Brace yourself as you take part in the amazing iron monk summer training camp in Tengzhou, China. This camp is designed make you get tough, get fit, and get disciplined. You will harden both your mind and body at this intense Shaolin-style training course. No matter the weather, you will be trained to full potential every day with the best training you can hope for!
The student accommodation building is located within the school grounds. With single and double student bedrooms, a dining room, bathrooms with hot showers and western toilets, and common room with Wi-Fi, the accommodation offers comfort and peace outside of training hours.
To help everyone feel comfortable when they arrive, each student, no matter the length of their stay, will receive a student starter kit with everything they need to settle in such as toiletries, linen, uniform, water bottle, laundry powder, shower slippers, and prayer beads.
The weekly training time is from Monday to Friday with half days on Saturdays.
A huge part of the Shaolin repertoire, the jumps, rolls, spinning kicks, and flips can be some of the hardest elements for many students to master. As an essential part of Shaolin’s external style, the aerial acrobatics use its principles of explosive power, control, and fearlessness.
Examples of a small number of techniques are forward roll, tiger roll, kick up, tornado kick up, forearm plank break-fall, head flip, front or back handspring, and flips. All of which have many variations and uses, as well as the numerous combinations of moves necessary for the most advanced forms.
Qi gong, meaning life energy cultivation, is a form of meditation which can be split into two styles, hard qi gong and soft qi gong, which can also be broken down into dynamic and static forms.
Soft qi gong is used for spiritual and health benefits including circulating blood, getting rid of stagnant breath, and much more by channeling your qi energy. Students usually begin with Ba Duan Jin (eight-step form) to practice the postures, movements, and breathing to help balance your qi.
This control and understanding of one's qi energy can then be used to begin training of the hard qi gong techniques, which condition the mind and body against pain and obstruction.
One method to achieve this is by the repetitive striking of the body against trees, stone, and sandbags to harden the skin, muscles, and bones against injury. After years of training, Shaolin monks can perform amazing physical feats, such as breaking metal bars on their foreheads and bending spears with their throats.
Power stretching involves extreme stretching exercises used by the Shaolin monks to reach maximum flexibility. Several techniques and positions are used to help gain this flexibility, such as partner stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching (PNF), which is a push and relax system.
You will learn to push your body to its limit while remaining focused and relaxed. In turn, your body will feel more limber, give you a quicker recovery from strength training, and overall feel better during other day-to-day exercises.
Sanda, or sanshou, is a Chinese kickboxing style martial art designed purely for its self-defense properties. It was developed in the Chinese military from traditional kung fu and modern combat practices to be a complete fighting style for their soldiers.
Outside of the military, sanda kickboxing fights have become an immensely popular national sport with fights taking place almost every day somewhere in the country. Sanda’s combination of fighting techniques include wrestling, takedowns, punches, kicks, sweeps, and much more despite its Western classification as kick-boxing.
In fact, the literal translation for sanda is free fighting. Within training, sanda, free-fighting, is considered one of the two pillars of Chinese martial arts, the other being Taolu, forms or routines. Even if a student does not wish to fight, learning the Sanda basics in tandem with their Shaolin training can provide a great increase in understanding of martial arts.
Shaolin kung fu, also known as Shaolin Quan or Shaolin fist, is one of the oldest forms of Chinese martial arts, originating in the Buddhist Shaolin Temple in Henan Province.
Dating back over 1500 years, Shaolin kung fu developed amongst other reasons, so the monks could protect themselves and the monastery from the harm. They became famous for their fearlessness, discipline, and seemingly superhuman abilities. The styles of Shaolin kung fu are largely external though some internal as well with many explosive and acrobatic qualities.
Their training includes these sections. Basics are for stamina, flexibility, balance, strength, and coordination. Exercises such as kicks, punches, and stances are practiced repeatedly. Combat skills are various routines involving combat forms (taolu) and their empty-handed and weapons methods. Power skills involve internal and external power and energy.
There are 72 secret skills belonging to Shaolin kung fu. These include 36 hard exercises and 36 soft exercises, known as hard and soft qi gong styles. For example, some hard qi gong skills include ‘iron head’ and two-finger push-ups. Soft qi gong involves static meditation and dynamic forms like ‘Ba Duan Jin’ (eight-step form).
To this day, Shaolin kung fu is still practiced within the temple but its fame has seen its students and followers spread into schools throughout China and the rest of the world.
Modern times have also seen its incorporation into the popular martial arts sport often called sport wushu. For many martial artists, these wushu competitions provide the best opportunity for them to test their skill and expand their knowledge of what is possible.
A student’s preparation before their arrival can be the difference between them reaching their goals and them barely understanding their potential. If you expect to undergo strict and difficult training whilst at the school, you should take the responsibility to ensure you spend time beforehand preparing mentally and physically.
Even for those only interested in softer styles (tai chi, soft qi gong, and meditation) the benefits of such exercises are not without a level of hard work from the body and mind.
You must also prepare your mind for the days or weeks of training you are hoping to achieve. You should solidify your goals and aspirations in your mind, begin to let go of your perceived limitations, and realize that you must be humble, persistent, and able to laugh at your own mistakes. The mind frame a student enters the school with, as well as how realistic they are with themselves, will usually determine the length of their stay.
For those with previous martial arts training, it is advised you continue your own training with at least three to five sessions a week, and if your style does not naturally contain an acrobatic element, you should attempt to become more comfortable with rolls, cartwheels, and explosive jumps.
All future students with no martial arts-specific training are recommended to begin cardio (running, swimming), bodyweight based strength training (push ups, sit ups), and stretching. Short sessions of rolling, cartwheels, handstand attempts, and explosive jumping will also greatly speed up your progress at the school.
Iron monk program uses old Shaolin stamina, flexibility, body conditioning, and sparring training to build and harden the body and mind. Though the days, grueling the personal improvement will be faster than expected.
Extra training is mandatory to remain within the program. The hours are longer and tougher but that is why you are in China. After 6:00 a.m., line up students spend the morning running, body conditioning, and meditating before the breakfast. All students can move back into the normal training if unable to continue.
Founded only recently in the summer of 2017, the Tengzhou Shaolin Academy, Yu Kung Fu, was opened by headmaster Yu Zhi Chao to create a wushu school with a singular purpose: to guide, provide for, and create the best martial artists and athletes. The school is located in the headmaster’s birthplace, a small village outside Tengzhou city, Shandong province.
It is the dream of the headmaster and in turn the school, that YuKungFu Martial Arts Academy should bring together a diverse team of students from across the world to expand their knowledge and fine-tune their technique. Preparing them for competitions, performances, teaching, or just furthering personal experience. In its first year in the Tengzhou region, headmaster Yu Zhi Chao's Shaolin KungFu school, Yu Kung Fu, is focusing on becoming the top school in China.
After years of traveling the world as part of the Shaolin Temple's performance team, Yu Sifu's lifelong devotion to martial arts has a powerful impact on the school's ability to foster the best each student has to offer.
The school is located in the headmaster’s birthplace, a small village outside Tengzhou City, Shandong Province. It stands on the very edge of the town with forests and open farming land extending for kilometers. The village itself is filled with a traditional Chinese community of friendly families and high-walled houses. The walls are covered in paintings and tiled murals depicting sacred mountains and waterfalls.
The school is only 30 minutes from the bustling Tengzhou City, which has all the amusements and supplies necessary for outside of training. There is also a shop within the school which can provide anything else a student will need for training, such as shoes, personal weapons, and clothes.
The price of the package includes three daily meals.
A small number of private classes are available throughout the week for 300 CNY an hour.
Optional Mandarin classes are offered to any students who desire them. Students will also be able to work on their Mandarin during class with the master.
Exploring China during your visit is recommended so you may make the most of your experience abroad. The only condition is that you must advise the school of your travel plans beforehand.
Only a few minutes walk from the school are a few small restaurants, shops, and a big lake for swimming. In the city of Tengzhou, there is all of the restaurants, activities, and sights you would find in a large Chinese city.
If you should need help during your trip to or from the school, you can contact Yu Kung Fu Martial Arts Academy for assistance. Alternatively, for an extra fee, they can arrange an English speaking representative to meet you at any location in China to accompany you to the school.
Please book your flights to arrive at Jining Qufu Airport (JNG). Most people arrive at either Beijing (PEK) or Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG), there are frequent trains from these cities to Tengzhou.
A free pickup and drop off service is available from all Tengzhou railway.
A free pickup and drop off service is also available from all Tengzhou bus stations.