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Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review

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This post is a Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School review. The Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School is a live-in kung fu training center. It focuses on a few different disciplines including Sanda, Jeet Kune Do, Wing Chun and Shaolin. This review gives my opinions on the living conditions and training. It also includes pictures, sample training schedules, and other useful information.

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Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review

On my last stop of my Multi-Cultural China Tour Itinerary, I wanted to learn Kung Fu and try to improve my Chinese. I decided to do six weeks of Jeet Kune Do (the style Bruce Lee came up with) at the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School. It is in the city of Shandong.

1 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Lake

Taken from the top of the hill in the village near to the camp.

There are a lot of Kung Fu camps all around China. I chose the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School because it was the only one I could find that did Jeet Kune Do. It was also one of the few that offered Wing Chun. Plus, it included an hour of Chinese language lessons four nights a week.

2 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, View from roof

Taken from the roof of the main building.

My initial intention was to stay about six weeks at the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my visa extended. For some reason, the government stopped extending visas for a 2 week period. It meant I was only able to stay for two weeks before having to leave the country. Two weeks was enough time to get a good taste of the training and I learned a lot. I’d say about 50-60% of it I will incorporate into my personal training routine. Especially the technical Jeet Kune Do stuff.

Living Conditions

The housing in the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu school is very liveable. The students (us) clean it daily. The rooms are big enough for two and you can get your own one if you want (for a little extra cost). The mattresses are a bit hard but you get used to it. You get a fan, a desk, and a cupboard. It is your responsibility to keep your area tidy. There are checks every other day.

3 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Bedroom

Inside a typical shared bedroom.

The housing I stayed in could house about eight people but there is only one shower and one toilet. The water went out for a couple of hours once while I was there but this type of thing is normal in China.

The food is good. Lots of vegetables and a good variety. There is fresh fruit served every other day as well as fruit trees around the campus.

4 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Common Area

One shower and one toilet per house, which could have up to about eight people.

Recreation Facilities

For recreation, there is a ping-pong table, billiards table, and a chill-out room with books, TV, etc. The internet works pretty good most of the time and is available over the whole school.

There is a small shop on the school grounds but I never went in it. They sell toiletries, training equipment, chocolate bars, coke, etc. There is a village about a 15-minute walk away but no-one there sells fruit on a regular basis. From the village, you can catch a bus to the next town (Shan Kou 山口) which has everything you need. You could also go to Tai-an 泰安 which is a pretty big city, or Jinan 济南 which is an even bigger city. From Jinan, you can catch the train (or plane) to where-ever you want to go in China.

Training

The Middle Earth Kung Fu School offers a few different training styles which you can learn. Jeet Kune Do, Shaolin, Wing Chun and Sanda (Chinese Kickboxing). They also teach Qi Gong (hard and soft) and some Tai Chi disciplines.

5 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Training Ground

Training area with punch/kick bags.

You are able to cross-train also, e.g., train in Wing Chun in the morning and Jeet Kune Do in the afternoon.

6 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Training Ground Inside

Inside the main hall which is used mostly for stretching and acrobatics. Most training is done outside.

General Training Outline

The basic training schedule is the same for everyone.

At 06:00 the siren goes off as a wake-up call. You don’t actually have to get up at 0600 but you do have to be ready for warm-up at 0630. Being late usually results in some sort of punishment in the form of physical activity.

From 0630 to 0730 is a light warm-up followed by Tai Chi and/or soft Qi Gong. I managed to learn a short form of Tai Chi in my short time there.

After that is breakfast and time to get ready before starting your chosen style of Kung Fu training at 0830. There is a more vigorous warm-up and a good amount of stretching. Training goes until 1200 and there is a break in the middle.

Noon is lunch and then free time until 1430. At 1430 you repeat the schedule of warm-up, stretching and training in your chosen style.

Between 1700 to 1800 is free training, and they also offer some more instructed training if you want. Different days offer different things such as Qi Gong (hard and soft), acrobatics, and Sanda.

At 1830 is dinner. Lights out are at 2200 although it is not strict. It is more to keep quiet so others can sleep.

Chinese lessons are optional and start at 1915. They are very casual lessons.

7 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Training Hall

The front of the main hall which has the “stretching area”, dining room, office, chill out room, Chinese language lessons room etc.

Jeet Kune Do Training Outline

I did Jeet Kune Do so the following training outline is specific to that. Every week follows the same general outline but with various exercises. It means you have a general idea of the training you are going to do, but what you actually do is not exactly the same. It keeps the training interesting.

8 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Wooden Dummy

Another training area with wooden dummy’s and other training equipment.

Monday
AM – General punches (straight punch, back-fist.)
PM – Kicking (Front, side and stomp/scrapes.)

Tuesday
AM – Push-ups, Forearms/Grip training (sandbag), Wing Chun Forms
PM – Hip-opening, Shoalin style leg warm-up/stretches

Wednesday
AM – Speed training, Push punch
PM – Tai chi steps, frog jumps/duckwalk, nunchucks

Thursday
AM – One armed push-ups, Forearms/Grip training (sandbag), Takedowns,
Footwork, Elbows

Friday
AM – Finger strengthening, Locks, Punch roll
PM – Core training

Saturday
AM – Free training
PM – Rest

Sunday
Rest

I never got the chance to spar or try the wooden dummy. These things come later in training.

9 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Garden Path

They grow some fruits and vegetables on the property.

Other Training

I never tried training in any other disciplines but from the other students, this is what I gathered.

Shaolin has many forms, fitness training, power stretching, and acrobatics. They concentrate less on forms than dedicated Shaolin Schools but you do learn them.

Sanda also has a lot of fitness. I imagine it shares a similar intensity as JKD but with techniques relating more to Muay Thai.

Wing Chun is (in comparison to the others) low intensity in the way of physical fitness training. They do more forms and techniques.

From what I saw, all the Masters are very qualified in their chosen art. Also, they are all very nice people. In fact, all the staff was very friendly.

10 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Gate

Path to the south gate.

Final Thoughts

Anyone coming to the Middle Kingdom Kung Fu School should stay for at least two months. Even in the short time, I was there (only two weeks) I learned a lot. In two months you can get a very good grasp of your chosen art.

The biggest advantage is the access to knowledgeable masters. Also, being able to train with other like-minded and dedicated people. I am already quite disciplined from my time in the forces but if your not then this place will help with that also.

11 Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review, Survive Travel, Balance Poles

Balance poles used for footwork and probably other things also.

I’ve never been to other “full-time” martial arts training schools. From what other students told me the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung-Fu School ranked pretty high. It has good training, good food, and good accommodation. It is also flexible in disciplines and good value for money. I think it is co-owned by a New Zealander who traveled the world to figure out the best way to set it up.

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Bottom Line

I recommend training at the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School. If you are “on the fence”, I say go for it. You might feel some pain in your first week or two but you’ll be happy you did it in the end.

Did you enjoy this article about what it is like training in the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School? If so, please share it with your friends.

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  • GontaReply June 27, 2016 at 11:23

    Hi,
    I’m very interested in trying out the school for 2 months, however, there is very little information on the JKD classes. According to the website, there is one JKD master at the school, Master Wang, but no information on where he studied it or his credentials. Do you have any information on that? Is he more in the Inosanto camp or the Ted Wong camp? I’m a little worried about how ‘legit’ a JKD teacher he is.
    Thanks!

    • Bert LuxingReply June 27, 2016 at 16:46

      Hi Gonta,

      Unfortunately I can’t recall his exact credentials, but his master studied under Bruce Lee. Master Wang also studies Tai Chi (I can’t remember the name of the exact style) but he mixes it with the Jeet Kune Do in a very practical manner. Also, he encourages students to use what they already know.

      If you want I can put you in direct contact with Master Wang and/or some of his current students… if you have WeChat. Send it to me via the contact form (SurviveTravel.com/Contact).

      He is legit JKD.

      • GontaReply June 27, 2016 at 23:00

        There aren’t many schools that teach JKD ‘full time’ and there aren’t many reviews around, so thanks for the valuable information 🙂
        I’ll get Wechat before I go to China I guess. But I think I made up my mind already, I’m probably going 😉 Thanks again!

  • Thomas John MonetteReply June 10, 2017 at 14:19

    Hey man, just read your review and I gotta say thanks!!! I was thinking that I needed to get away and clear my head. Is there anything else you would advise or recommend about this school?

    • Bert LuxingReply June 11, 2017 at 01:26

      Hey Thomas. Glad you found it useful.

      I haven’t much else to say about it, just that if your on the cuff of whether to go or not… do! It was a great experience and if you travel some of China before or after there is lots of great things to see, and lots of posts on this blog about traveling around china too.

      Have fun 🙂

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