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!
British, October 2, 2010—August 2, 2011. Email: