I would say judging on what you picked for your username, you had your heart set on studying shaolin kung fu. There is nothing wrong with this, as long as you have a realistic expectation of what you are getting. If your headed to Ft. Carson, I would probably think that there would be at least a few MA hobbyists that get together and train, and one of them might actually be a decent instructor, depending on what you're looking for.
Never got back to this last night. It looks like everybody is giving you good advice. I looked at all the schools in that area that were listed on the internet and it didn't look very hopeful.
Originally Posted by Bahuyuddha
Stay away from Black Lotus and the Chinese Shaolin Centers IMO.
Read this thread:
Also, as noted above you are going to end up with modern and modified Shaolin Kung Fu. If the history is to be believed, which there is enough research that it is on shaky ground, most Shaolin was absorbed and became family styles based on Shaolin. So, personally, I now tend to avoid any school that PUSHES *keyword* Shaolin history.
Any angry CMAers pay attention to the word "PUSHES."
Also, for a good laugh check out the book titled "American Shaolin" by Matt Polly. He traveled to the Shaolin Temple in China to train Kung Fu and ended up doing Sanda. It's a great read, and very funny.
^^^ This. Generally, true Shaolin kung fu doesn't exist any longer, at least under the name Shaolin. Even at the Shaolin temple, it's essentially become a tourist attraction. This itself is not a bad thing (we could get into the Cultural Revolution, but that's a different topic), it's simply evolution. As IIF stated, a lot of what was originally Shaolin KF got absorbed into family styles. That said, many KF styles such as Hung Gar still contain a lot of the things that are often associated with Shaolin. It's just the name and association that's been lost.
Originally Posted by It is Fake
The term "Shaolin Kung Fu" really got popularized by kung fu movies and the like. Even at its height, Shaolin was not the be-all-and-end-all of kung fu. It's just a name that got capitalized on for marketing purposes.
The best advice will always be: Do your research, check it out with your own eyes, find what YOU want and go for it.
At the risk of incurring the wrath of the CMA forum mods, might I suggest boxing if you can't find a good Kung Fu school?
Originally Posted by ShaolinMedic
It has a hell of a lot of history, it's a good stand up fighting system and a great workout. An added benefit would be that if you get transferred to a new city by the army, it shouldn't be too hard to find a new gym.
This is good advice. Many of the posts above offer good advice. Please note: this from a 'Shaolin' practitioner of many years. Make that list of goals and measure your practice against that list, being without fear in modifying your list or changing your practice and be well served.
Originally Posted by Evil Solvalou
Sure, 'Shaolin' could be your perfect fit.
Now go do some damn push ups.
I prefer the Shaolin equivalent to pushups: go do ma bu.
Originally Posted by Rabu
Did anybody bring up Wong Kiew Kit and Shaolin Wanham yet?
Kama Sutra blue belt.
Originally Posted by Emevas
Originally Posted by Rock Ape
I'd also suggest you keep that list of goals and check back against it every so often to see if what you are studying matches the list. It may not, and that might be okay as your goals and desired for training may have evolved. Or you might find that it isn't matching any longer and you have been sidetracked unintentionally. Schools that have agendas tend to change their message over time, and the more a student gets involved.
Never be afraid look at things objectively and to walk away if it isn't a good fit any longer.