Qi Gong, Sanda in consultation with the Shifu (coach).
Shaolin Kung Fu Training - Summary
After my 1-year Shaolin Kung Fu stay in a Shaolin Kung Fu school in China, I have received a much better condition and strain during martial arts training course.
But besides, I realized the biggest dream of my life in this unique adventure. I have an acquaintance of a foreign language and culture, have learned to tackle my whole life differently, to reorganize, to be more relaxed, knowing how to wait, and the total stress in the work to meet on Asian way: quiet and calm. In my search for a new job my Shaolin Kung Fu training camp was evaluated by the hiring managers very positive. My entire life has become positive and the love to China will accompany me in my heart forever.
Are YOU ready for the greatest adventure of your life? Do you want your dream - Shaolin Kung Fu Training in China - one step closer, click here.