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If you are keen to experience the perfect blend of fitness, culture and awesomeness on your gap year than learning kung fu in China is for you! It’s tough challenging and ultimately mind blowing.  Learning this incredible martial art, from grandmasters in ancient Buddhist Temple in the foothills of the Himalayas.

Learn Kung Fu In China

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There are some things you can choose to do in life that are too cool to pass up. Learning Kung Fu in China with grandmasters and becoming a Kung Fu legend in the home of this ancient martial art has to be number one. This is an incredible opportunity to stay and live in an ancient Chinese temple, whilst training and developing your physical prowess and Kung Fu skills.  A variety of different forms are available including weapons training as well.

This will get you in peak physical fitness, but do not underestimate what is involved with this.  It’s hard work and highly rewarding and an incredible unique opportunity.

Highlights of the trip

  • Study under Chinese Kung Fu Masters and polish your Kung Fu skills!
  • Live in a beautiful temple, interacting with Buddhist monks and staying in one of the most beautiful regions in China
  • Rapidly and significantly improve your health and fitness
  • Learn ancient martial arts skills in amazing China
  • Train with other like-minded Westerners making lifelong friends in a completely unique environment
  • Enjoy optional evening activities with plenty of cultural experiences to immerse yourself in China
  • Learn the local language of Mandarin as you interact with monks and grandmasters
  •  Become an Xtreme Gap bad Ass Kung Fu master!

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Kung Fu Training in China

Train Kung Fu in China (2)You can learn at least 2 fist forms and also basic hard Qigong (optional and not be taken lightly). Whilst there are many styles available to learn, you should consider the fact that it takes many years just to master one so you will be focusing on only one or two fist forms throughout the course of your training unless you are a long-term student.

Training is Monday to Friday six hours a day needless to say it’s pretty hard-core. Be under no illusions this is an extremely tough training regime and should not be considered an easy just want to try it out type activity.

You will be pushed and pushed hard. Please do consider this before booking as there are no refunds for people who choose to leave the programme early.

Each Master will have a maximum of ten students in their group. This allows there to be a higher level of personal instruction offered than in other martial arts courses. Kung Fu requires a student to understand all of its elements, including the historical, physical and mental aspects, which are all taught on this personal level.

The masters conduct all lessons in Mandarin. However, there will be translators present to ensure you fully understand the movements and forms you are learning, and the students consist of 90% westerners.

1 to 3 months is enough to get a grip on the basics of Chinese Kung Fu, no matter which ever style you choose to learn. If you are a Kung Fu practitioner back home you can expect to progress quicker than at home.

Shaolin Kung Fu Vs Xtreme Gap Kung Fu!

Kung Fu Master China (21)There are many Kung Fu academies in China. Some of them excellent some of them not so nice to train at.

The most famous academy of all is the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy, centuries old where the Shaolin Monks Train. The Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple is a Chan Buddhist temple at Song Shan near Zhengzhou City Henan Province in Dengfeng, China.

Westerners can train there although you can expect to be one of thousands of pupils mostly Chinese monks adhering to a strict monastic principals and schedules. Life is pretty dam hard when you enroll and drop out rates amongst westerners are extremely high as they can ´t hack the basic living conditions and extremely tough training which is delivered in Mandarin. Our School is not like that.

The Xtreme Gap School is western run by a UK national, who has settled in China to perfect his Kung Fu. After many years of training, he decided to set up his own school aimed at delivering proper Chinese Kung Fu instruction, with top Chinese Grand masters, to students from the west. The school has now been establish for several years, and continues to thrive.

Within a beautiful authentic Chinese setting, great teachers and a supportive environment, more and more people are returning each year to train in some Kung Fu.

The Training

Kung Fu Styles:

xtreme gap kung fu china (15)There are several styles available from the forms below, depending on the current grandmaster resident some may not be available through out the year: Which ever style you end up choosing expect significantly increased health & fitness. Basics in which ever style you choose:

  • Shaolin Quan
  • Modern Wushu
  • Sanda,
  • Qinna,
  • Baji
  • Quan,
  • Pigua Zhang,
  • Qigong,
  • Taiji Quan,
  • XingYi
  • Bagua and /or White Crane (a rare local form).
Every group has it ´s own master who specialises in a different style. The groups will have maximum of 10 students. This means that you will be given lots of attention.No slacking off!

Concentration and a 100 percent effort is expected! The lessons are in Mandarin which is cool, you really get in the culture, and lets face it, true Chinese Kung Fu masters are not great linguists, they are however excellent at martial arts. It will not stand in your way to learn – we will make sure there is someone present to ensure you understand all the moves.

A quick note about the training: we cannot stress enough how physically demanding learning Kung Fu can be, especially in China this is not the people who just want to give it a go without much thought. China is a long way to go to train in martial arts, and if you are not 100% committed it’s probably best you do not book this programme.

Not that we wish to put you off, as we believe this is one of the most exciting and self developing trips we offer, however we do not want to give you a false impression that the training is easy and that this is something anyone can just do.

There is approximately an even split between men and women at the school, so gender definitely does not preclude you from hard physical training, and if you are reasonably sporty, with a reasonable level of base fitness you will be fine, but you need to be committed to training.

It is definitely advisable you start getting your self into shape before you travel, press ups and a bit of running will do wonders for when you do arrive, but just remember nothing worthwhile comes easy, and this is definitely true this trip. If you really want to benefit from learning Kung Fu from living legends in the home of the martial art, then the more you put in the more you will get out of it.

Getting there

This legendary learning kung fu in China programme Is located in a town called YongPing in Yunnan Province of China. 3000 years of history is just waiting to be explored and the region is one of the most beautiful and all the China.  Set in the foothills of the Himalayas!

The Providence it is located in: Yunnan  is rich in cultural history and has many famous mountains, lakes, and temples to visit only a short distance from where you will be staying.

The majority of your time will be spent living and training around a Buddhist monastery.  There are monks resident at the monastery so not only can you train you should also consider this a great opportunity for a completely original cultural exchange.

There will be plenty to do when you are not training, a Masters to visit the hot springs to soothe those aching muscles after a hard day’s physical training.

The Training Schedule

The Martial Arts school in China is adjusted to western standards. Communication (in English) will be no problem. A typical day of training:

  • 05.00 am – Wake up
  • 05.30am – Circuit training – this is compulsory and consists of some of the following: Jogging, Sprinting, Bear Crawls, Push-ups, Sit-ups, Chin-ups, Squats, Hand-stands, Bur-pees, Planks, Jumping, Gymnastic Rings etc.
  • 06.00am – 07.20am – Martial arts training
  • 07.30am – Breakfast
  • 09.00am – 11.30am – A run, followed by further martial arts training – a 20 minute break is included
  • 12.00 noon – Lunch
  • 14.30pm – 17.00pm – another run followed by martial arts training – a 20 minute break is included
  • 18.00pm – Dinner

19.00pm – Evening activity, for example Mandarin lessons, calligraphy, Daoism and playing traditional Chinese instruments.

The programme may change, so do not take this as an exact daily regimen, however you will have plenty of training every day.  On average our students train for five hours a day.  This is highly physical activity, and you will need a good level of fitness.  Attendance is expected, so please respect the requirements of attending this programme.


No doubt the training is hard, so it’s nice to know you have a comfortable room to crash and chill in.  You will be sharing with one other person in an ensuite located in the temple grounds.

All of our rooms are exactly the same and come with the following; 2 beds, 32 inch flat screen TV loaded with over a 100 movies, a kettle, and an en-suite bathroom equipped with western style toilets.

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All meals are provided for the duration of your programme, including weekends. It will consist of breakfast, lunch and dinner, all cooked by a western chef. Meals are made in local styles and with local produce; however, some Western dishes are served occasionally. You will find lots of fresh ingredients including rice, vegetables and chicken. Please note that the food served is basic and will probably be very different to the Western style ‘Chinese’ food that you will be used to. However, the food will be nutritious and provide a good diet to support the level of training you will be doing. Various different diets can be catered for with prior notice.

Trip Frequently Asked Questions

You can join any time but preferred start dates are the first weekend of each month.
No, many people do not have any previous experience. You must however be prepared to learn and train hard. You will be put in groups according to your ability – many people are beginners, but others have more experience.
The best instruction, with thousands of years or lineage from the best Kung Fu Masters. You will learn more, improve faster, and because it is a dedicated martial arts holiday, you put in the extra effort necessary to become really good!
Yes you can. We teach Sanda and our teachers have competed at national level. So, I bet you will become really good at it!
In general our customers go for some weeks or a month. Normally you can stay for up to a year and train Kung Fu or Sanda, but there are people training in their third year.
We believe that £50 per week is plenty to cover everything you will need.
The project is located in YongPing which is right in the middle of two cities which both have airports. The airports are called Dali and Baoshan, so please make sure your final destination is one of these where we will meet you and transfer you to the project. You will first need to arrange an international flight to China and then get a domestic flight to Dali or Baoshan.

The best international airport to arrive into is Kunming as from Kunming the flight to Dali and Baoshan is only 40 minutes. Please note that flights from Kunming are limited so you may also want to look into flying into Guangzhou, Shanghai, or Beijing which have more regular flights but it does take longer and may require more changes.

We can advise, but you need to arrange your own visa. This is actually very straight forward, and all information will be in the predeparture pack you will receive afer booking. When you are staying for 3 months or less then we recommend you to go directly to your local Chinese Embassy and ask for a 3 month tourist visa.
The fitter you are the faster you advance, but a moderate level of fitness is fine. This means not completely out of shape, but not mega fit either. To make it easier for yourself when you start training at our school, before you attend, you should try and do some of the following exercises: Squats, Push-ups, Sit-ups, Bike riding, Swimming, Short Sprints, Long Distance Running, Hiking, Gymnastics, Aerobics, Yoga or Daily Stretching. Once you are there this will improve naturally.
There are approximately 20 western people training each month at the camp. Normally about 30%+ will be girls/women.
You will share with the accommodation with the same sex and maximum 3 people.
Yes we can, you will be well catered for and will be according your wishes.
Wear comfortable jogging bottoms, track suits and T shirts. It can be quite chilly there in the evenings.


  • Comprehensive pre departure pack
  • 5 days a week training at ancient temples
  • All Instruction from masters
  • Use of all training equipment
  • All meals
  • Accommodation
  • 24 hr local support
  • Xtreme Gap Year Western Chinese speaking representative
  • Pickup from the airport


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Airport Drop Off
  • Nun Chukkas
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Bottled Water



“The training was tough but awesome. I would love to go back.”
Charlie Whitehead
“What a wake up call I had when I arrived, China is so different from back in the UK… but I loved it…I loved the training and the whole experience in general. “
Samantha Bendien

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