Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, Long Island NY
A bit about me, I've trained 5 years TKD, 4 Years AIKIDO, Judo my dad taught me.
I started training with this school about 7 years ago, and start and stopped for work related reasons. I am back now, and have a decent schedule that I make 3 classes a week.
When I first moved to Long Island from Florida, my intention was to continue training in Aikido, but the Dojo's I've tried I just didn't get the same vibe I got from my school in Florida. So I went off to look at different schools on the island. I settled on Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, because of the level of energy in the classes. I'm not dedicated to any type of style, I enjoy training and training with people who are enthused.
This is a real martial art. Lohan Chuan is the name of the art. It fully encompasses the "Art" with the forms and the "Martial" aspect with the self defense, and sparring.
I go to classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All the classes are different, but the usual trend is: Monday: Forms, Wednesday: Self Defense, Friday: Sparring. Classes start off with some basic stretching, the strength training exercises are fun, we hold huge wooden buckets out at arms length for three minutes at a clip. Various Push ups, sit ups, holding deep stances to strengthen leg muscles. I've worked up a good sweat with the first twenty minutes of class and can feel it in my arms and legs. (especially the next day). It transitions to basic kung fu strikes and blocks, then to forms and/or self defense. The full contact sparring is on Friday nights, the class lasts about two and half hours. Everyone is gracious on taking it "at your level". I'm prone to amnesia, so my partners are gracious enough to avoid head shots even though I have full equipment on.
I'm still a beginner (yellow sash) but when I reach a higher level (orange sash) they teach traditional chinese weapons. Staff, swords (there are three types they train with), spear, shield, chain whip. They also teach Chin-nah(joint locks, small joint manipulation), Tai Chi and Chi-Gung. Tai Chi and Chi Gung I don't know enough about to comment.
The chief instructor Shih Gung (forgive my spelling) Gregg Zilb. This guy lives Kung Fu. I've met a lot of instructors in my day, but he really impresses me. He's one of those instructors that can pull off all the moves he teaches. He's in great shape, has no problems doing a lot of the more acrobatic type of moves, head stands, flips, you name it... and he's really, really fast. He can really teach also, has a great way of communicating a technique.
Aliveness: 10: This is most intense martial arts class I've ever been to. Should be noted, we've only done ground fighting a few times I've been there. It's mostly stand up striking.
Equipment: 9 I give this a 9, because there are a full range of staff's, swords etc. for each student to use. There is protective gear, though it shows it's wear. No "ring" or "cage" as it's not teaching sport.
Gym Size: 10: He just moved into a HUGE garage type of place in an industrial area. You could fit a few 18 wheelers in where we train. I'm not good with square feet sizes.. but that should give you an idea.
Instructor/Student Ratio: 10. Higher level Black Sashes usually teach the beginners class along with owner and there are always about two on average in class. For the children's classes, it's a black sash and high level sash (purple or red)
Atmosphere/Attitude: 10 It's over the top.
Striking Instruction:9 I'm not sure what "A" level means, so I give it a 9.. in my book it's a ten, they've already improved my striking, and I thought I was decent.
I don't consider Chin-Nah grappling, I consider BJJ grappling. Although we do a lot of the same joint locks. We don't work from "the guard" or submissions. It's more heavy on the self defense, not sport. (although all the sparring makes the students competent competition sparring fighters.)
Weapons: 8 A decent amount of different classical chinese weapons. Swords, Shield, chain whip, staff, spear. No contact, forms only, some self defense with the staff.
The link to his website: www.shaolinlohan.com