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14 Days Kung Fu Training in China for Foreigners
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Learn Kung Fu in China

Studying martial arts in China is a great way to tap into the wealth of knowledge from thousands of years of martial arts. Historical artifacts suggest that prehistoric warriors used to perform dances during peacetime which resembled martial arts movements. The forms you learn from martial arts training nowadays may very well have their roots in those prehistoric dances. You can learn all of this in Kung Fu, Tai Chi, and Wing Chun at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy.

Meet the instructors

Shi, Shi Xing, & Shi
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  • Daily Kung Fu training
  • Optimized training in small groups
  • Mandarin, Buddhism theory, and calligraphy lessons
  • Personal training by authentic Shaolin masters optimized for foreigners
  • School certificate after completing your training
  • Healthy and nutritious meals
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • All levels are welcome

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced


10 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: Chinese (mandarin)
Group size: Maximum of 10 participants
Airport transfer available:
Xuzhou Guanyin Airport (US$60 per person)
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Students will stay in rooms with one or two persons per room with the same gender. It is possible for couples to live together as well. The rooms are equipped with beds, including bed sheets and pillow, a small desk, and a closet for clothes. The rooms are equipped with a fan in the summer and heating in winter so students can be comfortable all year.

Washing facilities

Each floor of the academy’s accommodation building is facilitated with western toilets and common washing rooms. Hot showers and free washing machines for students to do their laundry are also provided. Standing bars are placed outside and on the roof of the building for students to dry their clothes.

Training facilities

The training room is situated on the first floor of the accommodation building, with mirrors and stretching bars installed. Within the academy, there are plenty of training grounds, as well as a performance and grading platform. Training equipment is provided for all classes, including Sanda pads, gloves, suit-guards for sparring, Sanda stands with punch and kick bags, mats for acrobatics and take-downs, wooden dummies for Wing Chun, Meihua poles for Bagua, etc.


Kung Fu

China is the birthplace of Kung Fu and the art has been developed over thousands of years. Generation after generation received the knowledge from their (grand) parents, continued to develop it and then passed it on to their children.

Until not too long ago, it actually wasn’t possible for just anyone to learn Kung Fu. The knowledge was only transferred within certain family lines or to those potential students who had proved themselves worthy to a Kung Fu master. Today, wŭshù (literal translation of ‘Chinese martial arts’) is an Olympic sport and people from all over the world are welcome to learn Kung Fu in China with Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy.

How to learn Kung Fu

Learning Kung Fu requires diligent practice and dedication to the art. Although the word Kung Fu is often used to refer to Chinese martial arts, in its original meaning, Kung Fu (or gōngfu) can refer to any skill achieved through hard work and practice - martial arts, dancing, or even cooking. The key to good Kung Fu skills, therefore, lies in hard work and plenty of practice.

A very skilled Kung Fu martial artist has excellent coordination skills and stamina, is fast, flexible, strong, and pain-resistant. The training schedule is developed to help you improve each of these aspects.

The basics of learning Kung Fu

Your training will begin with the masters assessing your current level of physical fitness and ability. They teach every student the basic moves of Kung Fu and evaluate with which level and speed you learn this. Some of the basic exercises include a series of several different (but simple) kicks, punches, and stances. You will need these moves in the next phase, basic forms.

Based on your ability, the masters will teach you a selection of basic forms. A form is a series of combative movements performed in a certain order. Examples of basic forms are the front sweep, back sweep, and five step or continuous fist. These are all fist forms, which means they are without weapons.

From formlessness to form

To a beginning student, learning a form may feel like an unnatural way of moving because the body is not used to the movements (it is ‘formless’). However, the immediate benefit of learning Kung Fu forms is that it significantly improves your coordination skills. It also helps you to learn and remember a particular set of fighting moves. The longer term benefit is that each move can be applied in an actual fight.

The forms are taught to you during traditional forms class, while the way to apply them in a real fight is taught in the applications class.

From form to formlessness

Each move in any form has been distilled from thousands of fighting moves to leave only those that are most effective. After practicing them for many times, the moves will start to feel natural to your body. Your muscles will remember what to do before your brain does. At this point, you shift from form (conscious action) to formlessness (subconscious action or automatic reflexes).

Different students require different amounts of time to reach this level. It also depends on how much you practice. At the Shaolin Temple, students are expected to continue learning a form until they have completely perfected it. They spend as much as a full year to learn a single form.

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy understands the students do not have as many years available to learn, hence, the average student takes about one month to learn a basic fist or weapon form. Some more complex forms which are longer or more difficult can take two to three months to learn.

Shaolin Kung Fu weapons

The number of weapons you can learn to wield in Chinese martial arts is close to endless. For a beginner learner, the first weapon that you generally learn is the staff. This is a long wooden stick which should be customized to be as tall as you are. The staff, while the first weapon, is often the favorite weapon of many expert Kung Fu practitioners. It is a great weapon for learning Kung Fu because it feels natural to handle and helps you get used to using weapons.

If the master considers you sufficiently skilled with the staff, you progress on to broadsword. This weapon requires better coordination skills, as the risk of self-injury is a lot higher when the sword has a sharp blade. For martial arts training, Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy uses only dull blades. In addition, practicing broadsword will increase your arm strength.

After broadsword, students generally continue with a straight sword or spear. The straight sword is similar to the broadsword but requires an even higher level of coordination because the movements are often more subtle, elegant, and precise. Spear is similar to the staff, except for the sharp tip of course. It requires more strength and precision than the staff, as the fighting moves mimic stabbing your opponent while holding on to the far end of the spear.

After this, the student and master decide together which weapon (or fist) form will best help the student improve their overall skills. Some people may choose to do an animal fist form, other may choose daggers, double broadsword, or pudao.

Weapons such as three-section staff and (chain) whip are only taught when the student reaches a sufficiently advanced level. The average beginner generally takes almost a full year to reach this point. An experienced martial artist might need less. They say, however, that the most important weapon a martial artist has is his mind.

The Shaolin mindset to learn Kung Fu

You have probably seen some of the amazing feats that Shaolin monks can perform breaking a brick with their bare hands, breaking a wooden staff on their arm, leg, or head, and even pushing the sharp tip of a spear against the softest part of the human body - the little dent at the bottom of the throat. How can they do all of this? Are they physically different?

Shaolin monks believe that their strength comes from the mind. Their mind directs their body, their movement, and their qi (life energy or life force). Because of this belief, and hours of tireless practice and conditioning, there are almost no limits to what Shaolin monks can do with their bodies during training.

This mindset, mind over matter, is crucial to learning Kung Fu. Shaolin Kung Fu training is known as one of the hardest training regimes in the world. Regardless of how skilled you are, the masters will challenge you to push your limits. There will be many times when you feel like you can’t go on anymore or that you simply cannot do a certain move. If you refuse to give up and push yourself just that little bit further, you will find that your body can often do so much more than you think!

Many of Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy's students managed to set new personal records, mastered advanced level weapons form or acrobatics, and broke bricks with their bare hands. Join them and learn Kung Fu at the birthplace of Kung Fu, China.

History of Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu started in the Songshan Shaolin Temple (translated as young forest temple), which is located in the northwest of Dengfeng county, Henan province. Shaolin Kung Fu is the oldest and most widely spread school of Chinese martial arts and is renowned for having the highest varieties of fighting style.

Shaolin Kung Fu is famous for its vigorous, swift, and unpredictable moves. It has been developed, refined, and adapted over centuries and is now considered one of the most famous martial arts in the world.

The Shaolin Temple was built in 495 during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen of Northern Wei Dynasty. At the time of Indian dhnyana master Buddhabhadra, known as “Batuo” in Chinese, traveled through the western regions and spread Buddhism to China. In China, he was greeted by Emperor Xiaowen, a pious learner of Buddhist philosophies.

When Batuo first saw Mount Songshan, he thought it looked like a lotus, a symbol of fortune, pureness, and faith widely used in Buddhism. Emperor Xiaowen agreed to build the Shaolin Temple along the Shaoshi Mountain for Batuo’s preaching. In the third year of Xiaochang era (527) in the Northern Wei Dynasty, Bodhidharma, the 28 Indian patriarch of Zen Buddhism came from southern India and entered the Shaolin Temple.

Bodhidharma introduced his learning to the temple and is credited as the first patriarch of Chinese Zen and the Shaolin temple as the original temple of Chinese Zen Buddhism. Bodhidharma passed on his lineage to Huike, who became the second patriarch. Later, the transmission passed to the third patriarch Sengcan, the fourth one Daoxin, the fifth one Hongren, and the sixth one Huineng. Thus, the six masters are regarded as “the six Zen patriarchs of China”.

The theme of Zen Buddhism is, as summarized by Bodhidharma, “A special transmission outside of the scriptures; not founded upon words to letters; by pointing directly to one’s mind, it lets one see into his true nature and attain Buddhahood.” This is the most characteristic way of practicing Zen Buddhism.

Under the influence of Shaolin Zen, kung Fu, which had been used for combat, assumed Zen as its soul. Since then, Chinese martial arts began its combination with Zen and based on Zen philosophies, the unique system of Shaolin Kung Fu was founded.

Another important factor accounts for the fame of the Shaolin Temple, as Li Shimin, the Duke of Qin, fought the warlord Wang Shichong, was the 13 monks of the temple who forced Wang Shichong to surrender and took Wang’s nephew Wang Renze as captive. When Li Shimin succeeded the throne, he granted a reward to the 13 monks, among who there were Tanzong and Zhicao, and founded the army of monks soldiers.

The incidents started an enthusiasm for discussing martial arts and military affairs. In such circumstances, the monks practiced not only boxing styles and arms but also the skills of fighting on horse, infantry fight, qinggong (light body skill), and qigong (an internal Chinese meditative practice), etc. The monks invited martial artists from all over the country and exchanged views on marital arts.

Martial arts celebrities from various places flocked here to study or present their martial arts skills. Thus the Shaolin Temple came to be a place where various martial arts schools exchanged their arts and Shaolin Kung Fu became one of the major school of Chinese martial arts.

A Yuan-Dynasty monk named Jinnaluo taught the art of gun (staff), whose techniques later developed into a unique gun style. Later, some boxing masters, such as Bai Yufeng, Jueyuan, and Li Sou, entered the Shaolin Temple to teach and study the arts of Shaolin Kung Fu. They worked together to formulate the theories of Shaolin Kung Fu. Especially, they had the original “18 Arhat skills” in Shaolin Kung Fu extended to 173 skills.

Geographically, Shaolin Kung Fu was divided into two sects, namely the Northern Shaolin and the Southern Shaolin. The Southern Shaolin was regarded as the ancestor of Southern boxing. There is a saying that Dragon boxing builds up the spirit, Tiger boxing builds up the bone, Leopard boxing the strength, Snake boxing the Qi, and Crane boxing the Jing (vigor).

With a variety of styles, Shaolin Kung Fu can be classified, according to the characteristics, into internal arts, external arts, hard arts, qinggong, and qigong, etc. The internal arts place a primary emphasis on developing the practitioner’s Jing and Qi. The external and hard arts help to build a particular body part. Qinggong helps to develop the skills in vertical jump and leap.

Qigong includes the cultivation and the nourishing of qi. Besides, a series of unique skills were developed by Shaolin artists, for instance, the plum flower poles training, sandbag training, dragon claw training, iron shirt training, and pinching-flower training, etc. Shaolin Kung Fu can be also divided into over one hundred techniques such as the techniques of boxing, staff, spear, broadsword, straightsword, and bare-handed combat.

It is recorded that the Shaolin Temple had originally 36 hard arts and 36 soft arts. Later, Shaolin abbots and monks further developed the hard and the soft arts and compiled the 72 arts of the Shaolin Temple. The work offers a detailed, comprehensive, and systematic descriptions of Shaolin internal and external arts, which gained the reputation of the 72 orthodox arts of the Shaolin Temple. Training of these arts was shrouded in secrecy within the temple.

As they promoted the Zen Buddhism teaching by dint of Kung Fu, the Shaolin masters nurtured the idea of practice the arts of boxing and Zen as one. Accordingly, the system of Shaolin Kung Fu became the most influential Chinese Buddhism culture in the world.

Kung Fu training styles

Shaolin Kung Fu 少林功夫

Shaolin Kung Fu is not a creation of one person, but an accumulation of works by millions of people. Shaolin Kung Fu is the pearl of Chinese wisdom, which was handed down by numerous generations of China’s top martial artists.

Shaolin Kung Fu has a vast content and numerous forms.

Some important aspects of Kung Fu are internal, external, hard, light Kung Fu, and Qi Gong. The internal Kung Fu mainly focuses on practicing the strength of one’s body, the light Kung Fu focuses on agility, and Qi Gong includes the practice and maintenance of Qi.

Shaolin Kung Fu includes hand-to-hand defense as well as the use of weapons e.g. staff, spear, broadsword, straight sword, and various other weapons, combat, equipment, performance sparring, sparring with weapons, etc. All Kung Fu and weapons forms that have been created by monks or lay-man monks from the temple and all Kung Fu that came to the temple from outside is referred to as Shaolin Kung Fu.

Shaolin combat technique

Shaolin combat technique is divided into ancient techniques, which means traditional combat and modern which is divided into San Da and actual combat. The ancient techniques include Shan Zhen Yi Shen Ba, Hu Bu Ba, You Long Fei Bu, Dan Feng Chao Yang, Shi Zhi Luan Ba, Ye Di Tou Tao, Hei Hu Tao Xin, Lao Hou Ban Zhi, Jin Si Cha Fa, Ying Men Tie Shan Zi, Bo Bu Pao, and so on.

Shaolin boxing nowadays features these kinds of movements including boxing and Buddhism as a system, combination of spirit and movement, aggressive attack together with violent strikes, and proceed or retreat with parts of the body. Generally speaking, Shaolin forms are short and the routine of the movements are mostly linear.

The requirements of Shaolin actions and stances are straight head and follow the movements of the body (with extremities), eyes focused on a point, use great awareness, open chest and straighten back, and for the knees, hips, and toes, they are all pointed slightly inside to protect the groin. The shoulders should be relaxed and the arms slightly curved when attacking.

Make sure that when you are attacking, you don't forget to defend yourself and use decisive, strong, swift defense in event of another's attack. Keep your balance at all times, be flexible when moving, and stable when stationary. The footwork should be low when proceeding with attacks and high when retreating to coordinate the entire body. All movements should be fast.

Shaolin boxing

Shaolin boxing is hard, strong, fast, and according to the Chinese is filled with softness inside. It also is plain and practical with every action, both attack and defense as well as in pose. As the old saying goes, "practice in a place where only a cow can lie', such is Shaolin boxing, you're not limited by the place and its size.

The Shaolin style embodies a word, hard. It is practiced with both attack and defense, but mostly attack. The form is not only beautiful but also practical. The steps are flexible. Shaolin teaches you actions forward, actions of retreat, reaction, and to punch directly in front of you.

On body and fist, it is required that the arm is not too straight and to keep all the forward and backward motion natural. The foot technique must be stable and flexible, the eye technique requires staring at the opponent's eyes and for the breathing, the qi should be "down to your dan tian'" before the qi is released.

"The action is as fast as a flash, a spin - like a turning wheel, a stance like pine and jump like a fly." Shaolin boxing is divided into two schools, Southern, which emphasizes fists, and Northern, which emphasizes legs. There are many styles also within both Southern and Northern Shaolin.

Tai Ji (Tai Chi) 太极

Taiji is based on fluidity and circular movements. Translated into English, Tai Chi roughly translates as “supreme boxing,” “the root of all motion,” and “optimal fist fighting”. It is considered a martial art, but unlike the most combative styles, Tai Chi is based on fluidity and circular movements.

Tai Chi masters say that this gentle dance develops the flexibility of child, the strength of a lumberjack and, eventually, the wisdom of a sage. Tai Chi embodies the Chinese idea that all life is based on life energy or qi. Many Tai Chi forms incorporate the movement of the arms as though one is gently holding a big beach ball of chi.

Based on the Chinese worldview, Tai Chi divides qi into two equal, opposite and complementary parts, Yin and Yang. Tai chi incorporates the Yin-Yang unity of opposites in many ways, for example, during Tai Chi routines, the weight shifts repeatedly from one leg to the other and the arms move in opposite, yet complementary directions.

Taiji training

The main principle of Tai Chi Fist is that with the soft strength. You restrain the opponent's strong power and with the skill of this fist, you shrewdly take your adversary's strength and use it against them. Tai Chi Fist is, therefore, very effective in actual combat.

Tai Chi Fist is also remarkably beneficial for improving the learner's health. In Chinese modern society, it is suitable for everyone, from kids to the elderly. It is very popular in China. It has been acknowledged that training this fist is very useful for building body strength, curing illnesses, cultivating your moral character, and prolonging your life.

Qi Gong (Chi Kung) 气功

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese energy (Qi) practice. Qi means energy, Gong means work. It is based on the concept of Qi energy which flows through the body. It is used for both medical and health purposes and to improve one's martial arts practice. Most Qi Gong is now a mixture between Taoist and Buddhist energy cultivation practices. Qi Gong is a self-healing art that combines movement and meditation.

When speaking of Qi Gong, firstly, you should understand what the essence of Q” is. There are many kinds of Qi, but Chinese traditional culture emphasizes that the most basic one is Yuan Qi - the origin of all living things. Yuan Qi is an engine or an anchor for human’s growth, metabolism, and physical development. Yuan Qi also plays an important role in fighting off illnesses. So Chinese medicine teaches that the life all depends on the circulation of Qi.

Qi Gong is founded on a whole life outlook, related to the law of nature. When practicing it, you mainly take the initiative of your own consciousness .The content includes three adjustments; to adjust your mind in peace, to adjust your body into the best condition, and to adjust your breath in balance.

If you keep training regularly and persisting, gradually the function of many parts of your body will be greatly enhanced and step by step, your health condition will be improved. The practice is able to improve the quality of life, and naturally, transmute and develop a deeper awareness of subtle energies.

Qi Gong and Kung Fu

All great Kung Fu makes use of energy training (Qi Gong) to develop internal force, without which it remains at the external, mechanical level, considered by Chinese martial artists as rather rough and inferior. Kung Fu training with Qi Gong enhances harmonious chi flow, thus promoting health, vitality, and longevity.

Qi Gong and Zen

There are three aspects in all types of Qi Gong, namely form (xing), energy (qi), and mind. If you practice only the form, without the energy and mind dimensions, you are merely performing a physical exercise; strictly speaking not Qi Gong, for there is no training of energy. For an effective control of energy, you have to enter what is called in modern terms a Zen state of mind. In the past, this was called entering Zen (ru chan) or entering silence (ru ding).

When you are in Zen or a meditative state of mind, you can, among other things, tap energy from the cosmos and direct that energy to flow into wherever you want in your body. It is this mind aspect of Qi Gong, even more than its energy aspect, that enables qi gong masters to perform what lay people would think of as miraculous, or, depending on their attitude, fakery.

Qi Gong styles

Dynamic Qi Gong

Dynamic Qi Gong means to combine the body’s moves with mind and to breathe to achieve a peaceful mind through a moving body. The usually practiced forms in the Shaolin Temple are Ba Duan Jin, Yi Jin Jing, and Xi Sui Jing.

Static Qi Gong

Static Qi Gong uses standing, sitting, and posing postures to combine the practicing mind, and high-speed breath. The mind practices to gain, calculate, and control qi. This form of Qi Gong can be practiced through meditating standing still, in the sitting lotus position or through a meditation in pose.

Dynamic and static Qi Gong

Dynamic and static Qi Gong is based on static Qi Gong, to use qi and blood to drive the body to move or even jump high and fly.

The practice of Qi Gong has three requirements.

  • Regulating your breathing (breath naturally)
  • Controlling your mind (get rid of your distracting thoughts)
  • Regulate your body (keep your body coordinated naturally)

Benefits of Qi Gong

According to Chinese medicine, practicing Qi Gong can cure as well as prevent all kinds of illness, including diseases like asthma, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer which are generally considered incurable by conventional medicine. Practicing Qi Gong is also very effective for overcoming psychological problems. There are many wonderful benefits derived from practicing Shaolin Cosmos Qi Gong:

  • Curing illness and promoting health.
  • Enhancing vitality and developing internal force.
  • Promoting youth and longevity.
  • Expanding the mind and the intellect. Spiritual cultivation.

In a word, practicing Qi Gong can strengthen your body and mind, which can help you in combat or competition. The longer you practice, the more qi you will obtain.

Sanda 散打

Sanda's simple concept is of two people fighting each other weaponless. Sanda, 'Chinese kickboxing', is also called Sanshou, which roughly translates as actual combat. In the past, Chinese called it technique fighting or striking. The four attacking methods are kicking, hitting, wrestling, and controlling. Sanda combines using skill in pose and technique.

The Sanda pose is normally called a ready stance, where the fighter is prepared for combat. Training in Sanda can help you keep your body in powerful condition and develops the quickest of reflexes. Making use of fast movements to attack or defend, the fighter leaves a little of their body exposed, very effective in protecting the key parts of your body.

Sanda training

There are two poses in Sanda, left and right poses. For the left pose, one of your feet stands out, the other, behind. The distance between the heel of the forward foot and the tiptoe of backward foot is the same width as the shoulders. The sole of your left foot completely touches the ground, while the heel of your right foot rises up a little. Your knees naturally bend a little. The center of gravity of your body moves to the right, the chest moves up and your stomach folds inwards.

The left arm twists inside about 90 degrees, while the center of the left fist moves parallel to the tip of your nose. Your right arm twists inwards about 45 degrees, and your two fists come in front of your neck. The elbows keep naturally vertical or a little inwards, and your chin stays is a little lower.

All the time, your eyes focus on the upper body of your adversary. The movements of Sanshou are that of a fighting art, however it is distinct from fighting martial arts that cause injury and disabilities. Sanshou has strict rules to ensure the safety of the two fighters. Rules state that attacking the back of the head, neck and crotch of the opponent is prohibited.

In Sanshou, you are allowed to exercise the skills of different Wushu schools. After long-term training, having mastered Sanda skills, a Sanda practitioner will have very fast defensive and offensive reflexes if suddenly attacked. In comparison to an ordinary person, a Sanda athlete has a much higher resisting ability.

Sanda not only improves physical qualities such as strength, endurance, flexibility, and sensitivity but also develops people’s health both physically and mentally. Sticking to the training makes the body strong and strengthens bones and muscles. The skill of Sanda is in combining movements of step, fist, leg, knee, wrestling, defending, and constant attacking.

Bagua 卦

Bagua Zhang is one of the most popular styles of martial arts in China. Bagua Zhang or the eight-diagram palm is a popular style of martial arts in China. Other names for Bagua include Youshen Bagua (roving eight-diagram), Longxing Bagua (dragon-shaped eight-diagram), Xingyi Bagua (Xingyi eight-diagram boxing), and Yinyang Bapan Zhang (positive negative eight-plate palm).

It is one of three Neijia Fists (Neijia Fist means fists that mainly focus on the training and refinement of your spirit, internal energy, and potential). The two main elements in Bagua are the interaction between the palm and feet movements. It combines the internal and concentration of breath with the external form of movements.

There are different stories about the origin of Bagua. Some say it originated among the anti-Qing Dynasty cliques while others believe that it was created by the two Taoist priests Bi Yun and Jing Yun on Mount Emei, Sichuan Province, during the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty and then passed down through its nine generations of practitioners.

The eight-diagram palm is based on the old Chinese philosophy of eight combinations of three whole and broken lines used in divination. While practicing, the practitioner moves according to the eight diagrams. There are eight basic palm plays. A total of 64 palm tricks and moves have come from the original eight basic palm plays.

Apart from solo practices, there are also Sanshou (free sparring) and fighting with weapons, such as Bagua sword play, Bagua sabre play and Bagua cudgel play, and Bagua play of seven-star decorated-shaft etc. While practicing these routines, practitioners rove around like a dragon moving amidst clouds.

Bagua training

Bagua Zhang features dexterity and agility. When moving around, it is like walking in a muddy place, with footsteps changing all the time like running water. Palm tricks and body movements follow one after another. The roving around looks like endless circles overlapping each another. The body turns around from the waist during walking, roving, turning, rising, and falling.

Palm tricks change with the movements of the body. When the upper body protrudes, the lower part of the body squats back to keep balance. When the arms are sent out, the feet draw back. When moving, like a dragon roaming; when squatting, like a tiger sitting; when looking around, like a monkey on the lookout and when roving, like an eagle circling.

Most of Bagua Zhang boxers are found in Hebei Province. Some of them learned Bagua Zhang from scratch from their tutors, while other martial art practitioners asked Bagua masters for advice to improve their skills. Over the years, various routines of exercises have been cultivated in different styles.

Xingyi 形意

Xingyi is one of the excellent Chinese traditional internal styles. Xingyi boxing emphasizes not only on training the body but crucially also, the mind. Xingyi is a unity between the external forms and internal energy. It focuses on mind dominating qi, the physical movements, and mind joining together with qi cooperating with strength.

Through incorporating the physical forms, the concentration of mind with the combination of the internal and external practice, Xingyi is a very effective combat technique. However, it can also improve the learner's health, cultivate the soul, and prolong one's life. Xingyi boxing originated from the Xinyi Liuhe boxing style and formed a unique character of its own.

Xingyi boxing came to be well-known as a martial art style after its creation by Li Luoneng in 1856. Xingyi means to imitate the shape (Xing in Chinese) while fully understand the meaning (Yi in Chinese). It pays much attention to the combination of both inner and outer exercise.

Xingyi training

Xingyi boxing uses the Yin and Yang and the five elements theory (Wuxing in Chinese) of Chinese traditional culture to describe the movement regulations. The technique and theory can be summed up by the five elements) metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.

The content and theory of the five elements, based on traditional Chinese philosophy, inspired the Xingyi Fist and weapon forms. The five elements correspond to the five forms of Xingyi Fist - Chopping fist, Beng fist, Zuan fist, Pao fist, and Heng fist.

In addition, these are 12 shapes of technique - dragon, tiger, monkey, horse, crocodile, bear, sparrowhawk, swallow, eagle, snake, cat, and crane. The movements emphasize six combinations, which includes three internal combinations and three external combinations.

The three internals are namely the combination between right efforts and consciousness (mind), between the consciousness and the internal qi, and between the internal qi and internal strength. The three externals are the combinations between the hands and the feet, between the elbows and knees, and between the shoulders and arms. The main points are having the agile waist of a dragon, the strong shoulder of a bear, the nimble way of an eagle and make sound like thunder.

The popular fist forms are Wuxing continuance fist, Xingyi eight poses, 12 Hong Chui, Anshen Chui, Xingyi continuance fist, Wuxing continuance broadsword, Wuxing continuance straight sword, Wuxing continuance staff, Wuxing continuance staff, complex staff, Xingyi 13 spear, and some rare weapons like horn sword, antler hoe, iron chopsticks, etc.

Wing Chun 咏春

Wing Chun trains the awareness of one's own body movement derived from muscular, tendon, and articular sources. A correct Wing Chun stance is like a piece of bamboo, firm but flexible, rooted but yielding. This structure is used to either deflect external forces or redirect them. Wing Chun favors a high, narrow stance with the elbows kept close to the body.

Within the stance, arms are positioned across the vitals of the centerline. Shifting or turning within a stance is carried out valiantly on the heels, balls, or middle of the foot depending on lineage. All attacks and counter-attacks are initiated from this firm, stable base.

Wing Chun features steady stances, generation of forces, three tricks with six forces, fists playing close to one's own body, usage of explosive power, stressing on real combat, focusing on completion of movements, and combination of offence and defense by forcing up or crushing down the fists or feet from the opposing side.

This style of Chuan emphasizes speed of play, keeping fists and feet close to one's body for better protection, as well as to prepare for attacks and fighting the opponent at close range. When fighting, Yongchun boxers contain their chest, arch the back, close their elbows and knees, draw in their ribs, and keep their thighs closed to protect the groin.

When they use their feet for attacks, they must also use their hands in cooperation. When they kick, they do not expose their groin and when they deliver fist blows, their hands do not leave the front of their body. What's commonly seen are six Wing Chun forms. Three empty hand forms, one wooden dummy form, and two weapons forms.

Liangyi Quan 两仪拳

Liang Yi Quan is also known as Tai Yi Quan. The term Liang Yi, when literally translated, means chaos. Liang Yi is thus based on the notion of that which existed in the universe before the Yin-Yang balance of complementary forces came into being. Hence, while the Yin-Yang balance is normally represented by the Taiji, the chaos which existed before this balance came into being is reflected in the Liang Yi symbol, in which Yin and Yang sit part.

As Liang Yi Quan combines fast and slow, soft and hard, and Yin and Yang, it is called the two extremes. In appearance and style, Liang Yi Quan has been referred to as a fast Taiji Quan. It is a decisive, dominating, and efficient form of Wushu, which allows a knowledgeable practitioner to disable an opponent quickly and effectively.

Whilst its physical origins are to be found in a combination of Taiji and Bagua zhang, the theoretical and philosophical basis of the Liang Yi pressure point system lies in a combination of traditional Chinese medicine and the Book of Changes (an ancient text which forms part of the basis for traditional Chinese beliefs).

The pressure point is one of the most important parts of Liang Yi Quan. Liang Yi Quan is an internal style of Kung Fu originating in ancient China, with roots in traditional Chinese medicine. The pressure point is based on the theories of Yin (negative) and Yang (positive), and of the five external elements, which are metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Besides the Liang Yi Quan pressure point system, all Kung Fu styles based on pressure points have been lost.

Daily schedule from Monday to Friday

  • 06:10 Tai Chi and Qi Gong
  • 07:10 Breakfast
  • 08:30 Shaolin basics (Monday and Wednesday), acrobatics (Tuesday), Shaolin dynamic Qi Gong (Thursday), and power stretching (Friday)
  • 10:20 Traditional forms (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), applications (Tuesday), and conditioning applications (Thursday)
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • 14:30 Sanda counter-acting (Monday, Wednesday), Shaolin takedowns (Tuesday), Shaolin power training (Thursday), and Shaolin stamina (Friday)
  • 16:30 Wing Chun (Monday, Wednesday), Baji (Tuesday), cleaning training area (Thursday), and changing classes (Friday)
  • 18:00 Dinner
  • 19:00 Chinese Mandarin (Monday, Wednesday), free (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)


Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy accepts both beginners and experienced martial artists since the masters focus on everybody individually. The training plan can be adjusted to your personal goals, style focus, and body condition.

For example, if you like one type of weapons in particular, you can learn more forms of that weapon during your stay here. After you've finished a set of movements or a form, masters will teach you all its practical applications in order to make you understand the underlying meaning of it.

The basic skills of legs, waist, shoulders, and stance training need to be practiced daily to build up a solid foundation for further development of your Kung Fu skills. The basic skills can be applied in all the various styles to learn more specific routines of e.g. boxing, kicking, and weapon skills. The harder you work, the better your results will be.

An old saying in Chinese martial arts field says, “The master teaches the trade, but the perfection of the apprentice’s skill depends on himself”. The masters will teach you how to do something and they will do their utmost to help you to progress, but your actual progress all depends on your personal effort. The harder you train, the more you learn, and the better you get.

It is also said that “no pain, no gain”, which means physical pain or weakness will most likely bother you at some point and you might not want to do anything. This is where you need to be extra strong in mind and the masters will do all they can to help you with this and you will come out on the other side stronger than ever.

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy

If you are looking for a martial arts school in China, you have come to the right place. The academy offers high-quality training, with Shaolin masters who are real Shaolin monks from the original Shaolin Temple in Henan Province. While there are many places to study martial arts in China, Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy specializes in teaching non-Chinese speaking people from all over the world.

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is a little family run academy that has been teaching international students since it was founded in 2009 by the thirty second generation Shaolin warrior monk - Shi Xing Jian in daily training known as Master Bao. The academy is under the authorization of Xinyi Government and Xinyi Education Bureau and is also approved by the Jiangsu Provincial Education Department.

Their facilities are modern, their masters speak (at least basic) English, and they have an in-house translator who lives at the academy. They provide food and accommodation and value a friendly environment where you will have the opportunity to evolve and learn, both as a person and a practitioner of Chinese martial arts.

Master Bao runs the school together with his wife Manman Guo, called Lisa by the students. The academy recently moved to a new location where a brand new school building was built with both indoor and outdoor training facilities, improved living quarters and with great plans for future improvements as well.


Shi Xing Jian

Shi Xing Peng

Shi Yan Can


Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is an institute for learning traditional Shaolin Martial Arts and Chinese Kung Fu located in Maling Mountain National Park area. It is considered a suburb of Xinyi City (county-level), Xuzhou City, and is situated in the northwest of Jiangsu Province. The city has very convenient transportation in the north of Jiangsu, preceded only by Xuzhou and Lianyungang.

Nearby places

  • Lianyungang Baitabi Airport (LYG), 50 kilometers
  • Maling Mountain National Park area, 1.5 kilometers - 20 minutes by touk-touk
  • Xuzhou Guanyin Airport (XUZ), 50 kilometers


There will be three meals per day, seven days a week though many students eat out during the weekends. The dishes vary every day and there are three to four different dishes a day. A general rule though is that there are limited meat and protein in the dishes. Students wishing to have more protein in their diet can buy eggs or fried meat or jerky in the city to supplement or get help from the school to order protein powder and other nutritional supplements.

Allergies and other dietary requirements will be considered as well, just inform the academy before you arrive. It is possible to buy snacks and fruit in the city but remember that some food categories can be hard to find here since the eating habits are different e.g. dairy products are expensive and hard to come by and most likely not in the quality you are used to from home.

Please note that it is not recommended to drink the water from the tap in China. The academy helps the students to buy big bottles of drinkable water.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Training at the academy is from Monday to Friday. The weekends are given as the students’ free time. The students can use their free time to train more. Some students use this time to take a rest. Moreover, some use this time to visit the nearby attractions for a sightseeing adventure or to buy supplies and tokens or mementos at the nearby towns.

It is possible to take a weekend trip with one overnight stay for trips further away but it is not recommended to do often as your body will need rest on the weekends after a hard week of training. Overnight trips have to be approved by the academy and organized in good time.

There are a lot more must-see historical sceneries that surround Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy China. The best and most visited tourist sites include Huating Prehistoric Relics and Lake Luoma, one of the biggest freshwater lakes in China.

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy itself is located within historical scenery, which is the Maling Mountain scenic zone. It is also known for its unforgettable legends of military battles, which led to it becoming one of the historical battlefields in China. It is also known to some tourists as the Horse Tom Mountain. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy also offers optional Chinese Mandarin classes from Monday to Wednesday.

Ancient town of Yaowan

The ancient town of Yaowan can be visited at about 45 kilometers away from the urban area of Xinyi. The ancient Yaowan town is known for its ancient houses, streets, relics, etc. that is said to be the remaining remembrances of the Ming or the Qing dynasties.

Maling mountain

The mountain or hill park is about 20 minutes away from the academy by tuck-tuck, a small three-wheeled taxi and is a must-see for all students coming here to train Kung Fu. In ancient times, Maling Mountain was known as Siwu Mountain, which is composed of Fengshan Hill, Doushan Hill, Tiger Hill, Nanna Hill, and Daylily Range. That’s why local people also call it the Five-Sister Mountain.

Although the mountain is not very high, rows of hills cover each other and present a kind of mysterious beauty. People regard this area as the best scenery of northern Jiangsu and the mountain’s elegance and grandeur is well-known in the whole region. Qianlong Emperor of Qing Dynasty made six tours to south China and paid a visit to this mountain three times. He wrote down several lines of poetry to praise the magnificent beauty of Maling Mountain.

More recently, their ancestors called this mountain Ling Mountain or Maling Mountain. It is a low upland located in the northern Jiangsu Province, to the south of Shandong Province. The mountain originates from Cao Village in Linshu County, wanders hundreds of kilometers through Tancheng County, Donghai County, and Xinyi City, and reaches Luoma Lake in Suqian City as its final destination. This spot enjoys a picturesque scenery with birds singing and flowers radiating their fragrance.

There is an ample natural and cultural scenery there and countless scenic spots of historical significance. Examples are the Sanxian Cave, Sanzhen Grotto, Dragon Stage, Quanchaolv Yard, Buddhist Hall, clear dawning in Siwu Mountain, Dragon spring rainfall, Imperial Academy Tomb, Qianlong Emperor Xanadu, and the site of ancient Siwu State.

Xinyi City

Xinyi City is where students go most Saturdays to relax and stock up on necessities. The bus leaves within 15 to 20 minutes' walk from the school every one and a half hour and costs 5 RMB (less than 1 USD / EUR). For the home trip with groceries, a taxi is recommended. Most students split the 50 RMB bill for that.

In the city, students spend their time eating food, also western food can be found, getting a massage, playing pool, shopping and going to the supermarket, everything within walking distance from each other.

The city is also the nearest place with an ATM for taking out cash. The city has one million inhabitants but is considered a very small town in Chinese standards. The city also contains a train station with connection to Xuzhou and is located about 50 kilometers away from both Lianyungang Baitabi Airport and Xuzhou Guanyin Airport.

Xuzhou City

Xuzhou is the nearest bigger city to the school. It is situated in the northwest of Jiangsu and is one of the most well-known Chinese transportation hubs. It has two of China’s most important rail lines, Beijing-Shanghai that runs north-south direction and Lianyungang-Urumqi that goes from east to west, meet in Xuzhou. This means that it is very easy to get to the city and thereby the school.

The students sometimes take a day trip to Xuzhou to explore the city and see something else than Xinyi. The trip to the city from the school takes approximately three hours with an overnight trip is also possible. From Xuzhou, it takes two and a half hours to get to Shanghai and three hours to get to Beijing on the fast trains.

With a history of 2,600 years, Xuzhou is a historical city with critical strategic importance from military views. It is known as a notable battlefield in China’s history, from ancient dynasties to modern republics. More than two hundred famous battles have been fought on this land and total forces engaged in both military sides in each battle reached between 10,000 to one million in order to control the area.

The natural beauty of Xuzhou mixes the character from both the north and south of China. The old Yellow River flows through the city by which the Grand Canal passes. Surrounding the city are the green hills and bodies of water connecting the whole city and forming the special sceneries. The enriched cultural soil and natural scenery makes Xuzhou an apparent spot for tourists.

What's included

  • 3 meals per day, seven days per week
  • 13 nights accommodation
  • Access to training facilities
  • Certificate of achievement and weapon certificate
  • Daily training from Monday to Friday
  • On site English translator
  • Optional cultural classes

What's not included

  • Airfare tickets
  • Airport transfer
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Internet access
  • Travel insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flights to arrive at either Lianyungang Baitabu Airport (LYG) or Xuzhou Guanyin Airport (XUZ). Transfers from and to these two airports are available on request. The pickup service from Xuzhou Guanyin Airport costs 60 USD and since Lianyungang Baitabu Airport is closer, the cost of pick up service is 50 USD.

You need to purchase the flight tickets on your own. Cheaper flight tickets and hotels than from your home country can often be found on some traveling websites. From your home country, it is recommended that you travel either over Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. From there, there are three ways to get to the academy.

Arrival by train

There are some direct trains from Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing to Xinyi, where you will be picked up for free. There are more fast bullet trains travel from Beijing and Shanghai to Xuzhou east station. The pickup service costs 60 USD. It is also possible to take a train from Xuzhou to Xinyi.

From 7.00 a.m. in the morning to 10.00 p.m. in the evening, there are trains leaving from both Shanghai and Beijing to Xuzhou every 15 minutes. From there, you can easily get to Xinyi either by train, bus, or taxi. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy can also pick you up there if you wish.

There are two types of trains with two different sets of prices. There are the slow regular trains with beds and a traveling time of eight to 10 hours from both Beijing and Shanghai for approximately 170 RMB (26 USD) for hard sleeper and 260 RMB (40 USD) for soft sleeper.

The other option is the fast bullet trains that will take you the same distance but in only two and a half to three hours and with 300 kilometers an hour. The prices for those trains are a bit higher but the time is reduced and the comfort is increased. 300 RMB for second class and 519 RMB for first class. Second class in the fast bullet trains are recommended.

There are two ways to buy a train ticket. You can just show up at the train station when you arrive and buy the ticket straight at the station. Most likely, you will just have to wait a few hours and then you will be on your way. This method will not work during Chinese national holidays where train tickets are completely sold out several weeks in advance.

The other option is to book a ticket in advance either via the academy (free service) or get a Chinese friend to help you book the train tickets at the official website since it is only in Chinese. If you book a ticket in advance, make sure you have at least four hours from your plane lands until your train departs.

It takes time to get from the airport to the stations and at the stations, you need to collect your ticket at a ticket office where the line very often is long and you need to check in for your train up to 40 minutes before your departure. You can call the academy consultant (+86 159 5219 3919) for help if you have trouble purchasing a ticket or you meet any problems in your traveling.

Arrival by bus

There are also buses available from Shanghai and Beijing to Xinyi (8 hours) or from Xuzhou to Xinyi (2 hours), but bus stations and information can be more difficult to understand if you do not speak Chinese, so going by train might be easier for you.

Airport: Xuzhou Guanyin Airport Airport transfer available: Xuzhou Guanyin Airport (US$60 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

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 on arrival.
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