Academie Shaolin White Crane Kung Fu
Let's start with the bad. Sparring is not as frequent as it could be. There is no lack of limited sparring-y drills, but straight up "do whatever you want" sparring is an about bi-monthly event. Some movements involving striking or grabbing at danger zones are slightly toned down or modified to lower the risk of injury, although they are still trained with resistance.
On the upside, almost every movement in the forms is taken apart and trained as an alive drill. This is done regularly. When it happens, the contact level of sparring is high and the students show proficiency. Limited sparring-like drills in two different kinds (Push Hands, which could be related to Wing Chun chi sao and Push Body, which could be related to taiji push hands) done almost every class.
3 heavy bags, enough thai pads and focus pads to train about 20-25 students at a time, a few wall bags, two iron palm training bags, traditional training equipment (sand jars, bricks, bamboo rolls), one lifting bench with bar and weights, a barbell rack, kettlebells and a few dumbells. For the number of students interested in using them, there are more than enough to go by, except perhaps the heavy bags.
The place is pretty small, and on crowded classes people often get in each other's way. The number of people attending class is not always even, so sometimes there is ample space and sometimes there isn't. Most of the time, it's just fine.
There's only one actual teacher, but a couple of knowledgable assistant instructors. Sometimes, senior students are given the task to instruct complete beginners. About 1 instructor (or assistant-instructor) to 14 students.
Traditional chinese way of using family terms to describe relationship between students and masters. This encourages bonding between the students and make for a relaxed, fraternal attitude. There is sometimes a little ankwardness due to the usage of both languages.
A large variety of hands techniques, which are regularly pressure tested. Even some more dangerous movements (throat strikes, groin strikes) are pressure tested with slight variations or safety measures. Many strikes are aimed at pressure points (as in "very painful places"; not delayed death fantasy). Kicking is mostly kept to simple but high-percentage low kicks and sweeps. Outside of the monthly hard sparring sessions, training is done without padding and with medium to hard contact.
The Push Body drill I mentionned earlier is where most of the standup grappling instruction happens. Students are taught how to keep balance and how to do (and how to defend from) simple shoves and pulls. This can translate to learning how to avoid or engage the clinch, and can supplement throwing arts. There is little groundfighting training, and what is there is mostly dealing with "ground to air" and "air to ground" scenarios.
After the second grading, staff training becomes mandatory. After that grade, weapons become a larger part of the training, but most of that is done alone at home by the students. This is made up for by the sheer variety of weapons available to train, including some very rare and esoteric weapons.
The school uses from 10 to 30 minutes each class for warmup, which is sometimes a generic sports/gymnastic warmup, sometimes toned-down two person drills and sometimes qigong (breathing, stretching).
There is a fair bit of conditionning, mostly in the form of forearm toughening, both through dedicated exercises and arising naturally during training. Teacher sells traditional liniment to help healing the bruises that can arise, but this is in no way mandatory; the bruises heal fast. If wanted, the teacher can teach how to do Iron Palm training (hand conditionning), but there are drawback to this training and it can be somewhat hazardous to one's health.
The teacher operates a martial arts supply store, and sells some items relating to their training at a discounted price to his students.
Last edited by Guizzy; 3/11/2007 5:20am at .
Sounds like a very good school.
A well-done, objective review. Good one.
It is a very good school actually, the type that is dying out.
I love the techniques they are teaching us but the only problem (for me) is the atmosphere... not very friendly, there are no interactions between the students or very few
to start with: you gave it a 9 for striking? did you read the guidelines? What pro fighters train at your school?
Very serious school EXELENT teacher he as great knowledge!!!
Thank you Bernard Sfu
I think that you create your atmosphere, i once was a student of Bernard Sifu and understand what you meen but if you work to make you atmosphere better people will notice and open up more...
Is this a good place to learn kung fu? Is this place have a good reputation?
It is the best school in quebec! I had the opportunity to know almost all the Shifu's and Sensei... and this a school for serious students. Traditional Kung-fu and two location wich gives you a better schedule.