Avi Karia, 26, male, England, one year Shaolin&sanda&wing chun&baji program. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org First of all, if you are reading this, then you have already made the first steps in getting to China and studying martial arts. I thoroughly recommend that you do, and I promise you will not regret it! For me it was the best decision I EVER made, I had the most amazing and incredible year of my life and met some of the most genuine, kind, helpful and inspirational people ever! yes I spent a year there, so I went through all the seasons and weather you could expect, and all the changes a body can do with hard work and dedicated training for a year and hope that I can share my experience and help you understand what to expect if and when you get there.
Firstly, the hardest thing is making the conscious decision to do it. To pick a date, book your place and buy a plane ticket. Once you have done that you just have to pack! Sure it takes some cojones to actually get on the plane, and for me that was the scariest/most exciting part! But it is as easy as that!
The school itself is such an incredible place, of course training is hard, and that’s how you want it to be, but it is achievable. I have seen people who have never done martial arts in their life before coming to Maling Shan, people who never even do much fitness, and then I have also seen amazing martial artists and Olympic hopefuls! There really is training at all levels. The Masters can see how far you can go, and what you can do, and of course, whilst continually pushing you and helping you improve, also know your limits. That’s not to say that your going to get off easy, every day will be tiring and hard work, but you will improve! if your going wanting to learn Chinese kung fu, you will, if you want to experience a deeper, more spiritual side of Chinese martial arts, you will, if you want to loose weight, you can! you just have to work hard, you get out what you put in. and I promise, you will have the trip of a life time!
The Masters themselves are the real deal, I mean, they really are kung fu masters, who really did spend much of their youths at the Shaolin Temple. So you know, your learning from the best of the best. Their knowledge and experience is impeccable, and they are always, always willing to help and answer any questions you may have, even outside of training hours. They are all very warm, kind and welcoming people who make training interesting and fun and can often joke and laugh with.
The staff, Daisy and Lisa, along with mamma and papa Bao, are instrumental to making this school run and work every day. Mamma and Pappa bao do several things around the school and you will always see them with a smile on their faces, (although the same can be said for everyone at the school) and also make the most delicious, traditional Chinese food. (oh man, the food!) And yes, they are Master Bao’s parents, so you know its really good, home-cooked food. Lisa and Daisy, both the most awesome people I have met in a long time, help the masters with translating Chinese to English, and generally dealing with students enquiries. Daisy also runs the Mandarin lessons in the evening (highly recommend them).
What do you need to take, well of course that depends on what time of year you are thinking of going. In summer it is very warm so shorts and t-shirts is a good bet, and winter is very cold, so think jogging bottoms and jumpers, of course a coat for when your not training. I’m not hear to teach you to suck eggs, you can check out a general weather report on google (or bing), but if you need any medication then of course you will definitely need to take that, again google to find the correct way of transporting said things.
Other than that, you will honestly not regret a second of being in such an amazing place, I know I don’t, l spent a year there, and would go again tomorrow! so if you do have any questions you can email me at : email@example.com or you can find me on facebook Avi Karia and send me a message on there. I hope I answered a few questions on here for you or at least peaked an your interest. Good luck and ,like I have repeatedly said, you will not regret it, you will have the time of your life.