The experience at the Maling Academy was definitely intense and life changing. The school is located in the countryside and is surrounded by beautiful corn fields. Such a peaceful environment helped me reconnect with myself and review my choices and priorities in life. I met so many people and each one of them taught me valuable lessons about martial arts, resilience and mutual support. I’ve learnt that I can fall and get back up despite the pain and the bruises, and the importance of training body, mind and soul in equal measure. The guys I trained with were great fun and helped me every time I struggled with a new move or form. Peter in particular was such a sweet and patient sparring partner. Master Bao and Master Du are incredibly knowledgeable and understanding, and kindly allowed me to personalize my training based on my goals, which I truly appreciate. Lisa answered every question in a timely and professional manner and Mona was always willing to translate and help with flight and train tickets with a smile. I’m also grateful to Mama Bao, who cooks and does all the farm chores, her neighbor friend and the local farmers for showing me the true meaning of hard work, humility and generosity. I feel fitter, happier and more confident then ever, thank you all for this amazing journey.
Simona Ancona, 42, Irish/Italian