It had been a lifelong dream of Errol to study martial arts (specifically Wing Chun) in China, since I he was a kid. Here is an extract of his review of Kunyu Shan Martial Arts Academy.
‘After a lot of googling happened across Kunyu Shan Martial Arts Academy – it looked perfect, from the scenery to the credentials, even the price. I am bitterly disappointed! If you are considering going to China – I implore you to read through the following before deciding. I spent a total of 4 months in Kunyu shan in wing chun class (favourite martial art) learning very little actual application and mainly line drills, forms and a LOT of physical endurance tests, from bare knuckle planks (for 6 min) to endless jogging.. which I liked.. as I said – you WILL get fit.. but after the 1st month, and talking to other students, I realised the following:
* in-efficient time hungry and prolonged training methods (specifically in wing chun, as a self defence technique – but also extending into Shaolin & tai-chi to a lesser degree)
* redundant focus on forms training, line drills as well as pointless ongoing “applications” training based on shadow or “imaginary attack” techniques – instead of much needed/lacking actual hand-to-hand combat rehearsal (excl. Sanda or Chinese kickboxing – where you do a fair amount of “actual” application – but not in wing chun, Shaolin or to a lesser degree combative tai chi (not the slow movement style).. their excuse is that if you want to learn actual application then they recommend practising after hours with the other students in the main hall)
* poor or little interest in the wellbeing of the students and a greater focus on making profits – e.g. the image portrayed via website/video’s is far from the reality, besides the lack of interest in listening and responding to students requests in food, accommodation, training, etc.
* coupled with a money driven approach is strictly “business” and deliberately very far from productive so as to stretch the training regime as long as possible to further profits
* unhygienic shower conditions (up until recently toilets as well)
* threats of and actual practise of staffing or “caning” students as a means to discipline international students visiting your country – incl. girls
* lack of concern towards the dog/s you’ve agreed to look after with appalling living conditions, lack of proper diet, etc.
* lack of proper heating methods to keep students warm during the cold months
* extremely salty food (same day, same meal, same time – with hardly any exceptions), e.g. the sweat in my eyes would literally “sting” because of the saturated salty vegetarian food.’
It always disheartens me when I hear reviews like this. For independent information on martial arts training in China and Thailand without the BS – contact firstname.lastname@example.org. My main goal is to either connect people to the right school or at least give them the right information so that they know what to expect.