6 Months Shaolin Kungfu, Tai Chi & Wing chun Training at Maling Mountain, Xinyi, Jiangsu, China

  • Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Chenggang, Xinyi City, Jiangsu Province, China

6 Months Shaolin Kungfu, Tai Chi & Wing chun Training at Maling Mountain, Xinyi, Jiangsu, China

  • Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, Chenggang, Xinyi City, Jiangsu Province, China

Traditional Kung Fu in China

Located in Jiangsu province, Maling Mountain area, near the city of Xuzhou, Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy not only provides students with great accommodation, but also ideal conditions to study Kung Fu in a traditional quiet surrounding, nevertheless still close to a modern city. Students train in small groups under highly distinguished Shaolin masters.

Highlights

  • Daily Kung Fu training Monday to Friday
  • Traditional training optimized for foreigners
  • Train under 32nd Generation Shaolin masters
  • Mandarin, Buddhism theory, and Calligraphy lessons
  • Get a school certificate after completing your training
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Healthy and nutritious meals
  • 6 months accommodation
  • 150 days with instruction
  • Chinese (mandarin), English
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Students will stay in rooms with 1-2 persons pr. 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.

Each floor of our 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.

Chinese Kung Fu (martial arts or Gongfu or Wushu) is a series of fighting styles which has developed over the centuries in China. Although being fighting styles, Kung Fu advocates virtue and peace, not aggression or violence. This has been the common value upheld by martial artists from generation to generation.

With a number of movement sets, boxing styles, weapon skills, and some fighting stunts, Kung Fu keeps its original function of self-defense. Now its value in body-building and fitness is also highly appreciated. A strong will and persistence is the precondition for learning kung fu. The basic skills of legs, waist, shoulders, and stance training need to be practiced daily.

Employing the solid foundation of the basic skills, one can choose from the various sects to learn specific routines of boxing, kicking, and weapon skills, to improve the combat ability. The following styles of Chinese Kung Fu are part of our weekly training schedule. However, some of them are offered in optional classes, but all of them can be trained full-time if you wish to.

6 Months Kung Fu training plan

During this time you can learn about four weapons, six fist and three Tai Chi forms as well as all the applications of the forms. You will also be more skilled in Sanda combat and takedown techniques. In hard Qi Gong you will able to break a brick by hand or head. Other things to train on can be flying needle or Two-Finger Zen.

Forms

  • Da Hong Fist
  • Da Luo Han Fist
  • Canon Fist
  • Liu He Fist (Two-Person Form)
  • Four Weapons: Qi Mei Staff & Mei Hua Broadsword
  • Shaolin Straightsword or Shaolin Spear

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy schedule

  • Daily schedule Monday to Friday
  • 06.10 - 07.10 Tai Chi & Qi Gong
  • 07.10 - 08.30 Breakfast
  • 08.30 - 10.00 Shaolin basics (Monday & Wednesday), Acrobatics (Tuesday), Shaolin dynamic Qi Gong (Thursday), Power stretching (Friday)
  • 10.20 - 11.30 Traditional forms (Monday, Wednesday, Friday), Applications (Tuesday), conditioning applications(Thursday)
  • 12.00 - 14.20 Lunch
  • 14.30 - 16.00 Sanda counter-acting (Monday, Wednesday), Shaolin takedowns (Tuesday), Shaolin power training (Thursday), Shaolin stamina (Friday)
  • 16.320 - 17.30 Wing Chun (Monday, Wednesday) Baji (Tuesday), Cleaning training area (Thursday), Changing classes (Friday)
  • 18.00 - 19.00 Dinner
  • 19.00 - 20.00 Chinese Mandarin (Monday, Wednesday), free (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)

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.

Here are some important aspects of Kung Fu: 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; 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; 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 as follows: 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 attack, 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 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, we should understand what the essence of “Qi” 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 3 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 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 (chi kung) 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 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, static Qi gong, dynamic and static Qi gong.

Dynamic Qigong means to combine the body’s moves with mind and to breath 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 Qigong 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 Qigong 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.

1. Regulating your breathing (breath naturally)

2. Controlling your mind (get rid of your distracting thoughts)

3. Regulate your body (keep your body coordinated naturally)

Benefits of Qi Gong

According to Chinese medicine, practicing chi kung 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 chi kung is also very effective for overcoming psychological problems.

There are many wonderful benefits derived from practising 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), 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 is also sparring: Sanshou (free sparring) and fighting with weapons, such as Bagua sword play, Bagua sabre play and Bagua cudgel play, and Bagua play of 7 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 join together and 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 5 elements) metal: wood, water, fire, and earth.

The content and theory of the 5 elements, based on traditional Chinese philosophy, inspired the Xingyi Fist and weapon forms. The 5 elements correspond to the 5 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 6 combinations, which includes 3 internal combinations and 3 external combinations.

The "3 Internals" are namely the combination between "right effort" and consciousness (mind), between the consciousness and the "Internal qi" and between the "Internal qi" and Internal strength. The "3 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 variantly 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, 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, keep their thighs closed to protect the groin.

When they use their feet for attack, 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).

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. 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.

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is an institute for learning traditional Shaolin Martial Arts and Chinese Kung Fu. It is located in the suburb of Xinyi City, which has very convenient transportation in the north of Jiangsu, preceded only by Xuzhou and Lianyungang. The city is 50 km away from either Lianyungang Baitabi Airport or Xuzhou Guanyin Airport. Xinyi has a physical land mass of 1,571 square kilometers and its population is close one million.

Situated in a transit belt from the north subtropical region, Xinyi has a maritime monsoon climate, a mild and humid climate with distinct four seasons. The annual average temperature is about 14ºC around. More than two dozens of historical sceneries are recommended to visit. The best tourist sites include the Maling Mountain, or the Horse Tomb Mountain, and the well-known Huating Prehistoric Relics is located in the region.

The Lake Luoma is one more tourist destination. An ancient town, the Yaowan Town, is 45 km away from the urban area of Xinyi, presenting you its ancient houses, streets, relics, etc. left from the Ming or the Qing dynasties. The academy is within Maling Mountain Scenic Zone, which is ranked one of the 4-AAAA tourist attractions in China. Maling Mountain is honored by the Emperor Qianlong of Qing Dynasty as "The First Scenery”.

From unearthed archaeological evidences, this land was once a habitat for early human being, tracking back to the Paleolithic period, about 100,000 years ago, who made tools and hunted on the land. Later, the land started to attract military attentions to eventually become a historical battle field, where enemies fought each other, left unforgettable legends behind.

General
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Picnic area
  • Restaurant nearby
Services
  • ATM / banking nearby
  • Currency exchange nearby
  • Laundry
  • Shop
  • Shop nearby

There will be 3 meals per day, 7 days a week though many students eat out in the weekends. The dishes vary every day and there are 3-4 different dishes a day, a general rule though is that there is limited meat and protein in the dishes. Students wishing to have more protein in their diet can buy eggs or fried meat/jerky in the city to supplement and/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.

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.

Training at the academy is from Mondays to Fridays. 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 uses 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, your body will need rest in the weekends after a hard week of training. Overnight trips has 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 fresh water lakes in China.

The ancient town of Yaowan can be visited at about 45 km 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 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.

Xinyi City

Xinyi City is where students go most Saturdays to relax and stock up on necessities. The bus leaves a 15-20 minutes walk from the school every 1,5 hour and costs 5 yuan (less than a $/€). For the home trip with groceries a taxi is recommended, most students split the 50 yuan 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 1 mill 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 50km 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. 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 some time take a day trip to Xuzhou to explorer the city and see something else than Xinyi. The trip to the city from the school takes approximately 3 hours, an overnight trip is also possible. From Xuzhou it takes 2,5 hours to get to Shanghai and 3 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.

Maling mountain:

The mountain, or hill park is about 20 minutes away from the academy by tuck-tuck, a small 3-wheeled taxi and is a must see for all students coming here to train Kungfu. 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 are 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, our ancestors called this mountain Ling Mountain or Maling Mountain. It is a low upland located on the northern Jiangsu Province, to the south of Shandong Province. The mountain originates from Cao Village in Linshu County, wanders hundreds kilometers through Tancheng County, Donghai County, and Xinyi City and reaches Luoma Lake in Suqian City as its final destination. This spot enjoys picturesque scenery with birds singing and flowers radiating their fragrance. There is ample natural and cultural scenery here 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.

  • 179 nights accommodation
  • 3 meals per day, 7 days per week
  • Access to training facilities
  • Certificate of achievement and weapon certificate
  • On site English translator
  • Optional cultural classes
  • Training daily
  • Airfare tickets
  • Airport transfer
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Internet access
  • Travel insurance

Travel info

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 this travelling website. From your home country, we recommend you to travel either over Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou. From there, there are 3 ways to get to the academy.

By plane:

There are two airports close to the academy. The first one is Xuzhou Guanyin Airport which is the further from the Academy, pickup service costs $60; the second one Lianyungang Baitabu Airport which is closer to the Academy, pickup service costs $50.

By train:

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

From 7 in the morning to 10 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. We 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 8-10 hours from both Beijing and Shanghai for approximately 170yuan (26$) for hard sleeper and 260yuan(40$) for soft sleeper.

The other option is the fast bullet trains that will take you the same distance but in only 2,5/3 hours and with 300km an hour. The prices for those trains are a bit higher but the time is reduced and the comfort is increased. 300 for second class and 519 for first class.

Second class in the fast bullet trains are recommended.Bullet-train-kungfu-beijing-train-station

There are 2 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. NB 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.travel-china-station-kungfu If you book a ticket in advance make sure you have at least 4 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 our consultant (+86 159 5219 3919) for help if you have trouble purchasing a ticket or you meet any problems in your traveling.

By bus:

There are also buses available from Shanghai and Beijing to Xinyi (8 hrs), or from Xuzhou to Xinyi (2 hrs), 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.

  • 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.

Verified BookMartialArts.com reviews

  • S
    Review by Sergejs Andrijevskis from Latvia

    Best holliday ever

    PROS Pros: I liked everything. In this family run business created very friendly and unique atmosphere of 'home'. Shifu are very helpful and understanding accomodating different levels. Perfect way of spending vacation with kids to become lean and fit in a short time span.

    2017-Aug-30 08:01:16

  • V
    Review by Victoria Bakhmutova from United States

    Great School

    CONS Cons: no place is perfect, they can do some work on the facility and better comms with students but overall no major complaints

    PROS Pros: Very good school, lots of different activities, good food, nice instructors.

    2017-Jul-31 21:49:12

  • D
    Review by Dallas El-hage from Republic of South Africa

    Life enhancing

    CONS Cons: There is not one thing I disliked

    PROS Pros: I like practically everything and everyone. It was an extremely enjoyable stay. My duration may of been short but the more you put in here, the more you get out. The masters here are beyond awesome.

    2017-Jun-25 03:12:02

  • Review by Jauffrey Poubil, from Netherland
    10 out of 10

    "A lot of people asked me about my time here. Especially new students. Well this is how I experienced it. I just finished my 2 year stay here at the Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy. When I came here I didn’t had any martial arts experience but I wanted to learn kung fu from the source. My first 2 weeks were really hard I could hardly walk and I still had to do more training. But as time is passing by you notice that your body slowly gets stronger and you are able to do more and more. Listen to the masters they are great and know how to push you!"

    "The people you will meet are great and you get to learn people from all over the world and with all one goal in mind. To learn kung fu. I had a amazing time here and experience. The world of kung fu is magical. Doing competitions giving performance. Doing some small trips and seeing China!! I have fallen in love with kung fu and China!"

    BookMartialArts.com website, edited

  • Review by Emma Lunde from Norway
    10 out of 10

    "Before I came to the school I had no prior experience with martial arts, let alone kung fu. In fact, everyone I know was surprised to hear that I, a shy ballerina-girl, was going all the way from Norway to China to learn martial arts. I even surprised myself. Safe to say the nerves were very present. However, there was nothing to worry about. All the students and the masters created an incredibly welcoming and warm environment. I am still young, but I have never encountered a group of people where everyone is so kind and helpful. Initially I thought 3 months was a long time, but time flew by so fast. I learnt something new every day, and although training was hard and sometimes made me want to hurl up in a ball of pain (that’s you, power stretching) it was so much fun!"

    ""

    "Even though we had the same classes every week, the training was always varied. And when we thought we wouldn’t be able to walk upstairs after training, the masters made us do 10 more laps. Pushing past our limits was hard, but it made us better and only two weeks in I could already feel and see that I was much stronger. I had such a great experience, and I would without hesitation recommend you to try this school. The academy fits for newbies as well as the more experienced."

    BookMartialArts.com website, edited

  • Review by Wiljan Hendrikx from Netherland
    10 out of 10

    "My one month stay at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy was an intense but very rewarding and inspiring experience. Leaving the hassle of daily life behind me and going ‘back-to- basic’ helped me to get to know myself on a different level. The physical and mental challenge of practicing Kung Fu through a varied training schedule really helped me to experience a balance between body and mind that was completely new to me. Kung Fu aims at aligning the two, not only strengthening you physically but also mentally. A rewarding experience! I can definitely recommend going to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy and wish every student the same experience I had. The professional training by skillful Masters, the basic but good school facilities and the encouraging atmosphere among students will make it unforgettable! For me, a month was enough time to get the experiences mentioned above started, but way too little to develop them fully. So be prepared Masters and staff: you might see me back one day."

    BookMartialArts.com website, edited

  • Review by Sarah from Australia
    7 out of 10

    "I went to the Maling Shaolin Kungfu for a week over the Christmas/New Year holidays and had no previous experience."

    "Training: They allocated 3-4 classes/day over the weekdays. There was a mix of quality in the classes but was surely challenging and rewarding as I would sleep in between breaks. It could improve on a more formal structure and goal-setting from the Masters, especially from someone who is not as experienced. The training room was spacious but a bit dusty, and was our sometimes our only option if it was too cold outside. They had all the necessary equipment that was required. I achieved what I could do in a week, with some positive changes in my body but I would recommend doing more than 1 week as I just scratched the surface of what I could achieve."

    "Facilities: Room were necessarily basic but they provided an electric blanket and heating due to the -1 degree weather at the time. Wi-Fi connectivity was patchy at times. There is only 1 heated shower in both the female and male bathrooms. There was a leaking pipe in my room that happened in the middle of night which I addressed but not sure if has been rectified."

    "Meals: They provided three meals a day for 4 dishes for around 8 people from a lovely female chef. It sufficed but you needed to be there first to get enough food. There was not much variation in the type of dishes."

    "Atmosphere: The only opportunity I could get to know the other students and Masters was over meals and on the weekend."

    BookMartialArts.com Website, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by Lisbeth Killer from United States
    10 out of 10

    "My first thought is that three weeks is nowhere near long enough!  It was far too short of time for a stay.  This is what I expected going into the program as I read the training plan online which clearly states it takes a minimum of 1 month to learn the first first form but it was still surprising to actually experience this time structure. I definitely wished I had more time. I enjoyed the classes where very small, but I believe this also had to do with the fact there were not many students enrolled at the time. It was nice to be part of a small group. It made it easy to get to know everyone. "

    ""

    "I was most concerned with the food actually. I am an incredibly picky eater. An extremely picky eater! However, I loved the food! At every meal there was at least one dish that I ate.  This was a very very nice surprise for me. I was prepared to survive off of granola bars for the full three weeks and didn't need to dig into my supply I brought with me. I can tell the training under normal circumstances would be very good. During one of my weeks the Master I was assigned to had to travel home for a wedding. I still trained everyday and reviewed what I had learned, however, the other Master did not teach us anything new as they seem to each have a little bit different style.This was 4 days of training that I felt quite stagnate."

    ""

    "If I had been a longer term student I feel this would not have been a problem at all.  But, since I was only there for three weeks I do feel it made an impact.  I am hopeful that in the future I will be able to stay for a full 6 months so small disruptions in the daily training will not effect me. All the Masters were incredibly knowledgeable and supportive of my training.  I came in as an absolute beginner and felt accepted by all the Masters and students alike.  It was truly a wonderful experience and I can't wait to be able to return."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Elchanan Lewis from Israel
    10 out of 10

    "i stayed at the maling shaolin kung fu academy for 8 months. i had been training shaolin back home for a few years but only a few evening classes a week, and it definitely does not compare to full time round the clock training every day! it takes a few weeks for the body to get used to it but once it does you're usually only in pain during classes and not after (-; (usually...) the academy offers training in a variety of styles the main ones being shaolin and sanda, which is like boxing with kicks and takedowns. other than that there are optional classes for other styles you can read about on the website. I chose to focus on the shaolin mainly, and of course did the sanda classes. I feel that my understanding of the style of movement that characterizes shaolin kung fu really improved and that i am able to implement in my forms a lot better than i did before, master Du worked with me step by step going through how to generate force and power properly, then how to coordinate the different movements and finally how to put the whole thing together. in sanda I improved a whole lot, seeing as when i first came i had all the wrong instincts such as turning my head the other way and closing my eyes etc. after getting punched in the head and face a few times i really learned to keep my guard up and not look away."

    ""

    "There's still a long way to go by my sparring abilities are way better than what they were 8 months ago! in the mornings there's an early tai ji class with headmaster Bao which is great. i learned a chen tai ji form (which is absolutely beautiful to watch when master Bao performs it) and it's one of my all time favorites hands down. Other than that you'll find as you get used to the training schedule that there is a lot of free time you can use for personal training and i think it's imperative to use it. if you really want to get better, and not just learn more things you need to practice in your spare time and go over the different skills you're learning. "

    ""

    "All in all i had a good experience and will miss this place. maybe I'll be back someday (-:"

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Dallas EL-Hage from South Africa
    10 out of 10

    "I have trained one month here at Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy, because i questioned how much one could learn in a month. I questioned how much change was possible in only a month’s training. I was honestly, miraculously surprised. I came with an attitude to push my limits, but it was the masters that inspired more limits to be broken. I found my experiences to be absolutely life changing. I can stretch further than ever before, i can run further and faster than ever before. I learned an entire 24 step Tai Chi form in a month and was graded on it- proving to be not bad at all. I have had previous martial arts training but found that one month here is equivalent to a full year’s work of training back home."

    ""

    "This experience is one i plan to never forget, to build on as it has been the most amazing life altering and foundation setting for my new, disciplined, motivated and spiritual life style. A lifestyle guided and with no physical limits thanks to martial arts- Thanks to Maling, thanks to 3 of the most awesome and respected masters. I thank this place for in one month its given me strength and direction for the rest of my life. I also met life long friend here- it is a place where respect, honor and love flourish. Thank you Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Emma Lunde from Norway
    10 out of 10

    "Before I came to the school I had no prior experience with martial arts, let alone Kung Fu. In fact, everyone I know was surprised to hear that I, a shy ballerina-girl, was going all the way from Norway to China to learn martial arts. I even surprised myself. Safe to say the nerves were very present. However, there was nothing to worry about. All the students and the masters created an incredibly welcoming and warm environment. I am still young, but I have never encountered a group of people where everyone is so kind and helpful. Initially I thought 3 months was a long time, but time flew by so fast. I learnt something new every day, and although training was hard and sometimes made me want to hurl up in a ball of pain (that’s you, power stretching) it was so much fun! Even though we had the same classes every week, the training was always varied. And when we thought we wouldn’t be able to walk upstairs after training, the masters made us do 10 more laps. Pushing past our limits was hard, but it made us better and only two weeks in I could already feel and see that I was much stronger. I had such a great experience, and I would without hesitation recommend you to try this school. The academy fits for newbies as well as the more experienced."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Jauffrey Poubil from Netherland
    10 out of 10

    "A lot of people asked me about my time here. Especially new students. Well this is how I experienced it. I just finished my 2 year stay here at the Maling Kung Fu academy. When I came here I didn`t had any martal arts experience but I wanted to learn Kung Fu from the source. My first 2 weeks were really hard I could hardly walk and I still had to do more training. But as time is passing by you notice that your body slowly gets stronger and you are able to do more and more. Listen to the masters they are great and know how to push you! The people you will meet are great and you get to learn people from all over the world and with all one goal in mind. To learn Kung Fu. I had a amazing time here and experience. The world of Kung Fu is magical. Doing competitions giving performance. Doing some small trips and seeing China!"

    "I have fallen in love with Kung Fu and China!"

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Oscar Rioja from Spanish
    10 out of 10

    "My experience in Mailing school is difficult to describe with words, because is about feelings, sensations, will, beliefs, discipline, determination, sacrificial. I really got in this school what I was looking for. The atmosphere inside the school is full of good energy and happiness. I've discovered how even people at my age never is late to get your dreams and purposes updated. From the times of Bruce Lee, never i thought could be possible to join this adventure inside my life. Now i want more."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Patrick Reddy from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "My experience with learning from Master Bao goes back until early 2008, just around the time when my family came over for the first time to visit me. During this time I and some other students were preparing for a show on Chinese TV for Spring Festival. This was my first time to have the pleasure of working together. After that I was moved into Master Bao’s class and I began my training then. I guess you could say I was not the ideal student at the start with my mind being in many places at once but once I settled down I really started to enjoy pushing myself and trying to inspire others from my actions. I ended up conquering a lot of my inner barriers while training with Master Bao and while doing this my training improved steadily as well as my determination to accomplish what I set out to do in China and that was to raise my Gong Fu to a level where I could return to Ireland and teach. I have kept in touch with Master Bao for a very long time, but somehow it all feels like such a short time when I put it into prospective but I am glad of every moment that I was fortunate to have in Shandong and in Jiang Su. "

    "In 2009 I took the trip from Hei Long Jiang to Jiang Su to go see Master Bao again and I was also delighted that another Master “Master Du” was also teaching there. I guess setting up a school is not easy at all but It seems to be a type of “yuan fen” or destiny but I was given the opportunity to train with Both Masters and this allowed me to see the different types of training and because it was a relatively new school the students were few and the training was plentiful. I have soared to new heights during times of when there were not many students at all to when the school was bustling with life and the atmosphere was and still is amazing. It has given me the determination and confidence in setting out and accomplishing what I have always wanted. I know I will be back and I know I will have the chance to run to the temple most days and to run among the hills during the summer so I eagerly wait to get back into my training. I think in a nutshell the masters in this school really look out for you training wise and with your own personal problems and are very accommodating with the food requirements and it doesn’t matter where you train but as long as you are honest to yourself and put in all you can you will reap the rewards and you will find that it is not just studying martial art for a few months but it is a way of life and a memory you will always cherish."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Penelope Burke from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "I was at the Kung Fu academy for 4 weeks. It was great I had never done any thing like it before so it was all new to me. The Masters were great and once you got to them they were quite funny. The other students were really nice and there was a great variety of nationalities there various age groups and quite a range of experience. The first week is quite a learning curve but once you get into the swing of things it is great, its hard work but if you like being pushed to train it is really worth it. I honestly don't think that 1 month is long enough I wish I could have been there for 3 because you are only just starting to get a good taste of it by the fourth week so if I could have been there for longer I would have."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Peter West from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I had studied a little Wushu before coming to the school which made some of the basics feel more familiar, but nothing could prepare me for the experience that this school had to offer me! I stayed at the school for 2 months, and after being away from the school for a month I decided to come back to visit as I missed it so much. One thing you will learn after staying in the school for some time is that you will all become a family. The students are your brothers and sisters, the masters and translators are like your parents and everyone tries to make the experience within the school as easy as possible. "

    "The training is hard, there is no other way I can put it, it was extremely hard! But it is so worth, because you feel so proud of yourself and what you have achieved day to day, plus you get to train with Shaolin masters! It doesn’t get better than that. The food it pretty much how I expected; oats, soya milk and sweet bread buns for breakfast with an egg, rice with a variety of vegetables and meat for lunch and dinner. There is also a small village nearby where you can buy snacks and drinks from time to time, and it’s really cheap!"

    "The one thing that I would say to someone who is thinking about going to the school, and all of the other students would say the same “just do it! You will never regret it! It is a great chance for character building and confidence. Before going to the school I had very little confidence and low self esteem, but after being in the school for some time, I had gained more confidence than I could have imagined. I have made some lifelong friends, have memories in my mind that I will gladly never forget and there isn't a day that goes by where I don’t talk or think about Maling shan academy."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Philip Kropf from Switzerland
    10 out of 10

    "I was there for 6 months and had no idea what would happen to me there. I didn’t know kung fu, I have never been to China before, and could not speak Chinese, and not much English either, so I was not sure if I could get through this. But now i know I can and it was the right decision! The academy is in a nice place, on one side not far is a lake on the other the Maling mountain a beautiful place to meditate. Not too far away is a city too. It’s not really big or beautiful but you can get a everything you need for the everyday life there, most students go to this city every weekend to eat good food or to buy whatever they need. "

    "The training was in the beginning really hard for me because I wasn't fit at all also not flexible so I needed longer to get used to the training than others. It was very hard to catch up with the other guys, but everyone gets used to it eventually. The key to great improvements is to push yourself, you have to push yourself every day so you can get incredible results. One of the best things there is, it is like a big family: The people help you if you are practicing in free time, going out together, travelling together, when I was there we celebrated Christmas, New Year and Chinese new year together that makes it really to a family. The masters are amazing they can be really hard and tough in training, but also very good friends in free time and take care of you if you're sick. Another good thing is you forget all about the everyday stress. It was an awesome time there I learned so much for my life, had lot of fun with my ‘‘Kung fu brothers‘‘, I'm now much more independent, a lot stronger mentally and physically, very flexible, I can speak English without problems and even some basic Chinese. I will definitely go back there."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Roni Hasid from Israel
    10 out of 10

    "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 6 AM 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!"

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Sabrina Brockel from German
    10 out of 10

    "I want to thank all of you so much for everything you did for me. I learned a lot from every single person at Maling Shan Acadamy - both staff and students. I wouldn't be the person I am today without you. I really didn't think spending half a year at your school would change me as much as it did. But after my stay with you I realized that my stay with you was something I had been missing for a long time. It taught me a lot of qualities I had been lacking before I came to China. The best thing about all the lessons I learnt is that I learnt them in a fun and easy way, with no pressure at all, though the Masters did push me to my limit during the training which i appreciated. It really made me grow as a human being even beyond my martial arts skills (which have also improved dramatically, especially my sparring skills). "

    "I want to thank all of the Masters for being so generous with their knowledge and finding the right balance between being strict but also gentle and encouraging at the right times. I felt that I could ask the Masters anything I didn't understand and they would always do their best to help me understand. Which was of course only possible thanks to Daisy-Laoshi and Lisa-Jiejie who are amazing translators. I was always very impressed at how you managed to translate the message the Masters were trying to convey and not only the words they were speaking. "

    "Also a huge thank you to Mama and Papa Bao and their amazing cooking skills. Though it might have been a bit unvaried at times the food was still always tasty and filling and way better than I had expected it to be. I also loved how everyone tried to make everyday life a bit more exciting by having karaoke nights every now and then or celebrating holidays and birthdays. There was almost never a boring day at Maling Shan. I even appreciated (at least in hindsight) the things that might have not been so great like the occasional water or power outages since they really taught you to appreciate the little things in life. It was also wonderful how many things the schedule covered and how perfectly the topics were balanced. "

    "The only thing that I think would like to add to the schedule if I could would be some basic training in traditional chinese medicine. I didn't expect the training plan to be this versatile and it took me a bit of time to adjust but in the end I was very happy with the schedule. I also feel like I was very lucky because I was able to be on the performance team and participate in a show for JSBC. It was a very fun and interesting experience. I will continue to keep working hard back home. I have nothing but deep respect and admiration for every single member of Maling Shan Shaolin Academy and hope to see you again soon - I am definitely planning on going back!"

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Sam Sutcliffe from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I had never studied martial arts before arriving at Mailing Shan, with that in mind i was rather worried that everyone there would be well above me and i would learn far slower than anyone else. This however was not true at all, the masters teach you at a pace that you can deal with no matter your skill or how fast you pick something up. Life quickly settles into routine when you arrive at Mailing Shan, you get up, you train, you rest, then repeat. I think this needs to be understood before coming to Mailing Shan, as a western cultured person it is a difficult concept to get used to, back home if you train or go to the gym you can stop whenever you please and often will not reach your potential as your mind tells you that you have had enough."

    "The training experience in China is much harder, but I believe that why you are looking here. Admitedly there will be days when you can’t face training, if you can learn to push through this I think you will truly experience training the Chinese way. You will also be absurdly proud of yourself for doing what very few people get to do, Train with shaolin masters!"

    "The Masters and the school itself are fantastic! you are surrounded by people who are all interested in training, all ready to help and you have no other concerns or worries, in my mind the perfect way to train. The conditions are nothing like what you would be used to at home, but it is part of the training, I have to say one thing I noticed when i got home is how much more patience resolve and confidence I have in myself, I can always look back and say, "after i pushed myself through that, what is this in comparision." a good little motivational motto due to my time in China. Finally I wish to say to anyone who is interested in training in China, No matter how long you come to train for, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Seth Leslie from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "When I arrived at the Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy I was mystified by the charming serenity of the school. The sense of peace and the natural beauty was not at all what I expected from a school that had promised to teach me how to swing a kick to the head or impale someone with a sword. Everyone at the school is so kind, friendly and supportive. The Masters, Cooks, Translators and Students all coexist like a family, the good sort, not the dysfunctional “three dads, a brother practicing illegal medicine, and a little sister on death row” sort of family."

    "It is a perfect place for cultivating creativity, exploring hobbies and stepping away from the constant rush of city life. This is, of course, the impression you will get if you arrive on a weekend, because come Monday, when training starts, you quickly discover that the reason everyone is so kind and peaceful is because everyone is actually completely exhausted. Training is rigorous, challenging and very effective. "

    "The small number of students admitted into the school means that each student receives a lot of attention and training intensity is matched to the ability of each student individually. The Masters are hard trainers with gentle souls. They both have a great sense of humor, but don’t ever think that making them laugh will distract them enough to get you out of having to kick a tree three hundred times. I’ve tried it. It didn’t work. "

    "When training finishes every student collapses and it is only because of the amazing meals of rice and meats, juicy fruits and fresh vegetables from their own garden that are cooked and served to us that we find will power to raise again. When my time at the school approaches its end I wish I could stay longer and when I leave I immediately begin planning my return. "

    "The perfect balance of intense training and nurturing atmosphere, strictness and kindness, seriousness and humor, mind and body, make Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy the quintessential training ground for achieving “Gong Fu”. And if you’re like I was before I arrived and couldn’t run 500 meters without stopping for a break at McDonalds along the way, twice, they can also teach you how to run 9 km without stopping for so much as a sip of water, after only three weeks!"

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

  • Review by Simon Featherston. from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I trained at Maling Shaolin Academy for one year from January 2013 to January 2014. When I arrived at the academy I was a typical 44 years old English male by that I mean a little over weight, not very fit and quite stressed from normal life in the UK! I had a little martial arts experience, I did karate for two years and some others when I was at school which was a long time ago!"

    "Before I went to the academy I set myself goals, to get, fitter to eat healthier, to learn as much as possible and most of all to learn how to relax, I had no idea what to expect when I arrived and was nervous. I arrived at the academy and my nerves went away quite quickly every one was friendly and wanted to meet the new student, Lisa gave me a tour of the school and showed me where I was going to sleep every one was really nice it was a good start, then I met Master Bao and Master Can, both Shaolin Masters I was nervous of them but they are very nice people and really helpful. "

    "So how was the training ? to be honest at the start it was very hard for me, I could not run too far, I had little strength so could only do a few sit ups and press ups I had poor coordination I was just bad! For the first month or so I could hardly walk in the mornings until my muscles warmed up a little they were aching so much, but it got much better as time went on at the end of my year I was one of the quickest to run 10 Km and in the morning run too, I can do lots of press ups now and am much stronger I have learned different weapon forms which improve coordination, so I reached my goal of being fitter and healthier I even have muscles in my stomach!"

    "Did I learn to relax ? Oh you better believe I did! the meditation and Tai Chi plus all the training has helped me to learn how to relax and now I don’t get stressed very often, not like when I arrived! I am a lot happier with life and myself I haveconfidence and believe in myself which I didn’t when I came here so I am very happy with this part of the training.It has changed my life being at this academy. The food was great, there was enough and it tastes good what more do you need?"

    "I think the facilities are good, the rooms are large enough for two people to stay, the training room is big enough, we trained out side most of the time and there is plenty of space around the academy to train, there is a market not too far away, you wash youre clothes at the academy there are shops near by there is internet in the rooms if you want it, every thing you need is there. I trained hard and reached all my goals, I had lots of ups and downs over the year but I had a lot of help from the Masters to keep me motivated and keep me training well, the students help each other and encourage one and other, the academy really has a family atmosphere Master Bao’s mother does the cooking, Daisy the interpreter is very helpful when you need buy train tickets and other translations, and good translation in the classes when needed, I am very happy I chose this academy, it is friendly and professional the Masters are the best martial artists I have seen and want to help every one no matter what level you are at and they know just how much to push individuals. Thank you every one at Maling Shaolin Academy one of the best years of my life. "

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  • Review by Simona Ancona from Italy
    10 out of 10

    "The experience at the Maling Academy was definitely intense and life changing. The school is located in the countryside and is surrounded by beautiful corn fields. Such a peaceful environment helped me reconnect with myself and review my choices and priorities in life. I met so many people and each one of them taught me valuable lessons about martial arts, resilience and mutual support. I’ve learnt that I can fall and get back up despite the pain and the bruises, and the importance of training body, mind and soul in equal measure. The guys I trained with were great fun and helped me every time I struggled with a new move or form. Peter in particular was such a sweet and patient sparring partner. "

    "Master Bao and Master Du are incredibly knowledgeable and understanding, and kindly allowed me to personalize my training based on my goals, which I truly appreciate. Lisa answered every question in a timely and professional manner and Mona was always willing to translate and help with flight and train tickets with a smile. I’m also grateful to Mama Bao, who cooks and does all the farm chores, her neighbor friend and the local farmers for showing me the true meaning of hard work, humility and generosity. I feel fitter, happier and more confident then ever, thank you all for this amazing journey."

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  • Review by Terya Sarrucco from Netherland
    10 out of 10

    "When I first told people that I was going to a Shaolin Kungfu academy in China for a month, I got either one of two responses: 1. "But... Why??" (imagine highly bewildered raised eyebrows with this) or 2. "That sounds awesome, I wish I could gotoo!'. If you are reading this, you probably fall into the second category, and let me tell you: if you do, it will be the best experience of your life."

    "I originally planned to stay for a month, thinking this would be a really long time. But after 2 weeks, I knew I wanted to stay longer. Life at the Maling academy was so easy to fall in love with. The thrill of overcoming your own challenges, fears and failures is addictive! We trained 6 hours a day / 5 days a week, and while it was tough at times, it was also incredibly rewarding. I had no martial arts experience and wasn't in the best of shape when I arrived. But after my 3 month stay in China, I now talk about my life Before China and After China, haha. "

    "When you strip away all the usual noise and distraction from a busy-modern-day life, you really get to know yourself on another level. I learned what an amazing machine my body actually is, and how great it feels when you take good care of it. I learned how to deal with discomfort and that it really is a case of "mind over matter" (if you don't mind, it doesn't matter). And I learned to accept myself for who I am (which is a big step for a perfectionist like myself, hehe). I might not be great at everything (far from!), but I didn't give up. I walk away with so much more mental strength than when I arrived. "

    "After 3 months at the academy, I can proudly say I broke a brick with my bare hands, ran a quarter marathon every week, did no-handed cartwheels, got introduced to Chinese kickboxing, brandished a broadsword and met some of the most amazing people from all over the world. It was great to have a group of people who knew exactly what I was going through. We could share tips on how to do certain moves / kicks / jumps, laugh about the muscle aches and spend our free time chilling in the beautiful area. To sum it up: I had the time of my life! :) If you have even half a thought about going here, I strongly recommend you to do so now! In the words of Paolo Coelho: "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It's lethal"."

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  • Review by Valonda Theus from United States
    10 out of 10

    "Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is surrounded by an astonishing view of China’s countryside with remarkable scenery of farm life, lakes, and vegetation; which made everyday surreal in awakening to a new day of sunrises and sunsets, with the tranquility of peace and warmth as I begin my day with mediation and the adept knowledge and wisdom from the masters. "

    "This has been an amazing experience for me; I came to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy to learn Qi-gong and to focus upon non-combative Martial Arts, without hesitation, I am leaving with so much more than what I expected. I have learned three different types of Qi-gong lessons; stretching; soft Qi-gong, and hard Qi-gong which radiated much energy flow. I also learned the beginning level of the basic forms, and different forms of Martial Arts. I was taught stretching, conditioning, stamina training, and mandarin, and my body is much more flexible from the daily stretching and I have an outstanding degree of energy; with an enormous development of my character within three weeks of being here at the school. "

    "China is a culture much different than from America, and the people are so kind and giving they show much love and a sincere desire to share their knowledge with integrity, discipline and outstanding skills. I feel so grateful to have had this experience it has build character in me that will last a lifetime. The food was excellent, the right combination to allow us to be in good health and to still train very hard. I also appreciated having someone always available to attend to our needs and someone always open to help us understand anything we were having difficulty with in any procedure. "

    "The school delivered what they promised with integrity, ethics and with much love and understanding. I recommend this school to anyone who is seeking to learn Martial Arts, and having a more deeper understanding of man kind and what he/she is capable of doing as a human, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture or geographical location, we were one in spirit and like a family. My training helped me in finding the real me as a person this training brings out the person you never thought was there. I take these skills back home with me to America and hopefully I will be able to implement these skills in my daily life. Thank you so much."

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  • Review by VIkrant Singh from India
    10 out of 10

    "My experience in Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy was really pleasant, enjoyable and not to forget tough ( training ). Out of the many things I liked about the academy the was most was the transparency between the staff and the students, both Master Bao and Lisa will give you the best information on the subject (or at least that's what I think ) whether it be training, lodging/food or just normal day to day questions. "

    "Another thing I liked about the academy is that you are free to start from your own pace and then expected to gradually improve with time, but there is no pressure to start performing immediately, i.e there is no stigma attached to nitial bad performance, as I didn't have any martial arts performance before and kung fu was new to me i found this to be really helpful. My lodging at the school was comfortable and I liked the food as well, but that maybe because I am Indian ( we use similar base materials). "

    "I made a lot of new friends, got to know them a little during the course of my stay. We partied a few times and we took holiday in the middle as well. It was awesome . Overall I really enjoyed my stay and would love to come back, I would like to thank everyone at Maling Shan for making my trip a happy one and special thanks to Master Bao and his family for teaching and taking care of me. This is to anyone who is looking to come here to study, if you know that you really want to learn kung fu then Maling shan will surely not disappoint you, because after all the guidance, pushing and beatings(not too hard but enough to send a message!) of the masters your performance depends on your own-self, the more hard work you do the better you will get. The "No pain , No gain " as they say on the site is the gist of the training experience."

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  • Review by Wanja Matthaei from German
    10 out of 10

    "When I came to the Maling shan Martial arts academy, I had no experience in Kung Fu or Martial arts nor much of an idea what to expect. I got very unluckily injured on my first day of training, and almost left after being in bad for more than a week. But master Bao encouraged me a lot to hold on. He also took me to get some very interesting Chinese treatment for my injury, which fasten the healing process a lot. "

    "I already joined the training after 2 weeks again . At the time, I was training at the school, there were Master Bao and Master Lee who are both well experienced Masters in Master arts. It felt almost like having an personal trainer for yourself sometimes. I learned more than I thought in just five weeks of training. Not to forget to mention the delicious food the kitchen staff prepared for us every day. The Maling shan Kung Fu school is an ideal located school on the countryside of China, run by a very nice caring family. I also very much liked that the masters take time for each student to show them everything. I enjoyed the hard but well balanced training very much. It is recommendable for everyone not just for Kung Fu fantastics."

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  • Review by Wayne Mulei from United States
    10 out of 10

    "My interest in the Maling school started with the website, student reviews, and videos on Youtube. However, my decision to actually come to this school was greatly assisted through the email correspondence with Lisa. Her emails were very encouraging to me. She answered any and all questions I had in a prompt, friendly, and professional manner. Through the correspondence I really got the feeling that I was going to a good, well organized school. Also Lisa's assistance in helping me acquire a Visa, and coordinating airport pick­up and drop­off was profoundly reassuring. "

    "The school facility itself met and exceeded any and all expectations that I had. The rooms are neat and clean, with ample storage areas. The restrooms are of western style, with individual showers. There is always plenty of drinking water and the food is always hot and tasty. The training is rigorous and challenging. With a variety of Kung fu styles being taught, the student gets a chance to try them all out and see which is more to his or her interest. "

    "Though the training is intense at times, there was never a time where I felt unsafe or asked to do something that would cause a serious injury. The instructors are extremely patient and very knowledgeable. The instructors welcome questions and do not mind demonstrating a technique multiple time until the student grasps the idea. As a student I feel that I was pushed mentally and physically not only to to achieve my goals, but also to realize my highest potential as a martial arts practitioner. I would highly recommend this school to anyone interested in practicing Kung fu in China. From the novice to the experienced practitioner, all can benefit greatly from training at the Maling Shaolin Kung fu Academy."

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  • Review by Wessel Joren from Netherland
    10 out of 10

    "I studied at Maling Shaolin Academy for exactly 1 month and I really liked it there. The school is surrounded by farm lands and there is a small village nearby but you can walk to a close busstop and take the bus to the nearest city Xinyi. The school itself has an excellent and relaxt environment. The school looks really nice so you feel right at home. "

    "The training was excellent too because it was intense and divers. You practice tai chi, sanda, shoalin kungfu, baji and a lot more so there is a lot to learn. During my stay there where two trainers master Bao and master Du and you don't call them masters for no reason because they are really masters in shaolin kungfu. The training they taught was very good and as I have written before very intense and divers."

    "The cook serverd three meals a day. breakfast at 7, lunch at 12 and dinner at 6. And I must say the food was great. It was very healthy too because they served a lot of vegetables. So I'll sum up and say that my opinion of this place is that it is a really good place to practice kungfu for novice or expert because of the good training and masters. The food is awesome and environment too. I really want to thank Lisa for all the help she gave me and I want to thank Master Du and Master Bao for the excellent training."

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  • Review by Yannick Dellafaille from Belgium
    10 out of 10

    "When I arrived at the academy it was everything I expected it to be, it was the perfect place to train and learn kung fu. The masters are extremely skillful and the other students were friendly and helpful. I stayed there for one month and I wish that I could stay longe, I will just have to find some time to go and train there again soon. And I hope I can bring a friend with me, he would love the academy. "

    "The first week of training is the hardest, it's not easy to adapt to the program and it's hard to get up every morning to train, but the days just fly by so quickly once you get used to the rhyme. I just loved the schedule, for me it would start with technical excercises and by the end of the week there was power and stamina training, and when the weekend starts, you feel tired but strong. I remember the end of my first week, I had an injury which made it very hard for me to do the stamina training. When I finally completed it, I was just empty. It felt like my body and mind couldn't do anything but rest, so when the master told me to do one more excercise, I couldn't do it. He let me rest and explained to me why the stamina training was the last class of the week. He told me that the student should give every last bit of energy before the weekend starts. Later that day, I realized he was right and that I shouldn't give up that easily. It's important to trust the masters, they really know when you can do better. After that experience, I was motivated to train even harder. "

    "Training is hard but that's the way to get great results. When you need support you can always find it with the other students, training and living together makes you all family. And if there's a problem, you should tell the masters, they will listen and care, all they want is to make you as good as you can be. I only have good things to say about the academy, not only did I learn some kung fu, I also learned more about myself, and when I keep training here in Belgium I will use what I have learned in China. But of course, the academy is not only about training. It's about respecting others and having fun after training. I have great memories of our field trip to Maling mountain. I would like to thank everyone at the academy, I had a great experience and I will come back soon."

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  • Review by Yoav Yossinger from Israel
    10 out of 10

    "This place is the perfect place for people who like kung-fu. Whether you are experienced or not, you will become better in here. I came for only 2 months because I was obligated to other things at home, which I’m sorry for, but in only 2 months I've managed to improve the goals that I came with, I've improved my flexibility far beyond what I expected, my kicks got much stronger by improving techniques and physical strength and my fighting skills improved by sparing with the more experienced students. "

    "I have a lot of appreciation to both masters, master Bao and master Du that are very dedicated to their job. They put a lot of efforts to find the most suitable way for each of us to train by recognizing our body condition and the things we prefer doing. Other than that they have a lot of patience to us, crazy foreigners, which I didn't expect to get at all. They will answer any question, at any time, show you a certain move as many times you want and work with you on it as long as you need them to. "

    "Rather than training, the food, the environment and especially the other students, make you feel at home very quick. On weekends we used to go to the city- Xinyi, eat dinner with the other students, get a full body massage for just 9 USD and meet some Chinese friends that from some reason gave us a lot of attention. So I'll sum up and say that in my opinion this place is the perfect environment to put everything a side and focus on your kung fu, and I'm already looking forward for my next training season here."

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  • Review by Ayoub Did from United States
    10 out of 10

    "This is the second time I've come to China to train with my teacher, and I can't wait for the third time. The atmosphere here is great, it's a lot like a family; the teachers and translators are always willing to help you with any problems you may have. The area's great too, right in the country; you walk out the gate and you see farmlands and lakes, it's really beautiful. There's a small road that runs by the academy, one way takes you to where you can get a bus or taxi to the city, a ten minute walk the other way takes you to a small village. But even ignoring the scenery, it's a really good place to be, the accommodations are good, the food is really good, and the teachers and training are top-notch. The training I've got here is without a doubt, some of the best training I've ever had. It's been an incredible three months for me, and when I got the time and money again, I'm definitely coming back."

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  • Review by Brney Lyons from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "An excellent and comprehensive training experience, in two months I learnt far more than I thought possible thanks to patience and commitment of the schools outstanding teachers. Maling Kung Fu Academy offers an exceptionally diverse and adaptive training experience. In training here, you will cover all elements of Shaolin training; from meditative disciplines such as tai ji and qi gong to sanda, traditional forms and esoteric styles such as baji and bagua. Your fitness levels will also improve immensely - classes for stamina, power, stretching and conditioning are also included; while there is also time for explanations on the philosophy and theory behind the Chinese martial arts. "

    "The masters consistently diversify and alter the content of the lessons but not the schedule - so the training will always continue to be interesting and fulfilling and you will continue to improve whilst never getting bored. Students from all ages, backgrounds and abilities can easily and quickly fit into the training that allows you to push yourself as far as you possibly can. It does not matter how old you are or whether you have any martial arts background at all; the masters are immensely supportive and providing you display the appropriate attitude and commitment will have no problem in helping you to individually achieve your particular goals. They also have an unbelievable level of patience, something essential for teaching most ill-disciplined and inquisitive Westerners! "

    "The school also works hard to look after your individual needs outside of training; rom assistance in buying train tickets for visiting various parts of China to helping setup Mandarin classes or even teaching opportunities. They employ excellent translators who have a fluency in English far higher than most English speakers in China, and are quick to help with even the most trivial of issues. I would have no hesitation in recommending Maling Kung Fu Academy as an excellent and fulfilling experience and a true insight into the training and discipline of authentic Shaolin martial arts."

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  • Review by Bas van der Laan from Netherland
    10 out of 10

    "It was my first time abroad, and I wanted to start my adventures from one place, just to get used to the Asian culture. And learn Kung fu! I already had some experience with martial arts, but except for the kungfu movies and my dreams as a kid, I had no idea what to expect. And when finally the opportunity was there, I booked my flight, quited my job, and before I knew I was on the plane to China. I must say the thought of "what am I doing here" crossed my mind when I arrived in Xuzhou, but it left the second Sophie and master Bao picked me up from the station. And also on arrival at the school, I was instantly welcomed by all the other students, Lisa and Master Can. "

    "My first 2-3 weeks were pretty hard, but combined with the very good food from the Academy (every meal 4 different plates of food, slowly changing during the seasons) and a steady weekly rhythm, you are in a good training shape in no time. The months after that just seem to fly, and before I knew my training was over. I look back on a half year in which I've learned a lot of kungfu, made a lot of new friends, achieved most of my personal goals and "mastered" some weapons (master Bao taught me the iron chain whip in the end). "

    "I also lived and participated in some of the Chinese habits and celebrations which they all celebrate with the students. This all, combined with the change of seasons, I can say that I enjoyed a complete Chinese experience which I will never forget. Don’t get any illusions of flying-over-the-rooftops-kungfu, but if you train hard and love kungfu, you might get near it :p. The masters on the other hand have no problems doing those things, and it sometimes feels that you are in the middle of a kungfu movie."

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  • Review by Christian Luke Wright from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I had studied the martial arts for a few years before I went to Maling Shan and I considered myself to be quite a competent martial artist and I think deep down I sort of expected that when I arrived, the masters would quickly see my ability and proclaim that there was nothing more they could teach me. Needless to say, this did not happen. It quickly became apparent that I was a big fish from a very small pond that had suddenly been released into the ocean. It opened my eyes in a big way, the bar had suddenly been raised way above my head and I’m still rising to meet it. "

    "My time at Maling Shan changed me in ways I never expected, obviously I’m stronger, faster and a better martial artist than I was before but I’m also calmer, more focused and more appreciative of the fact that in order to get good at something, you need to work hard. Which brings me onto my next point, this place isn’t the Ritz, which isn’t to say it isn’t nice, the conditions are pleasant and the masters are fantastic, both as martial artists and as people (I have fond memories of shaolin snowball fights in the middle of winter) but do not come expecting the same standard of living as you have back home, everyone is there to train and everything else takes a back seat to that and you must be willing to give yourself to the training 110% all the time, again, I’m not saying that if you’re injured then you should drag yourself out of bed to train, that would be stupid, but if you’ve got a pulled muscle or maybe you just don’t feel like training that day then comes the point when you need to push yourself to work."

    "The masters don’t expect you to be the best but they do expect you to try your best. If you’re reading this, you must already be slightly interested, so do it, it’s a fantastic experience and something I can wholeheartedly recommend. If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I can help you with anything you need. Thank you!"

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  • Review by Dane Davies from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "This academy really is a wonderful place. The training and caring nature of the masters is unrivalled. The masters listen to your own goals and help push you to your limits. I only had a limited time of 7 weeks to spend here, whilst on a career break, but in this time I’ve learnt Staff, Sword and Tai Chi, together with transforming my fitness levels. Having previously spent time at another Shaolin academy in China, I can hand on heart say this has been a more conducive place to learn. I think this is also reflected in the fact you have several long-term talented students choosing to stay here rather than other places in China. "

    "The local surroundings are quite beautiful, with a lot of money being invested in the area including 2 new Buddhist temples within walking distance, together with spectacular parkland and lakes. During some training sessions we would visit these places which was really enjoyable. The academy itself is traditional and calm."

    "Food is basic but actually very tasty, and there are hot showers and a western toilet. Rooms are very comfortable and have wifi – when you come I’d recommend you bring a laptop as there are not many communal computers. I think what really sets this academy apart is the masters. I learnt under Master Bao and Master Du, and it has been a real honour. They are patient, thorough and incredibly talented martial artists – both having trained in the Shaolin Temple and have had years of teaching experience. If you hadn’t guessed by now. I’d thoroughly recommend this academy for both novices and talented martial artists. It has made me a stronger person – both mentally and physically. Feel free to contact me if you have any general questions about the academy."

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  • Review by Daniel Domain from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I studied at Maling Shan Academy for four weeks. They were literally a brand new school when I arrived with only a few students but were fully operational by the time that I left. It is set fairly deep in rural China surrounded by farming villages so you should be prepared for a slight culture shock but a short bus ride will take you into the nearest city which has most modern conveniences. The facilities at the academy are basic but functional. "

    "Master Du and Master Bao are very competent instructors and speak enough English to communicate effectively. They have different teaching styles that are complimentary to one another and both are very dedicated to what they do. There is also an administrative translator on site to fill in the gaps and assist with any needs or concerns you may have. "

    "The training is top notch and physicallydemanding. As with most things in life, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. The most impressive thing about the academy is the staff’s desire and drive to constantly improve all aspects in order to become a first rate experience and instructional facility. If I choose to continue my martial arts training I would definitely consider spending more time at Maling Shan."

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  • Review by Daniel Hugo from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I have been studying kung fu at the academy for about three months. It must be one of the best decisions I have ever made! The masters I don’t think I have ever met someone like them, and I probably never will again. They will always think about you before they think of themselves, they are as tough as they are kind, they kept surprising me every day, by how much knowledge they have in being a good person, and how much they could destroy you if they wanted to. They are so patient with you and they are so eager to learn you what they know, but do it at a pace where everybody can keep up. I am truly proud that I have been there. "

    "The training itself, is very hard, but at the same time relaxing, if that makes any sense. my body was totally done after the first 2 weeks, even though I am professional soldier in Denmark, and work out every day, but my mind kept sharp and relax during training, and even more after training was done. It really cleanses your sole and body. I can do nothing but recommend it to all people! I also met a lot of international friends there, whom I’m definitely going to see again soon."

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  • Review by Dave Shen Jinsong from Taiwan
    10 out of 10

    "I do like to level up my own martial arts skills and organize my thought and also traveling around China, so i decided to come to Maling Shaolin Academy. In the time i study here, i learned a few forms that i was always interested in, including Bagua and Taichi. Master Bao is very gentle with patience to show me how to do for every move and explained the theory for me when i have questions. That really helped me in studying difficult internal forms to understand and remember. He is also a hard trainer, always push us to our limit. Translator Lisa and Sophie are very nice, they helped every one to fix all our problems in the academy. "

    "The food was delicious with big volume. It saves us after hard training. We usually eat it all up. Our masters are also good friends. We share and help each other, sweat and laugh together. We are just like a family made up by people from different countries around the world. I use free time to study by myself (some people they work over the internet). I finished few subjects and also some good books. Now i understand myself better, my body is stronger and tougher with more flexibility. My mind is clearer and maturer after the independent group life. "

    "I feel happier and more self-confident than before. I do appreciate a lot to every one in the academy. The masters used much care to help me to get my own target. The masters showed me somethings above culture and blood. This great experience will become the power in my life to move forward in martial arts way. If you are looking for a good place to train and study kung fu(martial arts as well), then this is the right choice i have made. Hope one day i’ll come back for more studies. Good bye, Maling Shaolin Academy. Thanks for everything."

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  • Review by Davina Goh from Malaysia
    10 out of 10

    "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."

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  • Review by Duncan Greenwood from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "First of all, very sad to be leaving Maling Shan! I was glad i came to stay here and learn such a martial art in its country of origin. I believed that i learned a lot, and really improved myself in my short time here. I achieved my goals: improving my flexibility,coordination and balance. Sometimes my ability and limits were tested, so i learned things about myself. This was a great opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world. Also to live in a different country and see it for myself-especially in a part of China that is hardly visited by foreigners. Very happy with the standard of teaching, especially by Master Bao. Although I learned quite a lot of new things very quickly, the Masters always gave proper explanations of all the moves. I am especially grateful to Master Bao for his early morning Tai Chi classes and for teaching me how to break bricks and marble!"

    "While I personally received excellent instruction from Master Wang, i felt that he and Master Liu were often inconsistent in their teachings. Sanda classes were ofter not well run, and i thought that a lot of new students were not taught everything that they should have been. To deal with this in the future, i would suggest that ant new masters who come there should are meant to learn. Also even when there are other masters teaching, i think it would be good for Master Bao to come and supervise some more of the classes. I think that the kitchen working staff did a great job in making the students meals. Very good that there was no MSG(Wei jing ) in the students’ food, or too much oil-that was very good for the health of the students. One other suggestion i have, is try to prevent students from getting injured during training. Of course some people will get hurt, but sometimes this could have been avoided. Finally I would definitely recommend Maling Shan school to anyone interested in going to China to learn martial arts. I gained so much from my time here, and i think it would be a great experience if you stay for a month, or a year."

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  • Review by Else Marte Thue Remen from Norway
    10 out of 10

    "Wow three months goes by so quickly.. But at the same time it feels like ages ago since I arrived at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy China for first time in March. It has been the best months of my entire life! So much pain and joy, hard work, and progress."

    "I cried so much on my way back home. Going back to "normal" feels so wierd, because normal has suddently become kung fu. As Davina said "This place is pure magic". To all of you who have stayed at the school during my time there: Thank you a thousand times for making it the time of my life! I love you, my kung fu family."

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  • Review by Emil Timan from Swedia
    10 out of 10

    "Being new to martial arts, and wushu in particular, I was somewhat nervous about the whole thing when I decided to come here. However after being here a while I quickly started to like the friendly and nice atmosphere everyone showed! If you come here, I am positive you will find helpful friends, and the best tutoring you could possibly get from a trainer. Now that I am done with my trip here, I'm hundred percent positive I will return when an opportunity shows up. "

    "That being said, in the beginning the main concern for me was weather or not the school was real and had the things I'd been reading about. Planning a six month trip to China can be quite a big deal. I decided to take the leap of faith and will never regret this a single day. In terms of training, understand that while here, training is what you do. Of course the ways of training is different from person to person, it does not matter what is your age, what is your gender or starting point if physical shape. None of this should have discouraging effect because you can be sure that when here you will train what you need in your pace while simultaneously being able to push limits further and further. "

    "Before I came here I had a lot of experience in Parkur and Free running thinking that I could probably do a lot we would learn already. I don’t really have to say that the more I learned here, the more I learned that I knew so little. This was unlike any training I have ever done before and a lesson I'll bring back home is that all that really matters with training is not physical strength or weakness but only what willpower or discipline you have. The academy itself is a wonderful place, with green trees in the middle of the training and student rooms and a nice pond in the middle of it all. We have showers, toilets and a kitchen that produces good food every day ;) My biggest of thanks to the wonderful staff in charge of making food and taking care of the academy, the awesome translator who has become a really good friend, and of course the super- Masters Can and Master Bao! These guys, whaow!"

    "In conclusion I want to say you will have the time of your life here, learning to break bricks, go to the city and enjoy good food and meet friendly Chinese people. All this with the wonderful friends you will find here."

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  • Review by Fouche Burger from South Africa
    10 out of 10

    "I would like to start by thanking my master for being an amazing teacher. Even with a language barrier Master Le managed to be the best martial arts teacher I ever had. I found master Le to be very patient with his students even when he had to explain somthing multiple times. Master also kept himself open to all questions. I really appreciate this aspect since I beleve that a good understanding of a martial art is just as important as doing the moves correctly. I found the school and the staff very good. I realy enjoyed living here. I am hoping to return to the school in the future for a longer period of time. Thank you very much for an amazing Kung fu experience."

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  • Review by George Sklavounos from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "I loved my time at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy. The training was rigorous and amazing, the masters are ridiculous feats of human engineering, and everyone was so nice and friendly that from the minute I arrived I felt instantly welcomed. Everything from eating unlimited pizza in Xinyi on the weekends to feeling the last week’s power stretching on Monday morning to being amazed at the workout you can get from lifting two bricks went above and beyond my expectations."

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  • Review by Grant Dinn from South Africa
    10 out of 10

    "I would just like to start off by saying that, it is quite obvious when reading through the other students references that as far as training and the Masters go if you want to learn traditional Shaolin Kung-Fu and you have the ways, means and guts to go halfway around the world to do it, then this is definitely place to go! So I will not say too much about that. Besides the top quality training there are the people that you will meet, train and live with and, I must say that living at the academy for a year, I had the great privilege of meeting many awesome people from all over the world and from many walks of life which just adds to the experience. "

    "When you arrive at Maling Shan you instantly become part of a family, all with a common interest; Kung-Fu. I believe that this is the reason everyone gets along so well there! Although you have left your home, family and friends, Maling Shan the Masters, Translators and other students quickly make you feel right at home again! not one day goes by without me thinking of my home away from home! So you know that the Masters are brilliant, patient and noligable teachers, plus almost everyone you stay with will more than likely become lifelong friends even if they live in a different part of the world and, that there is so much to do and see in China for a traveler as well. "

    "There is not much else to say except, if you are on this website and are thinking of coming here to train for whatever reason, maybe you are stressed and need to get away for a while or, you have a holiday coming up and would like to do something different I don’t know. All I can say is do it! Get involved and see for yourself. I promise you will not regret it ;) Thanks to everyone at Maling Shan (especially Master Bao and Master Du) for giving me what was probably the best year of my Life!"

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  • Review by Gregory Nichols from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "The academy was a place that I was initially going to have a break, calm my mind and focus on only training, I was not to know it was going to become so much more to me! It was a place I learnt techniques in martial arts that lived up to my expectations, and greatly exceeded them. It was a place where like-minded people from around the world became my support network, my family, my Kung Fu brothers. It was a place where I had the most unique experiences while training under the most knowledgeable of masters, while venturing out on local and non local trips, while living in the most extreme temperatures a simple boy from London has ever experienced."

    "A common misconception is that the masters will be super strict and be on your back every minute of your training. My master had a different philosophy. You train Kung Fu for you, and you alone. If you do not push yourself then what use is your learning when you are away from your master. This ideal was perfect for me, and allowed me to develop even more than I could have hoped for. My flexibility, my stamina, my speed and my strength have increased to the best they have been in years! The masters are still strict however, and they will push you as long as you push yourself. In my 8 months there I do not regret a single day. There were classes and areas that I found I did not enjoy as much as others, but still seeing those classes through helped me understand Kung Fu to greater degree. "

    "I personally think that this academy is more suited if you want a broad experience of Kung Fu styles, with a slightly heavier slant towards sanda. Shaolin is the main, but warmups, applications, takedowns, sparring all involve Sanda, so be aware if you want just Shaolin. I am not a Sanda guy at all, but still could enjoy the amount we had without it being too much. I learnt a great mix of forms in my time, from fists to broadsword, from group Bo Staff to animal forms. I definitely have a good standard of forms to train and develop while I’m away from the academy. If you are thinking about doing this, for however long, just do it. The people you will meet will be cool, the masters and staff are so supportive, the area itself is so far removed from our world (western) it has to be seen. Plus, you will learn some of the greatest things from the greatest people, which may reveal some things you didn’t know about. Thanks to my Masters; Master Bao, Master Wei, Master Du and Master Wang. Thanks to the support staff; Mona, Lisa, Terya, Mamma Bao, Pappa Bao and new Mamma Bao. "

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  • Review by Hannah Ayres from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I came to china because of my curiosity to the outside world and the outside world I found. if I had to describe how i felt in a sentence it would be "breath taking if I wasn't all ready speechless". At home I'm a dancer I'm used to feathers and bright lights. I had never trained in martial arts before arriving here however the Masters were so patient with me they didn't make me feel like a silly Westerner. I gave it 100% which is nothing compared to their strength, respect and dedication towards the arts. "

    "I cannot complement them enough for everything they have done even when i was sick they nursed me better than any doctor you could have wished for. Every day you can feel your technique improving, they explain everything in full detail so you truly understand all the applications. They push you hard but to each person’s fitness level. I have been made to feel welcome here everybody has been fantastic, Thank you. "

    "The accommodation was clean, comfortable and the food was great, so tasty. I'm a little disappointed i have to go home to England and eat our flavourless food. We are surrounded by picturesque fields that could have been taken straight out of eye witness travel, I loved the village near by it gives you great sense of community spirit, they welcome you like surrogate mothers. There is everything anyone could need here. It was a really nice surprise to find out there was Internet in our bedrooms. After the first few days of training my hamstrings were so tight i couldn't walk mymuscles were so sore it hurt to run and its that moment you realise that you still have 27 days left remember 1 thing: Courage is a hard thing to figure, you can have courage on a dumb idea or a mistake. Anyone can have courage but Honor that's the real reason you do something or you don't. it's who you want to be. If you die trying for something important then you have both honour and courage and that pretty cool. You should hope for courage and try for honour. I would be pleased for any prospective students to contact me and i will answer any questions that they have."

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  • Review by Jaz Worrell from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I had such an amazing time, I would recommend it to anyone! Everything about this place is fantastic; the staff, the academy, the training, the food! I was trained primarily in a small group by Master Li and can not begin to explain how much I learnt / my progress over the 3 months I was there. It's a busy day, (from 6AM to 6PM if you participate in all the classes) but the Masters will break you down and build you back up. It's hard work but the transformation in yourself / the friends you train with is almost instant. It was no doubt a hard and challenging experience but so worth it. If you're thinking about it, but not sure, just go for it! Book it! It's great! "

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  • Review by Joakim Dahl from Norway
    10 out of 10

    "Before going to China, my goal was just to soak up as much knowledge as I possibly could, going to the country where martial arts originated from. I was excited to be trained by a Shaolin Master, and to experience China, the real way. Going to a far away country all by myself was scary, but once I sat safely in Master Bao’s car, at the train station in Xuzhou everything was a smooth ride from there (as safe as you can be in Chinese traffic). At the school everyone was lovely. The other students were nice and welcoming, and the staff (especially the translator – shout out to Sophie!), made me feel at home instantly."

    "If you don’t have a lot of training experience (martial arts or otherwise) you’ll swiftly be whipped into shape. I myself was doing all right on the fitness front when I first came, which allowed me to progress with the Shaolin training quickly. In my four months here I was able to gain knowledge of the Shaolin basics. Concurring two fist forms, a staff form and a broadsword form, the later being the one I had anticipated the most (swords are cool, deal yo.) Anyways, if you are already reading up on going to China, I recommend you to. You will grow as a person, and you’ll learn a lot. Good Luck!"

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  • Review by Julian Peters from German
    10 out of 10

    "Today is the last night of my Shaolin Kungfu journey. One year passed by and I met so many inspiring people from all around the world... it was awesome, Thankyou , each and everyone who made this year so wonderful. I hope we can meet again. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy China is an incredible place to enhance your mind and body I recommend it to everyone who is looking for a challenge. I will move on to the second part of my journey with Andrew Bradley, Muay Thai and MMA in Thailand, Phuket."

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  • Review by Kai Lars Lieser from German
    10 out of 10

    "Right after my 23. birthday I went to China to spent 3 months at Maling Shan from April to June 2014. It was an very spontaneous act and Lisa helped me really good and quick with my questions belonging to my visa and stay in China. It was the best choice ever,I had an awesome time and made a lot of experiences. In 3 months you will learn a lot. I never did Kung Fu before but I really fall in love with. My flexibility, stamina, muscles and of course mind improved very good during the time. I don’t want to miss the time. I made good friends, Shaolin brothers/sisters and met a lot new nice people. Master Bao and Lisa built up a very nice Academy and they work very hard to make their dream come true. They are both very nice and I am glad that I met them. "

    "The masters are great and very awesome persons with a great spirit and I’m very thankful to Master Tang and Master Li, who both trained me. They were my first masters and always will be my main masters of course.I didn't have had the pleasure to train with Master Can. But he is also very awesome and we had an great weekend when we picked him up in his hometown. Also I am very thankful to Daisy who is a brilliant translator and friend. We had a lot fun during class and Mandarin lessons. The Academy is built very new and in a good condition and has western standards. Around the Academy you have a beautiful landscape and it is perfect for training. Also the Chinese culture is very nice and unique. We celebrated a few Birthdays, had BBQ, went to a Theme Park, Swimming. Those are only a few activities you will probably do in your free time. Always make sure to push yourself and you will be able to fulfill your dreams. I will definitely go back sooner or later."

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  • Review by Karl Kingscote from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I stayed at Maling shan kung fu academy for four months. This is the third academy I’ve been to in china living and training for a total of 1 and half years. I can safely say that this is the best academy I have visited in china. I already had a good level in shaolin kung fu before arriving at Maling shan but in the short months that I stayed there I managed to gain a huge amount of improvement to the thanks of the Masters there. This is a testament to the quality of teaching you get from the masters here because improvements like that are hard to achieve at this level. Despite the lack of training equipment the area that we trained in and the masters training plan certainly made up for it. The living of standards are up to par and the food was more than acceptable. I recommend this academy to anyone looking to start learning or continue learning shaolin kung fu. I’d just like to finish by expressing my gratitude to both Master Boa and Master Du for their help, Thank you!"

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  • Review by Kevin Sa from United States
    10 out of 10

    "I've had the great honor of staying almost a full year at the school. I was welcomed and shown both respect and understanding from students and staff as soon as I entered. Every student was new at one point, and the first two weeks are the typical transitioning period to adjust to the training. Academy members know this and actively assist new members to adapt to the environment. "

    "The school is somewhat like home with the added benefit of improving your martial arts skills under the guidance of amazing masters. Every movement the masters make in class demonstrates their prowess in martial arts and their years of experience. With the occasional help of the talented translators, the masters effectively communicate movements and concepts to the students. For example, I came to the school with some experience in taekwondo, and I thought I knew how to kick properly. Master Li and Master Du both improved my ability to perform multiple kinds of kicks in ways that I had not even considered prior to attending the academy. In truth, every movement I do now feels more polished than when I arrived. Having a basic understanding of Shaolin Kungfu can help any martial artist improve his/her own style. "

    "For those who do not have any experience in martial arts, this school is the perfect place to get introduced to the field. Every student I've met has been more than willing to help with any issue or question both in and outside of training. We're a family here, and we all help each other learn and grow in our shared interest. The masters are very patient. They're used to dealing with new students and many questions, so you can feel free to ask for clarification. The academy's intended to help you enhance your skills as long as you're willing to put in the effort to make it happen. "

    "I've lost roughly 28 kilograms (61 pounds) of weight during my stay at the school. The constant exercise and shift in diet can be great for improving overall health. For me in particular, that weight loss takes off so much strain from my knees. I dislocated my left knee a few years ago, and to be honest I wasn't sure I was going to be able to survive here when I first looked at the old website back home. Despite that, I managed to join in the training and do pretty well. I can't emphasis enough how much everyone at the academy supports each other. You'll surprise yourself when you see progress relatively soon after arrival. If you have the time, give this school a chance. You won't regret it."

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  • Review by Lars Klingenberg from Norway
    10 out of 10

    "I have always dreamed of going to China. And I have always dreamed of learning Kung Fu. So why not do both at the same time? I have never done much of martial arts, so Kung Fu was new to me. This school taught me a lot about Chinese martial arts, the Chinese culture, the language, but most important, myself. After being at Maling Shan, I realized that nothing is impossible if you work hard enough And I have never been able to push myself that long and hard that I can do today, and that is because of the good Masters at Maling Shan. I highly recommend this school for people who want to learn Shaolin Kung Fu and want to see China from another perspective then Beijing and Shanghai. I will definitely go back if I get the chance! Thank you for 4 awesome months with Kung Fu at Maling Shan! "

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  • Review by Leifennie Asanuddin Ang from Malaysia
    10 out of 10

    "Going to China to train in Malingshan was a spontaneous decision. I spent a good amount of time researching on other schools and decided on Malingshan due to the value of the training. I have never enjoyed going to the gym or working out but since I have made it a habit, I continued to maintain an active lifestyle. What I love about this school is that the training is enjoyable and the masters push you beyond your perceived capability. You'll be amazed what your body can do! I've learnt so much about myself in such a short time. The school respects the students' suggestions and ensures to improve the school activities and facilities. In conclusion, this spontaneous decision is one of the best ones I've made. I will continue to maintain martial arts spirit!"

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  • Review by Louise Dixon from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I had no idea what to expect going to the Maling Kung Fu Academy and so I thought it was important to write a student experience not only for you readers but also to show how grateful I am to everyone at the academy. I'm a 47 year old female from the UK who has been interested in Kung Fu and Qi Gong for a while and I finally decided to do something about it. You only live once, well as far as we know, right?"

    "I'd been inactive for nearly five years and a smoker and never done martial arts before. I had my last cigarette the day before I flew to China to start me on my new healthy life style. The training was tough, the running, body stretching and conditioning, doing (and remembering) the Shaolin forms, all of it. But I had fun and a lot of support from the masters and the other students. One Friday I ran 5 Km without stopping. I amazed myself, especially as I'd never run before to keep fit. The Masters (Master Bau, Master Tang and Master Lee) are great teachers and they really care about you and help you progress at your own pace. "

    "Good nutritious food is freshly prepared every day by Master Bau's mother and father. Lisa, Master Bau's wife takes care of the administration side and has better English than me! The other students help and support you too and make you feel welcome as soon as you arrive. And last but by no means least Daisy, the translator is helpful, friendly and funny and always around to help you. I really enjoyed taking the Mandarin and Calligraphy lessons with her too. I am so grateful to all of you and for the experience I had. I have kicked started an active life style in an interesting way and had an awesome introduction to Martial Arts! Love to you all, Lou."

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  • Review by Marysel Charol from Australia
    10 out of 10

    "Having no Kung Fu experience and travelling on my own to a foreign country where I couldn't speak the language, I was anxious, excited and nervous all at the same time. My mind was quickly put at ease from the moment I arrived at the academy. The other students were so welcoming, supportive and friendly. They were from different backgrounds, countries, various ages and walks of life. It wasn't long before the academy felt like my home away from home. "

    "The Masters were so knowledgeable and skilled. They were very approachable, professional, patient and tailored the lessons as needed according to the different levels and ability of the students. I was amazed at their grace, strength and capabilities. They not only taught us lessons in Kung Fu but also in everyday life by their humbleness and kind spirits. I came to the academy wanting to test myself - mind and body. That I did and then some. The training was hard. The first week I was in pain and used muscles I had never used before. In the little time I got to spend at the academy I increased my strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. I learnt so much from Tai Chi to shaolin forms and how to apply them as well as Sanda. Just when I thought I pushed myself to my limits Master Bao, Can and Li often showed me that I could go a little further or push myself a little harder allowing me to exceed my own expectations."

    "The academy itself was clean, comfortable, provided the essentials and is surrounded by some beautiful scenery and nature. The local people were friendly and when running around town on my own I always felt safe. The supporting staff Lisa, Sophie and Mama Bao were also so kind, helpful and welcoming. They added to the enjoyable atmosphere and made mandarin lessons fun as well as provided some great food. I didn't just grow stronger physically and mentally but the whole experience (i.e training, people and culture) helped me grow as a person. I am so grateful to have met some beautiful people. Some whom I will remain friends with for many years to come. "

    "I want to especially thank Master Bao, Master Can, Lisa and Sophie for a life changing experience that I will never forget. My only wish is to have had more time there and when the next opportunity arises I will be back. I recommend the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy to anyone and everyone whether you are wanting to learn Kung Fu from some of the best Masters or just looking for an adventure, I ensure you; you will have no regrets, only great memories and an experience of a lifetime."

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  • Review by Matt Harvey from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "On my first day at Maling Kung Fu Academy I was a bag of nerves not exactly sure what to expect, however the nerves soon subsided from all the welcoming faces, both masters and students. My time here has been an out of this world experience, I've learned a lot more about myself through vigorous training and positive direction from my teacher-Master Wang. For a good few years I had got myself into a funk where I was deeply unmotivated, loss of confidence in myself, depression. But by coming here I've almost completed turned myself around. I'm a happy person again. I'll always keep the message that Master Wang teaches us locked in my very soul, which is to push past your limits, pain is something that you inevitably encounter during training but you must keep strong and push past these temporary feelings of pain, fatigue both physically and mentally."

    "I find the training schedule to be a well balanced and put together program, but of course there will always be classes you like more than others (damn you jumps and rolls) but weaknesses are meant to be worked on. The food is fantastic and if I'm honest before coming here I was a fussy eater so I had convinced myself I would have problems in that department. But my tastebuds quickly craved the food here at the academy. Leaving the academy will be a sad ordeal however it's going to be refreshing to be going home and apply what I've learned here to my life. I'll never forget my time here as it will forever be turning point in my life. I would recommend this wonderful place to anyone who wants to experience something different."

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  • Review by Michael Durojaiye from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "I would like to say that the school has taught me a lot, like: being positive, peace of mind, working as a team, strong mind, pushing myself. It has been a journey, first aim was to drop my weight, which Master Du helped me with. My sanda got better, which I really loved, thank you Master Wong. Even though. I have been injured an is the reason why I am leaving, I still did a lot and got better at other things. the school was very comfortable and peaceful to live in, the food was great, made good friends, students, translator and masters. I would hope that once I have a good surgery I would be back to finish what I started. Thank you all the help!"

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  • Review by Noconda Le Grand from United States
    10 out of 10

    "As I began my voyage into the abyss of a far away land. My nerves shot from the anticipation of what was yet to come. Here I stand over weight, smoker, and mentally incompetent to hold a conversation. Yet I was still not willing to give up my childhood dream. After countless emails over a years time, with Lisa the head masters wife. I finally convinced my family to stop freaking out and let me be on my way. "

    "At first the training was strenuous. For the first two weeks I was unable to walk. I was in luck, here you are bound to meet people (yes boys and girls are allowed here too train together) who share common goals, and interest. They will be your crutches in the time of need. I know they were when I literally could not walk. Although the training is ruff it gradually becomes easier. You will see results very quickly, mentally and physically. You become faster, stronger, and more flexible. Honestly you get as much in return as you are willing to put in. The masters will break you down, and build you back up. Things you may have thought were out of reach such as breaking a brick with your bare hand, doing a full side split, being able to jump up and side kick someone to the dome(head). All these remarkable things can now be with in the grasp of your finger tips."

    "Here you are guaranteed to improve mentally and physically, or even both! I have met some truly remarkable people that I will never forget, some who will be at my wedding! Some who I will be forever in a pirate crew with! The abilities of the masters left me speechless with out a doubt every time. Now some things you need to know. I was here for all of China’s seasons. Make sure you bring the right clothes for the time period you will arrive. Example; You will be sweating off kilos in the summer bring light clothing. Winter-cold as heck have grandma knit you some awesome holiday sweaters and socks! The food you may need to get use too. Don’t think coming here is going to be Chinese food you get from take out. This is the real deal. We grow, and raise most of what we eat. If you are looking for a experience that you will never forget this is the place for you. It allows you to learn traditional kung fu and Sanda while being in China. I know I will never be the same after this trip."

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  • Review by Morten Pedersen from Denmark
    10 out of 10

    "The feelings inside me right now is maybe the hardest to describe in the world. We just stood there waiting, the guys around me played: every step I take, every move I make, I be missing you. I had a small speech prepared, but I just couldn’t do it, the tears choked me completely, so I decided that the speech would be a part of this blog. My life has always been lived in moments. I live by a quote: life is not measured by every breath we take, but the moments that takes our breath away. Maybe that is why one of my favorite songs with westlife is called moments. In the song they sing : every moment we shared together is even better than the moment before, if every day was as good at today was, then I can’t wait until tomorrow comes. This has been my life at MSKFA. Every moment just out shined the next one. "

    "Thepeople I had around me continued to amaze me. You are all a part of my family now and that means I will always be there for you. I consider family the closest thing in the world. I love you guys. Looking back at one year at MSKFA. The people I have met, the things I have tried, the chances I took. It has been amazing. I have loved every second of my stay at MSKFA, even though I have complained a lot hehe. I hope that one day I will return to my home in China, because right now sitting back in Denmark, my home is still with my kung fu family in China. I miss all of it, and I wish I was still there. "

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  • Review by Gregory Nichols from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "The academy was a place that I was initially going to have a break, calm my mind and focus on only training, I was not to know it was going to become so much more to me! It was a place I learnt techniques in martial arts that lived up to my expectations, and greatly exceeded them. It was a place where like-minded people from around the world became my support network, my family, my Kung Fu brothers. It was a place where I had the most unique experiences while training under the most knowledgeable of masters, while venturing out on local and non local trips, while living in the most extreme temperatures a simple boy from London has ever experienced."

    "A common misconception is that the masters will be super strict and be on your back every minute of your training. My master had a different philosophy. You train Kung Fu for you, and you alone. If you do not push yourself then what use is your learning when you are away from your master. This ideal was perfect for me, and allowed me to develop even more than I could have hoped for. My flexibility, my stamina, my speed and my strength have increased to the best they have been in years! The masters are still strict however, and they will push you…as long as you push yourself."

    "In my 8 months there I do not regret a single day. There were classes and areas that I found I did not enjoy as much as others, but still seeing those classes through helped me understand Kung Fu to greater degree. I personally think that this academy is more suited if you want a broad experience of Kung Fu styles, with a slightly heavier slant towards sanda. Shaolin is the main, but warmups, applications, takedowns, sparring all involve Sanda, so be aware if you want just Shaolin. I am not a Sanda guy at all, but still could enjoy the amount we had without it being too much. I learnt a great mix of forms in my time, from fists to broadsword, from group Bo Staff to animal forms. I definitely have a good standard of forms to train and develop while I’m away from the academy."

    "If you are thinking about doing this, for however long, just do it. The people you will meet will be cool, the masters and staff are so supportive, the area itself is so far removed from our world (western) it has to be seen. Plus, you will learn some of the greatest things from the greatest people, which may reveal some things you didn’t know about."

    "Thanks to my Masters; Master Bao, Master Wei, Master Du and Master Wang. Thanks to the support staff; Mona, Lisa, Terya, Mamma Bao, Pappa Bao and new Mamma Bao."

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  • Review by Mattew Harvey from United Kingdom
    10 out of 10

    "On my first day at Maling Kung Fu Academy I was a bag of nerves not exactly sure what to expect, however the nerves soon subsided from all the welcoming faces, both masters and students. My time here has been an out of this world experience, I’ve learned a lot more about myself through vigorous training and positive direction from my teacher-Master Wang. For a good few years I had got myself into a funk where I was deeply unmotivated, loss of confidence in myself, depression. But by coming here I’ve almost completed turned myself around. I’m a happy person again. I’ll always keep the message that Master Wang teaches us locked in my very soul, which is to push past your limits, pain is something that you inevitably encounter during training but you must keep strong and push past these temporary feelings of pain, fatigue both physically and mentally."

    "I find the training schedule to be a well balanced and put together program, but of course there will always be classes you like more than others (damn you jumps and rolls) but weaknesses are meant to be worked on. The food is fantastic and if I’m honest before coming here I was a fussy eater so I had convinced myself I would have problems in that department. But my taste buds quickly craved the food here at the academy."

    "Leaving the academy will be a sad ordeal however it’s going to be refreshing to be going home and apply what I’ve learned here to my life. I’ll never forget my time here as it will forever be turning point in my life. I would recommend this wonderful place to anyone who wants to experience something different."

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  • Review by Antoine Lagasse from Belgium
    10 out of 10

    "As a returning student, I was glad to see that the school spirit is still there: friendly school staff, always open to help; friendly students, carrying about each other; passionate and highly knowledgeable masters; intense training schedule; and flexibility during the training session to adapt the training level to each person and group. Otherwise, I like the improvement you brought to the school with the sandbag hall area and the central heating system that must be a very good improvement during the cold season. I also noticed that the meat quantity was increased in the dishes (this is nice :-p) and watermelons were true delicacies - without forgetting the amazing dumplings! Thank you mama Bao! In addition, I appreciated very much the effort Mona did to teach me the Chinese basics and at the same time keep teaching to more advanced students. I also appreciated very much to have a kind of welcome pack with toilet paper and a small bottle of water prepared for the new arriving student. Overall, I truly enjoy my stay at the school."

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  • Review by Abudy Malak from Lebanon

    "If you’re reading this section, that means you’ve already found your next potential destination but still want to dig deeper. I myself have read many of those testimonials and have found them to be extremely helpful. I hope my experience detailed below can do the same for you. First of all, a quick summary for those readers who are intimidated by long endless paragraphs."

    "Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is the real deal. It is an enchanting place that will both inspire, challenge, and ultimately transform you in every way. The masters, Shaolin Warrior monks, are extremely talented and experienced and they never cease to amaze while they go out of their way to teach diligently. The management and support staff keep the academy afloat in terms of logistics, student affairs, and general matters at all times. Located in the heart of green farmlands within the rustic landscapes of Maling Mountain, the academy offers all the amenities one might need. The training is difficult but is designed for all types of students, from professional martial artists to general athletes, from the highly spiritual or just curious adventurers who want to experience something new. The bottom line is, if you’re reading this section, your sub-conscience has already made the decision for you - take a leap of faith and make it happen."

    "And now more details for you other readers who may be slightly suspicious, meticulous, or simply bored."

    "First of all, yes, this school exists. It seems many of the students I met there were very skeptical during their research as society has conditioned most of us to be wary when it comes to the far east. Add to that the fact that there are many scams online these days so it is somewhat understandable that some of you are still in disbelief. Word of advice, read everything on the website. I have found the literature available to be extremely helpful and it prepared me both mentally and physically. I was rarely caught off guard during my one year stay with the exception of the unexpected happy surprises :)"

    "Now, the training. During my year in Maling, I have experienced the most difficult challenges of my life whereby my body, mind, and soul were constantly put to the test, day in day out. The training is strenuous, tiring, demanding, and merciless - and mind you, while we are getting the authentic Shaolin treatment, it is a watered down version that shies in comparison with what our masters have gone through in the Shaolin Temple in Deng Feng city (which I visited and was absolutely worth it). On my first week, one of my Kung Fu brothers made it a point not to share the details of the training in order to appreciate its different elements as I experienced them. I will do the same, though there is a class schedule on the site that shows you what a typical week would be like."

    "Expect pain and suffering. Remember, the training is meant to challenge you and push the boundaries your mind has wrongfully placed for you over the years. The harder you push, the more rewarding your results are. As such, listen to the masters at all times even if you think you cannot anymore. Also, the old students always have valuable advice to give, all you gotta do is just ask."

    "You can expect to get much more athletic, agile, flexible, and stronger in general while increasing your overall stamina and resistance to pain. The weekly schedule is designed in a way to keep things different every day so that no sense of routine and boredom creeps in during the week. If you stay there for a long duration, however, every week will go by extremely fast and weeks will start blurring and melting into one another."

    "I had zero experience in martial arts coming in, and upon completing my journey, I can honestly say that I discovered a new passion in Shaolin Kung Fu and martial arts in general plus I can fight if the situation called for it (self-defense only of course). I haven’t been training as hard as I used but my physical strength and stamina are still at an incredible level. This is an advantage for long term students as their body goes under complete reconstruction and changes at the core."

    "The school, you ask? It’s got everything you need and more. The internet speeds kept improving during my stay and I was able to watch every single game for my favorite American football team (New Orleans Saints) though not live of course due to the time zone differences and win my Fantasy Football league (that means nothing to most of you I’m sure). The rooms are great and are as clean and tidy as you keep them. Bathrooms and showers are fully prepped to cater to a full house of students. The food is delicious, plentiful, and full of all the nutrients your body needs to endure the training."

    "What did I do on my off time? Oh, Lord! there is so much to do. You will not get bored, especially if you make friends there. Xinyi is about 30 minutes away by bus or cab and is a medium level city (around one million people) with a little bit of entertainment (i.e. karaoke, pool halls, night club GT) and it has a big supermarket that sells peanut butter! Wong Zhuong is about 10 -15 minutes away by cab or touk-touk and there are some delicious foods to be tasted there. There is also a small village only a 35-minute walk away if you need to stock up on your snacks. I also visited nearby cities such as Xuzhou, Suqian, Deng Feng, and even spent 10 days for New year’s in Shanghai. If you can afford it, tourism in the region is absolutely worth it and highly recommended. Even when the money was low, I would either train on the weekends or go for a walk or watch a movie or read a book."

    "So in conclusion, though I can go on writing forever (and I apologize for the lack of structure, I’m writing as the ideas come to me), Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is my home away from home. I have so much attachment to that place and will be going there in the near and distant futures as many times as possible. It is the best journey I have ever embarked on as I still carry all its wisdom and magic during my daily life."

    "Please feel free to contact me for any reason as it will be my pleasure to give you whatever information you may need. One thing you should know at the end is that almost all the students who have gone to Maling feel like they have a new family out there and this is why we are constantly keeping an eye at our beloved academy hoping it grows bigger over the years and reaches more and more people all around the globe."

    "Best of luck my friend, and as I said, take a leap of faith and just do it."

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  • Review by Bas van der laan from Netherlands

    "It was my first time abroad and I wanted to start my adventures from one place, just to get used to the Asian culture and learn Kung Fu! I already had some experience with martial arts, but except for the Kung Fu movies and my dreams as a kid, I had no idea what to expect. And when finally the opportunity was there, I booked my flight, quitted my job, and before I knew I was on the plane to China. I must say the thought of “what am I doing here” crossed my mind when I arrived in Xuzhou, but it left the second Sophie and master Bao picked me up from the station. And also on arrival at the school, I was instantly welcomed by all the other students, Lisa and Master Can."

    "My first two to three weeks were pretty hard, but combined with the very good food from the academy (every meal has four different plates of food, slowly changing during the seasons) and a steady weekly rhythm, you are in a good training shape in no time. The months after that just seem to fly, and before I knew my training was over. I look back on a half year in which I’ve learned a lot of Kung Fu, made a lot of new friends, achieved most of my personal goals, and mastered some weapons (master Bao taught me the iron chain whip in the end). I also lived and participated in some of the Chinese habits and celebrations which they all celebrate with the students. This all, combined with the change of seasons, I can say that I enjoyed a complete Chinese experience which I will never forget."

    "Don’t get any illusions of flying-over-the-rooftops-kungfu, but if you train hard and love Kung Fu, you might get near it. The masters, on the other hand, have no problems doing those things, and it sometimes feels that you are in the middle of a Kung Fu movie."

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  • Review by Simona Ancona from Italian

    "The experience at the Maling Academy was definitely intense and life changing. The school is located in the countryside and is surrounded by beautiful corn fields. Such a peaceful environment helped me reconnect with myself and review my choices and priorities in life. I met so many people and each one of them taught me valuable lessons about martial arts, resilience, and mutual support. I’ve learned that I can fall and get back up despite the pain and the bruises, and the importance of training body, mind, and soul in equal measure. The guys I trained with were great fun and helped me every time I struggled with a new move or form. Peter, in particular, was such a sweet and patient sparring partner. Master Bao and Master Du are incredibly knowledgeable and understanding and kindly allowed me to personalize my training based on my goals, which I truly appreciate. Lisa answered every question in a timely and professional manner and Mona was always willing to translate and help with flight and train tickets with a smile. I’m also grateful to Mama Bao, who cooks and does all the farm chores, her neighbor friend, and the local farmers for showing me the true meaning of hard work, humility, and generosity. I feel fitter, happier, and more confident than ever. Thank you all for this amazing journey."

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  • Review by George sklavounos from Australia

    "I loved my time at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy. The training was rigorous and amazing, the masters are ridiculous feats of human engineering, and everyone was so nice and friendly that from the minute I arrived I felt instantly welcomed. Everything - from eating unlimited pizza in Xinyi on the weekends to feeling the last week’s power stretching on Monday morning to being amazed at the workout you can get from lifting two bricks - went above and beyond my expectations."

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  • Review by Kevin Sa from United States

    "I’ve had the great honor of staying almost a full year at the school. I was welcomed and shown both respect and understanding from students and staff as soon as I entered. Every student was new at one point, and the first two weeks are the typical transitioning period to adjust to the training. Academy members know this and actively assist new members to adapt to the environment."

    "The school is somewhat like home with the added benefit of improving your martial arts skills under the guidance of amazing masters. Every movement the masters make in class demonstrates their prowess in martial arts and their years of experience. With the occasional help of the talented translators, the masters effectively communicate movements and concepts to the students. For example, I came to the school with some experience in taekwondo, and I thought I knew how to kick properly. Master Li and Master Du both improved my ability to perform multiple kinds of kicks in ways that I had not even considered prior to attending the academy. In truth, every movement I do now feels more polished than when I arrived. Having a basic understanding of Shaolin Kungfu can help any martial artist improve their own style."

    "For those who do not have any experience in martial arts, this school is the perfect place to get introduced to the field. Every student I’ve met has been more than willing to help with any issue or question both in and outside of training. We’re a family here, and we all help each other learn and grow in our shared interest. The masters are very patient. They’re used to dealing with new students and many questions, so you can feel free to ask for clarification. The academy’s intended to help you enhance your skills as long as you’re willing to put in the effort to make it happen."

    "I’ve lost roughly 28 kilograms (61 pounds) of weight during my stay at the school. The constant exercise and shift in diet can be great for improving overall health. For me in particular, that weight loss takes off so much strain from my knees. I dislocated my left knee a few years ago, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to survive here when I first looked at the old website back home. Despite that, I managed to join in the training and do pretty well. I can’t emphasize enough how much everyone at the academy supports each other. You’ll surprise yourself when you see progress relatively soon after arrival. If you have the time, give this school a chance. You won’t regret it."

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  • Review by Wayne Mulei from United States

    "My interest in the Maling school started with the website, student reviews, and videos on Youtube. However, my decision to actually come to this school was greatly assisted through the email correspondence with Lisa. Her emails were very encouraging to me. She answered any and all questions I had in a prompt, friendly, and professional manner. Through the correspondence, I really got the feeling that I was going to a good, well-organized school. Also, Lisa’s assistance in helping me acquire a visa, and coordinating airport pick­up and drop­off was profoundly reassuring."

    "The school facility itself met and exceeded any and all expectations that I had. The rooms are neat and clean, with ample storage areas. The restrooms are of western style, with individual showers. There is always plenty of drinking water and the food is always hot and tasty."

    "The training is rigorous and challenging. With a variety of Kung Fu styles being taught, the student gets a chance to try them all out and see which is more to his or her interest. Though the training is intense at times, there was never a time where I felt unsafe or asked to do something that would cause a serious injury."

    "The instructors are extremely patient and very knowledgeable. The instructors welcome questions and do not mind demonstrating a technique multiple time until the student grasps the idea. As a student, I feel that I was pushed mentally and physically not only to achieve my goals, but also to realize my highest potential as a martial arts practitioner."

    "I would highly recommend this school to anyone interested in practicing Kung Fu in China. From the novice to the experienced practitioner, all can benefit greatly from training at the Maling Shaolin Kung fu Academy."

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  • Review by Wiljan Hendrikx from Netherlands

    "My one month stay at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy was an intense but very rewarding and inspiring experience. Leaving the hassle of daily life behind me and going ‘back-to-basic’ helped me to get to know myself on a different level. The physical and mental challenge of practicing Kung Fu through a varied training schedule really helped me to experience a balance between body and mind that was completely new to me. Kung Fu aims at aligning the two, not only strengthening you physically but also mentally. A rewarding experience!"

    "I can definitely recommend going to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy and wish every student the same experience I had. The professional training by skillful masters, the basic but good school facilities, and the encouraging atmosphere among students will make it unforgettable! For me, a month was enough time to get the experiences mentioned above started, but way too little to develop them fully. So be prepared masters and staff: you might see me back one day!"

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  • Review by Avi Karia from United Kingdom

    "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 yet most exciting part! But it is as easy as that!"

    "The school itself is such an incredible place. Of course, the 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 you're going to get off easy, every day will be tiring and hard work, but you will improve! If you're 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 lose 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 lifetime!"

    "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 are 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 mama 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 inquiries. 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 you're not training. I’m not here 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 avistar@hotmail.co.uk 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 your interest. Good luck and like I have repeatedly said, you will not regret it, you will have the time of your life."

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  • Review by Leifennie Ang from Malaysia

    "Going to China to train in Malingshan was a spontaneous decision. I spent a good amount of time researching on other schools and decided on Malingshan due to the value of the training. I have never enjoyed going to the gym or working out but since I have made it a habit, I continued to maintain an active lifestyle. What I love about this school is that the training is enjoyable and the masters push you beyond your perceived capability. You’ll be amazed what your body can do! I’ve learned so much about myself in such a short time. The school respects the students’ suggestions and ensures to improve the school activities and facilities. In conclusion, this spontaneous decision is one of the best ones I’ve made. I will continue to maintain martial arts spirit!"

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  • Review by Fouche Burgers from South Africa

    "I would like to start by thanking my master for being an amazing teacher. Even with a language barrier, master Le managed to be the best marshal arts teacher I ever had. I found master Le to be very patient with hiss students even wen he had to explain something multiple times. Master Le also kept himself open to all questions. I really appreciate this aspect since I believe that a good understanding of a martial art is just as important as doing the moves correctly. I found the school and the staff very good. I really enjoyed living here. I am hoping to return to the school in the future for a longer period of time. Thank you very much for an amazing Kung Fu experience."

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  • Review by Sabrina Bröckel from Germany

    "I want to thank all of you so much for everything you did for me. I learned a lot from every single person at Maling Shan Acadamy - both staff and students. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without you. I really didn’t think spending half a year at your school would change me as much as it did. But after my stay with you, I realized that my stay with you was something I had been missing for a long time. It taught me a lot of qualities I had been lacking before I came to China. The best thing about all the lessons I learned is that I learned them in a fun and easy way, with no pressure at all, though the masters did push me to my limit during the training which I appreciated. It really made me grow as a human being even beyond my martial arts skills (which have also improved dramatically, especially my sparring skills)."

    "I want to thank all of the masters for being so generous with their knowledge and finding the right balance between being strict but also gentle and encouraging at the right times. I felt that I could ask the masters anything I didn’t understand and they would always do their best to help me understand. Which was of course only possible thanks to Daisy-Laoshi and Lisa-Jiejie who are amazing translators. I was always very impressed at how you managed to translate the message the masters were trying to convey and not only the words they were speaking. Also a huge thank you to Mama and Papa Bao and their amazing cooking skills. Though it might have been a bit unvaried at times the food was still always tasty and filling and way better than I had expected it to be."

    "I also loved how everyone tried to make everyday life a bit more exciting by having karaoke nights every now and then or celebrating holidays and birthdays. There was almost never a boring day at Maling Shan. I even appreciated (at least in hindsight) the things that might not have been so great like the occasional water or power outages since they really taught you to appreciate the little things in life. It was also wonderful how many things the schedule covered and how perfectly the topics were balanced. The only thing that I think would like to add to the schedule if I could would be some basic training in traditional Chinese medicine. I didn’t expect the training plan to be this versatile and it took me a bit of time to adjust but in the end, I was very happy with the schedule. I also feel like I was very lucky because I was able to be on the performance team and participate in a show for JSBC. It was a very fun and interesting experience. I will continue to keep working hard back home."

    "I have nothing but deep respect and admiration for every single member of Maling Shan Shaolin Academy and hope to see you again soon - I am definitely planning on going back!"

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  • Review by Valonda Theus from United States

    "Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is surrounded by an astonishing view of China’s countryside with remarkable scenery of farm life, lakes, and vegetation which made everyday surreal in awakening to a new day of sunrises and sunsets, with the tranquility of peace and warmth as I begin my day with meditation and the adept knowledge and wisdom from the masters."

    "This has been an amazing experience for me. I came to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy to learn Qi-gong and to focus upon non-combative martial arts. Without hesitation, I am leaving with so much more than what I expected. I have learned three different types of Qi-gong lessons; stretching, soft Qi-gong, and hard Qi-gong, which radiated much energy flow. I also learned the beginning level of the basic forms and different forms of martial arts. I was taught stretching, conditioning, stamina training, and mandarin, and my body is much more flexible from the daily stretching and I have an outstanding degree of energy with an enormous development of my character within three weeks of being here at the school."

    "China is a culture much different than from America, and the people are so kind and giving. They show much love and a sincere desire to share their knowledge with integrity, discipline, and outstanding skills. I feel so grateful to have had this experience as it has built character in me that will last a lifetime. The food was excellent, the right combination to allow us to be in good health and to still train very hard."

    "I also appreciated having someone always available to attend to our needs and someone always open to help us understand anything we were having difficulty with in any procedure. The school delivered what they promised with integrity, ethics, and with much love and understanding. I recommend this school to anyone who is seeking to learn martial arts, and having a deeper understanding of man kind and what he or she is capable of doing as a human, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture or geographical location, we were one in spirit and like a family. My training helped me in finding the real me as a person this training brings out the person you never thought was there. I take these skills back home with me to America and hopefully I will be able to implement these skills in my daily life. Thank you so much."

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  • Review by Terya Sarrucco from Netherlands

    "When I first told people that I was going to a Shaolin Kungfu academy in China for a month, I got either one of two responses: 1. “But… Why??” (imagine highly bewildered raised eyebrows with this) or 2. “That sounds awesome, I wish I could go too!’. If you are reading this, you probably fall into the second category, and let me tell you: if you do, it will be the best experience of your life. ^_^"

    "I originally planned to stay for a month, thinking this would be a really long time. But after two weeks, I knew I wanted to stay longer. Life at the Maling academy was so easy to fall in love with. :) The thrill of overcoming your own challenges, fears, and failures is addictive! We trained six hours a day / five days a week, and while it was tough at times, it was also incredibly rewarding. I had no martial arts experience and wasn’t in the best of shape when I arrived. But after my three-month stay in China, I now talk about my life 'before China' and 'after China', haha. When you strip away all the usual noise and distraction from a busy-modern-day life, you really get to know yourself on another level. I learned what an amazing machine my body actually is and how great it feels when you take good care of it. I learned how to deal with discomfort and that it really is a case of mind over matter (if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter). And I learned to accept myself for who I am (which is a big step for a perfectionist like myself, hehe). I might not be great at everything (far from!), but I didn’t give up. I walk away with so much more mental strength than when I arrived."

    "After three months at the academy, I can proudly say I broke a brick with my bare hands, ran a quarter marathon every week, did no-handed cartwheels, got introduced to Chinese kickboxing, brandished a broadsword, and met some of the most amazing people from all over the world. It was great to have a group of people who knew exactly what I was going through. We could share tips on how to do certain moves, kicks, or jumps, laugh about the muscle aches, and spend our free time chilling in the beautiful area."

    "To sum it up, I had the time of my life! If you have even half a thought about going here, I strongly recommend you to do so now! In the words of Paolo Coelho: “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It’s lethal"."

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  • Review by Richard from United Kingdom

    "Maling Shan Kung Fu academy not only gave me the platform to work from, but also the vehicle and support network to achieve my goal. It was life-changing and life-saving. Obviously, there is the physical challenge of training and the mental aspect of continuously pushing yourself when your body is screaming for you to quit and rest. I learned from the other students that to maintain wushu spirit means to get up and keep moving forward whenever you get knocked down. At the academy, you're in the best and safest hands possible - the hands and guidance of genuine Shaolin Kung Fu masters, Shaolin warrior monks to be precise. The masters are the most incredible martial artists, athletes, and remarkably humble human beings that I will undoubtedly ever meet. It cannot be overstated just how awesome and caring these brilliant teachers are. I have enormous respect, love, and gratitude to all three of them. Master Bao, Master Tang, and in particular, Master Li who was my Shaolin basics and Shaolin forms teacher. Master Bao already speaks very good English while Master Tang and Master Li are improving every month. Both are very smart and dedicated so I'm sure they will be up to Master Bao's standard in due course.There is also a delightful young lady called Daisy who is very much part of the family and acts as a translator and general angel around the place. Mama and Papa Bao are the unsung heroes of the school as they work behind the scenes keeping everything working and ticking over. I was worried about the food before I arrived at the school because I've been a fussy eater in the past but I needn't have worried - Mama Bao's cooking is superb and perfect for all that training. It was the best four months of my life. Four of the hardest months too mind you, but still the best. I was there during winter and I've often wondered if I've ever been colder than those ten weeks spanning December, January, and early February. The climate was just another challenge on top of the physical and mental challenges set via the training. Fortunately, for the last seven weeks of my stay, the weather warmed up and in March it was perfect for training. While the school has recently moved to a brand new, purpose-built building, the facilities are basic, but perfectly acceptable. Don't be mistaken, this is very different to the comforts of back home in the UK. There was no indoor heating system during my stay, no running hot water due to a problem with the solar heated system, and it was a month before electric showers were installed - the greatest Christmas present ever! "

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  • Review by Davina from Malaysia

    "I spent eight months training at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu 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 Kung Fu. 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 a 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."

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  • Review by Simon from United Kingdom

    "When I arrived at the academy, I was a typical 44 years old English male by that I mean a little overweight, not very fit, and quite stressed from normal life in the UK! I had a little martial arts experience. I did karate for two years and some others when I was at school which was a long time ago! Before I went to the academy, I set myself goals, to get fitter, to eat healthier, to learn as much as possible, and most of all to learn how to relax. I had no idea what to expect when I arrived and was nervous. I arrived at the academy and my nerves went away quite quickly everyone was friendly and wanted to meet the new student. Lisa gave me a tour of the school and showed me where I was going to sleep everyone was really nice it was a good start, then I met Master Bao and Master Can, both Shaolin masters I was nervous about them but they are very nice people and really helpful. For the first month or so, I could hardly walk in the mornings until my muscles warmed up a little they were aching so much, but it got much better as time went. At the end of my year, I was one of the quickest to run 10 kilometers and in the morning run too, I can do lots of press ups now and am much stronger I have learned different weapon forms which improve coordination, so I reached my goal of being fitter and healthier I even have muscles in my stomach! The meditation and Tai Chi plus all the training have helped me to learn how to relax and now I don't get stressed very often, not like when I arrived! I am a lot happier with life and myself and I have confidence and believe in myself which I didn't when I came here so I am very happy with this part of the training. It has changed my life being at this academy. The food was great, there was enough and it tastes good. What more do you need? I think the facilities are good, the rooms are large enough for two people to stay and the training room is big enough. We trained outside most of the time and there is plenty of space around the academy to train and there is a market not too far away. You wash your clothes at the academy, there are shops nearby, the internet in the rooms if you want it, everything you need is there. I trained hard and reached all my goals, I had lots of ups and downs over the year but I had a lot of help from the masters to keep me motivated and keep me training well. The students help each other and encourage one and other and the academy really has a family atmosphere. Master Bao's mother does the cooking.Daisy, the interpreter, is very helpful when you need to buy train tickets and other translations, and provides good translation in the classes when needed. I am very happy I chose this academy, it is friendly and professional, the masters are the best martial artists I have seen and want to help everyone no matter what level you are at and they know just how much to push individuals."

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  • Review by Justine Alcaraz from France

    "When I decided to go to this school, I did not know what was going to happen. I was really interested in trying this challenge and really scared too. I had never done martial arts. For me, Kung Fu was a child’s dream. It was just possible in the movies! But, I was wrong. I saw and lived unthinkable things and moments which will stay in my mind all my life. Life is so different from what I knew."

    "First of all, both Kung Fu Masters Bao and Can are incredible persons! What they are able to do is so impressive that you cannot trust it, so fast, so precise, so high, and so strong! They are very nice persons even with somebody like me who was a beginner, they have been always very attentive to me and very nice teachers, always explaining the best way with a lot of patience and teaching skills."

    "I just stayed five weeks but could progress a lot of thanks to them and could the last week break a brick! Lessons are hard, very serious, but always friendly and everybody is very attentive to you. It is kind of a big family, there is no competition between us but respect and comprehension."

    "When I arrived, some people had been here for several months and of course, the level was very different but I never felt alone! Master Bao and the others were always helping me. It is really a big family. Lisa, Master’s Bao wife, and Sophie, the Chinese translator are always trying to help us for administration papers or Chinese lessons. Master Bao’s mother is a really good chef and her very good food give us the strength to face the exercises!"

    "I made very easily good friends with people from all over the world. There is a real harmony between masters, their family, and students. It is like a second family I had never known that before. On weekends, we are off, no class so our main activities were visiting the cities around, buying fruits, playing basketball,snooker that I discovered, and buying chocolate, our best vitamins!"

    "Chinese people in all what I saw are very friendly, curious, and polite. You feel good when you walk in the streets and when you do not succeed in being understood, you speak with the hands and then burst laughing with the Chinese people. "

    "A few words will stay in my mind for ever: more power, kick higher, faster, and so many more. Of course, they are our masters’ words!"

    "I could talk for hours about the greatest experience of my life which is so rich for yourself. Life is so peaceful, so quite and it is pure harmony! I really hope to come back and spend more time here."

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  • Review by Vikrant Singh from India

    "My experience in Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy was really pleasant, enjoyable, and not to forget tough (training). Out of the many things I liked about the academy was the transparency between the staff and the students. Both Master Bao and Lisa will give you the best information on the subject (or at least that’s what I think) whether it be training, lodging, food, or just normal day to day questions. Another thing I liked about the academy is that you are free to start from your own pace and then expected to gradually improve with time, but there is no pressure to start performing immediately, i.e there is no stigma attached to initial bad performance, as I didn’t have any martial arts performance before and kung fu was new to me, I found this to be really helpful."

    "My lodging at the school was comfortable and I liked the food as well, but that maybe because I am Indian (we use similar base materials). I made a lot of new friends, got to know them a little during the course of my stay. We partied a few times and we took a holiday in the middle as well. It was awesome. Overall, I really enjoyed my stay and would love to come back, I would thank everyone at Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy for making my trip a happy one and special thanks to Master Bao and his family for teaching and taking care of me."

    "This is to anyone who is looking to come here to study, if you know that you really want to learn kung fu, then Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy will surely not disappoint you because after all the guidance, pushing, and beatings (not too hard but enough to send a message!) of the masters, your performance depends on your own self. The more hard work you do, the better you will get. The “no pain, no gain” as they say on the site is the gist of the training experience."

    Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy website, edited

Xinyi City, China

Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy teaches both external and internal martial arts and kungfu styles to inernational students of all levels.If you want to train under highly distinguished masters, join us!

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180 days / 179 nights

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