Vincent (BEL)

Length of Training: 3 months, March - June 2009

I never did Martial Arts before, so why did I go to a Kungfu School. I am 35 years old and I was getting a bit lazy, doing less sport, etc. It was time to do something about my condition. So I thought why not go to a Kungfu school for three months.

It turned out to be the right decision. I lost weight. My body is stronger and more flexible now. In general I am feeling fitter and healthier than before. I have to admit the training is hard and painful, certainly in the beginning. You will think that you will never be able to do some of the exercises. But with some determination and with the help of the Masters you will get there step by step.

The Masters of the school are real Shaolin Monks. They represent a 1500 years old tradition of Martial Arts and Buddhism. I felt lucky to be their student. Next to Shaolin Kungfu they taught me Sanda (Chinese kickboxing, a great work-out), Tai Chi (really nice to do in the morning to get your body ready for the day) and a little bit of Xingyi and Baguo (other Martial Art styles).

You train from Monday to Friday and the schedule for the week is in my opinion well balanced. The Masters also adapt the training according to each individual student. And suggestions from the students are also always welcome.

In the weekend you are free. You can stay at the school and just give your body a well-deserved rest for 2 days. The school is not so far from the centre of Qufu. It is a nice city to visit. Or you can do some travelling. The school translators were always very helpful when I was planning my trips. I was lucky to visit the Shaolin Temple with Master Shi Yan Chen. The temple is located in the beautiful Song Shan Mountains. It was a great experience to be shown around by the monks themselves.

The accommodation and the training facilities of the school are quite basic. You are there to train and I think the more comfort, maybe the lazier you will get. About the food I have no complaints. It is plain, but good Chinese food. I especially recommend the homemade mentou (steamed bread).

When I started my training, I thought I would not last for one month. I thought it would be too hard or I would get injured quite easily. Now I would not mind staying one month longer, but I can't. So I will keep on doing most of the exercises and stretching I learned back home. It is a great way to stay in shape.

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Experiences of the students

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