WHAT STUDENTS ARE SAYING ABOUT US

HERE ARE A SELECTION OF STUDENT TESTIMONIALS FROM STUDENTS WHO HAVE TRAINED WITH US IN THE PAST. WE HAVE DIVIDED THEM INTO TWO GROUPS

  1. Long term students – who have trained at the school for at least 6 months.
  2. Short term students – who have come for short term training trips or kung fu holidays ranging from 1 week up to 6 months.

Where the students have given us permission, we have included their email address along with their testimonial so you can contact them directly if you have any questions about their testimonial or want to ask them any questions about our school.

LONG TERM STUDENTS

 ALEXANDRE SAC-EPEE ALEXANDRE SAC-EPEE 20 Years Old, 11 months of training, France sacepeea@gmail.com

In 11 months at this academy I learned way more than I was expected. My Kung Fu of course improved a lot but I also learn about the culture of China and of Kung Fu, the spirituality, the discipline and a lot about myself. I understand now why masters learn Kung Fu all their life, because is not only a sport, it’s a way of life. Shifu Yan Jun is a really good master, not only because his Kung Fu is impressive but because he understand the students. He see each student in their true nature and help them improving their Kung Fu and the most important to help them finding the true path to be happy. Even if he doesn’t speak English really well, we learn a lot from him because of his character. The Academy is located next to the Shaolin temple and the mountains where Dharma meditated during 9 years. We are living in a really spiritual place, the peaceful energy from the mountains, the temple, and all the monks resting in the Pagoda Forest.

JOSHUA FITZSIMONS JOSHUA FITZSIMONS 26 Years Old, 6 months of training, Ireland joshkamh@gmail.com

Before I arrived I was sceptical about joining any Kung Fu school. After contacting many schools, I decided to join Songshan Shaolin Traditional Wushu Academy. Their webpage (link- FB) seems to be the most professional, genuine and up-to-date. To my pleasant surprise we were truly immersed in the Kung Fu village. This was my new home, a place of rich history, bang in the middle of Shaolin Temple. It was a truly breath-taking journey, with excellent food, superb support from Andi and co. and master class lessons under Shifu Yan Jun. If you wish to learn while having fun with distinct direction, I highly recommend this school. I developed quickly due to Shifu’s guidance and patience. I believe that any student who commits to Kung Fu upon arrival will flourish while surrounded by beautiful scenic views. I found training to be excellent, I really clicked with Shifu which made my training easier. He is very clear and direct, excellent technique and he is patient. His experience shows as he knows how to teach, even new or perhaps less coordinated students. Shifu Yan Jun classes are very good. I appreciate that he mixes the classes up so we try different things. He also goes around explaining why we do things in forms which makes us feel like we are learning practical movements. The Shaolin Temple is very nice to see, the mountains are beautiful and provide excellent opportunities for photographs and hikes.

TANYA FIGUERAS TANYA FIGUERAS 34 Years old, 6 months of training, USA tfiguera@gmail.com

I came to China for a change in my life. I was not sure what it was, but I needed a change of pace. The one thing I did know was that I did not come here for Kung Fu. The first school I went to was focused only on Kung Fu and nothing else. I found myself bored and unsatisfied. Once I came to SongShan Shaolin Traditional Wushu Academy, that all changed. The surroundings are simple yet beautiful. The mountains, green trees, Shaolin Temple and people training diligently all around you are an inspiration for daily life. There was a community, family like feel to the school that made this place home for me. After my first week of training I already learned more here than I had in my 2 months at my last school. The combination of meditation, tai chi, Qigong, and kung fu was just what I needed. The group was encouraging and so helpful that it made we want to press on and do more. The jewel of the place is definitely Sifu Shi Yan Jun. He is always smiling and cheering you on. He teaches you without judgment and works with your shortcomings- whether that be a lack of qi for the day, lack of experience, or an injury, he can adjust your lesson to suit your needs. Soon I found myself in love with Kung Fu. I wanted to learn as much as I could, and challenge myself harder than I ever had. The staff is always there to help and listen. If you have an issue it is addressed right away. Our group went through a lot together and I would not give the experience up for anything. I will definitely be coming back in the future!

NICK MENSINK NICK MENSINK 25 Years Old, 11 months of training, Holland nickmensink14@hotmail.com

Hi everybody! My name is Nick Mensink and I’m from Holland. I’m 25 years old, graduated in Physical Education and use that as a base to teach in many sports like swimming, free running and gymnastics. I’ve always wanted to do this and worked my way up until it was the right time, had enough money and was prepared. I came to China 10th of September 2013. I had trained before I came because I read many personal stories about how hard Shaolin Kung Fu could be. Nevertheless, the first 2 weeks of training were tough, I felt sore and tired. But after that i got used to it and trained my endurance and flexibility. It’s true, the stories about how hard it can be, how hard you have to push your limits with a little help of Shifu and how much you can improve your body and mind. Shifu Shi Yan Jun and his school are in my opinion definitely the best for a foreigner to study Kung Fu. He is patient, skilled in many ways, joins in during training, and even practice Sanda with his students. He has a good feeling about what’s best for the group, and individually. He’ll teach you any form you want to learn and he can adjust it to your level and skills. The schedule is really good divided. Tai Chi, Qigong and meditation in the morning, and after breakfast forms, stretching, basics. Then a nice break what you can use to recover (sleep) train extra or review your forms. And the afternoon training is mostly Sanda, power training and the mountain run on Friday. The accommodation and the food are good! Especially the food is good, nice taste, healthy, protein bean milk and pancakes in the morning which makes a good start of the day. The working staff is really nice and taking good care of the environment, food and rooms. The people I’ve met were mostly awesome, helpful, and sportive and what the most important thing for me was that they had the same kind of motivation or mind-set. Training and living with people who are more or less the same like you make me more motivated. I’m grateful that I’ve had the chance to be a student of Shifu Shi Yan Jun, He taught me so much in a short time and it’s all about happy kung fu. His way of teaching was eye opening, his personality is respected and his Kung Fu is awesome! I hope that I can come back in the future to learn a little more!

 NIKOLAJ SKAMMERITZ JELSBECH NIKOLAJ SKAMMERITZ JELSBECH 25 Years Old, 6 months of training, Denmark nikolajjelsbech@gmail.com

I needed a big change in my life, and decided to pursue a dream of Kung Fu in China. But to be honest, I did not really know what to expect here, except the fact that I was going to live here for 6 months training Shaolin Kung Fu. Shifu and Andy received me with open arms, and I felt welcome and at home right away. As my life at the school started to evolve, I realized that the school was not like anything, I have ever imagined. The atmosphere is very cosy, and due to the fact that it is not a big school, you quickly start to bond with everyone and it quickly starts to feel like one big family. That aspect was also visible in the training as well; people were really nice and kind to one and other and if anybody had struggle, one would be ready to help out. I feel fortunate, that I got to train with Shifu Shi Yan Jun. He is a great teacher, and has an awesome personality, which affects the persons around him. During training he made sure I reached my full potential, and the training never got boring, you basically never really knew what was going to happen. He had a great way of making up new things for training, which meant that it never got anyway close to being boring. At the same time, he would often join in and motivate us. I was surprised how fast I improved at the academy. While training hard you need food that provides you with good energy, and the school really made sure of this. The breakfast was my favourite and something I am going to miss a lot, but all the food is awesome actually – really healthy and fresh without any fats! And if you had any suggestions the staff would listen, and if we came up with reasonable ideas, they would do everything to please us. My stay went beyond all my expectations, and it was hard leaving a place I had really come to love! At the moment, I am already planning my return, and hopefully Shaolin Academy will be a place, I will keep in touch with for many years to come!

ANDREEA MCCURRY ANDREEA MCCURRY 45 Years Old, 4 years of training, UK andreeamccurry@yahoo.co.uk

Shifu Shi Yan Jun is an expert at not only understanding human behaviour and your personal issues but also in communicating with you, heart to heart. He can read what is in your mind and heart. When I came to China I was obese and 41 years old. No chance I will accomplish much my friends told me! But hey, now after 4 years of training with Shifu Yan Jun, my life has changed. He forces you to step aside from the situation you got yourself into. He does it so carefully but so effectively and you realize that nothing is the way it is for any reason then you created that for yourself. I learned Shaolin forms and their applications, I do splits and I’m very flexible, I participated at Competitions for Tai Chi Quan and won first place twice (competing with Chinese as well) but mostly I am in great shape! Have been on TV shows and give Interviews, I learn to cook healthy Chinese food and I’m fluent in Chinese! I recently had the opportunity to meet one of the legends of Chinese Kung Fu – Sammo Hung, one of my childhood hero. I also had the opportunity to meet some of the biggest names in Chinese Kung Fu such as: Grandmaster Cai Long Yun which holds 9 Duanwei, Grandmaster Han Bai Guang which is Number one in China for Mei Hua Quan, The Venerable Abbot of the Shaolin Temple, Shi Yong Xin, just to number some. The latest great achievement is that I was offered the position as Deputy Director for the Cultural and Teaching part of Mei Hua Quan for the International Mei Hua Quan Federation! So for me was not only a learning experience. Here you can have an opportunity to have a new change of career and life overall. Shifu’s teachings help me always be at my BEST. I am very grateful for this amazing journey in China.

 CHRISTOPHER LEE CHRISTOPHER LEE 25 Years Old, 2 months of training, USA 15 years Taekwondo (Black Belt, 4 Duan), 1 year Muay Thai, 4 years gymnastics and parkour christopherlee303@gmail.com

I have trained in other school in China for 3 months and joined Songshan Shaolin for 2 months. After living and breathing Shifu’s mantra of happy Kung Fu, my whole experience in Kung Fu here felt complete. I found Shifu Yan Jun Kung Fu experience very balanced, relevant and complete. My favourite part about his training was likely the fact that no class was ever the same. His variety always kept the students on our toes. And if any person got injured, Shifu would make sure to always take good care of his students, ensuring that we are all happy and healthy at any given time. The training itself was a lot of fun. I personally really liked performing basics and fundamentals, drilling in the same techniques until we got them perfect. Shifu would often yell compliments during training and even sometimes jump into training to get our energy pumping. He was a great leader in that he was ever-present in class (never distracted), always smiling and always feeling out what students really enjoy. Sometimes during a class, if he found the students having fun kicking targets, he would shift the class to jump kick drills. He knows how to make class enjoyable, informative and memorable. My absolute favourite Kung Fu experience is getting one-on-one time with Shifu. For the main fact that he is always smiling makes the training all the worthwhile. His energy is captivating. Even magnetic. My time with him will be cemented with his genuine smile and belief in happy Kung Fu. The Academy is very nice. I was very impressed with the food. The chefs here prepare fresh meals at every meal. The breakfast pancakes were likely my favourite meal every day, along with the freshly prepared hot-porridge. They put a lot of love and energy into making a very well rounded meal for the students and it was all well-received by students and guests. I have to say that the fresh watermelon during lunchtime is the hit item during any mealtime. I appreciate Shifu love of detail for the school including all the plants in the area and making sure it is nice and clean. The Temple is great.

SHORT TERM STUDENTS

JONATHAN M. FIELDS JONATHAN M. FIELDS 37 Years Old, 17 days of training and study of Chinese Traditional Medicine, USA jfields136@hotmail.com

My experience was transformational and everything. Best trip ever!!! Shifu Shi Yanjun is one of the best highly skilled instructors and martial artists I have ever met throughout my nearly two decades of training. Shifu Yanmian is a competent and intelligent physician that I would trust with my life. I had the privilege of being treated by him and was very impressed by his expertise and techniques. Shifu Yanyi was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. He embodies everything we should strive for. His presence, smile and life lessons are exactly what most of us need for assurance and realization. Shifu Yanshi aka “Happy Buddha” is a spiritual guide, mentor and friend. His deep understandings of the universe are unparalleled and refreshing. His always there to help and is the kindest soul. The academy is located in the perfect place! Away from the tourists and right on the mountain, yet in walking distance from the Temple and everything else. The hiking is spectacular, the Dengfeng city is a fun visit that is not overwhelming like some big cities. History, culture, art, spirituality, breath-taking views, friendly people and a relatively inexpensive price make for a great adventure!

CYNTHIA ANN LEE HAYES-HURST CYNTHIA ANN LEE HAYES-HURST 47 Years Old, 17 days of training and study of Chinese Traditional Medicine, USA theonlyresort@yahoo.com

The staff, students, teachers and Academy exceeded my expectation! I thought I would be learning Taiji and Qigong and taking medicine courses but I got the opportunity to learn Kung Fu, staff, Meihua Quna and training was fun. Shifu Yanjun was very good with everyone and pushed us to try everything but knew when we were tired and made sure that we worked to the best of our abilities. The Academy, mountains and temple are beautiful. I enjoyed hiking in the mountains on Fridays and weekends. The food is wonderful. Susan did a good job translating for our medical courses, Andi helped keep us all organized. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to learn and grow here. All of the Shifus that taught us were very knowledgeable and I wish that we could have had more time here. It has been an amazing experience.

 LYNN M. MCPHEARSON LYNN M. MCPHEARSON 29 Years Old, 17 days of training and study of Chinese Traditional Medicine, USA lmcphear@gmail.com

The academy exceeded my expectations. The training was and felt authentic. The support from the instructor of martial arts Shifu Shi Yanjun, translator Susan and coordinator Andi was 5 star. Shifu Shi Yanjun had great instruction on conditioning the body, martial arts and life lessons. I didn’t feel like I was being held back in training or baby sat. I felt welcomed on Day 1 and was very able to participate in the activities. The senior students were all friendly and strived for me to train harder. The living conditions are adequate and humbling. The beds are kind of hard so takes some getting used to but all else was fine. Shifu Yanmian Acupuncture was great with info and case studies. Also him demonstrating and hands on approach made the class lively. Shifu Yanyi had great diagnostic approaches and Shifu Yanshi Feng Shui and Qigong course was filled with great information and practical use. The environment was peaceful. No pollution, thanks for the mountains, trees, beautiful scenery, the Temple is authentic and filled with rich history. The villagers are friendly. Thanks you.

GINNY BLAKELY GINNY BLAKELY 58 Years Old, 2 weeks of training, USA mammagcb@yahoo.com

My experience has been very pleasing and welcoming. I have found peace and learned how physically able I can be. I feel that I am part of this Academy family. My training experience with Shifu Shi Yanjun was very professional. I will recommend this training school to everyone. This school is for those who are serious about training. I will continue my training at home. The experiences of the ceremonies and climbing the mountains were so beautiful. It was great to be a part of the local cultures. The Academy was perfect now so any changes will only enhance the experience.

LAHAT SHRIKER LAHAT SHRIKER 24 Years Old, 1 month of training, Israel lahats@gmail.com

The experience at this school was wonderful. To learn Kung Fu it was once in life. I thank to all staff for this support and the assistance in the all-time I have been here. I am glad for that I come here and learned here and would recommend others to come and study here.

ANDREW WANT ANDREW WANT 28 Years Old, 2 months of training, UK andywant@hotmail.com

I stayed for 8 weeks at the academy living in the dormitory. I practiced mainly Shaolin, Sanda and Taiji. I really enjoyed my time here and learned a huge amount. The other students were welcoming, friendly and very supportive and encouraging during training. There is a close family feel and a really nice atmosphere. The food is fresh, healthy and very good for getting you through training. I feel I have a much better understanding of these martial arts now. I have improved my fitness, strength and flexibility, but most importantly, I had a wonderful 2 months. I highly recommend this academy. I have trained with Shifu in the past and wanted to come back and train with him again. He has a very wide knowledge of Kung Fu but also very deep knowledge. He has a very profound understanding of the techniques. As well as this, he is a great teacher and cares greatly about his students.

ADELA MICHEA ADELA MICHEA 32 Years Old, 1 month of training, Romania am.om@cbs.dk

The Academy was my very first encounter with martial arts. I have never done any forms of martial arts before, which made my one month of learning Kung Fu very intense and meaningful. Thus, by learning different kung fu techniques, I got to know that my body can much more than I have imagined. It was also easy, fun, and fascinating to learn all these, from a Shifu with a remarkable experience and patience to explain over and over again. It is hard to forget the impressions one gets when seeing Shifu executing any Kung Fu forms. Both my self and my colleagues couldn’t get enough of seeing his demonstrations.

PAUL ARMSTRONG PAUL ARMSTRONG 20 Years Old, 1 month of training, Ireland (e-mail on request only – privacy request)

I spent 1 month in the Academy and it was everything I was expecting, had a great time. The training was excellent and well balanced, the food was excellent and everyone was very helpful and welcoming. Shifu Yan Jun was an amazing teacher!! He was strict and precise when teaching as you would expect but also very friendly and understanding. The Academy is in an amazing place, 5 minutes walk from the Shaolin Temple and completely surrounded by an amazing mountain range.

CHARAN NAGESH CHARAN NAGESH 25 Years Old, 1 month of training, India nageshcharan@yahoo.com

It was such a great experience coming here. Shifu is a powerhouse of knowledge and experience and yet very humble. I started to feel so fit right after the first day of training itself. I thoroughly enjoyed all the classes, be it Kung Fu training or others classes like Power stretching, Power Training Acrobatics, Sanda, Tai Chi Qi Gong forms or DaMo hiking. I was welcomed with so much warmth by Andi and her motivational support was amazing. The hotel accommodation was good. Susan is a wonderful person and her support in translation was great. And yeah, I’m a born vegan (I don’t even eat egg) and it was really nice of Papa and Mama for catering to my needs. The training schedule is so well made that it includes elements of Strength, Flexibility, Stamina , Internal Energy. Also, the attending the Buddhist ceremony in The Shaolin temple was a beautiful experience. Loved the Chinese Culture and traditional medicine classes. The students here are very friendly and are like family. Overall, it’s a mind, body and soul rejuvenation. Amituofo!

DANIEL GOAILLARD – KUNG FU PANDA DANIEL GOAILLARD – KUNG FU PANDA 27 Years Old, 3 weeks of training, UK dangoaillard@hotmail.co.uk

Coming here was one of the biggest best decisions I have ever made. After just 3 days I could feel total calm. The training is tough but with the support of all of the other students we worked through and improved week on week. I lost 10 kg in 3 weeks! Andi & the Shifus made this trip the perfect expereicne I will remember forever. Home is where the heart is, with so much of my heart here the school and Shaolin Temple will always be a home to me. Thank you billions. You have no idea how much this has meant to me. Dan (Panda)

 NADJA REICHE NADJA REICHE 41 Years Old, 3 weeks of training, Germany

The training schedule is very diverse and interesting / inspiring. The daily schedule is perfect I think. Accommodation and food by far exceeded my expectations. I especially value / enjoy that Shifu always emphasizes the ‘mental’ aspect /strength in training. Very family like atmosphere. The location inside the Temple is exceptional experience. My expectations of the Academy were exceeded in every way.

 ANZA VANG ANZA VANG 34 Years Old, 5 days of training, USA m.anzavang@gmail.com

The experience at the Academy is an unforgettable one. Everyone is so sweet and loving and encouraging. Shifu’s are so patient, caring and funny. I’ve learned a lot about myself and Kung Fu and Tai Ji in the brief week that was spent there. Shifu Yan Jun is very thorough with his training and techniques. He is tough with conditioning and other training but I understand that it’s just to push us to our full potential. Great! The surroundings is amazing: the mountains, the baby kung fu kids training, Dharma, Temple – all beautiful. Thank you for the best time in China.

BOB WANG BOB WANG 28 Years Old, 2 weeks of training, USA bobwangsemail@gmail.com

I had an absolutely fantastic time training here. Shifu Yan Jun’s experience and skill are an inspiration to see and learn from. I love his sense of humour that transcends all language barriers, which keeps the class light and fun, which is necessary when our entire bodies are pushed beyond what most of us have ever done in our lives. Having access to the Temple when there are no tourists is also a gem in our training that I believe every student should experience. Thank you for the awesome last 2 weeks and I sincerely hope to be back soon.

 PETER AND RYAN VIS PETER AND RYAN VIS 49 and 11 years old, 2 weeks of training, Netherlands Peterryan13@gmail.com

We especially came here to have a good father-son bonding experience and that worked out for the best. The fact that Shidu paid attention to Ryan’s figure made me happy. I am sure it will improve from now on. The level of training is quite high but anyone can train on his own level. Though I have to say for an 11 years old like Ryan it is extremely tough but Shifu saw that correct and gave Ryan time to relax as well. The basics of the Academy is one of the strong points. So it should not be changed. Thanks big time!

MATTI SMIDT MATTI SMIDT 20 Years Old, 1 month of training, Germany Matti.smidt@t-online.de

During my stay I was taught basic Shaolin forms: Wu Bu Quan and Tong Bei Quan, also I learned “24 steps” Taiji and Qigong. Besides this I made great experience with other students from many different countries. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. I am really happy to have the opportunity to train with Shifu Yan Jun. His experiences are amazing and he is a good teacher. I learned for example not only the steps in shaolin forms. I could also understand their meaning. Shifu is a really nice and kind person who is everyday happy. To experience that was a great pleasure for me. The training was good for my body and mind. The Academy is located in the mountains. This surrounding gives a nice opportunity of good hiking and culture sightseeing besides the training and real shaolin warrior. I am really happy and thankful for this month at the Songshan Shaolin traditional Wushu Academy.

LOUIS O’HALLORAN LOUIS O’HALLORAN 20 Years Old, 1 month of training, Ireland Louis.ohalloran@gmail.com

From start to finish I enjoyed every single day of my time here in the Academy. All the students were so friendly and helpful, I felt at home right away. The training was tough but very enjoyable and all of the Shifu’s were great. It was really good fun, different every day and every week so I never got tired of it. I really enjoyed Sanda and Qin Na in particular because of how useful they seem to be in real life. The forms were good too and they were really interesting as well. The food was also really really nice. The surroundings of the Academy were absolutely amazing! It really in the perfect setting to learn Kung Fu. The landscape is fantastic and very atmospheric too. I will really miss that lovely view from the top of the mountain on Friday afternoons. Thank you so much for everything you have done to make my time here so memorable.

TANER MCCULLAUGH TANER MCCULLAUGH 25 Years Old, 1 month of training, USA Tanermccullaugh11@gmail.com

My time here at the Academy has been great. The accommodations are better than I expected and both staff and students have been helpful and friendly. All of the Shifu’s have been great, particularly Shifu Yan Jun. it is clear he is an expert and his skill and patience make him a great teacher. The variety of the schedule and the way he adjusts class to fit everyone are great. The surroundings of the school are beautiful – I wish I had spent more time exploring the mountains. And training so close to the Shaolin Temple is a dream come true.

THEODORE GORDON THEODORE GORDON 23 Years Old, 1 month of training, USA Theodorej.gordon@gmail.com

Time flies when you are having fun! It also flies when you are working hard, and there is plenty of both at Songshan Shaolin Traditional Wushu Academy. I greatly enjoyed my month and I wished I could stay longer! The Shifu’s are very good teachers and are willing to train you to your limit, though also are conscious of safety and will ensure you are comfortable during your stay. Along with this, the training environment could not get any better. Being at the heart of the Shaolin Temple is amazing, and the mountains are perfect for nature lovers and people wanting a good exercise or even a panorama. If you are looking for a push towards a healthy lifestyle, want to learn more about Chinese Culture or Kung Fu, or just want to experience an entirely unique and fulfilling experience, the Songshan Academy is perfect for you! I definitely want to come back, with some old friends and to meet new people and perfect my Kung Fu!

VIKRAM SINGH BHULLAR VIKRAM SINGH BHULLAR 25 Years Old, 1 month of training, USA v.bhullar90@live.com

My experience at the Academy was truly amazing. Shifu Yan Jun is a true expert on how to make hard work into a fun, and joyful activity. I learned so much within one month such as Tong Bei Quan, 18 Chen Tai Ji, Qin Na, Qigong and Sanda. Shifu Yan Jun is not only teaches forms, Sanda and Self Defence, but also teaches how to apply these things in your day to day life which he emphasizes as very important thing. Growing up like doing a lot for martial arts I learned that this is a sign of a true master. The training are is amazing, located in the Shaolin monastery grounds, it is very scenic and all inspiring. It feel like something out of those old legendary Kung Fu movies. I’m sure I’ll be back again.

EVAN THROCKMORTON EVAN THROCKMORTON 23 Years Old, 1 month of training, USA evanthrock@yahoo.com

During my stay at the school I learned Tai Ji, Qigong, Sanda, Qin Na and many Gong Fu forms and training techniques. My stay at the academy has been everything I could have hoped for and more. I was never unhappy. Sure the work was hard sometimes, but that’s the point. Shifu Yan Jun is exactly as his title claim: Shifu – a father figure. Patient, kind, understanding, has a great sense of humour and while he does not tolerate laziness he does not make you feel like dirt about it. He always made me WANT to work hard. I never wanted to disappoint him because he deserves better than that. He will always have a place in my heart. The surroundings of the academy is what sets it apart from many other academies and is a fundamental reason why I enjoyed my stay so much. I was and have been very happy that I got to experience China and the art of Kung Fu in such a beautiful place.

 PETER HELMERS PETER HELMERS 28 Years Old, 1 month of training, Norway Peter_helmers@hotmail.com

I never thought I would learn so much in only 30 days. Everyone here were very friendly all the way from the beginning. When I had to go home earlier than planned because of issues at home, there were no problems getting a refund and everything was very professional. Before I came to China I had heard that the Shifu’s in China could be extremely strict. I was a bit worried about this, but even though Shifu will push you hard to help you reach your goals, expect you to follow rules, train hard and be on time, he is also very understanding and will do his best to make your stay as nice as possible. He also knows when a student needs rest or different kind of training. I’m very pleased with the Shifu. The location of the Temple here in the mountains is perfect when you want to get away from all the noise and stress in the cities. The rooms in the academy are nice and I am very happy that there are western toilets here.

JAMIE GERAGHTY JAMIE GERAGHTY 24 Years Old, 1 month of training, Ireland Jamiegeraghty79@gmail.com

I have unbelievably enjoyed my time here. From the moment I got here everybody was so welcoming and friendly. I have made some great friends here and lives in a great area which I will never forget. The whole experience had a great impact on my life and I will return home a better person. Shiuf has taught me so much, not just in Kung Fu terms and my own training, but as a teacher. At home I am a Fitness Instructor and Shifu Yan Jun has taught me so much in terms of me becoming a better instructor. He is always very happy and creates a great atmosphere within the group. The way he integrates with the group is fantastic and I learned a lot about that side of learning and how I can improve on that side of things back home. As for my Kung Fu, Shifu taught me a lot. He was always very patient with me which I appreciated very much, that is another great thing about him. The surrounding is amazing, anybody who travels here will leave with a completely different perspective. The area is beautiful and seeing what surrounds you – the mountains, the children training – is inspiring. I would like to thank all Shifu’s, Andi and the cooks for all their help and hard work for making a place like this available.

 ARNAUD CAZORLA ARNAUD CAZORLA 20 Years Old, 1 month of training, returning student from France arnaud.cazorla78@gmail.com

This month was for me like previous time, an awesome experience in Martial Arts. I learned a lot from Shifu Shi Yan Jun and not only forms and movements but a real feeling when I’m practicing Kung Fu. I think this is priceless. I’m sure I’ll come back here, to live my dream for this time in the greatest place to study Kung Fu – Shaolin Temple.

KATHLEEN COX KATHLEEN COX 26 Years Old, 1 month and half of training, Australia, E-mail on request only

Having spent most of the past year either confined to a wheelchair or hobbling along on crutches, I thought a Shaolin sojourn would help in regaining some fitness. Given that simply walking caused me great anguish, this may have seemed slightly ambitious. The Songshan Shaolin Traditional Wushu Academy, however, has proven to be pivotal in my recovery. Everyone at the Academy was exceptionally understanding of my condition: the Shifu readily adapted my training, gearing it towards recovery with a focus upon Qigong; the Grandmaster shared his knowledge, prescribing exercises and remedies that calmed my chronic pain; and, even though I wasn’t able to participate in the more intensive training, the other students were highly inclusive of me and wonderfully friendly. Such a positive experience – and my dramatically improved health – is a reflection of the Academy’s pleasant atmosphere, the Shifu’s genuine joy for his art, and the holistic philosophy of kung fu.

 LEO LUVISUTTO LEO LUVISUTTO 21 Years Old, 1 month and half training, France leoluvisutto@hotmail.com

It has been a great pleasure to spend more than a month in the Academy and to train with Shifu Shi Yan Jun. I think he managed very well to unite the east and west, and to provide a training as good as the Chinese schools for Chinese but adapted to foreign students. He is an open minded, kind hearted man and it has been an honour to follow his teaching, even for a short period. The atmosphere of the school is a friendly and welcoming one and the training is fit for everyone. The surroundings are really beautiful and the Dharma cave hike every week is a good training idea. San Xuan Zhai monastery and the hike to get there is probably one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life. I’m forever thankful to the people who made it possible. Thank you very much.

PAUL LE NGUYEN PAUL LE NGUYEN 26 Years Old, 3 months of training, USA Pauln008@gmail.com

I really enjoyed the hostel environment. The students were quite friendly. It’s nice to make friends from all over the world. My experience overall was great. Being in China teaches you a lot about change. A lot can happen every day, you can’t predict what will happen. The weather changes often, training may change as well. So eventually you learn to change with it. Shifu Yan Jun is very patient. Day by day your Kung Fu will go up. Shifu English is getting better every day. Students from all over is teach him, so he is communicating with his students better. When I didn’t understand a form he would walk me through it slowly. The area is: “surreal, beautiful and worth the adventure”.

 KAREN DOPLHIN KAREN DOPLHIN 32 Years Old, Karate, Black Belt, 4 Duan, 1 month of training, Ireland karendolph@gmail.com

I have had a very positive experience in the Academy. The atmosphere is very friendly and both students and staff are very helpful. This made the stay very easy and enjoyable. The rooms are comfortable with lots of space for clothes so on. The standard is good for China. I really loved the food here. The Tofu is fab. I like that is healthy and filling, with lots of choice and plenty of vegetables. Shifu Shi Yan Jun was excellent. I liked how he tailored training to the group’s experience and energy. I really enjoyed the variety of classes. There were lots of different lessons each week. This kept training interesting. I also liked how Shifu let students who remembered things quickly progress on to new forms. This kept the training challenging and fun. I think Shifu is a fantastic teacher and his love for Kung Fu really shines and is passed on to his students. The setting of the Academy is truly magical. Being in Shaolin makes you live and breathe Kung Fu every day. This emersion in Kung Fu is very beneficial for training and inspiration. Training with a view of the mountains and temple is inspirational and they are views I will never forget. Hopefully I will be back.

MAKSIM NELEPA MAKSIM NELEPA 14 Years Old, 1 month of training, Macedonia nmaksim@yahoo.com

I have been here for about a month and have had the experience of a lifetime. I felt very welcome as all the students as well as staff, treated me as part of their Kung Fu family regardless of my age. I have learnt a significant amount in the short time I have been here and for that I am very thankful and satisfied. I enjoyed the meals and facilities provided by the school. I wish to return here in the future because this place is special. Shifu has been the best master I could have asked for, his wisdom and professionalism is astonishing as well as his attitude and character towards his students and their education. He pushed me to my full potential. I could not have asked for better. I see a lot of greenery and where I live that is a seldom luxury. The temples and mountains and scenery are beyond beautiful and the history is very humble. A great environment to train and live in.

 LAURENS PORSCHEN LAURENS PORSCHEN 28 Years Old, 2 months of training, Holland laurens.porschen@gmail.com

I have had an amazing life-changing experience. I feel much more powerful, my fitness and body improved a lot, and I love the Yin-Yang approach. Also Meditation, Qigong and Tai Ji have been very educational. Shifu Yan Jun is amazing. He is a very impressive man. The best thing is that the trainings are diverse. This keeps the group Qi alive. The surroundings are very nice. There are many beautiful spots which we discovered during our training. Highly satisfied. I will recommend this school! For details on the Academy, life and training I wrote a blog. You can check it out at: http://lporschen.wordpress.com/2014/11/25/2-months-at-the-shaolin-temple

MICHAEL ALLEN MICHAEL ALLEN 49 Years Old, 1 month of training, Ireland Chief Instructor Tralee School of Martial Arts – mikekickboxing@hotmail.com

Well from the start being greeted at the airport by the Translator and driven by taxi to the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, where I was welcomed by another member of the School, Gary, a very friendly and hardworking young man who always found time to help others in any way he could. I was welcomed at the School also by Andy who provided a meal for me after my journey. Then Andy took time to give me a personal tour of the training grounds and the Shaolin Temple. Andy was extremely helpful to me during my stay, allocating her time between being a Student herself and the Administrator of the School, keeping everything running smoothly, even taking shopping lists from me and all students and travelling to the city to bring us back everything we required from watermelon to fire. Andy is truly an honest and caring human being. I spoke with Andy and told her my body was broken from 33 years of fighting in Martial arts and I wanted my training there to be more spiritual and weapons. Shifu Shi Yan Jun designed a Programme specific to my needs and indeed designed Programmes to suit the needs and levels of ability of all the Students there. I found Shifu Yan Jun to be an encyclopaedia of Shaolin Kung Fu, a mild mannered, patient and understanding man with immense skills in all aspects of Martial Arts training and a great Philosopher and Teacher. Tai Ji Master Sun is amazing at the age of 75 years, he has the health, agility and flexibility of a man half his age, and such a humble man with immense knowledge of Tai JI, Chinese culture and Calligraphy. The food was extremely healthy and plentiful. The students at the school were also a great help to me. Overall my stay in China was humbling and life changing on many levels. I would have no hesitation in recommending the SongShan Academy to anyone from the absolute beginner to the very experienced Martial Artist. I went to China with an empty cup to fill with as much knowledge as possible during my stay, and now I am looking forward to returning to China next year.

 SUSHANT PAPELKAR SUSHANT PAPELKAR 28 Years Old, 1 month of training, India sushantpadelkar86@gmail.com

It was a very good experience in the Academy. Shifu Shi Yan Jun is good experienced skilful teacher. Shifu trains all the students very well. I wished I can stay for longer duration. The Academy has very good natural surroundings with all green forest and very high mountains all around. And of course Shaolin Temple is a must see tourists attraction.

ESPERANZA PEREZ DE LA TORRE ESPERANZA PEREZ DE LA TORRE 52 Years Old, 2 weeks of training, Spain esperanzadelatorre1@gmail.com

I have enjoyed a lot the teaching methods of all the Shifu’s, showing and correcting the movements with respect and kindness, which makes the students feel able to get better day by day. I have learned four forms in two weeks: Shaolin Fan, Wu Bu Quan, Mei Hua Quan – Wu Shi and Tai Ji 24 Yang style. It is also important to teach the traditions and culture of China such as calligraphy or tea ceremony which we had the chance to learn. The location of the school located on the Shaolin Temple grounds makes you feel part of a special atmosphere.

 STACEY ALLEN STACEY ALLEN 46 Years Old, 1 week of training, USA Owner of Bronze Dragon Martial Arts School: stacey@bronzedragon.org

What a fantastic experience for myself and my students. We were only able to stay a week but we learned so much. Kung Fu, Culture, Foods and accommodations were great. Shifu has a limited English vocabulary but it is easy to follow his instruction. He is a phenomenal martial artist and an even better teacher. One thing that will always be a high point of this trip is that I was able to promote my daughter and another student at Shaolin Temple.

SHAY KUEBLER SHAY KUEBLER 30 Years Old, 1 month of training, Canada stk.type@gmail.com

I have had a great time at the Academy. I found that Shifu Shi Yan Jun very much pushed everyone to their full potential and focused not only on technique, but the essence and intention behind the forms and movements. I feel that finding the essence of the movements was at the heart of the training, and I had a great time pushing myself to find this intention and purpose. I very much appreciated Shifu Yan Jun willingness to push people abilities and have them learn as many new movements, techniques and forms as could be done properly and correctly. His energy and enthusiasm was inspiring and motivating. Thank you for the passion and love of Kung Fu! The setting and surroundings are ideal in supporting focused study and dedicated learning.

 ALBA DE DIEGO ALBA DE DIEGO 21 Years Old, 2 weeks of training, Spain albawabi@gmail.com

I will keep a really nice memory from this Academy. Even when I have stayed for only two weeks I have learned a lot, not just regarding physical training but also about some aspects of what is behind it. The large variety of activities practiced in each lesson gives you a fantastic experience of the complex world of Martial Arts. Shifu Shi Yan Jun is without any doubt, one of the best teachers (if I may use this word in its general meaning concerning all the people who are dedicated to share their knowledge – at school, at University) I have ever had as he cares about all the students and encourage them in order to improve no matter if you are not staying for a long time. I have learned Wu Bu Quan, Shaolin Fan, Yang Tai Ji 24 and Chen 18 Tai Ji Quan. The Academy is located in a serene and peaceful area of the Shaolin Temple.

 SUSANNA MORA CRESPO SUSANNA MORA CRESPO 39 Years Old, 1 month of training, Spain susannam1975@hotmail.com

Really, it is a good experience for development yourself, it is the beginning of a long way in Kung Fu and long way in development of the heart. All people are lovely, also Shifu has a very big and wonderful heart and peace. He always says: Smile! I will try to smile always! Thank you.

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