Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School Review
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.
Get a Head Start on Your Kung Fu TrainingGet Your Copy of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do Today
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You are able to cross-train also, e.g., train in Wing Chun in the morning and Jeet Kune Do in the afternoon.
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.
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.
AM – General punches (straight punch, back-fist.)
PM – Kicking (Front, side and stomp/scrapes.)
AM – Push-ups, Forearms/Grip training (sandbag), Wing Chun Forms
PM – Hip-opening, Shoalin style leg warm-up/stretches
AM – Speed training, Push punch
PM – Tai chi steps, frog jumps/duckwalk, nunchucks
AM – One armed push-ups, Forearms/Grip training (sandbag), Takedowns,
AM – Finger strengthening, Locks, Punch roll
PM – Core training
AM – Free training
PM – Rest
I never got the chance to spar or try the wooden dummy. These things come later in 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.
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.
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.
Inspired? Pin it for Later↓
Learn the Martial Art the Bruce Lee InventedGet Your Copy of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do Today
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.