China trip 2012

I’m back from my trip to China, and it was a great trip.  I got to experience the Chinese culture up close, see some of their historic locations and visit a number of kung fu schools while I was away.

On the great wall at Jinshanling

In Beijing I went to the great wall and also visited many temples and parks.  I was of course particularly interested in any kung fu or qigong I could find being practiced.  I found the Temple of Heaven to be a really good park for this as it is quite large and in general I think there was a better standard and variety of martial arts being practiced here than I saw in many of the other parks.

Using a twelve foot pole at the temple of heaven. I think the guy who loaned me the pole was quite impressed that I could use it at all. It was an interesting weapon to work with.

Chinese Fan

Next I went to Shaolin to visit the famous temple there and check out some of their schools.

A statue at Shaolin

The cave where Bodhidharma meditated for nine years

The schools here were very impressive, most schools had several thousand live in students at a time.

Some of the students from Tagou (one of the schools near Shaolin) gathered in a courtyard.

Next I went to Wudangshan to visit the mountain and see what schools I could find in the area.  Wudangshan was very beautiful.

A path on Wudangshan

I found several interesting schools in the town around the mountain and even some on the mountain itself.

A Wudang taiji class on the mountain

Some of the guardian statues at Yuxu Gong where one of the schools in town train.

My last stop was Shanghai which was an experience in itself, very different from the other towns and cities I visited. I even managed to go see the accommodation in the Former French Concession.  Lots of bright lights and rampant commercialism, liked it.

Shanghai at night

My main purpose in going to China was to check out the kung fu schools for students who may want to go overseas to train in the future, also to experience the culture and learn the realities of living and travelling in China to prepare for when students from our school may want to visit as a group.

It is good to be back though.  If I haven’t seen you yet, I hope to see you at a class soon.  I will also be having an evening in the near future where I will show more of my photos on a projector at the centre and tell stories from my interesting experiences in China for those who are interested.



  1. That was very interesting indeed. It looks like a very different way to live and to raise children from our “NZ way”.

  2. Thanks for sharing John, it’s Ande from the club when Gwion was teaching some years ago 🙂 I would like to hear your stories and see the pics if that hasn’t happened already.

    • Hey Ande, good to hear from you. Yeah we already had the photo evening. It was a great trip, thinking about maybe going again next year. Drop in to training sometime if you get a chance.

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