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Imagine a holiday where you replace the hustle and bustle of everyday life with nature and tranquility, where you exercise most days, explore a rich and ancient culture, and be relaxed so properly that you actually come home rested, recovered, fitter, and healthier. That holiday exists. Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy welcomes you to attend their special Tai Chi retreat in the scenic area of rural China where you can learn Tai Chi as well as recharge and rejuvenate.
Students will stay in rooms with one or two persons per room with the same gender. It is possible for couples to live together as well. The rooms are equipped with beds, including bed sheets and pillow, a small desk, and a closet for clothes. The rooms are equipped with a fan in the summer and heating in winter so students can be comfortable all year.
Each floor of the academy’s accommodation building is facilitated with western toilets and common washing rooms. Hot showers and free washing machines for students to do their laundry are also provided. Standing bars are placed outside and on the roof of the building for students to dry their clothes.
The training room is situated on the first floor of the accommodation building, with mirrors and stretching bars installed. Within the academy, there are plenty of training grounds, as well as a performance and grading platform. Training equipment is provided for all classes, including Sanda pads, gloves, suit-guards for sparring, Sanda stands with punch and kick bags, mats for acrobatics and take-downs, wooden dummies for Wing Chun, Meihua poles for Bagua, etc.
Tai Chi is based on fluidity and circular movements. Translated into English, Tai Chi roughly translates as “supreme boxing,” “the root of all motion,” and “optimal fist fighting”. It is considered a martial art, but unlike the most combative styles, Tai Chi is based on fluidity and circular movements.
Tai Chi masters say that this gentle dance develops the flexibility of child, the strength of a lumberjack and, eventually, the wisdom of a sage. Tai Chi embodies the Chinese idea that all life is based on life energy or Qi. Many Tai Chi forms incorporate the movement of the arms as though one is gently holding a big beach ball of chi.
Based on the Chinese worldview, Tai Chi divides Qi into two equal, opposite and complementary parts, Yin and Yang. Tai chi incorporates the Yin-Yang unity of opposites in many ways, for example, during Tai Chi routines, the weight shifts repeatedly from one leg to the other and the arms move in opposite, yet complementary directions.
The main principle of Tai Chi Fist is that with the soft strength. You restrain the opponent's strong power and with the skill of this fist, you shrewdly take your adversary's strength and use it against them. Tai Chi fist is, therefore, very effective in actual combat.
Tai Chi Fist is also remarkably beneficial for improving the learner's health. In Chinese modern society, it is suitable for everyone, from kids to the elderly. It is very popular in China. It has been acknowledged that training this fist is very useful for building body strength, curing illnesses, cultivating your moral character, and prolonging your life.
Tai Chi has become popular because it is a highly effective way to improve your overall health - in body, mind, and spirit. With the focus on the flowing movements, your mind is completely in the present and becomes calm and clear. For this reason, Tai Chi is often referred to as ‘meditation in motion’.
No matter what age you are, you can practice and enjoy Tai Chi. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy welcomes beginners as well as advanced practitioners. The Tai Chi masters are very adept at judging an individual’s skill level and will adapt the training to each person’s needs.
The masters at the academy genuinely care about each student. The students can feel this, and display the same behavior to each other and to the masters. This ensures a highly enjoyable atmosphere, where people from all countries come together to dedicate their time to their art. It is a treat for any martial artist to be surrounded by so many people who have the same dedication.
The teachers are Shaolin Kung Fu monks who have trained their entire lives at the Shaolin temple to perfect their art. They are Tai Chi masters who specialize in the beautiful, elegant, yet powerful movements of Tai Chi. The masters teach both Yang style as well as Chen style Tai Chi. You can learn fist forms, staff, broadsword, straight sword, and fan.
Maling Shaolin Kungfu Academy is a traditional Kung Fu training academy founded by Master Shi Xing Jian, a 32nd generation Shaolin warrior monk. Throughout the year, the academy teaches a full time Shaolin Kung Fu program to students from many different countries. In autumn and spring, they also offer short term Tai Chi retreats.
During the Tai Chi weeks in autumn and spring, the weekly training program offers Tai Chi classes two to three times a day, as well as a range of optional other activities. You are welcome to join as many (or as few) classes as you wish. The program is the same every week.
A choice of these three local tours is included in the price. The tours take place every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
This Buddhist temple is a beautifully colorful construction which is actively used for worship and prayer by people from the surrounding villages. It is open for visitors 365 days a year. You are welcome to enjoy the garden, light some incense, or take some photo’s in the beautiful area.
The Maling teahouse is located on top of a hill and provides an amazing view of the local area. You are welcome to walk around and stroll the pleasant landscape or try some different types of tea. For a small fee, you can also participate in a traditional tea ceremony.
In the evening and weekends, Chinese people gather in the parks to dance, do fitness, or practice their martial art. There is a very friendly and gentle atmosphere, and everyone is welcome to join.
Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy is an institute for learning traditional Shaolin Martial Arts and Chinese Kung Fu located in Maling Mountain National Park area. It is considered a suburb of Xinyi City (county-level), Xuzhou City, and is situated in the northwest of Jiangsu Province. The city has very convenient transportation in the north of Jiangsu, preceded only by Xuzhou and Lianyungang.
There will be three meals per day, seven days a week though many students eat out during the weekends. The dishes vary every day and there are three to four different dishes a day. A general rule though is that there are limited meat and protein in the dishes. Students wishing to have more protein in their diet can buy eggs or fried meat or jerky in the city to supplement or get help from the school to order protein powder and other nutritional supplements.
Allergies and other dietary requirements will be considered as well, just inform the academy before you arrive. It is possible to buy snacks and fruit in the city but remember that some food categories can be hard to find here since the eating habits are different e.g. dairy products are expensive and hard to come by and most likely not in the quality you are used to from home.
Please note that it is not recommended to drink the water from the tap in China. The academy helps the students to buy big bottles of drinkable water.
China is a beautiful country with many places worth visiting. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy offers you a selection of sightseeing tours to give you a taste of the Chinese culture. Apart from the included local tours, these tours can be booked for an extra fee. All tours include transport and meals.
The small versions of the Terracotta warriors date back to the western Han dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD). There are thousands of men and horses hand-made to protect the emperor in the afterlife. The beautiful Yunlong lake is nearby and features a statue of the founder of Tai Chi, Zhang Sanfeng. The price for this tour is 80 USD.
The charming and historic Yaowan is more than 1,300 years old. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Yaowan’s proximity to the sea and river made it a popular settlement for teahouses, shops, banks, and pawns. At night, the town is as picturesque as it gets, with colorful lights decorating the streets. The price for this tour is 50 USD.
Visit the birthplace of Kung Fu and the renowned sanctuary where Shaolin monks are trained. Walk around the temple area, watch the Shaolin monks train or perform, and visit the cave in which monk Bodhidharma is said to have meditated so intensely for nine years that the sun burned his shadow into the stone wall. The price for this tour is 225 USD per person including accommodation.
There is an option to book a massage at an extra cost three days a week.
Please book your flights to arrive at either Lianyungang Baitabu Airport (LYG) or Xuzhou Guanyin Airport (XUZ). Transfers from and to these two airports are available on request. The pickup service from both the airports costs 60 USD.
You need to purchase the flight tickets on your own. Cheaper flight tickets and hotels than from your home country can often be found on some traveling websites. From your home country, it is recommended that you travel either over Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou. From there, there are three ways to get to the academy.
There are some direct trains from Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing to Xinyi, where you will be picked up for free. There are more fast bullet trains travel from Beijing and Shanghai to Xuzhou east station. The pickup service costs 60 USD. It is also possible to take a train from Xuzhou to Xinyi.
From 7:00 a.m. in the morning to 10:00 p.m. in the evening, there are trains leaving from both Shanghai and Beijing to Xuzhou every 15 minutes. From there, you can easily get to Xinyi either by train, bus, or taxi. Maling Shaolin Kung Fu Academy can also pick you up there if you wish.
There are two types of trains with two different sets of prices. There are the slow regular trains with beds and a traveling time of eight to 10 hours from both Beijing and Shanghai for approximately 170 RMB (26 USD) for hard sleeper and 260 RMB (40 USD) for soft sleeper.
The other option is the fast bullet trains that will take you the same distance but in only two and a half to three hours and with 300 kilometers an hour. The prices for those trains are a bit higher but the time is reduced and the comfort is increased. 300 RMB for second class and 519 RMB for first class. Second class in the fast bullet trains are recommended.
There are two ways to buy a train ticket. You can just show up at the train station when you arrive and buy the ticket straight at the station. Most likely, you will just have to wait a few hours and then you will be on your way. This method will not work during Chinese national holidays where train tickets are completely sold out several weeks in advance.
The other option is to book a ticket in advance either via the academy (free service) or get a Chinese friend to help you book the train tickets at the official website since it is only in Chinese. If you book a ticket in advance, make sure you have at least four hours from your plane lands until your train departs.
It takes time to get from the airport to the stations and at the stations, you need to collect your ticket at a ticket office where the line very often is long and you need to check in for your train up to 40 minutes before your departure. You can call the academy consultant for help if you have trouble purchasing a ticket or you meet any problems in your traveling.
There are also buses available from Shanghai and Beijing to Xinyi (eight hours) or from Xuzhou to Xinyi (two hours), but bus stations and information can be more difficult to understand if you do not speak Chinese, so going by train might be easier for you.
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