Hey everyone! Well, I can check Shaolin off of my 2015 list. It was bittersweet to leave, but I’ll probably be back next year. Despite the rigorous 8 hours a day training, I always have fun. I have to say though, this year was probably one of my best at Shaolin! I had many adventures hiking, color run, learning different forms, flips, sparring, and coaching! Here, allow me to reminisce through my adventures this year:
Well, to start off, I met amazing people this year. I coached one French martial artist named Kent, and I taught him one of my signature forms, Tiger fist! Speaking of coaching, I got quite the experience this year with coaching! I’ve coached several tourist groups like this group from Kenya!
I even had a group to myself! The Harvard-Beijing Academy students that were here for about a week! #HBA # 哈北班
I probably had the best time with these people! Between our 8 hour hike, late night serenades, and dinners, these amazing people became more than my students, but my friends!
Speaking of hiking, we hiked up the highest mountain in the Shaolin area! 1500 meters up! By the way, hiking isn’t the same in the States as it is in China. In China, it means about a million stairs to climb up on! I think we climbed a total of about 300 flights of stairs or something? or 300 stories? I don’t know, but it was a lot. Hey! We made it though, and that’s all it matters! We conquered Song Mountain!!
Of course, I also hiked some smaller mountains. My favorite was probably when I went swimming in the spring at 5 dragon springs! (For more about this adventure: Click here There are more pictures too!)
Oh! I also did a color run up a mountain! Yes….a 5k up a mountain. It was awful, but still pretty fun! I got first!! 🙂
Now, I want to give a shout out to my roommate, Jacob Bower! How many roommates study abroad in China and meet each other in front of the Shaolin Temple? Not many!! It was also touring the temple with him that day!!
Alright..aside from all the fun I had, I did actually do some training! I mean, I coached so that was my mental training, and I trained 8 hours a day physically. Anyway, I focused a little bit more on sparring than anything else. I did learn a double broad sword form, and broke a sword in the process…. (If you are curious about a few double broad sword movements: click here)
I also learned Southern Shaolin style forms, so that was cool. I liked being able to branch out! (If you are wondering what are some differences between Southern Shaolin and what you are used to seeing in Northern Shaolin: Click here)
Finally, my adventures this year (and every past year) would not be complete without my coach. We’ve been through thick and thin in the past, and training is always fun with him.
Well, that’s all folks! I’ll be back in the states in about 4 days, in the meantime I’m going to be spending time with family. If you want to see a little bit of what my room was like and the view and everything, click here. If you want information about how to go to the school and get the Shaolin experience yourself, feel free to shoot me an email at email@example.com. I can’t wait to be back in the States, and I’ll keep all of you posted when I can! 🙂