Check Out What Our Students Stay

Ashley with spear 2023

ASHLEY COUCH

US, 2023, One Year

As a returning student to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, I am thrilled to share my experience with this remarkable martial arts institution. My journey with Maling Shaolin began a few years ago, and coming back has only reaffirmed my belief in the quality of their teachings. One of the standout features of Maling Shaolin is the hands-on and one-to-one instruction that they provide...

Returning to the academy, I was pleased to see that this personalized approach to teaching remains a top priority. The instructors take the time to understand each student's strengths, weaknesses, and individual goals, tailoring their guidance accordingly. This ensures a more effective and targeted learning experience.

I decided to focus on weapons training this time around and Master Bao has jumped into my teaching with gusto! I've done all manner of hard and soft weapons (some I'd never even heard of). My favorite is the straight sword though 😉

Maling Shaolin's inclusive curriculum encompasses various Chinese martial arts such as Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Sanda, and Chi Gong, among others. The instructors demonstrate a profound knowledge of these disciplines, creating a comprehensive and diverse learning environment. As a student focusing on Northern Shaolin Kung Fu (and weapons), I appreciate the academy's commitment to preserving and passing down this traditional martial art.

The academy's disciplined yet supportive atmosphere and well-equipped facilities foster a sense of community among students. The academy places a strong emphasis on both physical conditioning and mental discipline, promoting a balanced approach to martial arts training.

My return to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy has been a rewarding experience. The hands-on and one-to-one instruction, combined with the dedicated practice of Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, has contributed significantly to my growth. I highly recommend Maling Shaolin to both new and returning students seeking a genuine and enriching Kung Fu education!

student testimonial Lenka meditating

LENKA BAROCHOVA

Czech Republic, 2023, Three Months

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is surrounded by an astonishing view of China’s countryside with remarkable scenery of farm life, lakes, and vegetation; which made everyday surreal in awakening to a new day of sunrises and sunsets, with the tranquility of peace and warmth as I begin my day with mediation and the adept knowledge and wisdom from the masters...

This has been an amazing experience for me; I came to Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy to learn Qi-gong, Tai chi and to focus upon non-combative Martial Arts, without hesitation, I am leaving with so much more than what I expected. I have learned three different types of  Qi-gong lessons; stretching; soft Qi-gong, and hard Qi-gong which radiated much energy flow.  I also learned the beginning level of the basic tai chi forms, and different forms of Martial Arts. I was taught stretching, conditioning, stamina  training, and mandarin,  and my body is much more flexible from the daily stretching and I have an outstanding degree of energy; with an enormous development of  my character within three weeks of being here at the school.   

China is a culture much different than from my home country, and the people are so kind and giving they show much love and a sincere desire to share their knowledge with integrity, discipline and outstanding skills. I feel so grateful to have had this experience it has build character in me that will last a lifetime. The food was excellent, the right combination to allow us to be in good health and to still train very hard.    

I also appreciated having someone always available to attend to our needs and someone always open to help us understand anything we were having difficulty with in any procedure. The school delivered what they promised with integrity, ethics and with much love and understanding. I recommend this school to anyone who is seeking to learn Martial Arts, and having a more deeper understanding of man kind and what he/she is capable of doing as a human, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture or geographical location, we were one in spirit and like a family. My training helped me in finding the real me as a person this training brings out the person you never thought was there. I take these skills back home with me to America and hopefully I will be able to implement these skills in my daily life. Thank you so much.

student testimonial Shane in Wushu competition

SHANE POWELL

US, 2019, Two Years

Life at the Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is constantly changing. Through daily training, you will face many challenges. Although the weekly classes are the same, each day brings new challenges. Coming to the academy has changed every aspect of my life, with physical fitness being the biggest change. Anyone who comes here, even for a short time, will be transformed...

The training here is very tough and strict, but the difficult training makes you better every week. Master Bao is a very strict and demanding teacher. He pushes every student he teaches to their physical limits. But at the same time, he is also a very understanding and caring master, never making you difficult movements beyond your ability, because he is afraid you will get hurt.

Master Wang is a very young and energetic teacher. Although he lacks experience, he makes up for it with enthusiasm and determination. He only wants to see you become the best version of yourself. Master Wang often says, "More strength," "Faster," pushing everyone to improve.

Master Du is a very caring and demanding teacher too. He cares about students in every aspect and pushes your training. When you are injured, he notices and compassionately helps you recover. He also comes up with new and creative ways to help you recover from your injuries.

Every day here at Maling Academy, we must face new challenges to become better martial arts students and better people. This academy not only teaches Kung Fu but also teaches everyone to be patient in daily life, to be more compassionate, and to push you to strive for goals in all aspects of life. Of course, there are times here when you feel bored, but that's life. There are times you like and times you don't. Although we have never achieved perfection, we still strive for it. Under the training of all masters, every day here is a blessing. I am very happy to be here and train with so many fantastic people. I never see any problems in my daily training because when you start to improve, the masters will train you in new ways.

Shaolin Kung Fu Master Bao teaching foreign students kungfu

PHILIP KROPF

Switzerland, 2018, Six Months 

Hi I’m Philip I’m 17 years old. I was there for 6 months and had no idea what would happen to me there. I didn’t know kung fu, i have never been to China before, and could not speak Chinese, and not much English either, so I was not sure if I could get through this. But now i know I can and it was the right decision!...

The academy is in a nice place, on one side not far is a lake on the other the Maling mountain a beautiful place to meditate. Not too far away is a city too. It’s not really big or beautiful but you can get a everything you need for the everyday life there, most students go to this city every weekend to eat good food or to buy whatever they need..

The training was in the beginning really hard for me because I wasn't fit at all also not flexible so I needed longer to get used to the training than others. It was very hard to catch up with the other guys, but everyone gets used to it eventually. The key to great improvements is to push yourself, you have to push yourself every day so you can get incredible results.

One of the best things there is, it is like a big family: The people help you if you are practicing in free time, going out together, travelling together, when I was there we celebrated Christmas, New Year and Chinese new year together that makes it really to a family. The masters are amazing they can be really hard and tough in training, but also very good friends in free time and take care of you if you're sick.

Another good thing is you forget all about the everyday stress. It was an awesome time there i learned so much for my life, had lot of fun with my ‘‘kung fu brothers‘‘, I'm now much more independent, a lot stronger mentally and physically, very flexible, I can speak English without problems and even some basic Chinese. I will definitely go back there. If you have any questions just send me a message.

KAI LARS LIESER

Germany, 2017, Six Months

Right after my 23. birthday I went to China to spent 3 months at Maling Shan from April to June 2014. It was an very spontaneous act and Lisa helped me really good and quick with my questions belonging to my VISA and stay in China. Then i returned again in 2017 for another 3 months from May to July. It was the best choice ever,I had an awesome time and made a lot of experiences.

In 3 months you will learn a lot. I never did Kung Fu before but I really fall in love with. My flexibility, stamina, muscles and of course mind improved very good during the time.

I don’t want to miss the time. I made good friends, Shaolin brothers/sisters and met a lot new nice people.

Master Bao and Lisa built up a very nice Academy and they work very hard to make their dream come true. They are both very nice and I am glad that I met them.
The masters are great and very awesome persons with a great spirit and I’m very thankfull to Master Tang and Master Li, who both trained me. They were my first masters and always will be my main masters of course.I didn´t have had the pleasure to train with Master Can. But he is also very awesome and we had an great weekend when we picked him up in his hometown. Also I am very thankfull to Daisy who is a brilliant translator and friend. We had a lot fun during class and Mandarin lessons.


The Academy is built very new and in a good condition and has western standards. Around the Academy you have a beautyfull landscape and it is perfect for training. Also the Chinese culture is very nice and unique.

We celebrated a few Birthdays, had BBQ, went to a Theme Park, Swimming.Those are only a few activities you will probably do in your free time.

Always make sure to push yourself and you will be able to fullfill your dreams.
I will definitely go back sooner or later.

students testimonials

LEIFENNIE ASANUDDIN ANG

Malaysia, 2015, Three Months

Going to China to train in Malingshan was a spontaneous decision. I spent a good amount of time researching on other schools and decided on Malingshan due to the value of the training. I have never enjoyed going to the gym or working out but since I have made it a habit, I continued to maintain an active lifestyle.

Going to China to train in Malingshan was a spontaneous decision. I spent a good amount of time researching on other schools and decided on Malingshan due to the value of the training. I have never enjoyed going to the gym or working out but since I have made it a habit, I continued to maintain an active lifestyle. What I love about this school is that the training is enjoyable and the masters push you beyond your perceived capability. You'll be amazed what your body can do! I've learnt so much about myself in such a short time. The school respects the students' suggestions and ensures to improve the school activities and facilities. In conclusion, this spontaneous decision is one of the best ones I've made. I will continue to maintain martial arts spirit!

kung fu students Terya posing with a sword in the mountains

TERYA SARRUCCO

Netherlands, 2016, Six Months

When I first told people that I was going to a Shaolin Kungfu academy in China for a month, I got either one of two responses: 1. "But... Why??" (imagine highly bewildered raised eyebrows with this) or 2. "That sounds awesome, I wish I could go too!'. If you are reading this, you probably fall into the second category, and let me tell you: if you do, it will be the BEST experience of your life...

I originally planned to stay for a month, thinking this would be a really long time. But after 2 weeks, I knew I wanted to stay longer. Life at the Maling academy was so easy to fall in love with... 🙂 The thrill of overcoming your own challenges, fears and failures is addictive! We trained 6 hours a day / 5 days a week, and while it was tough at times, it was also incredibly rewarding. I had no martial arts experience and wasn't in the best of shape when I arrived. But after my 3 month stay in China, I now talk about my life Before China and After China, haha. When you strip away all the usual noise and distraction from a busy-modern-day life, you really get to know yourself on another level. I learned what an amazing machine my body actually is, and how great it feels when you take good care of it. I learned how to deal with discomfort and that it really is a case of "mind over matter" (if you don't mind, it doesn't matter). And I learned to accept myself for who I am (which is a big step for a perfectionist like myself, hehe). I might not be great at everything (far from!), but I didn't give up. I walk away with so much more mental strength than when I arrived.

After 3 months at the academy, I can proudly say I broke a brick with my bare hands, ran a quarter marathon every week, did no-handed cartwheels, got introduced to Chinese kickboxing, brandished a broadsword and met some of the most amazing people from all over the world. It was great to have a group of people who knew exactly what I was going through. We could share tips on how to do certain moves/kicks/jumps, laugh about the muscle aches and spend our free time chilling in the beautiful area.

To sum it up: I had the time of my life! 🙂 If you have even half a thought about going here, I strongly recommend you to do so NOW! In the words of Paolo Coelho: "If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It's lethal".

stduent testimonials Avi posing with a straight sword in the field

AVI KARIA

UK, 2015, One Year

First of all, if you are reading this, then you have already made the first steps in getting to China and studying martial arts. I thoroughly recommend that you do, and I promise you will not regret it! For me it was the best decision I EVER made, I had the most amazing and incredible year of my life and met some of the most genuine, kind, helpful and inspirational people ever!...

Yes, I spent a year there, so I went through all the seasons and weather you could expect, and all the changes a body can do with hard work and dedicated training for a year and hope that I can share my experience and help you understand what to expect if and when you get there.

Firstly, the hardest thing is making the conscious decision to do it. To pick a date, book your place and buy a plane ticket. Once you have done that you just have to pack! Sure it takes some cojones to actually get on the plane, and for me that was the scariest/most exciting part! But it is as easy as that!

The school itself is such an incredible place, of course training is hard, and that's how you want it to be, but it is achievable. I have seen people who have never done martial arts in their life before coming to Maling Shan, people who never even do much fitness, and then I have also seen amazing martial artists and Olympic hopefuls! There really is training at all levels. The Masters can see how far you can go, and what you can do, and of course, whilst continually pushing you and helping you improve, also know your limits. That's not to say that your going to get off easy, every day will be tiring and hard work, but you will improve! if your going wanting to learn Chinese kung fu, you will, if you want to experience a deeper, more spiritual side of Chinese martial arts, you will, if you want to loose weight, you can! you just have to work hard, you get out what you put in. and I promise, you will have the trip of a life time!

The Masters themselves are the real deal, I mean, they really are kung fu masters, who really did spend much of their youths at the Shaolin Temple. So you know, your learning from the best of the best. Their knowledge and experience is impeccable, and they are always, always willing to help and answer any questions you may have, even outside of training hours. They are all very warm, kind and welcoming people who make training interesting and fun and can often joke and laugh with.

The staff, Daisy and Lisa, along with mamma and papa Bao, are instrumental to making this school run and work every day. Mamma and Pappa bao do several things around the school and you will always see them with a smile on their faces, (although the same can be said for everyone at the school) and also make the most delicious, traditional Chinese food. (oh man, the food!) And yes, they are Master Bao’s parents, so you know its really good, home-cooked food.  Lisa and Daisy, both the most awesome people I have met in a long time, help the masters with translating Chinese to English, and generally dealing with students enquiries. Daisy also runs the Mandarin lessons in the evening (highly recommend them).

What do you need to take, well of course that depends on what time of year you are thinking of going. In summer it is very warm so shorts and t-shirts is a good bet, and winter is very cold, so think jogging bottoms and jumpers, of course a coat for when your not training. I’m not hear to teach you to suck eggs, you can check out a general weather report on google (or bing), but if you need any medication then of course you will definitely need to take that, again google to find the correct way of transporting said things.

Other than that, you will honestly not regret a second of being in such an amazing place, I know I don't, l spent a year there, and would go again tomorrow! so if you do have any questions you can email me at : avistar@hotmail.co.uk or you can find me on facebook Avi Karia and send me a message on there. I hope I answered a few questions on here for you or at least peaked an your interest. Good luck and ,like I have repeatedly said, you will not regret it, you will have the time of your life.

kung fu students Abudy meditating in the temple

ABUDY MALAK

Lebanon, 2014, One Year

If you're reading this section, that means you've already found your next potential destination but still want to dig deeper. I myself have read many of those testimonials and have found them to be extremely helpful. I hope my experience detailed below can do the same for you. First of all, a quick summary for those readers who are intimidated by long endless paragraphs...

Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is the real deal; it is an enchanting place that will both inspire, challenge and ultimately transform you in every way.The Masters, Shaolin Warrior Monks, are extremely talented and experienced and they never cease to amaze while they go out of their way to teach diligently. The management and support staff keeps the academy afloat in terms of logistics, student affairs and general matters at all times. Located in the heart of green farmlands within the rustic landscapes of Maling Mountain, the academy offers all the amenities one might need. The training is difficult but is designed for all types of students, from professional martial artists to general athletes, from the highly spiritual or just curious adventurers who want to experience something new. Bottom line: if you're reading this section, your sub-conscience has already made the decision for you -take a leap of faith and make it happen. 

And now more details for you other readers who may be slightly suspicious, meticulous or simply bored.

First of all, yes, this school exists. It seems many of the students I met there were very skeptical during their research as society has conditioned most of us to be wary when it comes to the far east. Add to that the fact that there are many scams online these days so it is somewhat understandable that some of you are still in disbelief.

Word of advice, read everything on the website. I have found the literature available to be extremely helpful and it prepared me both mentally and physically. I was rarely caught off guard during my one year stay with the exception of the unexpected happy surprises 🙂

Now, the training.

During my year in Maling, I have experienced the most difficult challenges of my life whereby my body, mind and soul were constantly put to the test, day in day out. The training is strenuous, tiring, demanding and merciless -and mind you, while we are getting the authentic Shaolin treatment, it is a watered down version that shies in comparison with what our masters have gone through in the Shaolin Temple in Deng Feng city (which I visited and was absolutely worth it). 

On my first week, one of my Kung Fu brothers made it a point NOT to share the details of the training in order to appreciate its different elements as I experienced them. I will do the same, though there is a class schedule on the site that shows you what a typical week would be like.

Expect pain and suffering. Remember, the training is meant to challenge you and push the boundaries your mind has wrongfully placed for you over the years. The harder you push, the more rewarding your results are. As such, listen to the masters at all times even if you think you cannot anymore. Also, the old students always have valuable advice to give, all you gotta do is just ask.

You can expect to get much more athletic, agile, flexible and stronger in general while increasing your overall stamina and resistance to pain. The weekly schedule is designed in a way to keep things different everyday so that no sense of routine and boredom creeps in during the week. If you stay there for a long duration however, every week will go by extremely fast and weeks will start blurring and melting into one another... 

I had zero experience in martial arts coming in, and upon completing my journey, I can honestly say that I discovered a new passion in Shaolin Kung Fu and martial arts in general plus I can fight if the situation called for it (self defense only of course). I haven't been training as hard as I used but my physical strength and stamina are still at an incredible level. This is an advantage for long term students as their body goes under complete reconstruction and changes at the core. 

The school you ask?

It's got everything you need and more. The internet speeds kept improving during my stay and I was able to watch every single game for my favorite American football team (New Orleans Saints) though not live of course due to the time zone differences AND win my Fantasy Football league (that means nothing to most of you I'm sure). The rooms are great and are as clean and tidy as you keep them. Bathrooms and showers are fully prepped to cater to a full house of students. The food is delicious, plentiful and full of all the nutrients your body needs to endure the training. 

What did I do on my off time?

Oh Lord there is so much to do. You will not get bored, especially if you make friends there. Xinyi is about 30 minutes away by bus or cab and is a medium level city (around 1 Million people) with a little bit of entertainment (i.e. Karaoke, pool halls, night club GT...) and it has a big supermarket that sells peanut butter! Wong Zhuong is about 10-15 minutes away by cab or touk-touk and there are some delicious foods to be tasted there. There is also a small village only a 35 minute walk away if you need to stock up on your snacks.

I also visited nearby cities such as Xuzhou, Suqian, Deng Feng and even spent 10 days for new year's in Shanghai. If you can afford it, tourism in the region is absolutely worth it and highly recommended. 

Even when the money was low, I would either train on the weekends, or go for a walk or watch a movie or read a book.

So in conclusion, though I can go on writing forever (and I apologize for the lack of structure, I'm writing as the ideas come to me), Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is my home away from home. I have so much attachment to that place and will be going there in the near and distant futures as many times as possible. It is the best journey I have ever embarked on as I still carry all its wisdom and magic during my daily life.

Please feel free to contact me for any reason as it will be my pleasure to give you whatever information you may need. 

One thing you should know at the end, is that almost all the students who have gone to Maling feel like they have a new family out there and this is why we are constantly keeping an eye at our beloved academy hoping it grows bigger over the years and reaches more and more people all around the globe.

Best of luck my friend, and as I said, take a leap of faith and just do it.

kung fu students Simon posing with a kung fu straightsword in front of an traditional Chinese tea house

SIMON FEATHERSTON

UK, 2014, One Year

Hello, my name is Simon Featherston. I am from England I live in Manchester, I am 44 years old and I trained at Maling Shaolin Academy for one year. When I arrived at the academy I was a typical 44 years old English male by that I mean a little over weight, not very fit and quite stressed from normal life in the UK!...

I had a little martial arts experience, I did karate for two years and some others when I was at school which was a long time ago !!

Before I went to the academy I set myself goals, to get, fitter to eat healthier, to learn as much as possible and most of all to learn how to relax, I had no idea what to expect when I arrived and was nervous. I arrived at the academy and my nerves went away quite quickly every one was friendly and wanted to meet the new student, Lisa gave me a tour of the school and showed me where I was going to sleep every one was really nice it was a good start, then I met Master Bao and Master Can, both Shaolin Masters I was nervous of them but they are very nice people and really helpful .

So how was the training ? to be honest at the start it was very hard for me, I could not run too far, I had little strength so could only do a few sit ups and press ups I had poor coordination I was just bad !!! For the first month or so I could hardly walk in the mornings until my muscles warmed up a little they were aching so much, but it got much better as time went on at the end of my year I was one of the quickest to run 10km and in the morning run too, I can do lots of press ups now and am much stronger  I have learned different weapon forms  which improve coordination, so I reached my goal of being fitter and healthier I even have muscles in my stomach !!

Did I learn to relax ? Oh you better believe I did !! the meditation and Tai Chi plus all the training has helped me to learn how to relax and now I don’t get stressed very often, not like when I arrived !! I am a lot happier with life and myself I have confidence and believe in myself which I didn’t when I came here so I am very happy with this part of the training.It has changed my life being at this academy.

The food was great, there was enough and it tastes good what more do you need ? I think the facilities are good, the rooms are large enough for two people to stay, the training room is big enough, we trained out side most of the time and there is plenty of space around the academy to train, there is a market not too far away, you wash youre cl oaths at the academy there are shops near by  there is internet in the rooms if you want it, every thing you need is there.

I trained hard and reached all my goals, I had lots of ups and downs over the year but I had a lot of help from the Masters to keep me motivated and keep me training well, the students help each other and encourage one and other, the academy really has a family atmosphere Master Bao’s mother does the cooking, Daisy the interpreter is very helpful when you need buy train tickets and other translations, and good translation in the classes when needed, I am very happy I chose this academy, it is friendly and professional the Masters are the best martial artists I have seen and want to help every one no matter what level you are at and they know just how much to push individuals.

Thank you every one at Maling Shaolin Academy one of the best years of my life.

happy kung fu student

DIVINA GOH

Malaysia, 2014, Eight Months

I spent 8 months training at Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy, from August 2013 to April 2014. It was the hardest thing I have ever physically and mentally accomplished, and I'm really glad I put myself through it.The first two months were the hardest, having no martial arts background whatsoever prior to my arrival...

I kept getting injuries, but taking advice from the Masters, I continued to train as much as I could. By the time I recovered, my body was already showing signs of adapting to an athlete's lifestyle. My power, speed, flexibility and endurance are now at an all-time high, as well as my mental strength and spiritual well-being. It is amazing to notice these small transformations happening to you over time.

The new academy and its peaceful surroundings provide a conducive environment for training. The Masters are friendly, patient and strive to bring out the best of your abilities. I highly recommend the optional Tai Chi class every weekday morning. It's a great way to start the day, and is beneficial in developing strength in your legs. Daisy, the school's translator, is extremely helpful and the Mandarin classes she conducts are worth attending to make your interactions with the locals a little more fruitful (despite their extremely thick regional accent!) or wish to travel around China while you are here. The food served for lunch and dinner is scrumptious too! Being a part of the international student community is a unique experience in itself, a great opportunity meet people of all ages, talents and walks of life.

Never let age, lack of experience, or even fitness level discourage you from trying this out. There is no good or bad time to leave the 'real' world to try out Shaolin kungfu. It's just a matter of just saying 'Yes' and doing it! It is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are seeking out an experience of a lifetime, then you will certainly not be left shortchanged. I can say without at doubt that Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy has changed my life. If you give it a chance, I have good faith that it will change yours too.

student testimonial Duncan training moment

DUNCAN GREENWOOD

Australia, 2013, Six Months 

First of all, very sad to be leaving Maling Shan! I was glad i came to stay here and learn such a martial art in its country of origin.I believed that i learned a lot, and really improved myself in my short time here. I achieved my goals: improving my flexibility,coordination and balance. Sometimes my ability and limits were tested, so i learned things about myself...

This was a great opportunity to meet so many people from all around the world. Also to live in a different country and see it for myself-especially in a part of China that is hardly visited by foreigners.

Very happy with the standard of teaching, especially by Master Bao. Although i learned quite a lot of new things very quickly, the Masters always gave proper explanations of all the moves. I am especially grateful to Master Bao for his early morning Tai Chi classes and for teaching me how to break bricks and marble!

While i personally received excellent instruction from Master Wang, i felt that he and Master Liu were often inconsistent in their teachings. Sanda classes were ofter not well run, and i thought that a lot of new students were not taught everything that they should have been. To deal with this in the future, i would suggest that ant new masters who come there should are meant to learn. Also even when there are other masters teaching, i think it would be good for Master Bao to come and supervise some more of the classes.

I think that the kitchen working staff did a great job in making the students meals. Very good that there was no MSG(Wei jing ) in the students’ food, or too much oil-that was very good for the health of the students.

One other suggestion i have, is try to prevent students from getting injured during training. Of course some people will get hurt, but sometimes this could have been avoided.

Finally i would definitely recommend Maling Shan school to anyone interested in going to China to learn martial arts. I gained so much from my time here, and i think it would be a great experience if you stay for a month, or a year.

student testimonial

RONI HASID

Israel, 2013, One Year

I've trained martial arts, including kung fu, taekwondo and kick-box, for 2-3 years before coming to China, and I honestly thought I had a good amount of basic knowledge. But I soon realized there is no comparison. One month of training here is sometimes the equivalent of a whole year of training back at home. But it's also ten times more demanding and tiring, and requires a lot of self-discipline and a positive attitude and spirit...

But I think if you like martial arts, this won't hold you back. The best thing about this academy for me was its peaceful environment. There are no more things to worry about here, and you can truly dedicate all of your time to training and doing what you love to do. Everyone around you is there to do the same. The only duties and obligations are training related, and don't even feel like duties. For example, you find yourself wanting to get out of bed before 6am to practice tai chi, even if it's freezing outside and even when you're still tired from yesterday's training.

The masters are amazing. They inspire you so much by just standing there. Quite often if they happen to pick up a weapon or demonstrate something cool to another student, you'll see everyone pausing and sneaking curious stares. They know so much and will do everything they can to help you learn, even after class hours.

I trained in this academy for one year. I had an injury in the beginning that held me back from giving 100% of myself for almost six long months, and many health problems besides, but still I learned more than I imagined possible. I learned to use different weapons, practiced sanda, fist forms and applications. Training improved my patience, coordination, speed, power and flexibility, and I learned to control (and relax) my body and mind. I'll admit- it wasn't easy. I almost gave up several times along the way, but with the support of the masters I made it, and I'm coming back for another year of training soon!

kung fu students Noconda holding a horse stance

NOCONDA LE GRAND

US, 2012, One Year

As I began my voyage into the abyss of a far away land. My nerves shot from the anticipation of what was yet to come. Here I stand over weight, smoker, and mentally incompetent to hold a conversation. Yet I was still not willing to give up my childhood dream. After countless emails over a years time with Lisa, I finally convinced my family to stop freaking out and let me be on my way...

At first the training was strenuous. For the first two weeks I was unable to walk. I was in luck, here you are bound to meet people (yes boys and girls are allowed here too train together) who share common goals, and interest. They will be your crutches in the time of need. I know they were when I literally could not walk. Although the training is ruff it gradually becomes easier. You will see results very quickly, mentally and physically. You become faster, stronger, and more flexible. Honestly you get as much in return as you are willing to put in. The masters will break you down, and build you back up. Things you may have thought were out of reach such as breaking a brick with your bare hand, doing a full side split, being able to jump up and side kick someone to the dome(head). All these remarkable things can now be with in the grasp of your finger tips. Here you are guaranteed to improve mentally and physically, or even both! I have met some truly remarkable people that I will never forget, some who will be at my wedding! Some who I will be forever in a pirate crew with! The abilities of the masters left me speechless with out a doubt every time. Now some things you need to know. I was here for all of China’s seasons. Make sure you bring the right clothes for the time period you will arrive. Example; You will be sweating off kilos in the summer bring light clothing. Winter-cold as heck have grandma knit you some awesome holiday sweaters and socks! The food you may need to get use too. Don’t think coming here is going to be Chinese food you get from take out. This is the real deal. We grow, and raise most of what we eat. If you are looking for a experience that you will never forget this is the place for you. It allows you to learn traditional kung fu and Sanda while being in China. I know I will never be the same after this trip.

kung fu students posing with weapons in Maling shan

VIKRANT SINGH

India, 2012, Six Months

My experience in Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy was really pleasant, enjoyable and not to forget tough ( training ). Out of the many things i liked about the academy the was most was the transparency between the staff and the students. Both Master Bao and Lisa will give you the best information on the subject whether it be training, lodging/food or just normal day to day questions...

Another thing I liked about the academy is that you are free to start from your own pace and then expected to gradually improve with time, but there is no pressure to start performing immediately, i.e. there is no stigma attached to initial bad performance, as i didn't have any martial arts performance before and kung fu was new to me i found this to be really helpful.

My lodging at the school was comfortable and I liked the food as well, but that maybe because I am Indian ( we use similar base materials ). I made a lot of new friends, got to know them a little during the course of my stay. We partied a few times and we took holiday in the middle as well ....it was awesome . Overall i really enjoyed my stay and would love to come back, I would thank everyone at Malingshan for making my trip a happy one and special thanks to Master Bao and his family for teaching and taking care of me.

This is to anyone who is looking to come here to study, if you know that you really want to learn kung fu then Malingshan will surely not disappoint you, because after all the guidance, pushing and beatings(not too hard but enough to send a message!) of the masters your performance depends on your own-self, the more hard work you do the better you will get. The "No pain , No gain " as they say on the site is the gist of the training experience.

kung fu student posing with shaolin staff

OLIVIA LECKIE

New Zealand, 2011, Three Months

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. 

student testimonial Dane posing with a Dao on the poles

DANE DAVIES

UK, 2011, Two Months

This academy really is a wonderful place. The training and caring nature of the masters is unrivalled. The masters listen to your own goals and help push you to your limits. I only had a limited time of 7 weeks to spend here, whilst on a career break, but in this time I’ve learnt Staff, Sword and Tai Chi, together with transforming my fitness levels...

Having previously spent time at another Shaolin academy in China, I can hand on heart say this has been a more conducive place to learn. I think this is also reflected in the fact you have several long-term talented students choosing to stay here rather than other places in China.

The local surroundings are quite beautiful, with a lot of money being invested in the area including 2 new Buddhist temples within walking distance, together with spectacular parkland and lakes. During some training sessions we would visit these places which was really enjoyable.

The academy itself is traditional and calm. Food is basic but actually very tasty, and there are hot showers and a western toilet. Rooms are very comfortable and have wifi – when you come I’d recommend you bring a laptop as there are not many communal computers.

I think what really sets this academy apart is the masters. I learnt under Master Bao and Master Du, and it has been a real honour. They are patient, thorough and incredibly talented martial artists – both having trained in the Shaolin Temple and have had years of teaching experience.

If you hadn’t guessed by now. I’d thoroughly recommend this academy for both novices and talented martial artists. It has made me a stronger person – both mentally and physically.

Feel free to contact me if you have any general questions about the academy.

Students testimonials

LARS KLINGENBERG

Norway, 2011, Four Months

"I have always dreamed of going to China. And I have always dreamed of learning Kung Fu. So why not do both at the same time? I have never done much of martial arts, so Kung Fu was new to me. This school taught me a lot about Chinese martial arts, the Chinese culture, the language, but most important, myself.

"I have always dreamed of going to China. And I have always dreamed of learning Kung Fu. So why not do both at the same time?

I have never done much of martial arts, so Kung Fu was new to me. This school taught me a lot about Chinese martial arts, the Chinese culture, the language, but most important, myself. After being at Maling Shan, I realized that nothing is impossible if you work hard enough And I have never been able to push myself that long and hard that I can do today, and that is because of the good Masters at Maling Shan. I highly recommend this school for people who want to learn Shaolin Kung Fu and want to see China from another perspective then Beijing and Shanghai. I will definitely go back if I get the chance! Thank you for 4 awesome months with Kung Fu at Maling Shan!


- Lars, 20 years old from Norway."

students testimonial Daniel Hugo

DANIEL HUGO

Denmark, 2010, Three Months

I have been studying kung fu at the academy for about three months. It must be one of the best decisions I have ever made! The masters I don’t think I have ever met someone like them, and I probably never will again. They will always think about you before they think of themselves. 

They are as tough as they are kind, they kept surprising me every day, by how much knowledge they have in being a good person, and how much they could destroy you if they wanted to. They are so patient with you and they are so eager to learn you what they know, but do it at a pace where everybody can keep up. I am truly proud that I have been there. 

The training itself, is very hard, but at the same time relaxing, if that makes any sense. my body was totally done after the first 2 weeks, even though I am professional soldier in Denmark, and work out every day, but my mind kept sharp and relax during training, and even more after training was done. It really cleanses your sole and body. I can do nothing but recommend it to all people! 

I also met a lot of international friends there, whom I’m definitely going to see again soon.

kung fu students Ayoub performing a low stance beside the Meihua poles

AYOUB DIB

US, 2010, Three Months

This is the second time I've come to China to train with my teacher, and I can't wait for the third time. The atmosphere here is great, it's a lot like a family; the teachers and translators are always willing to help you with any problems you may have. The area's great too, right in the country; you walk out the gate and you see farmlands and lakes, it's really beautiful...

There's a small road that runs by the academy, one way takes you to where you can get a bus or taxi to the city, a ten minute walk the other way takes you to a small village. But even ignoring the scenery, it's a really good place to be, the accommodations are good, the food is really good, and the teachers and training are top-notch. The training I've got here is without a doubt, some of the best training I've ever had. It's been an incredible three months for me, and when I got the time and money again, I'm definitely coming back.