James Wiggins (UK)


James Wiggins
One month (July, 2009-August, 2009)
Email: james_wiggins@hotmail.co.uk

When I was 12 years old I went to watch a Shaolin performance called "The Shaolin Wheel of Life" as this group of monks toured the country.  Before the show began, I found the group of monks practising their acrobatic skills in the garden outside of the performance hall, and I was amazed at what they could do.  It was an inspiring performance, and I left it knowing that one day I would go to China and learn Shaolin!  7 years on and I did just that! Travelling to China to study at the Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu school was my first time travelling alone and outside of Europe, so it was understandably quite a nerve-wracking experience to be leaving home for a month!  The staff at the school were extremely helpful and very willing to answer my endless amount of questions regarding travelling, etc via e-mail.  I was met off the train by Wang Long, the young interpreter that was there at the time and it was very nice to be greeted at the school by all of the masters, Joy and the rest of the staff, and I instantly felt at home.  After over 30 hours of travelling, I dropped my bags off in my room, had a quick tour, huge breakfast and then went straight into a power stretching lesson..!Wei Shifu and Zhang Shifu are incredible masters, and genuinely nice people, and it was a great priveledge to be taught by them.  Having trained for over 10 years in Tae-kwondo back in England, I considered myself to be pretty fit and agile.  The first week of Shaolin training showed me otherwise.  The training is very tough, but the masters take into consideration the level of ability that each individual has, and they know just how far to push each person.  Waking up to a Tai Chi lesson in the morning was a great way to start each day, and after each day I felt like I'd really pushed myself as far as I could. By the end of the month, I'd learnt a Tai Chi Form, 2 Shaolin fist forms, and a Staff Form, which is alot to cover in a month! But if you put the effort in, you'll learn alot. The weekend felt well deserved, and there was plenty to do in and around Qufu.   Qufu is an awesome city with alot of history and character (and crazy driving!).  I took the opportunity to visit Confucius' Temple which was an incredible day, although the summer months can get unbearably hot!  Wei Shifu was also kind enough to organise a trip to the Shaolin Temple.  I am very grateful to Wei Shifu for this, as it really made my trip a once in a lifetime experience.  Travelling there with another student, Pete Wallis, we were met by Wei Shifu's younger brother - the general master of the Shaolin Warrior Monks - who made the few days we were there unforgettable.  My leaving present - the day before i left the school - was a trip to a nearby mountain, which we ran up/crawled up numerous times.  The masters really do make an effort to teach in the way they were taught! The whole experience was brilliant - all of the staff were very friendly and the training was awesome.  I would recommend this school to all the people searching for quality Shaolin Kung Fu training.  Please feel free to e-mail me if you want to ask any questions.

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TypeInfo: Experiences of the students

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Experiences of the students

Read about the experiences of over 70 students from 20 different countries
Small group training
1 week - 5 years courses available
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