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.
J.D. Stilies, Norwegian, October 2012 –March 2013. Email: