Posted On:11/03/2008 11:37am
I trained Sanda and Ren Fist here for a year and a half while I was living in China. I've been meaning to get around to this review for a while...
This is really a great school. The focus on Sanda and the very direct, practical family style keeps most of the "Forbidden Kingdom" wushu trolls at bay. The Shaolin forms taught are the traditional forms, not modern wushu.
The instruction is top notch.
**Edit** It occurred to me after posting this review, that someone wondering in off of a random web search may not be familiar with the ratings system, and would view a "7 in striking" for example as being below average. Please see the quite stringent criteria for bullshido school ratings here Ratings and You - Read This Before Posting Your Review - No BS Martial Arts.
A school doesn't need all 10's to be a great school for most people and anything above a 5 or 6 in categories like gym size / equipment is typical for smaller martial arts schools. **Edit**
Explanation of ratings:
Aliveness: 8 - Regular full contact sparring at the striking/clenching range with moderate safety equipment (12oz gloves, mouthpiece... headgear and shin-pads optional, MMA gloves can be substituted for boxing gloves if you have a willing sparring partner). The instructors can and often do arrange amateur Sanshou/Sanda fights at the school with local fighters.
Equipment: 6 - Everything is pretty old, but adequate. I recommend bringing your own gloves, wraps and shinpads because the ones at the school are "communal" and smell awful.
Gym Size: 6 - Dedicated commercial space divided in half... one half hard cement for forms / gongfu training and the other half padded for sparring and Sanda.
Instructor Student Ratio: 10 - 3 instructors and no more than 4 foreign students at a time. At least 1, usually 2 private sessions a day. This backfires sometimes because you are always sparring with the same people, but the local events help.
Atmosphere/Attitude: 10- Great teachers, great Chinese students, Great times.
Striking Instruction: 7 - The trainers have trained Sanshou champions in both Henan and Shandong Province.
Grappling Instruction: 2 - Decent, but not comprehensive takedown instruction from the clench... Various "Anti-grappling" techniques that are usually not integrated into the sparring sessions unless you specifically ask to focus on it.
Weapons: 1 - Demonstration forms only... but top notch instruction if that's your bag.
Overall it was a very enjoyable experience. The instructors are not just good teachers, but good people as well.
Last edited by RobAgle; 6/17/2009 7:42am at .
Reason: Ratings not shown
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