They say that give something 100% and then try doing a bit more and you will be able to, meaning that you can always do more than you think. Learning Kung Fu in China is a bit like this, you will be amazed at what you can achieve and the longer you are there the more you can achieve! I spent three months at the Academy and I am so proud of what I accomplished in my time there, and I really want to go back soon!
Before I left NZ I thought that everyone at the academy would be super fit and have martial arts backgrounds and might judge my lack of skills and knowledge. I found the complete opposite, everyone was so helpful and never made fun of anyone rather offered their free time after class to help others and gave pointers and encouragement in class. This really is the most wonderful, supportive environment, as long as you try your best everyone masters and students alike will help you.
As you will see everyone has written about how wonderful the masters are and this cannot be over stated! They are truly what make your time at the Academy! No matter what your level they will help you and keep pushing you so that you get better all the time. These men are great not only because they can teach you everything you would ever want to know about Kung Fu but they will also help teach you about kindness and humility. I could not say enough about how great they are and what wonderful, understanding teachers they are.
Living at the Academy is a wonderful experience in itself. Living with the other students and masters makes for a big fun family! When you are feeling down there is always someone there to cheer you up. The living standards are basic compared to what many of us in the west are used to, but they are clean and all that you need. I felt very comfortable and at home in the academy. The food is great, especially if you are like me and love vegetables and rice (i'm a vegetarian) I am already missing it.
There is no doubt that the training is hard, I found walking a challenge in the first week! But if you like a challenge then this really is for you. I cannot encourage someone enough to take the time out of your normal routine to have this amazing experience. If you can, do try and get as fit as you can before you leave as this will make your transition easier but if you are like me and a big fat lazy procrastinator then just go you will get fit there, fast! Also if there are any girls out there who are not sure if they can handle the male dominated world of martial arts, do not worry you will love the experience. I found no one patronized me because of my sex.
Learning Kung Fu is more than just learning some moves and getting fit, it helps you to learn to be a better person and gives you more inner strength. I hope that in my short time at the academy that I improved, I know that my time there gave me more confidence as a person. If you go to study with Master Bao, Master Du and Master Li then there is no doubt in my mind that you will achieve your goals - if you work hard, whether these goals are to become a better fighter, learn some basic or advanced Kung Fu or to gain more strength as a person.
Best of luck to all future students, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any doubts about going to China or want more information.
New Zealander, January 8, 2011—April 3, 2011. Email: