The Shaolin Search

JimJing

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Hello all,
Firstly, i've just discovered the MartialTalk forums and have been browsing them for a few days and have decided to sign up and take part.
Anyway - to the point! I am a student in Brisbane, Australia, and have almost completed my schooling. Once i've acheived my H.S.C., i am planning on taking up to 4 years away from Australia, and any knowns friends/relatives to travel to China and train in Shao Lin Kung Fu!
Martial Arts, particularly Kung Fu, is my absolute passion in life (although i've only been doing it for 3 years) and i am SURE this is what i want to do.
Unfortunately, i have everything meticulously planned apart from the most important thing - a Sifu to instruct me. If anyone could help me in any way to find a master of the art who would be willing to train a little-experienced, incredibly enthusiastic, westerner like me please give any help you can.
Some of you may think i sound impractical, but that isn't a worry of yours, i have a very solid foundation for this plan of mine and im sure i can make it work.
Thanks in advance!
Jim Briggs.
 

Nebuchadnezzar

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Hello all,
Firstly, i've just discovered the MartialTalk forums and have been browsing them for a few days and have decided to sign up and take part.
Anyway - to the point! I am a student in Brisbane, Australia, and have almost completed my schooling. Once i've acheived my H.S.C., i am planning on taking up to 4 years away from Australia, and any knowns friends/relatives to travel to China and train in Shao Lin Kung Fu!
Martial Arts, particularly Kung Fu, is my absolute passion in life (although i've only been doing it for 3 years) and i am SURE this is what i want to do.
Unfortunately, i have everything meticulously planned apart from the most important thing - a Sifu to instruct me. If anyone could help me in any way to find a master of the art who would be willing to train a little-experienced, incredibly enthusiastic, westerner like me please give any help you can.
Some of you may think i sound impractical, but that isn't a worry of yours, i have a very solid foundation for this plan of mine and im sure i can make it work.
Thanks in advance!
Jim Briggs.

First, there is no Chinese martial art called "Kung Fu".

Second, a master of what art? Shaolin has multiple disciplines that were taught.

Third, just my opinion but, if you know that people will think you "impractical" and no worry of ours, then you don't really need anyone's help then.

Your lack of life experience shows that you don't really know what you're getting into and the various forums have the stories of those before you who thought this way and learned "The Hard Way".

Most here would only question it because they would rather not sit by and knowingly let someone make a mistake because they have this dream of being a Shaolin Warrior.

How will you make money while you're there? How will you pay for your tuition?
 

Xue Sheng

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No one is trying to crush your dream here but the reality of China can be rather shocking if you have never been there, do not speak the language or have someone with you that speaks the language that you trust.

Many shaolin schools today are not teaching martial shaolin styles but preformance shaolin styles and sports sanshou (which can be very hard training). There is one I know of that claims to be teaching the real deal and from the YouTube vids I have seen he just may be but it is in the countryside and in China a city can be a 21st century city and the countryside can be 18th or 19th century. Some schools teach Mandarin some do not some are real some are not. Some will teach you what you want some will take your money and leave you stranded.

Do the research.

Also note that 加油 means jiayou" or "go for it!"
 

Flying Crane

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Is there a reason why you MUST go to CHINA? I can forsee some potential difficulties, as the others have pointed out, but my suspicion is that very often, training in China may not live up to the fantasy expectation that people build up in their heads.

Maybe there is someone in Australia with whom you could get excellent training? Or at least another country where you speak the language, like the USA or England or New Zealand? Or have you already learned a second language like Spanish or German, and maybe you could go to a country where that is spoken?

There may be other good options, that don't have the same level of difficulty as making your way in China.

I don't want to rain on your parade, just wanted to give you something else to consider.
 

bowser666

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I have done extensive research into training at the Shaolin Temple. It is quite expensive just so you know. $1,000 US a month or so. Not to mention the chances of you being trained by a actually monk are quite slim. You will most likely end up in Deng Feng as there are dozens of schools there. They are always looking for good foreigners to overcharge for training LOL.

A great book that might provide you with some insight is a book called, " American Shaolin, by Matthew Polly. I read this book and it was phenominal. It is about a Teen that drops out of Yale ( Or Harvard , I cant remember) to go study Kung Fu in China for 2 years and his tale. Check that out first. Also might want to use a little GoogleFu and research the costs of living there and what not.

Again I am not trying to crush your dreams but a decision thsi big can not be rash , or impulsive. Look before you leap as they say :)
 

East Winds

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Another wonderful book which you might want to read is "Tai Chi Training in China - Masters, Teachers and Coaches" by Howard Thomas : ISBN No. 1-874250-70-7

Howard Thomas was a Tai Chi teacher in England who decided to go to China to find a "Master". He had no Mandarin and little knowledge of China or the Chinese people apart from what he knew about Tai Chi. Its a heartwarming story of his trials and tribulations whilst in China during the Tiananmen Square times. It will give you some pointers about the problems you are likely to face and how he solved them.

Very best wishes
 
OP
J

JimJing

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Thanks for the advice and concern everyone.
Some information about me that i left out. I have been to China (Beijing) before on a foreign exchange program, and i can speak Mandarin well, although i found there was a large english speaking community in the city at least.
I currently study Hung Gar, but i'm very interested in expanding to other styles of CMA, particularly Seven Star Mantis and Traditional Wushu, or a mostly practical art, not just for performance.
So, i still need to find a teacher who is willing to pass on their knowledge in the CMAs and who trains every/most days. Im looking to stay in a city, one other than Beijing, not because i didn't enjoy my time their - it was fantastic and eye-opening, but because i would like to experience different parts of China.
Does anyone know of a way to contact such a teacher?

EDIT: Also, the reason i MUST go to China is because i am studying chinese history. Fascinating :)
 

Xue Sheng

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Well I only would know Beijing and depending on how long you were there you may know more than me.

There was a person on MT awhile back that had a teacher in Shanghai for Dai Xin Yi Quan these are the posts he did and his sifu was still teaching

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59462

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59463

There are also those on MT that have trained in China and that do currently train in China and maybe one of them will post something that will help you.

And I am with you, Chinese history is fascinating

EDIT

There is the Chen family at chenjiagou and there is Chen Zhenglei who teaches at his own schools all in Henan Province.
 
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Brian R. VanCise

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You also have Taiwan to look at as they are supposed to have quite a good group of instructors.
icon6.gif
 

bowser666

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You also have Taiwan to look at as they are supposed to have quite a good group of instructors.
icon6.gif

Indeed you are right sir. Many of the best instructors in China moved to Taiwan ( as well as surrounding Islands in Pacific) during the Communist takeover in China and for fear of persecution they left. Just remember that the closer you get to Shaolin the more $$$$$ you will pay for training.
 

Black Tortoise

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You also have Taiwan to look at as they are supposed to have quite a good group of instructors.
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I would have to say this very accurate and I might throw in Hong Kong.. Most who stayed after the revolution are teaching the "Government" forms of the art..Yes, the Chinese government even regulates the martial arts(and for a while most were not allowed to teach at all). Also you may have trouble finding a teacher to teach you if you don't speak Mandarin(especially in the mainland or in Taiwan).好運
 

Whitebelt

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You could try Sifu Quek Heng Choon in Malaysia. He teaches a style that is an offspring of Shaolin. Many members of my kung fu class went to train with him on a sort of awesome kungfu pilgrimage. The style is Nam Pai Chuan, Sifu Quek is the grand master inside Malaysia, look him up. It might be quite hard to find his class but im sure the internet can help.
http://www.nampaichuan.com/
 

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