My Stay at Rising Dragon Martial Arts School

by SMA Student Bianca

Push up Challenge

My stay at Rising Dragon Martial Arts School (RDS) was overall an amazing experience, and one that I will always cherish. The people, the temple, the hard and the fun moments, I miss them all. Self growth, mentally and physically is a given at RDS, push yourself and you will see great results. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who wants to get fit and learn some kung fu in a beautiful location. The school location is great, set in a beautiful temple complex with a backdrop of mountains and clean air, and beautiful forest everywhere that we ran through and could take walks.

The Training

The training itself was hard and challenging. It pushed me to my limits and beyond many times, which mostly I think was good, and I have gained a lot from it. I do think however, that at times it was too much. 6hrs of intensive exercise and training 5 days/week is a lot, especially if you are not at a high level of fitness already. My body became a lot stronger very quickly, but it has been pushed very hard and I have been struggling with injuries because of it.

I also found that because of the intensity of the morning circuits, I was unable to train to my fullest during the Shaolin class. If you are after fitness with kung fu mixed in, then you will love RDS, if you want more martial arts, then maybe its not the right place. In saying that, Meng, the Shaolin teacher, is amazing! Such a skilful Shaolin master and a great person and friend. It was a pleasure to be taught by him and to watch him demonstrate movements.

Activities & Food

Some of the activities and martial arts styles that are supposedly available, are not, or were not when I was there, which was disappointing. There was no mandarin, calligraphy or buddhism classes, minimal tai chi and no qigong. The food was pretty good and tasty, a bit too oily at times, but had a decent variety of veg and protein. No fruit is provided unfortunately, but you can by this in town. The accommodation is good, decent sized rooms, private bathrooms, western toilets, hard single beds, but hey its China. All in all, can’t complain, I was comfortable.

How I booked this experience

I definitely recommend booking through StudyMartialArts.Org (SMA) and utilising all the useful information that is provided here. Also David is amazing and super helpful and will make sure you pick the right school that suits your needs and make sure you get there.

Rising Dragon Martial Arts School Review

Here is the latest Student Review for Rising Dragon Martial Arts School in Yunnan. The Review was written by Daniel Wright who stayed at the school for 1 month during the summer of 2018.

What an incredible life changing experience. For anyone thinking about doing this or something similar, just do it. It really pushes you and changes your perspective on life. The school itself was fantastically located, inside a Buddhist Temple and well into the mountains of China, about as picturesque as you could ask for. With a small town down the mountain you still have access to a bit of ‘normal’ life if you need anything. Food is great and healthy, however not too much meat so can be lacking in protein, so you may require supplements if you are staying there for a while.

Training was very tough, be prepared to work hard. If you honestly aren’t there to work your butt off pick a different school because everyone there is putting in the effort, and you will be required to train as hard as you can to the best of your ability. It really doesn’t matter where you start, whether you are very unfit and have no experience or the complete opposite. All that matters is that you are doing your best. My fitness and flexibility went through the roof in the short time I was there, and I was able to learn multiple forms of Shaolin Kung Fu, but injuries can be common place due to the nature of training and pushing your body so be careful and look after yourself/be smart.

Learn-Kung-fun-in-China-with-Rising-Dragon-martial-arts-training-camp

Unfortunately there was no Calligraphy or Mandarin lessons as advertised, as the monks are responsible for that and it depends on them. There was also only 1 trainer while I was there, so for multiple different training styles it could be difficult. But the 1 trainer (Meng), was the most amazing trainer and mentor. So kind, so lethal, and honestly cared about your progress and was great at adapting to everyone’s experience level. Another huge upside was the Accommodation. Max 2 to a room, all with en-suites with western bathrooms (no squat toilets). So that was very nice to come back to after a huge day of training.Overall an amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone.

Dave from StudyMartialArts.Org was insanely helpful, and honestly I don’t think he gets enough credit or commission for his work. Helped me narrow down my choice out of so many schools, answered all my questions regarding the school, travelling there, visas, etc. He was absolutely invaluable and I don’t think I would have been able to choose a school little own figure out all the logistics of going. So thank you so much Dave!