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2 Weeks Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Training Experience

Kung Fu Training in Shaolin Temple, Henan, China

Put together by the CK Martial Hearts team, in association with Shaolin Temple International Liaisons Office, the programs at the Shaolin Temple offer exclusive opportunities to experience life and Kung Fu inside the genuine Temple itself. They are the perfect way to get a taste of Chinese life and traditional culture, including Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation, at one of the most iconic locations in China. As well as all the above, during the first week, students will train Shaolin foundations, or jibengong, the essence of Chinese kung fu, as well as learn the Shaolin Tongbiquan form, considered one of the most important of Shaolin's classical forms.


  • Daily Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes
  • Daily training in application of the techniques
  • Daily Kung Fu training sessions with a Shaolin monk
  • Transportation from Beijing to Shaolin Temple and back again
  • Free time to relax and explore the site
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 13 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate


11 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Chinese (mandarin), English
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While in Wangzhigou, program participants accommodation is in a youth hostel with 3-bed mixed dorms, located in the centre of the village. Dorms are equipped with TVs, kettles, and air conditioning. Bathrooms are shared. Free WiFi and a paid laundry service is available in reception. Ensuite private rooms are also available, at extra cost and depending on availability.


CK Martial Hearts prides itself on being the only company that offers these unique Shaolin Temple Experiences, and the opportunity to experience life and traditional Kung Fu inside the actual temple walls. By joining one of CK Martial Hearts programs, you will not only have the opportunity to study Kung Fu, but to also experience aspects of Chinese life that even few Chinese people know about.

The 14-day Shaolin Temple Experiences starts on Sunday by traveling from Beijing to Shaolin by overnight train, arriving at Zhengzhou the following morning. You then travel by minibus to the Shaolin Temple, arriving 3 hours later, where you stay at a hostel in Wangzhigou, a small village near the temple, and walk to the temple every day to study. Once you are settled in, Monday afternoon will feature a guided tour of the Shaolin Temple, and training will begin early Tuesday morning. On the first Sunday, you also have the option to join a sightseeing tour led by your guide, to see some of the sights around the Shaolin Temple Scenic Area. In the second week, students continue to develop their essential jibengong in kung fu, and to work on the Tongbiquan form. They also learn the Yinshougun stick form, considered one of Shaolin's most important weapon forms. After your second week of training, the second Sunday morning will be free, and in the afternoon we will be taken by private bus back to Zhengzhou Main Railway Station, where we board an express train back to Beijing, arriving in the evening at 11pm.

Daily schedule

Every day will start at 6am, with a class in Yang Style Tai Chi, lead by your guide. In these classes, you will learn a short Yang Style form, including stepping and balance techniques, correct postures, how to root or stabilize yourself, and some of the theories behind Yang Style Tai Chi practice and application. These classes emphasize very relaxed postures, while still building strength and endurance.

After breakfast, which is served from 7 to 7:30, participants head to the temple for their Shaolin Kung Fu classes. Before each session, your guide will lead you through a warm-up routine which includes intense cardio, balance, and stretching exercises. This is followed by 2 hours in the morning with your shifu or master (the warrior monk who will be training you). In the first hour, you will practice Jibengong or Kung Fu foundations, which are considered essential to be able to practice the Shaolin forms well. Typical Jibengong training includes horse stance training (the most basic Kung Fu posture), stepping and balance training, and muscle and sinew strengthening exercises.

After your first hour training, your master will teach your the Tongbiquan form. Traditional Shaolin Tongbiquan is considered one of the most famous schools of kung fu and one of the fastest and most forceful. The time it takes to learn Tongbiquan depends on each individual student, but the form that has been chosen for this program can be learned by the majority of people in 5-6 days.

After this set has been correctly learnt, training will move on to move complex Shaolin forms, depending on how well the participants have mastered the initial Tongbiquan form. You are expected to practice in your free time, and you can practice either in the temple or at one of the practice grounds in the Shaolin Scenic Area.

After morning class with the master, your guide will lead supplemental training. This will include correcting your form, and leading intention training, focusing on punches, kicks and blocks from the form. After lunch, which is from 12 to 12:30pm, the afternoon session will follow a similar structure to your morning training, beginning with a warm up led by your guide, followed by two hours with the Shaolin master.

In the afternoon, supplementary training will feature application drills, how to use the Shaolin and Tai Chi techniques you have been learning and impact conditioning exercises. Times for for the classes, and locations, will vary depending on the weather, but a typical schedule with the warrior monk would be 9-11 and 3-5. Dinner is served from 6 to 7. No part of the program is compulsory, and participants are free to decline to take part if they wish. However, to get the most from your program, CK Martial Hearts recommends attending all activities.

Times for for the classes, and locations, will vary depending on the weather, but a typical schedule with the warrior monk would be 9-11 and 3-5. Dinner is served from 6 to 7. No part of the program is compulsory, and participants are free to decline to take part if they wish. However, to get the most from your program, CK Martial Hearts recommends attending all activities.

Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu earned its name from the temple where it was first practiced - the Shaolin Temple Monastery. Many fables and myths have been created over time which has obscured the exact origins of the martial art. The Shaolin Temple was originally built as a Buddhist temple around A.D. 377 during the time of the six dynasties (A.D. 221 -589).

During this warring era, the famous Buddhist monk, venerable Da Mo (Bodhi dharma), visited from India to preach Buddhism. During his years at the temple, he discovered that the monks in the temple were weak and unable to defend themselves. He understood that a physically healthy body was a requirement for the preparation of spiritual enlightenment and so the venerable Da Mo taught them the Eighteen Lohan Chuan to stay fit.

By teaching the monks this basic martial art foundation, he not only prepared them for obtaining enlightenment, but also gave them the ability to protect themselves. Venerable Da Mo went on to further create two martial art manuals which were developed from the eighteen Lohan Chuan. They were called the Yi Jinjing and Xi Sui Jing. Yi Jinjing is a set of breathing exercises which are to be used for chi training and is the classic document for internal force development.

Unfortunately the original manual for Xi Sui Jing has been lost to history. As a result of Da Mos teachings, he was proclaimed as the first patriarch of Shaolin Kung Fu. Following this was the emergence of the school of Buddhism known as Zen. First proclaimed in the 7th century in China, its teachings emphasized experiential wisdom as a means to attaining enlightenment. Shaolin Kung Fu was, also, only taught to the monks at the temple originally which led to their fame throughout China for their martial prowess.

Today, Shaolin Kung Fu has many forms such as: Xiaohongchuan, Da Hongchuan, Tong Beichuan, Liu He Chuan, and many more. There are several major and important aspects to Kung Fu. They are internal Kung Fu, external Kung Fu, hard Kung Fu, light Kung Fu and Chi Gong.

Shaolin Temple

The Shaolin Temple is one of the most famous ones in China, renowned for being the birthplace of Shaolin Kung Fu. It is located in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, Henan Province, and is reputed to be 'the Number One Temple under Heaven'. Included on UNESCO's World Cultural & Natural Heritage List in 2010, it is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts.

The Shaolin Temple was built in 495 AD by Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty for the Indian monk Batuo. Thirty two years later, another Indian monk Bodhidharma arrived at Shaolin temple. He is the first monk preaching Chan doctrines here, thus was honored as the first Patriarch of Chinese Chan. Thereafter, Shaolin Temple was recognized as the origin of Chan Buddhism.

Besides, it is known that martial arts have been practiced at the temple throughout its history. A legend had it that Bodhidharma found monks weak and unhealthy after long time meditation practices, so he developed the martial arts to strengthen them, which formed the basis of Shaolin Kungfu.

Included excursions

Arrival Monday: Guided tour of the Shaolin Temple

1st Thursday morning: Freetime

1st Thursday afternoon: Run up to the top of Wuru Peak

1st Sunday morning: Visit to Erzu Convent, the Pagoda Forest and Shaoshi Mountain

Sunday afternoon: Free

2nd Thursday morning: Freetime

2nd Thursday afternoon: Run up to the top of Wuru Peak

2nd Sunday morning: Hike to Sanhuangzhai


Wangzhigou Village

This is the place where you will stay during your training: a small village located 10 minutes from the Shaolin Temple. The village is small, with a handful of very basic amenities, such as small convenience stores and simple Chinese restaurants. It is also home to numerous children's kung fu schools, the students of which can be seen training from early morning till late at night.

Shaolin Scenic Area

The Shaolin Temple is inside the Shaolin Scenic Area, at the base of Song Shan Mountain. The scenic area is home to many sites of historical and cultural interest, and some stunning views on clear days. Training will actually be at the Shaolin Temple, in either their warrior monk training hall or temple courtyards, depending on the weather.



  • Mountain walking/trekking


  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Multilingual staff


  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Laundry


Three meals per day are included in the price.

Things to do (optional)

  • Damo Cave where participants can meditate as Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism is said to have done for 9 years
  • Chuzu Temple, an active Shaolin convent
  • Wuru Peak, with beautiful views across the Shaolin Scenic Area and to the Shaolin Pagoda Forest, where past Shaolin abbots and high ranking monks have been buried for centuries

What's included

  • 3 set meals a day for the duration of the tour (Chinese food) beginning the morning you arrive in Zhengzhou
  • 13 nights accommodation during the Shaolin Temple Experience (shared hostel dorm)
  • A Chinese-speaking expat guide with martial arts experience who will provide additional training (such as warm ups before your training sessions in the temple, conditioning and application training)
  • All transportation from Beijing to Shaolin Temple and back to Beijing (by train and minibus)
  • Complimentary training outfit consisting of Shaolin robes, 2 x white, sleeveless Shaolin t-shirts, and Feiyue shoes. Most of the students in Wangzhigou, Chinese and foreign, adopt this outfit for training
  • Daily cardio, strength, conditioning and technique application training (22 hours in total)
  • Daily instruction in empty-hand forms (traditional Shaolin Tongbei Quan) from a warrior monk inside Shaolin Temple (44 hours in total)
  • Daily photos and videos taken of you during training by our team photographer
  • Daily Tai Chi and Qigong classes (11 hours in total)
  • Guided tour of the Shaolin temple
  • Optional sightseeing tour of the Shaolin Scenic Area on your day off

What's not included

  • Personal shopping during program (gifts, personal items, clothing etc.)
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to, and accommodation in, Beijing

How to get there

Arrive at Beijing West Railway Station. A representative will accompany you from there to the hostel and training location.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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