1 Year Traditional Kung Fu Training in Shandong, China

  • Shengjing Shan Kungfu Academy, ShengJing, Wendeng, Weihai, 264400 Shandong, China

Overview

Kung Fu Training in China

Shengjing Shan Traditional Kung Fu Academy is specialized in the teaching of traditional Chinese Kung Fu and culture to foreign students. Their dream is to reinvent the meaning of cultural exchange and education, through the daily practice of martial arts and immersing you in Chinese language, history, and culture. All of this will be done in an environment free from the stresses of daily life, in the mountains, surrounded by nature and set next to the idyllic ShengJing Shan East Flower Daoist temple. Call it what you will; a meditation retreat, Chinese language school or even fight camp, the academy can be all things to all people.

Highlights

  • Trainings on Mondays to Fridays
  • Personalized, individual training sessions
  • Daily cultural class and Chinese language lesson
  • Daily Qi Gong and Tai Chi Quan trainings and practices
  • Sessions on Mantis Fist, Bagua Zhang, Shaolin, and Sanda
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided everyday
  • One year full room and board

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • 240 days with instruction
  • Chinese (mandarin), English
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The students, staff and masters all live together under the same roof. One of the buildings has up six bedrooms, a kitchen and a central dining hall where everybody enjoys their meals together. The bedrooms are particularly spacious and come with en-suite facilities.

Each room has two beds as the students are required to share a room with one of their classmates. The other building is slightly larger, with a larger vegetable garden and a capacity of up to 14 students. This building was previously a hotel, and so has air conditioning available for use during the summer.

Shengjing Shan wholeheartedly encourages long-term students to turn their living space into their home, whether that be putting up posters, changing the wallpaper or doing anything they think will make their room more comfortable.

Master Qu also encourages his students to maintain a clean living environment as he believes that, "A clean room will lead to a clean mind", which will undoubtedly have many benefits on your training and day to day life here.

Daily schedule Monday to Friday

06:00 - 07:00 Tai Chi and Qigong

07:00 - 08:30 Breakfast

08:30 - 10.00 Training

10:30 - 11:30 Training

12:00 - 15:00 Lunch

15:00 - 16:30 Training

17:00 - 17:40 Cultural classes

18:00 - 19:00 Dinner

Free time

There is no training during weekends, students are free to relax, train on their own at the academy or visit the local towns such as Wendeng, Weihai or even Yantai.

Shengjing Shan Chinese martial arts training

Tai Chi Chinese martial arts can be divided rather conveniently into two categories Neijia and Waijia. This division serves only to highlight what form of training the style places particular emphasis on. The Neijia school practises the use of Neijing, otherwise known as internal strength and their practise focuses on the training of the spirit, mind, awareness, and Qi.

The three main internal styles are Tai Chi, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan. Understandably the concepts mentioned above are rather abstract and difficult to grasp, this goes for foreigners and Chinese alike.

Nevertheless, the masters are well suited to guiding you along the path of self-discovery which the practise of any internal art lays before you. Unlike practising an external art, one needs to understand the moves being taught at a deeper level.

It is only through the synchronisation of your own movements, feelings, breathing, and intent that mastery of a move can be achieved, hence why it is a much more subjective experience. However, despite the ambiguity that accompanies Neijia arts, our masters will provide the best possible tools to discover your own path.

Despite often being considered as soft styles, some of the greatest masters in the history of China have been Neijia practitioners. When practised correctly and fully developed they become extremely powerful and effective systems, not just in the context of self-defence, but also extending to ones personal and psychological health.

This sense of balance which these arts will bring, will undoubtedly lead to a greater sense of harmony and synchronicity with ones centre. Conversely, Waijia puts more emphasis on training the body itself and tends to be characterised by explosive power and rapid movements.

The external styles are what is in the West often considered to be Chinese Kung Fu. It is also worth noting that the definitive number of external styles in China is almost innumerable, given that each family may have their own variation of a particular school of Kung Fu.

The Waijia styles currently practised at the academy are Shaolin, Tai Chi Plum Blossom, Praying Mantis Fist, and Sanda. The students who choose to pursue one of the external styles will be pushed physically due to the rigorous conditioning and dedication demanded by these styles. That being said, these styles are accessible to anybody who arrives in good health.

Chinese massage and acupuncture class

Chinese massage is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Some Chinese scholars argue that a definitive massage theory had begun to circulate as early as 2700 B.C. and was used in conjunction with acupuncture to cure physical ailments.

During class time, Master Qu will familiarize his students with Chinese massage theory, as well as allowing the students to explore the practical side of this healing art. Due to the nature of the training, knowledge of the body will serve to speed up your recovery process after intenese periods of training.

Acupuncture is also taught here at theory level until Master Qu is satisfied with the knowledge and the commitment of the student to this class. Those who begin practicising the practical elements of acupuncture will learn basic needle insertion along the meridian lines and key acupuncture points.

Cooking class

It is believed that Chinese cuisine is one of the most important elements of Chinese culture. Therefore, in the academy it is equally important that the students embrace this rich and unique part of Chinas heritage. The academy's cook comes from the quiet village which sits sleeply outside of the temple grounds.

Using the freshest ingredients, she uses the recipes which have been passed down through her family, from generation to generation. Those students who wish to learn how to make the dishes which have characterised the Chinese countryside for hundreds of years can do so by assisting the cook in the kitchen every dinner time.

Calligraphy class

The written Chinese character becomes the physical expression of how the master has focussd their mind, energised their Qi and the degree to which their energy flows onto the page. At Shengjing Shan, the classes are run by one of the temple-monks who has pledged his life to prayer and scholarly pursuits. Well versed in calligraphic theory, he was invited to the academy to guide the students and bring out each individuals own style and the best artistic expression.

Daoism classes

The system of the Dao is the essence of everything that exists in the universe and a way of living in harmony with the surrounding environment. It is the idea of accepting and yielding, seeking a balanced relationship between human beings and the natural world.

Studying Daoism here is particularly advantageous as Shengjing Shan is situated on temple grounds. This is to say that you will be surrounded by an abundance of knowledge and culture, and for those interested in this field it is a cant miss opportunity to learn about Chinas most famous homegrown religion.

Martial Arts

Qi Gong

Qi Gong is an ancient form of Chinese meditation. The characters Qi and Gong have multiple translation, nevertheless in this context they can be translated as energy work, with the implication being you are training to control your Qi.

It is based on the concept of becoming aware and manipulating the Qi in your body to reach a desired effect e.g. healing an injury. Used for both medical and health purposes, it is also used by martial artists to complement their Kung Fu. Most modern Qi Gong is now a mixture between Daoist & Buddhist energy cultivation practises which combine movement with meditation.

All Kung Fu makes use of energy training to develop internal force, without which it remains purely external and overly mechanical, a characteristic considered rough and inferior by high level martial artists.

Kung Fu training complemented with Qi Gong enhances harmonious chi flow, thus promoting health, vitality and longevity. Those who place a large emphasis on the practise of Qi Gong will be able to build up to doing Hard Qi Gong demonstrations.

Through the manipulation of the Qi in your body, the mastering of your breath and the conditioning of your body, you can expect to perform incredible feats, such as break marble with your hands or split bricks over your head.

The environment at Shengjing Shan is ideal for Qi Gong. At any time you can wander into the mountain, find a quiet rock or a tranquil tree to sit by, collect your thoughts and enjoy the stillness of nature as you learn to master your Qi.

Tai Ji Quan

The meaning of Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi) is literally supreme, ultimate. There are a number of different styles of Tai Ji Quan practiced throughout the world today; however, the five most popular are: Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun and Wu (different).

As well as being one of the most effective martial systems in all of history, it is extremely beneficial for personal health when practiced regularly. Its fundamental premise of softness means that it is extremely versatile and accessible for those of all ages and abilities.

Tai Ji stresses slow, controlled breathing coupled with relaxed, balanced postures. This approach aims to eliminate unwanted tension in the practitioners body; consequently allowing the Qi to circulate freely as well as making it available to harness.

The fluidity of Tai Ji permits the practitioner to meet aggressive force with softness allowing one to strike or throw using the constantly flowing energy within the body. Students will begin by learning fist forms to get a basic understanding of the system itself, from there they can then move on to more advanced things such as sword, ball and fan forms.

The core elements that make up Tai Ji are fist and weapon forms, as well as qigong, which all help the student to increase overall body flexibility, body awareness and an understanding of body mechanics.

Mantis Fist

Despite being somewhat underrepresented in the West, Praying Mantis is one of the most famous and revered external styles in China. The reason being its efficiency when striking, grappling, moving and defending, all conducted at extreme speed.

At Shengjing Shan we place a great emphasis on ensuring good form from all of our Mantis students, as well as developing speed, power, accuracy, and mental flexibility. Furthermore the exploration of each movement you learn serves to deeper the practitioner and understanding of the art.

Praying Mantis is an aesthetically unique style, founded on a devastating arsenal of techniques which can be applied in any situation. The original Praying Mantis system was first developed by Wang Lang, who originally lived in Shanxi province during the Ming Dynasty.

In the later years as Praying Mantis Kung Fu continued to evolve, some characteristics of Tai Chi and Plum Blossom Fist were integrated into the style, giving rise to what we now know as Tai Chi Plum blossom Mantis.

The practitioner of this style must balance the Yin and Yang in ones body, aligning their energy whilst constantly rotating the upper and lower extremities. Whilst the striking hands must move like a blooming plum blossom, cutting the opponent like the beads of the flower.

The main part of Mantis development was in Shandong, hence why the province is synonymous with the art. So for those keen to master the art of self-defense, as well as begin to understand China at a deeper, provincial level we recommend you choose this style.

Bagua Zhang

Bagua Zhang is intrinsically linked to Daoist philosophy and is characterized by its use of a unique style of qi gong circle walking. Circle walking, coupled with the coiling and twisting movements of the style, give the skilled practitioner the ability to defend against multiple opponents with seemingly little or no effort.

Bagua Zhang literally translated is 8 Trigrams Palm and is derived from the I Ching (Book of Changes) which is central to the art of Bagua Palm. Each of the 8 Trigrams represents a different kind of power in Bagua: heaven, wind, water, mountain, earth, thunder, fire, and lake.

Each of these powers is characterized by that which it is named after, for example a fire technique would involve twisting, coiling, and clinging to get through the opponents defences and deliver a strike or throw. It was Dong Hai Chuan(1798-1879) who first introduced the art of Bagua Zhang to the world.

Eventually his travels brought him to Beijing where he worked in the Forbidden City as a servant. Much to the delight of the emperor who was so impressed with Dong's ability he asked him for a display of his skills after which he was subsequently appointed palace bodyguard. From this time he gradually gained fame and began teaching the system to other students. Students will begin by learning the walking method and basic stances, from there they will move on to forms.

Once these forms have been mastered the students can then move on to the vast array of weapons found in the Bagua system such as: Bagua broadsword, staff, single spear, double spear, straight sword, tornado broadsword, and the more exotic paired weapons such as the Bagua needles, deerhorn knives, etc.

Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu is undeniably one of the most iconic and widely recognised styles of Chinese Kung Fu. It is said that the Shaolin temple was founded in 495AD, with its original purpose to serve as a Buddhist monastery. The style born out of the temple stems from humble beginnings, initially created in response to the monks' fear of bandits raiding and desecrating their holy home.

Today it is an extremely diverse and multifaceted system, allowing the students of this style to pursue any number of paths which suit their individual interests. Some prefer to explore the more traditional route of practical applications and self-defense; others may choose to focus on the more aesthetic elements of Shaolin.

The Shaolin masters who teach at the academy are all extremely talented and enthusiastic individuals with many accolades to their names. They are keen to share the secrets and lessons learned at the temple with foreigners, in the hope that this intrinsic element of Chinese culture continues to like live on in the hearts and minds of Chinese and non-Chinese alike.

Sanda

Sanda (also known as Sanshou) roughly translates as "actual combat". In the past, Chinese called it "technique fighting" or "striking". Sanda is founded on the simple concept of applying what you have learned from your traditional Kung Fu forms in the ring. It is often likened to Muay Thai, nevertheless there are some stark differences in the techniques and rules found in Chinese kickboxing.

What arguably sets Sanda apart from other types of kickboxing is the wrestling element involved in the sport. Rather than opting to check or block a kick, the Sanda practitioner will see this as an opportunity to throw their opponent to the ground. Take-downs can be used at any point in the bout and are not just limited to catching kicks and sweeping legs.

Depending on the nature of the competition and the rules of the regulating body, some bouts permit the use of elbows and knees, as well as the take-downs, punches and kicks that define Sanda. Although by definition Sanda is a fighting art, it 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.

After long-term training, having mastered even the most basic Sanda skills, a practitioner will have very fast defensive and offensive reflexes. Sanda not only improves physical qualities such as strength, endurance, flexibility, and sensitivity but also quickly develops peoples health and fitness.

  • Master Qu

    Master Qu began practicing Traditional Chinese Kung Fu in his childhood and it has remained his passion ever since. As headmaster of Shenjing Shan, his mission is to introduce Chinese martial arts to a wider foreign audience, to ensure its survival during these days of major industrial growth and the changing of traditions throughout China.

  • Master Hao

    Like many modern day masters, Master Hao perfectly blends the traditional elements of Chinese Kung Fu with contemporary sports science and nutrition. His goal as shifu at Shengjing Shan is to help reshape and reintroduce Kung Fu to the Western world, so that in the years to come it will have the same standing as Athletics, Gymnastics and Kickboxing, in both China and abroad.

Shengjing Shan is located in the Wendeng prefecture of Weihai, Shandong, China. Living and training on the grounds of an ancient Daoist sanctuary, the surrounding area is rich with Chinese culture and outstanding natural beauty.

General
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Restaurant nearby
Services
  • ATM/banking nearby
  • Laundry
  • Wireless internet

Exploration in the surrounding area

Hiking in the mountains

Nearby urban activities

Relaxing and culinary travel

Shopping in the city

Places of interest

Cheng Shan You: also known as China's "Cape of Good Hope", Cheng Shan You was deemed by the emperor Cin Shin Huang as the end of the sky and the final boundary of his kingdom. It is the first place in China where you can see the sun rise and illuminate the land; it truly is a mystical sight to behold.

Liu Gong Island: the island home to the first Sino-Japanese War monument. Due to Weihai's geographical location and its proximity to Japan, it has always been a focal point for Sino-Japanese military tension. On the island you will be able to explore the historic relationship between these two countries, with many exhibitions being run throughout the year at the museum.

Weihai International Beach: one of the most famous beaches in China, it is known known for its silky sand and gentle currents. It is the perfect place to relax your weary body after a week of training and strike up some conversation with the locals.

Weihai Park: Weihai is also home to one of the biggest beach parks in China. Renowned for its combination of architecture and natural beauty, the statues, flowers and mountain rocks perfectly complement each other. The park is said to be at its most beautiful on a warm summer night.

Xian Gu Ding: a magnificent and spectacularly designed temple. The most interesting attractions here are the famous inscriptions, some dating back as far as the Song dynasty.

  • 364 nights accommodation
  • Cultural and language classes daily
  • Daily training sessions in Tai Chi and Qi Gong
  • Food for the whole duration of the training
  • Training in Mantis Fist, Bagua Zhang, Shaolin, and Sanda
  • Airfare travel
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

It is suggested that you fly into Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong or alternatively Korea and take a connecting flight to either Yantai or Weihai. Please provide us with your flight time and number so that we may pick you up.

Arrival by train

For those wishing to see more of China whilst making their way to the academy or save money on travel expenses, it is recommended that you take the train. The nearest train station is Wendeng and the staff will be more than happy to pick you up upon arrival. In order to maximize your savings, do ensure you purchase your train tickets in advance, this can be done from Ctrip website.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu Academy an inquiry.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Testimonials

  • Review by Marc from Denmark

    "I spent 4 Weeks at the Shenjing Shan kongfu academy in November 2016 and had a great time there.I had never done martial arts before so everything was new to me. Master Qu is a fantastic teacher, serious and disciplinary when needed but also helpful, supportive and patient when needed. The students were at different levels regarding kongfu skills but that did not interfere with the training because Master Qu is good at setting individual goals and help each person at the level they are at. "

    "Furthermore I had I minor injury from before I started at the academy but it did not prevent from participating in any of the classes because Master Qu was good at taking my injury in to account and make individualized training exercises when needed."

    "There where 9 other students during my stay and there was a great atmosphere. I was very well welcomed and everybody where attentive and did not hesitate to help me with whatever came up during my stay."

    "We had some good times, went on trips to the surrounding cities in the weekend, occasionally went to one of the incredibly cheap and great local restaurants in the area and wandered in the mountains right besides the academy."

    "The living conditions were very nice with 1 or 2 people living in a spacey and well kept room, healthy food, and all the basic accommodations one will need during the stay."

    "The surrounding area is stunning with the nature and mountains right besides the academy, a small rural town and just beautiful scenery."

    "During my 4 weeks I learned a lot, had a good time with the other students, got a chance to see a beautiful area of China and improved physically and mentally."

    "All in all a experience I will highly recommend."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Laurent from Belgium

    "I have a training experience with Master Qu of 6 months in addition to my prior martial arts background. I trained in Sheng Jing Shan Academy Taiji Praying Mantis as well as Chen Tai Ji. Thanks to him I have improved a lot not only my fighting skills, flexibility and body condition but also the way of breathing, controlling my body as well as internal energy. Training was hard but always occurred in a good spirit between the students themselves and with Master Qu. Master Qu is always available for his students and very eager to help us and make our stay as worth as possible."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Matthew Thijs Kramer from UK

    "As a complete newcomer to kung fu and China I was understandably apprehensive upon arriving at the school. However I was immediately made to feel part of the "family"; and given plenty of guidance when training alongside the other students at my own pace. The biggest benefit of studying here is that due to the relatively smaller group size there is a strong focus on student development, I had a number of sessions where I trained in a pair or individually with Master Qu, allowing fast improvement. I leave the school having enjoyed a number of new mental, physical, cultural and social experiences; morning Qigong, Mantis training, calligraphy classes and weekend trips to the city. The school is set in beautiful, remote surroundings and I have really enjoying starting the day by climbing the mountain to watch the sunrise."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Paul Mustafa Saleh from UK

    "I have learnt a lot here at Shenjing Shan Kung fu academy under the guidance and patience of Master Qu. The structure of the week and the varied training including forms, applications, Sanda, power stretching and power training, Tai Chi and Qigong kept me on my toes, pushed me to my limits and at the same time left me with a real feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. I will continue to develop what I have learnt in the short time that I have been here and it will be with me for the rest of my life. Master Qu is a calm, modest and knowledgeable teacher and really knows how to pass on the knowledge, wisdom and techniques of Kung fu in an effective and understandable way and for this I am grateful. I will always remember my experience and training here at Shenjing Shan."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Anne De La Cruz from Belgium

    "First of all, I’m really grateful to have been able to study for a month at Shengjing Shan Academy with Master Qu and my fellow students. Before my arrival, back home, I felt like I needed some space for personal reflection and restoring my inner balance. Since I’ve always been keen on sports and physical exercise, coming to China to learn Kung Fu seemed like a perfect way to do this. After looking into different Kung Fu schools, I chose to come to Shengjing Shan Academy because of all its positive reviews from former students. And I must say, after my one month stay, all of these positive comments turned out to be true. I immediately felt at ease, thanks to the nice atmosphere and training with Master Qu, it was a great first experience  to learn Chen Tai ji, Qi Gong, Sanda and Mantis. Thanks to Master Qu I have managed to improve my body condition, flexibility and control, but most of all my internal enerqy flow. I would highly recommend this place to anyone. You’ll definitely get out of it what you’ve been looking for. Well at least I did."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Anthony Lisa from USA

    "I arrived at Sheng Jing Shan Kung Fu Academy at the beginning of July for a month long stay. To briefly describe, I enjoyed my time here immensely. From the training to exploring the surrounding mountains on the weekends to practicing Chinese language with the people from the local village, everything is either a lesson or an adventure. I studied Bagua Palm and Tai Chi Fist. Master Qu is an incredible martial artist but more than that he’s a very talented teacher (a skill so few possess). Unfortunately there isn’t a"

    "word in english that can properly express what Master Qu has been to me, but suffice to say he is the epitome of the Chinese “shifu” (master/father/teacher). I need only add one more word, friend. Training is extremely difficult but well worth the effort. There are four hours of kung fu classes everyday with another optional hour of tai chi and meditation in the morning."

    "After a month or two of classes, students are also encouraged to train in their own time. Training is very physically demanding however no previous skill or strength is required or even needed beforehand. Sheng Jing Shan (literally “Bible Mountain”) is fairly remote with some tourist attraction, such as the long standing Taoist temple (hence the name) as well as the giant statue of LaoZi. Every morning tai chi class is greeted with a sunrise over the mountain creating a beautiful silhouette over the aforementioned temple and statue. The local village is a 5 minute walk from the school. Most of the students walk down the shops at least once a day for snacks or soda. If you Arrive during the summer I highly suggest your first two purchases should be a five gallon jug of water (have fun carrying that back) and an electric fan. On the flip side if you arrive during the winter you might want a thermos and an extra blanket, northern China gets both ends of the spectrum."

    "Overall I cannot recommend this school highly enough. This has been my second time training at ShengJingShan with Master Qu and I can say without a doubt it wont be my"

    "last."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Kassper Aagard from Denmark

    "Shengjing Shan Traditional Kung Fu Academy was a big surprise to me. The accomodations, and the environment exceeded all of my expectations. The school is situated in the mountains, right next to a beautiful temple with the biggest statue I've ever seen. The air is clean, and the surroundings are great for a kung fu lifestyle. Training is hard. As it is supposed to be. If you want to train in Shengjing Shan you have to understand that it is not a vacation – it is serious work. The literal meaning of kung fu is – great effort, so I recommend that you are serious about your training and you will experience a great improvement of body and mind."

    "It is my second time with master Gu, and not my last. He is like a Chinese father to me. I can't imagine a better shifu. He really takes time with his students, focusing on small details to perfect every movement. You will also learn how effective his style is, being bagua or mantis."

    "I train mantis and i really love that style. It's so fluent, fast and powerful, not tomention how extremely useful it is. I would recommend this school to anyone interested in the practice of traditional kung fu. This has been the best experience of my life."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Ronald

    "Hello, my name is Ranald. I came to Sheng Jing Shan Martial Arts School because I felt lost. I was unsure about who I was and where to go with my life. Just out of a 3 year university degree, I did not feel like I wanted to start my career straight away. I wanted to first try and better myself, take the time to figure out who I am and what I want out of life. So, I turned to the internet to search for places I could do this at. Through a friend of mine, I found out about this school. Honestly, I didn’t look at any pictures, how many students there would be or even the martial arts that Master Qu is able to teach. That may sound strange, but I was never too interested in martial arts, rather the getaway of being in China. So, on a whim, I decided to come here. I stayed for 2 months and they were 2 months extremely well spent."

    "The martial arts I studied was Bagua, which I had never heard of beforehand. When I arrived, Master Qu asked me why and after I explained, he decided to start teaching Bagua to me as it would help find myself. After 2 months, I can say that I have more of an idea of what I want out of life and who I am, but more importantly, I have accepted who I am. I doubt I would have been able to do that elsewhere as easily. Bagua, Sheng Jing Shan, Master Qu and the other students have given me my first step forward in a very long time and have also given me an unforgettable experience. The school is a bit out of the way for those looking to party, but it is perfect for those who need a relaxing and friendly environment to study a martial art they love. I highly recommend it for fellow soul searchers or martial arts enthusiasts!"

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Simone Wagner from German

    "My name is Simone Wagner (27) and I´m from Germany. Back home I study civil engineering but took a half of a year break to come to china. Since 7 years I want to go to china to study Chinese Kung fu. Learning a style from somebody who grew up with it and learning it in a different way than back home should be amazing. Furthermore training the whole day without having to do something else sounded really nice as well. Finally I had the money and time to go. I decided that I want to learn mantis because of the fast and precise movements you have to do and the best area for that would be the Shandong Province. Since I didn't know anybody who already went to china to study Kung fu I had to search on the internet. For me it was important that the school didn't have too many students so that the shifu has time to correct you and explain things without having to rush away. Therefore Shengjing shan was the right decision for me. "

    "A small group of students and Shifu Qu who has time to teach you properly. A saying I was reading describes best what I understand more and more. If you don´t understand the theory, what you learn will be only flowers and branches, and it will have no root. After 5 month of staying here I really will miss the peaceful surroundings. Looking at the mountains or the temple with the big statue of laozi in front of it right after getting up in the morning is something special and very calming. I will never forget the view when fog is surrounding everything. It´s nearly mystical. "

    "My goal for training was learning as much as possible and I think I learned a lot during those 5 month. It was always the right amount of new things that I never got bored. With that being said there is still a lot for me to learn and if it is possible I want to come back to deepen my mantis studies. Before I came to china I read a lot of student experiences in other schools and how they described their food situation. Most of the time I read that the students had to go out of the school to find edible food. Therefore I was a bit skeptical as I arrived at Shengjing shan. Luckily I had worried to much. The food is really good and healthy and joining the cook for a cooking session is also very interesting. When you come to china be open for everything. Try things you thought you don´t like and you might find out that you actually do like them. Speaking Chinese is not a must but knowing a few basics makes daily life easier. Being physically prepared is also not a bad thing before you come here."

    "Everybody has his/her own speed of learning but it´s a lot easier when your body is used to do exercise. In my opinion everybody who is willing to learn and is not stuck in schemas which he/she can´t get rid of will be happy here."

    Shengjing Shan Traditional Kungfu website, edited

  • Review by Lisa from California, USA

    "Ive been interested in Kung Fu for a while, originally I wanted to stay in the States but I realised you cant match the hours and quality of training here in China. Also because I wanted to learn some Chinese and more about the country itself, it was a logical option.So Im currently studying Bagua under Master Qu and have been doing so for 5 months, but Ive been in China for 9 months. Master Qu is the main reason I came to this school. After having had him as my master for three months and having had other masters before him, I knew he was the best Ive ever trained with. In short I want to be the best I can possibly be and think Master Qu is the person who is the most suited to this job.Its also worth mentioning that its really beautiful here and great for training which is obviously a plus. Sometimes it can feel a little bit isolated from the major cities but in truth it has all the necessities for day-to-day living.I really enjoy the small group environment as well. Of course there are benefits that come with having a big group, but with a smaller group you have more 1-to-1 time with the master. This means you have more time to understand the moves, the theory and the power behind what you are being taught, whereas with a big group it can sometimes feel a bit rushed.Before I arrived, my goals were mostly physical ones but theyve pretty much all changed over time because what you think is important changes as you train. Even though I havent achieved the original goals I set out with, Im extremely happy with where Im personally at, given the fact that in hindsight the goals I set werent really relevant to the Kung Fu which Im studying.The food here is very good but after 9 months it can sometimes get quite repetitive, but you expect that when you live and train in a Kung Fu school. If you are eating meat here then of course there is more variety but this isnt something Im particularly concerned about as Im a vegetarian.Ultimately food isnt really a point of interest here, in that you come to see it simply as fuel and a means to an end, which is being able to train hard. The first piece of advice would be for you to expect nothing.Secondly you should try live to these three words; surviving, training, and improving. Everyones first week is going to be difficult, you just have to do your best and try to get through it. Then as you progress you have to train harder, whether that is during class time or by yourself in your free time. Once you get to the point where you are honestly pushing yourself, you will see yourself improve immensely. Lastly, get used to drinking hot water.As for who this school is for, it's a little bit hard to give one definitive answer. For example here youll find the person who wants to learn more about China and its culture, youll also find the fitness buff and even the person who wants to discover the deeper meaning of martial arts and meditation. In honesty, the way I see it, there is almost something here for everybody!"

    Traditional Shaolins website, edited

  • Review by Valentina from Belgium

    "This is the second time I have come to China to train Kung Fu. One of the reasons I decided to return was because I am on a gap year and had the time to do so. However the main reason was because last year I had incredible time training with Master Qu.This is my second month back and I have one more month left here. I originally started Mantis last year with a view to only try it out for one week before moving over to Shaolin. In fact after the first day with Master Qu I changed my plans and decided to stay with him. The first reason for coming to Shengjing Shan was because Master Qu was here.Although last year I had only trained with him for one month, I really felt he understood me and that he was my shifu. He tries to make you become a better person in every sense, and he always motivates you to train harder, by the end of your time with him you just want to make him proud.Secondly, the surroundings, for example when I first visited the new school it was exactly what I expected when you think about coming to train in China. Since we are on the temple grounds, it means you get a more real and educational experience about Chinas history, culture and religion.I came here knowing it wasnt going to be a huge school, and that it was going to be more personal and family like. Even sitting round the table with the masters and the cook is great, despite not always understanding what they are saying; it makes for a much better experience.The location is very kungfu-ish and we have lots of little training spots outside, up in the mountains, which are amazingly cool. If youre already a martial arts freak you are going to fall in love, and even if youre not you probably will anyway. Its less like a Western bubble here, which might seem scary at first but the overall experience is far more enriching.As for having a smaller group, there are some bits that I like and others not so much. During free time its sometimes nice to be able to hang out with lots of people and be forced to get along with people you wouldnt normally hang out with.However the most important thing here is your training. With a smaller group you train harder, you are motivated by both the students and masters alike. For example when there were only three students at the school, I had a two hour 1-to-1 kickboxing session with Master Qu. Even though it was difficult, it was amazing at the same time as I felt myself improving. Also you really begin to bond and become a family unit.Originally my goals were fitness orientated and Ive achieved most of the goals I had set myself, including upper body strength and endurance training. Unfortunately I have had shin splints and so I havent been able to work on my cardio as much as I would have liked to. But the injury has been a blessing in disguise as it has helped me to hone my mental strength.At Shengjing Shan you begin to learn how strong you actually are and how strong you can become, both physically and mentally, which is great for the future. I feel if I can make it here, then I can make it anywhere.For me food is always an issue, not only am I a food freak but Im also gluten intolerant, so I like to know everything that is going into my food. However the cook here is great especially compared to a lot of other Chinese cooks.She really tries to cook as healthy as possible given the confines of Chinese cuisine. The cook even invited us to her house and taught us how to make dumplings. Not only does she always listen to your suggestions, she is very willing to provide anybody with their own special-needs meal.The three pieces of advice I would give would be; stop thinking and just come, if possible for at least three months, bring protein powder if youre a fitness freak, and train a little before you come. I think this school is suited for anyone who loves fitness.Ok maybe not the gym rats that spend every waking moment pushing weights, here is more suited to the people who are willing to push themselves physically and mentally. Shengjing Shan is especially good for those who may have been having a hard time back home and need some space for personal reflection and development. "

    Traditional Shaolins website, edited

  • Review by Steve from Leeds, UK

    "I took a career break from my job in the U.K. and did a year learning Chinese in Beijing. However I wanted more of a cultural experience and so I settled on internal Chinese martial arts. I currently study Bagua,Taichi, and Qigong on a full time basisand have been doing so under Master Qu for over one year.I chose to come to Shengjing Shan because I had been training under Master Qu for one year and was happy with his style of teaching. He accommodates to all ages and abilities, quickly identifying your strengths and working from that angle.The location here is also excellent, considering its in the mountains and close to the temple. The temple can be accessed all day and the environment provides us with some scenic spots to train by. In modern China construction is everywhere, even in the heart of the countryside, so although this place is extremely tranquil there is still some element of development.So the smaller group really appeals to me over a larger group as a sense of family really begins to develop, especially for the long term students. The quality of teaching is certainly better this way as the master spends more time with the student and so your progress and understanding is at a much deeper level.As for my goals, originally it was nothing more than to have a rewarding cultural experience but in hindsight Ive discovered something deeper, and this is why I am continuing to train with Master Qu for the foreseeable future.Bagua is little known in the U.K. and it would be nice to take it back to England and teach. Im glad to say the food is generally excellent here. However Im still not used to Chinese meals, which consist of predominantly vegetables and carbohydrates rather than having a piece of meat at the heart of the meal like in the West.If I had to give three pieces of advice they would be; physically prepare yourself, strictly follow the advice set by the school as it will drastically improve the quality of your training, and come with a positive attitude and believe in why you are coming here, it will only improve your overall training experience.Lastly it has to be said that this school really is for anyone. Since Ive been here Ive seen people of all ages and backgrounds train with us. The masters are highly skilled in both their Kung Fu and their teaching skills and can manage anybody. It really is for anybody with an interest in culture, sport, Kung Fu or even China in general."

    Traditional Shaolins website, edited

Shandong, China

Our dream is to reinvent the meaning of cultural exchange, through the daily practice of martial arts and immersing you in Chinese culture.

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