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A recommendation for a school with an intensive kung fu training program please

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  • A recommendation for a school with an intensive kung fu training program please

    Hi, first of all I would like to mention that this website has been really helpful, specially the forum and the main site´s Q&A.

    I live in Costa Rica and Im just starting with kung fu. For now Im just practicing with some videos in youtube, Ive been improving my flexibility and strength.
    I want to start practicing kung fu every day with a sifu. I think the only option for that in this country is in the capital and I really dont want to live there, that would be my last option, besides I dont know how good the training is there. I also researched schools in Colombia because thats my other citizenship; I found one good one , which has schools in Bogota and Cali, but in Bogota its only once a week and in Cali its 4 or 5 times a week but with a schedule of mornings on some days and afternoons on others , so I wouldnt be able to work and also attend every day.
    My initial idea was (still seems the best option) to go to china , they have many full time programs that often include room and board , I just have been discouraged by things Ive read about not being real or traditional kung fu.
    I would like to immerse myself in kung fu training for at least 1 year, and I would prefer a place with unexpensive room and board so I can dedicate more money to my training. Thats the main reason I havent checked the options in europe that much and a visa for USA might not even be an option for me.

    Wahnam classes seem to be a great option but i noticed the intensive course is for advanced people.
    I also noticed there are options for chi kung here in CR some times and I am waiting for that.

    I have like 6 websites saved but fancy this the most: (it seems only foreigners go there but the masters have good credentials) (they teach wushu but they specify that it isnt the modern wushu)

    I saw in another thread that it is not a good idea to have to deal with learning kung fu while at the same time having to deal with figuring out living in china, so if i do go to china the school should have to have room and board included.

    Recommendations will be greatly appreciated,
    David Merino

  • #2
    forgot to add a third site:

    chris seems to be a good person and he often writes in the kungfu magazine; I also looked up his sifu and he seems to be legit too; they charge a lot but it would be worth it if they are good


    • #3
      Hey David,

      Nowadays it is really hard to find a good Shaolin Kung Fu school. Its even harder to find a Shaolin Kung Fu school with some internal force (Chi) aspects.
      Most Kung Fu schools today are 3rd class Kung Fu schools. Why? Because they miss a lot of important aspects of Shaolin Kung Fu. And why that?

      It's because of a cultural change of the chinese country from the last century. Different cultures, different opinions.
      That was one of the reasons why many Kung Fu and other internal martial arts masters decided to move away from their country.
      Most of them moved to south east Asia, or even to Europe and America. If they would not do so, and still teach their arts to public
      they would bring themselves into some big trouble with the laws/goverment because of their believes and opinions.

      Teaching in other liberal countries would be much more better for them and their families.

      So from middle of the last century to nowadays the traditional Shaolin Kung Fu in China got an general update.
      The update is called "Wushu" what literally means "Martial Art". All Kung Fu styles were dropped into the pot and the result is called Wushu.
      Of course it was fitted to the country's new culture and law. So through the update almost all internal aspects of Shaolin Kung Fu were removed.
      Even the aspect that now a lot of Wushu students don't know how to use their art for fighting. Instead of using Wushu for combat, they do Kick Boxing, MMA, Sanda,... .
      The way the most Wushu students do train is called "ku lian" or bitter training which also contains that students have to go over their limits even if it is harmful for them.

      A lot of Wushu students do have big muscles and a lot of (over)flexibility. Masters in the past didn't have big muscles, but they have had a lot of internal force instead of the muscles.
      I'm sure that there are some real Shaolin Kung Fu school left in China, but I'm sure too that they are secretive, and only selected people can join them. I dont want to insult Wushu
      people with my words, but thats the truth nowaday and the proofs can be found easily.

      Some people, before entering our school were learning Shaolin Kung Fu for years in China (in other schools), but after years of training they were disappointed because they haven't got
      health or chi from their art, and even worse, they could not apply their art for combat.

      So it is really hard to find a good Shaolin Kung Fu school today. The same with Chi Kung. Most people don't practise it as an energy art like it should be. They practise it as a gentle
      physical exercise.

      An "Intensive Chi Kung" course can be joined without any preparation, which is great for beginners or for people with health problems.
      Intensive Tai Chi Chuan or Shaolin Kung Fu courses can also be joined by new people under some requirements. More info on that:

      Think about it before starting a journey, real Shaolin Arts are much more then you might think

      With shaolin salute,

      When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
      When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.

      -Lao Tzu-


      • #4
        Thank you for the long message Dimitri. Thats interesting, yet mostly discouraging. Kung fu is really important for me so i want to have proper training. I was excited about taking a whole year dedicated to kung fu but not that much anymore after researching.
        I will do what i can in order to prepare for the intensive kung fu course. Hopefully ill get accepted .
        Much to be done before i apply but it helps to have something to look forward to in the near future.
        The chi kung course i can take here in CR.
        I never imagined that a short intensive kung fu course would really make a big difference.


        • #5
          Do Your Homework

          Hi David,

          Thanks for your interest in our school and your kind words.

          To start, our school does not give specific recommendations or criticism of other schools. This for us is Shaolin, and martial, etiquette. We are happy to talk about general principles, and what factors make for good kungfu, but we will not comment on specific schools or teachers. Other instructors and students in our school might have a look at those sites you posted, but they will not say, "yes that looks good" or "don't go to that one..."

          Generally, If you wish to find a good teacher, or even better, a great master, you need to do your homework. Your letter to us indicates that there are still fundamental aspects about kungfu culture and training that you need to familiarize yourself with before you make a serious decision about where, what, and how to learn. I recall a Chinese saying that you should spend three years looking for a master...

          I suggest you continue to read about these things on our Sifu's main website, and here on our forum. I hope you find what you are looking for.

          Have fun learning about the Shaolin arts!

          Talk soon.


          Sifu Charles
          Charles David Chalmers
          Brunei Darussalam


          • #6
            Thank you sifu Charles. I will do that.
            I would like to attend the course "essence of shaolin" in penang in december ; Any advice on preparing and managing to get accepted?


            • #7
              Reading more about that course , i see i shouldnt have much hope about being able to attend. So i would just appreciate advice on how to start with this school, hopefully with the grandmaster


              • #8
                If you want to go deeper into your Kung Fu, then do Chi Kung, and if you want to go deeper into your Chi Kung then do meditation.

                Sifu Ho Fatt Nam

                We are very lucky in our school that our past masters have given us such a wonderful legacy. The words of Sitaigung Ho are one of the best examples for it.

                Why don't you try out an Intensive Chi Kung course, or a regional Chi Kung course? The benefits would be very useful for you and would give you a good introduction into
                the Shaolin arts.

                With shaolin salute,

                When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
                When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.

                -Lao Tzu-


                • #9
                  I will take it here. I just wanted to plan for more than that. Thank you


                  • #10
                    Dear David,

                    It's great that you are seeking authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, and that you wish to study with the Grandmaster.

                    Next month, in San Jose, I will be giving a workshop on Shaolin Tantui - a profound style of Northern Shaolin Kungfu. Those who attend this workshop will have the opportunity to attend more workshops given by two of my senior students.

                    By training consistently - and enjoying it, of course - you can start to receive the amazing benefits of these Shaolin arts right away.

                    You can then apply to attend the Special Shaolin Tantui course that will take place in Penang in July. The Grandmaster will teach the wonders of triple cultivation (body, energy, spirit) with an emphasis on developing internal force and implementing combat application. He will teach what is not taught elsewhere.

                    By continuing to train these arts optimally and diligently, you will see swift and vast improvements in your own development.

                    You may even be ready enough to apply to attend the Essence of Shaolin course in December. If you are accepted, then it will be a fantastic opportunity for you.

                    You are welcome to visit to find out more. Or, you can write to me directly at

                    It's great that you are daring to dream big - and now here is a genuine way for you to make your dream a reality.

                    There is one prerequisite for attending the workshop next month, and that is your sincere acceptance and agreement to do your best to abide by the Ten Shaolin Laws.

                    I look forward to answering any questions you may have.

                    Best wishes,

                    Sifu Emiko
                    Emiko Hsuen

                    INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
                    Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
                    4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
                    Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
                    Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
                    Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
                    Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
                    To apply, send email to:


                    • #11
                      I Recommend Sabah! The Sooner the Better.

                      Originally posted by Rastiazul View Post
                      Thank you sifu Charles. I will do that.
                      I would like to attend the course "essence of shaolin" in penang in december ; Any advice on preparing and managing to get accepted?
                      Hi. You're welcome, indeed. I'm happy to help.

                      Getting accepted to the upcoming Essence of Shaolin class, for you, seems indeed a long shot. I would be surprised and delighted to see you there.

                      If it were to happen, it would be most likely be if you went to take a regular intensive course with the Grandmaster, Wong Kiew Kit. Beginners and the public are very welcome particularly for the Intensive Chi Kung.

                      A greater level of preparation would allow you to take the Intensive Kung fu or Tai Chi courses...If you are not prepared for either of those, it could be quite difficult too. But.

                      If you are already healthy, and have some level of physical fitness, agility, ability to follow instructions, etc...then try and take an Intensive Kung Fu or Tai Chi course. There is, for example, an Intensive Chi Kung, and the Tai Chi Course, in Sabah, where I personally had my initiation to our school.

                      And later, held mid year, courses in Penang, led and personally instructed by our great and beloved sifu.

                      I should think that going to a regional course with our sifu would be the next best.

                      If you can get to courses with any of our instructors you are very lucky indeed, and any of us would do our best to help you prepare for the upcoming Essence of Shaolin course. Whether you would be ready, or get accepted to the Essence of Shaolin, I cannot say...

                      Have I got it right that you are a fresh beginner? That was my reading. At any rate, you will need a certain level of internal force to really be able to get along in the Essence of Shaolin course. Sparring will be rather tough with the number of powerful masters there, even if you have some internal force. I hope you can see my meaning...

                      Bottom line: I would most recommend you go to Sabah in April, the soonest Intensive give you more time to prepare, and because Sabah is amazing, and the courses, and number of great masters, all in one spot, is amazing. I've been there three times already. I also may be able to go again in April...

                      I wish you all very good luck.


                      Sifu Charles
                      Charles David Chalmers
                      Brunei Darussalam


                      • #12

                        I posted my note to you after reading my Sije Emiko's post. Indeed, going to learn from Sifu Emiko, then taking the Tantui course in Penang would indeed be an amazing opportunity.

                        Whatever you end up doing, I hope you do get a chance to make your kungfu ambitions a reality.


                        Sifu Charles
                        Charles David Chalmers
                        Brunei Darussalam


                        • #13
                          Hi sifu Emiko , thats great, im not that isolated after all. Ill send you an email today.


                          • #14
                            Admin Edit: no advertising here, please!
                            Last edited by Andrew; 18th February 2020, 06:13 AM.