CK Martial Hearts (Shaolin Temple)

CK Martial Hearts (Shaolin Temple), Dengfeng: Address, Phone Number, CK Martial Hearts (Shaolin Temple) Reviews: 5/5

CK Martial Hearts (Shaolin Temple)

CK Martial Hearts (Shaolin Temple)
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CK Martial Hearts offers the opportunity to experience life & train kung fu inside the most iconic martial arts location in the world - the Shaolin Temple. Aside from Shaolin kung fu, CK Martial Hearts offers classes in Taichi, qigong and self-defense, as well as the chance to learn more about the Shaolin Temple through guided tours provided by native-English speaking guides.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
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Gonzalo G
Fenghuang County, China3 contributions
Solo
I was in a 5 days martial arts training.

The place of most of the trainings was inside the Shaolin Temple, others in the forest around the Temple. The Kung-fu classes were teach by a monk of the Shaolin Temple. Also some Taichi early in the morning in the village near the temple teach by AJ. The course is organized based on the existing facilities of the local village, that means that you will experience how a local Chinese hostel is like, and how the local food of a very simple village is like. You will be in the middle of hundreds of young Chinese Kung-Fu students, that gives the village a sense of a big school. Every thing there is prepared to train Kung-Fu.

This was my first experience in Kung-Fu. Some considerations: The monk will treat you like a 7 years old child. So no matter how hard the training is, he will keep pushing you. Sometimes I think that he is being paid by some ex-chinese girlfriend, according to AJ (the organizer), he was the only that paid the monk. Do not worry about your level or your physical condition, the monk will make you feel your physical limits. And he is really creative thinking in different ways to make you improve your physical condition, especially in some areas of the temple partially under construction. I had the idea that Buddhist monks were some kind of naturalist or environment friendly guys, but when you have to heat 300 times the nice tree behind you, then you doubt about his considerations with the mother nature. The temperature in the area is around 35ºC, and you will have to drink around 3 litters of water a day. If you want to discover which other parts of your body exist and were there the hole life, this is the right place.

The hostel. The service is very friendly and speaks only Chinese. The rooms are quite simple, clean, and nearly no cabinet to place any thing. If you get the room in the last floor, this will help to improve your physical condition because there is no lift. Wifi, is working quite well there, (consider the Chinese firewall if you come from outside China, may be you will need a VPN).

Food. Frugality might be a good word to describe it. You better like rice, the grandma that cooks will never be listed in the Michelin guide, except for the soap of thursday. Any way you will be so tired that there is no need to think about what you eat or how it looks like. The first day grandma will give you a boll and a pair of chopsticks, that you have to keep, like the other hundreds of children in the schools near by already do. A couple of boiled eggs will be the luxury part of the daily breakfast, and if you were never before in a Chinese hotel/hostel, then the breakfast/lunch/dinner will be a real Chinese experience for you. Make as much exercise as possible so that you will eat whatever is prepared. The presentation of the food can only be improved, to say it in a polite way.

If you are lucky, the monks will invite you to the early morning religious exercise. Starts at 5 am. Also you will have the chance to have breakfast with them. Having the same breakfast as they have, then you will think that grandma's breakfast is just amazing.

AJ the organizer, will help with the translation if required, he has been living in China for a long time and has a long experience in Martial Arts. The organizers AJ and Nick will support you in case of any issue.

If you want to improve or start in Kung-Fu, or you want to experience how is living in a real Kung-Fu Chinese school, this is the right place. (For other expectations, please check Bali 5 stars resorts).
Written July 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Gonzalo, Many thanks for your honest and descriptive review! We are very glad that you got a lot out of our Shaolin Temple program, and would recommend it to others looking to begin or improve their kung fu skills! Thank you also for highlighting the simplicity of the Chinese food offered on this program. We have always believed that offering our participants the same food as the monks and locals is the best way to ensure the authenticity of the experience. But we will most definitely pass your feedback on to the cook and look for ways to offer greater variety in the future. It was fantastic having you as one of our first participants, and we hope to see you on one of our advanced programs next year! :D Kind regards, AJ
Written July 27, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Martina H
6 contributions
Solo
This is the adventure you have to go to if you want to learn more about Kung Fu and about yourself! AJ and Nic thank you for you passion and amazing help all the week long ..the experience to tell is nearly impossible...you have to go and feel this special atmosphere in the Kung Fu Village and in the Shaolin Tempel! This program will show you what can happen if you are able to bring your body and your mind together! To be with the Monks and have the opportunity to practice with them is a thing who will give you power and energy for your whole life! Go and feel it by yourself!
Written June 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Martina, Thank you so much for summing up your experiences with us so well! In fact, I think you may have perfectly expressed what it means to study kung fu at the Shaolin Temple; "This program will show you what can happen if you are able to bring your body and your mind together!" This is exactly the meaning of kung fu, and it is exactly what we hope people who join us will understand by the end of their time there. So congratulations, and again thank you, for putting in such effort each and every day you were with us, and truly managing to grasp the essence of what Shaolin martial arts are. It means a lot to both Nic and I that you stuck with it to the end, and we are very happy it had such a profound effect on you. I hope you keep these memories with you your whole life. Best regards, AJ Donnelly CK Martial Hearts
Written June 23, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mike J
Norwich, CT5 contributions
Friends
This program isn't like other Kung Fu programs in China: you get close training with a real Shaolin monk for at least five hours every day plus additional training time for application of what you're learning, and it's totally fine if you have no experience in martial arts or fitness although the more you train beforehand, the "easier" it will be; everything is already panned out so you don't have to worry about figuring out what to do (plus your instructor doubles as a translator); three meals a day and rooming are all taken care of, as well as transportation; you get to learn the history of what and where you're practicing along with other sights you venture to; and you control how much you do, but expect to be pushed to your limits physically, mentally, and even emotionally. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a different kind of challenge and experience.
Written October 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Mike, Thank you so much for your great write up! I must say, your dedication to continued practice, even after you injured your hands, was amazing, especially considering it was for 14 days! And how fast you picked up the Yinshougun stick form was equally impressive. So again, thank you so much for joining us. Keep up the hard work, and I hope what you learned stays with you, no matter which direction your Path takes you. Yours in Martial Spirit, AJ
Written October 4, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

George T
Chicago, IL4 contributions
Solo
I participated in CK Martial Hearts 10 day workshop in September.

It blew my mind.

I've lived in China for 5 years. I first visited the Shaolin Temple in 2007. Upon entering the temple at that time, my Chinese friend and I dismissed it as touristy nonsense and hiked up into the mountains. I hadn't been back since then.

Then I came on this program because I was interested in studying some Gong Fu. Wow. Not only did the program give me access to an amazing and incredibly valuable experience studying the fundamentals of Chinese Gong Fu, but also to a rich cultural Chinese experience that is increasingly hard to find, especially at this place!

We spent 8 hours a day training with the facilitator, AJ, and a Shaolin warrior monk, teacher Dou, who is currently training, teaching, and living in the temple.

The monk embodied many aspects of traditional Chinese culture that are slowly fading away. He was totally dedicated to practicing and teaching Gong Fu (and repeatedly made clear the differences between traditional Shaolin Gong Fu which he was teaching and the more popular but commercial "performance" oriented variety) and he patiently helped us to develop a fundamental body awareness that is not only key to performing the basic moves properly, but overall enhances one's body-mind connection.

Everyday, he gently pushed us towards our limits, I mean, the program really makes you dig down and work hard, but he constantly taught us to take the moves slow, focusing on "feeling out the moves," engaging in the process, rather than rushing forward towards some perfect result. Because, of course, in 10 days it would be impossible to master Gong Fu. This approach allowed me and I think every other participant to take away what would be of value to each one of us, which is, I think the ideal way to teach. I think this was a product of him also being an ordained monk. He was very present, very wise, (despite being very young) and very kind. He created an excellent and fascinating atmosphere for learning.

Everyday we learned fundamental stances, movements and that enhanced awareness of our bodies and Chi. It was a totally grounding experience and the rewards have already carried over into my professional life as an actor where I am focusing more on being grounded and having a strong base.

The facilitator and creator of the program, AJ, also taught us combat applications of what we were learning and Tai Chi. He used a very similar teaching approach as the monk (and he looks like a monk himself), combining individualized and considerate instruction with constant encouragement and inspiration. He was constantly aware of our needs and ever ready to solve any issues that arose, whether involving training, accommodation, food or any other aspect of this incredible program. He truly has created a life-changing experience and all the participants felt the same way. There were four of us on the program and we really grew close throughout the process. This was another very enjoyable aspect of this experience, we had people from all different backgrounds sharing the same experience.

But the most amazing thing is that, the temple is very touristy, but this program somehow took me way beyond that surface and allowed me to experience the underlying and abiding Shaolin culture.

We climbed the mountain, mingled with monks, lived in a village a short walk away from the temple, a village populated with hundreds of warrior monks in training, Chinese kids who aspire to be like the monk with whom we trained.

Chinese culture, Gong Fu basics, Tai Chi with AJ, living in the temple--so much is packed into these ten days that I didn't realize how much I took away until I went home and reflected on all that I had gained.

So thank you to AJ for creating such an awesome experience for me and for the many people out there who want to experience genuine Chinese culture. I recommend this program to anyone who has an interest in martial arts, traditional Chinese culture, and who isn't afraid to sweat a bit (or a lot if you want) :)

Because I should mention that the program can be demanding for people who aren't in the best physical condition. But even then, like I said, the teachers still tailor the program to the participants, so you're never going to be pushed to do something that you can't do. More than that, the program pushes you to discover more about just how much you are capable of doing. Inspirational! You won't regret it!
Written November 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear George, Sincere thanks for taking the time to share your experiences on one of our Shaolin Temple Kungfu Programs! We sincerely appreciate it. :) As someone who had visited the Shaolin Temple before, we are especially happy to have been able to show you a different side of the Temple this time. That you really got so much out of the experience, both physically and mentally, in such a short time, is exactly what we aim for. We hope you continue training and exploring the depths of Chinese culture. Sincere regards, AJ
Written December 8, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sam G
Scottish Highlands, UK1 contribution
Solo
This course has been the single best thing that has ever happened to me I have no past Kung Fu experience however in the 10 day course I learned so much not just about Kung Fu i learned my body my strengths and weaknesses, i learned that my mind can definitely overcome my body even when my mouth says it cant, i learned that your physical strength doesn't matter what matters is that everything moves in harmony, i learned how to look upon the world differently. I had so much fun and would do it a million times again! i met some truly amazing people and witnessed some beautiful things and i implore anyone reading the reviews to just sign up and do it because even though it will be hard and painful you can do it and you will feel amazing! this course is so you can adapt and grow mentally, physically and spiritually. i never thought that this was a real opportunity but it was and is and will continue to be (hopefully) AJ and his missus Nick are really nice and can be helpful when it is needed and they are generally good to talk too. i can say with confidence that AJ and his company are the only ones who offer such an amazing and mind blowing experience and i hope you sign up and ill see you next year and we can punch trees together till the sun goes down!
Written November 12, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Sam, Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us how you felt about your Shaolin Temple Kungfu Experience! I can honestly say we are truly humbled that you think this is the best thing that has ever happened to you and are sincerely touched by the high praise you have given us. We will most definitely continue to offer better and better opportunities at the Shaolin Temple, and are very excited to see you there again next year! Keep punching those trees! Best regards, AJ
Written November 15, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Sunita M
1 contribution
Solo
By any measure, CK MartialHearts, strives to give their clients a remarkable experience. Aj and Nic are friendly and luminous – making sure you are well informed and prepared for the journey of a lifetime. They made sure I felt like I was at home away from home, which made my time at the Shaolin Temple more meaningful. This allowed my mind to relax and focus on what I came there to accomplish. To overcome physical and mental obstacles and push myself past any limit I’ve once reached.

At the Shaolin Temple, we were given the opportunity to train under an authentic Shaolin Warrior Monk. On a daily basis we worked on improving endurance, flexibility, and strength. We learned the traditional kung fu form, Tongbiquan and by the end of the week, we completed the form. What a gift! We even had the opportunity for extra training to reinforce the skills we were learning from our training sessions with the Monk. Not only did we practice the application of the movements, we also had discussions on how these moves were developed and used. That means we not only intellectually understood what we were doing, but we experientially understood the movements.

Overall this week reinforced the good habits I developed growing up. Habits that I forgot about once I reached adulthood. Every once in a while, I feel that we all need to go back to the basics because after all, repetition is the mother of skill. I thought that I lost my passion for martial arts, flexibility, mental and physical endurance. I thought that it was normal and that I would just grow in different areas of life. But I reached a point where I wasn’t evolving how I wanted to. Joining CK Martial Hearts has reminded me that I can push past any limiting beliefs. “If you are willing to drop the ideas, philosophies, and belief systems you are currently attached to, you can re-create your entire life with the very next moment” (Sadhguru 197). With that being said, I highly recommend this program to everyone.

-Sunita M
Written October 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Suita, Many thanks for taking the time to write this beautifully descriptive review! You truly impressed us with your fortitude and never-give-up attitude, and we have so much respect for the effort you put in. On our future programs, we'll definitely be encouraging participants with tales of how you dug deep and found your kung fu to get through this grueling experience! So thank you again for the inspiration! We wish you well in your continuing martial journey! All the best, AJ CK Martial Hearts
Written October 26, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

bonneyboyc
San Diego, CA3 contributions
Business
I had a wonderful time at C.K. Martial Hearts Shaolin boot camp. we were taken care of and provided for the whole way. We got behind the tourest trap access of the Shaolin temple and trained with real Shaolin monks. real shoalin kung fu. Be advised it is a bootcamp. there were times when walking was extremely painful because my muscles were so sore from training.
Written October 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Bonner, Thank you for leaving a review! We really appreciate you taking the time to let other people know and understand what exactly it is we do at the Shaolin Temple! We are also very happy to see you say that us choosing to call the program a bootcamp was the correct choice. We worked to make sure these programs were as intense as possible, and you obviously felt that! Considering you specific background, and the wealth of options you had when choosing where to study while you were in China, we are very honored by your decision to study with us first, and we hope that the experiences you had laid a firm foundation for the road ahead. Best of luck with you continuing studies, and we hope too see you again soon in the future! Best regards, AJ CK Martial Hearts
Written October 26, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Reema C
Geneva, Switzerland2 contributions
Solo
This week was one of the most amazing, unique and unforgettable experiences of my life! I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Martial Arts and even just in discovering China in the most authentic way...

Every single aspect of this programme was perfect: from the organization of the daily trainings, accommodations, food, the authentic and mystical Kung Fu village, the efficient transportation to and from the Shaolin temple to Beijing, the excursion on the last day, the fabulous invitation to participate in the morning religious ceremony with the monks, the incredible kindness and support of AJ and Nick...

They help you go beyond your limits, and yet at the same time truly respect your own rhythm, needs and capacities. Always open to dialogue and available, they create a conducive environment for you to surpass yourself, grow and unleash the potential within. For instance, I had the chance to break bricks with my hand, something I did not know I was capable of before...This is when I really understood the power of intention and visualization. Mind, body and spirit are aligned. Martial intent and breath control, it is the key..

Moreover, living in the mountain at the feet of the Shaolin temple itself - where you are able to see so many kids and young adults train Kung Fu, and training yourself with a real Shaolin monk, is simply a dream that will come true (it is like seeing a martial arts movie live!)...and truly, every single effort is worth it.

I had never done Kund Fu before, and yet I feel that I have learnt so much in just a week...basis of Kung Fu + other martial arts techniques + one full tong bi quan form of my Shaolin Master. The learning is intensified & such improvement of cardio and shape, you will be proud.

I would definitely go train there again as soon as I get the chance to, and I sincerely encourage you to join the programme without hesitation!

Thank you AJ and Nick for having created such a beautiful and unique opportunity!

Reema
Written September 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Reema, Sincere thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed review of the time you spent with us at the Shaolin Temple! It was very obvious from watching you train, from your spirit and dedication, to reading your words now, that you truly understood what it meant to train at the temple, and what CK Martial Hearts has always wanted to be able to convey to those who join us there. It is our sincere hope that you still carry in your heart the kung fu you found that week, and that it is still helping you in your daily life. If so, we know that our true purpose of this course is being realised. In any case, thank you for joining us, and best of luck with all your future plans! Yours in martial spirit, AJ CK Martial Hearts
Written September 29, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GeekAndChin
11313142 contributions
Solo
I did the very first bootcamp back in 2015.
It was an unforgettable experience.

Monks and CK staff together were great teachers, and I really felt like I got stronger and more nimble after a week.

10/10 would do it again.
Written August 7, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
GnC, Great to hear from you again! You weren't just on the first program, but were actually the very first person to sign up for this course! We have such great memories of that first trip, and it wouldn't have been so great without you. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experiences, and we 100% do hope to see you at Shaolin again some time in the future! Best regards, AJ Donnelly CK Martial Hearts
Written August 8, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Simon H
7 contributions
Friends
This is by far the most unique and intense "holiday" I ever experienced.
Getting the chance to train in such a historic and beautiful location was truly amazing! It was a perfect way to challenge myself physically and mentally. Spartanic in a good way! The breathtaking environment, the cultural importance of the place, the discipline and structure of the training days, the teachings of Shaolin Monk Yan Laoshi (Yan Feng) and AJ Donnelly. Plenty of good memories and learnings to take back home!! Great guidance from AJ Donnelly, Nic Doering and the CK Martial Hearts Team! They made this a beautiful and unforgettable experience.
Written June 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Dear Simon, Our sincere thanks for taking the time to share the experiences you had with us with the rest of the TripAdvisor community! Your wit and insight was especially appreciated by everyone on the program. Coupled with the fact that you took part in every activity, committing yourself 100% to the experience and seemingly enjoying every minute of it, makes us so very happy that you decided to join us on our May program. Sincerely, we wish you the best of luck, no matter how you choose to apply everything your learnt during your week with us, and do hope it won't be the last time we get to train together! Best regards, AJ Donnelly CK Martial Hearts
Written June 6, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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