Luke Mladek

Training Period at the Academy: 
3 months (June-August 2015)
Baji Quan

This is my Second time staying at SiPing Shaolin Martial Arts Academy.
I stayed for about 4 or 5 months in 2013.
My primary reason for returning was to be able to practice BaJi Quan
with Li ShiFu again as he is one of the most knowledgeable and capable
Martial Arts instructors I have every met or studied under. For a man
his age he is quite fit, but more importantly is insanely fast and
very powerful. He has and can demonstrate a deep understanding of
every movement in every form. He requires his students understand each
movement as well before proceeding on. Also at any time he is more
than willing to show you the practical applications of the movements
as well as situational variations of the move depending on what your
opponent does.
BaJi Quan is a particularly rare style to find and it's especially
hard to find a good instructor. I looked in New York for a while after
my first stay but didn't like the styles of BaJi I saw. It is a good
combination of Internal and external practice and has many practical
applications for in close fighting as it utilizes both strikes(mostly
to vitals) and take downs.
Li ShiFu also teaches Yong Chun Quan (Win Chun) and is extremely
proficient in that as well as combining the 2 styles.
You can tell that he genuinely cares about each and every one of his
students, their progress, understanding and general well being.
I've studied Martial Arts for a majority of my life (Traditional Tae
Kwon Do, Karate-Do, Judo, and Boxing) and this school is a GREAT place
to come and study traditional martial arts. It offers some excellent
masters and a variety of other styles to study as well. Currently the
Shaolin, Sanda, and Tai Qi Instructors are all very young but
extremely knowledgeable and have had excellent teachers as you can see
by their physical prowess and forms. They have great enthusiasm and
really care about this school and it's students.
If you like training hard for many hours a day this is definitely the
place for you. I'f you've never practiced before or aren't in the best
of shape that's ok don't be discouraged you can work up to it little
by little and go at your own pace. So long as you are willing to push
yourself you will definitely see improvement.
Obviously the more effort you put in the more results you can expect.
You can just skate by doing the bare minimum of required classes for
students and conditioning but you won't learn as much as one who makes
an effort to attend every class and work hard during them(Just like
any other martial arts school or MMA gym).
Much to the same if you plan on staying here a long time you can
expect great results. If you only have a little time to spend don't
worry! You can still make the most of it and, work hard learn what you
can and continue your practice back home. Either way I'd highly
recommend this place to anyone who has never practiced before, or may
be already extremely proficient in one style or another and seeks to
learn more/something new.
Lastly I'd briefly like to talk about the environment. The food here
is AMAZING the chef is accommodating to anyone's dietary restrictions
and makes DELICIOUS traditional Chinese dishes. The rooms are nice and
the school/grounds are beautiful. The outside environment is breath
taking postcard type scenery. It's green beautiful mountains and clean
air (that's something many school in China can't say) make this an
ideal place just to get away for a while let alone practice martial
arts. The nearest city (SiPing) is about an hour and a half by bus and
is a fun place to visit on weekends. It's also very inexpensive
compared to some of the other cities in China.
This place really is a hidden treasure. Sadly there are fewer students
here than when I was here in 2013 but I'm hoping by giving this
testimonial to help change that.
Please don't over-look this place when considering training Martial
Arts in China I highly recommend it to anyone.