Winters in China could freeze the blood – but if it’s blood pumping action that you’re looking for, why not try enrolling in a martial arts course for the winter? Aside from being an excellent way to train your body and mind, it can also get you a figure perfect for showing off once the snow melts in the summer.
Here are a couple of schools of combat that you may want to take a look at.
Internal martial arts
As the name implies, internal martial arts (also called neijia) is a style for those who aren’t quite ready for the demanding physical requirements of most martial arts. The Internal Martial Arts school gives an excellent introduction to this discipline, led by Master Liu. In his school, you’ll quickly learn about the basics about neijia, the concept of qigong, and other aspects of internal martial arts. While the classes themselves are a little more like yoga than the fast-paced, action packed martials arts that are so popular in movies, the classes are just as physically demanding – if you find yourself not paying attention, you may find yourself on the floor very quickly!
Venue: Internal Martial Arts School Studio. 7:00 – 8.30pm every Tue, Thur, Fri.
2,000RMB for two months (two sessions a week)
3,000RMB for two months (three sessions a week).
Classes in both English and Chinese.
While it’s most associated with Bruce Lee, Wing Chun’s beginnings are steeped in legend. The most prominent one is being that a Buddhist nun invented the techniques used for Wing Chun during the Qing Dynasty, crafting a martial art that didn’t rely on brute force. Coach Lee (no relation) kicks off the training by introducing different moves such as pushing, shoving, grappling and punching. The result is a training that strengthens your core strength and improving your skills at close combat. It may seem a bit intimidating for beginners, but Coach Lee’s careful instruction can make you flow like water in no time.
Venue: Wing Chun Kung Fu Clan, Kai Sai, China
Contact Marco Lee on wingchun. email@example.com or 131 2655 3900 for information about classes. Instruction in English and Chinese.
Shaolin Kung Fu
Teacher Chunmin doesn’t hold back when it comes to teaching this martial art – and with good reason. Shaolin Kung Fu has always focused on developing physical prowess and martial ability, something that becomes very apparent with training regimen. Beginning with an intense warm-up and wrapping up with kicks, punches, stances and joint locks, you’ll certainly be put through your paces in a heavy workout. There’s even a wooden stick (gun) at the end of the training, testing what you’ve learned in pairs. This is certainly one martial art that isn’t for those who easily bruise: but it’ll be worth it!
Venue: Shaolin Kung Fu Various locations. 5-7pm every Tue and Thur; 2-5pm every Sat.
Instruction at home or your place of work is also available. Call Chunmin on 134 6645 2840 for more information.
400RMB for one month.
Instruction in English and Chinese.
A dazzling blend of physical movement and martial force, Wushu has movements that will funnily enough, remind you of a ballerina’s warm-up routine. Putting a lot of emphasis on movement, flexibility, and adaptability, Wushu’s training regimen consist of rapid strikes and strong kicks. This is a martial art that puts a lot of focus on weapons training as well. While beginners might learn open-hand techniques (changquan), more adventurous students can try tail-whips, spears, or swords. Wushu is more challenging than it looks, and it’ll do you good to not underestimate it – especially with your teacher Lu Yan, who trained with no other than Jet Li instead.
Venue: Lu Yan Wushu, 7-8.30pm every Tue and Thur.
120RMB per hour (four people); 250RMB per hour (one person).
Instruction in English/Chinese.