Janice Mohan (Ireland)

Date:2009/8/13

Janice Mohan

Length of Training: 1 Year, July 2007 - August 2008

I am a 21 year old girl from Ireland who first travelled to China in 2006. Since then, I have studied under Wei Shifu for a total of 1 year. When I started training, I had some martial arts experience through Tae Kwon Do but I had never studied Kung Fu before.

When I first arrived at the academy, it had a friendly and wholesome feel to it. Wei Shifu and Joy, the translator, did all they could to make sure we felt comfortable and had what we needed. The grounds of the academy are lovely, with a pagoda situated at the centre of four man-made lakes. They are perfect for training on, whether its forms in the training hall or qi gong at the lakes.

Life in the academy follows a routine that allows you to get the most out of every day. The day starts with some relaxing qi gong and tai chi before sitting down to a hearty breakfast. Kung Fu training began then at 8.30 through until 6 with a long lunch break at 12. Everyday involves different aspects of training from basic kicks to forms to a Chinese kickboxing called Sanda. There is also the ever delightful power stretching for flexibility and power training, which can involve anything from weight lifting to hand-stand push ups. On Tuesday mornings, we also had jumps and rolls class, something I had never done before I came to China. While it’s true that, initially, I spent more time landing on my bum then being airborne, it’s the subtle improvements that you notice from week to week that help you to keep going. The physical effort involved on a day to day basis is immense Training in Kung Fu is a demanding and challenging experience, involving aches, pains and some frustration but it is an art that is well worth learning and any practitioner will inform you of how beneficial it is to both body and soul.

Situated in the charming city of Qufu, the academy offers not only traditional training, but a chance to experience Chinese culture in a purer form than that found in the larger, more well known cities. This city has an ancient and fascinating history.  During my time in Qufu, I visited beautiful temples, religious sites and climbed the many thousand steps to reach the top of Tai Shan, a famous holy mountain. 

Of course, what made this experience complete was my master, Wei Shifu. Training with Wei Shifu is the reason I keep returning to China. He is one of the few masters I have met who is completely dedicated to his student. His knowledge in Kung Fu is profound and his skill and precision serves as an inspiration and reminder as to why I wanted to study this art. His patience in teaching is also to be admired, especially when I returned having forgotten all my forms. Being taught by Wei shifu was an honour I have never taken for granted and I feel very lucky to have trained under him.

I first went to China for 9 months and returned for another 3 last summer. I am returning this summer for 1 more month. It seems I cannot stay awayJ. Every time I leave I miss both the people and the training immensely and cannot wait to get back to it.

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Experiences of the students

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