I’ve trained martial arts, including kung fu, taekwondo and kick-box, for 2-3 years before coming to China, and I honestly thought I had a good amount of basic knowledge. But I soon realized there is no comparison. One month of training here is sometimes the equivalent of a whole year of training back at home. But it’s also ten times more demanding and tiring, and requires a lot of self-discipline and a positive attitude and spirit. But I think if you like martial arts, this won’t hold you back.
The best thing about this academy for me was its peaceful environment. There are no more things to worry about here, and you can truly dedicate all of your time to training and doing what you love to do. Everyone around you is there to do the same. The only duties and obligations are training related, and don’t even feel like duties. For example, you find yourself wanting to get out of bed before 6am to practice tai chi, even if it’s freezing outside and even when you’re still tired from yesterday’s training.
The masters are amazing. They inspire you so much by just standing there. Quite often if they happen to pick up a weapon or demonstrate something cool to another student, you’ll see everyone pausing and sneaking curious stares. They know so much and will do everything they can to help you learn, even after class hours.
I trained in this academy for one year. I had an injury in the beginning that held me back from giving 100% of myself for almost six long months, and many health problems besides, but still I learned more than I imagined possible. I learned to use different weapons, practiced sanda, fist forms and applications. Training improved my patience, coordination, speed, power and flexibility, and I learned to control (and relax) my body and mind. I’ll admit- it wasn’t easy. I almost gave up several times along the way, but with the support of the masters I made it, and I’m coming back for another year of training soon!