One of the main reasons why we came to China, and stayed here for one year, is our passion for practicing martial arts. And in China we can practice Kung Fu with real and excellent teachers. After an extensive and long search, we found a school in south of Xi’an.
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy – School Gate
The academy was founded by multiple (tenfold) champion of China Zhao Chang Jun in year 1991. Today the master lives and teaches in USA and visit the school once a year.
The school occupies quite a large territory. In the past, 20 years ago, this was a good and quiet area outside of the city. But now the school is surrounded by construction of high rise buildings. They are like giants, which are coming from all sides with their huge shadows.
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy – New construction near school
Today schools counts about 500 children. They live, exercise and learn basic subjects, without leaving the school for months. The school has several training rooms, student housing, classrooms and dining room. Of course everything is made in chinese style. There are no conditioners, only one public shower that opens once a week, smelly toilets, etc. But it looks like that this doesn’t bother much all the students.
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy – Schoolyard
When we came to the school for the first time, the staff was very friendly, but no one could speak English. Then they were happy to send us to thin young Chinese man, who could understand our language.
Here we must write about him separately.
Our coach: Master Ma Chao
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy – Ma Chao
His name is Ma Chao, but we call him simply MaCho. He was born in a Muslim family in Xi’an (yes, Xi’an has a Muslim community of about 50,000 people). MaCho trained wushu from age 6, first in this school, and later he moved to Beijing team. He was twice the champion of China in wushu in years 2002 and 2003.
MaCho also worked 5 years in Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas, coached in United States and Europe, and traveled a lot.
Two years ago he came back to China, and now he works as coach in the school, where he started his way.
Here is a short video about Master Ma Chao
We started to train in his group, and we’ve found out that he is very good coach and very good person too. He repeatedly and willingly helped us in various issues, such as renting an apartment etc.
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy- Kids stretching
We usually train with small group of children from six to eleven years old. Some of them are really good. Their movements are fast, accurate and strong. We call them “little champions”.
Watch the training of one little champion.
As we practice with children, we can see how strong a child’s body can be. They have daily workout twice a day for three and half hours, five days a week, and one training in Saturday morning. One thing amazes us again and again. When the training is over and we drag our feet home, kids continue to run one after another in the school yard, jump and shout.
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy – The Youngest Student – 6 years old
After 3 hours of training, our energy comes to the end and we barely can move. But children complete their training by exercise for abdominal muscles, or wheel, or jumping on the spot. Workout ends and children happily run away, as we shamble home.
Why do we do this?
So, the question can be asked: Why do we do this? The answer is simple.
Because it is fun, keeps the body in good condition and simply beautiful art. 10 years ago we fell in love with kung fu and this is our third visit to China for this reason. Sometimes we become desperate, and we tell to ourselves, that we will never move like chinese masters do. But we continue because it is our passion and we like to train with great masters like Ma Chao or our Tai Chi coach Master Li.
Zhao Changjun Martial Arts Academy – Tun practicing TaiChi with Master Li
Some information about the school can be found here:
We pay 100 RMB per person per lesson in the school (it about 3-3.5 hours).
We also take Tai Chi lessons (Chen Style) once a week. The price is also 100 RMB per person per hour.
How to get there:
Xi’an metro line 2, Hui Zhan Zhong Xin会展中心 station, now is last station on south, exit A.
Then pass to bus station near KTV, take a bus number 408, get off on the 3rd stop.
Or take a taxi. From metro station to the school price is about 8 RMB. You can show to a driver this photo with
the name of the school.
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We are Gadi and Tun - the midlife runaways. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We've decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe” with the world.
Hi there! We are a couple, and we like to travel. We regard our selves as a “world citizens” and currently we live and explore in China. We’ve decided to start this blog to share our awe and adventures with friends, family and all the people who love to travel. Feel free to comment and to join. And most important, don’t forget the state of “Being in Awe”.