Olaf Nap

The Netherlands
Training Period at the Academy: 
October 27, 2012
Shaolin Kungfu

At the moment of writing I am currently on the train from Siping back to Beijing. I just finished my one month stay at the Northern China Shao Lin Marshall Arts Academy today and I must admit I can hardly believe it, time went so fast! The day after my arrival the bell rang (as always) at 05:15 AM: this was the start of what would be a 4 week unforgettable experience full of new views and perspectives on both life in general and myself. Every day 7 hours of training was tough for me in the beginning but I got used to the discipline pretty fast and started to use the time during my breaks to study a Chinese a little bit, of which I also took class once a day; the combination of both physical and mental training worked very well for me. The discipline of the daily schedule has been good for me and was strengthened by the superb way the shifus have trained me and pushed me to train at my best every second. They truly love martial arts and it is hard not to fall in love with it (if you did not already) being around them and experiencing their dedication to it. I surely do now, even though it was all new to me. Being new to shao lin kung-fu, or martial arts in general however was not a problem at all, as all shifus took time for individual training. Also my fellow students tried to help wherever they could, this also made me feel welcome right away. Being part of a group of students coming from different cultures from all around the world, all having their own goals and beliefs has been wonderful and enriching. I will always cherish the time we spent together both at the academy during the weeks and the great fun we had in the weekends in Siping. Looking back on my stay I am very thankful for everything that was offered to me and I would have liked to stay much longer. The academy is a beautiful, unique and inspiring place in which everyone can follow their dreams and strive for their targets. I will come back to the academy for sure, whether it will be to visit my shifus, or to train again.