I spent 8 months training at Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy, from August 2013 to April 2014. It was the hardest thing I have ever physically and mentally accomplished, and I’m really glad I put myself through it.The first two months were the hardest, having no martial arts background whatsoever prior to my arrival.
I kept getting injuries, but taking advice from the Masters, I continued to train as much as I could. By the time I recovered, my body was already showing signs of adapting to an athlete’s lifestyle. My power, speed, flexibility and endurance are now at an all-time high, as well as my mental strength and spiritual well-being. It is amazing to notice these small transformations happening to you over time.
The new academy and its peaceful surroundings provide a conducive environment for training. The Masters are friendly, patient and strive to bring out the best of your abilities. I highly recommend the optional Tai Chi class every weekday morning. It’s a great way to start the day, and is beneficial in developing strength in your legs. Daisy, the school’s translator, is extremely helpful and the Mandarin classes she conducts are worth attending to make your interactions with the locals a little more fruitful (despite their extremely thick regional accent!) or wish to travel around China while you are here. The food served for lunch and dinner is scrumptious too! Being a part of the international student community is a unique experience in itself, a great opportunity meet people of all ages, talents and walks of life.
Never let age, lack of experience, or even fitness level discourage you from trying this out. There is no good or bad time to leave the ‘real’ world to try out Shaolin kungfu. It’s just a matter of just saying ‘Yes’ and doing it! It is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are seeking out an experience of a lifetime, then you will certainly not be left shortchanged. I can say without at doubt that Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy has changed my life. If you give it a chance, I have good faith that it will change yours too.