1. What is a typical day of training like at the school?
Early morning training begins at 6:00 AM with qi gong, tai ji, and standing meditation. The morning class is from 8:30 to 11:00 and is generally comprised of one to two hours of basics (including kicks, punches, coordination drills, strength and flexibility training, san da, etc.). After basics, students continue to learn new movement from what they are studying or drill what they have already learned either as a group or individually. Afternoon training is from 3:00 to 5:00 and is run similarly to the morning class. Meditation is everynight at 7:00. (Note: class times change with the change of seasons.)
2. What should I do in order to prepare for entering China?
All persons intending to enter The People's Republic of China from outside countries must first have a valid passport and a Chinese visa (most likely a tourist visa). We can help you with obtaining your Chinese visa by providing you with an invitation letter to hand in with your visa application. Any other circumstances or special needs for visa application can be communicated to Master Yuan via e-mail.
3. Can I still come to learn if I am not taking part in the traditional program?
Absolutely! The school is open to anyone interested in coming to study. The traditional program is run with larger groups of long term students. Although the health class trains all year round and focuses on the basics as a group with freedom in the second half of classes to work on your specific goals and training.
4. What is the weather like?
The Summer is generally pretty warm. Spring and fall are mild and very comfortable. These two seasons are the best period to train in as conditions are welcoming and it can be less busy than the peak times during summer. The winter is generally about zero to five degrees. It has been known to get very cold for short times during the winter. Be prepared and wear layers to stay warm during training and rest.
5. When is the best time to come train?
Any time is great. Each season has its benefits. Depending on what you are interested in and how much time you can dedicate to training as well as your individual preferences, each season can play a part in your decision. Best way is to communicate with the school and Instructor Jake to obtain your individual details.
6. I am vegetarian, is that a problem?
All meals have vegetarian options. Generally there are about 5 plates of different foods to choose from during meals (along with rice, soup, or noodles), with only one or two of them consisting of meat. Any special dietary concerns should be communicated to the staff at the school before arrival to better accommodate students.
7. Should I begin preparing myself physically for training before coming?
While there is no real need to prepare yourself physically before arrival as the basics will most likely be entirely different than what you have done previously, it is still a good idea to be aware of the training that takes place here in Wudang. We train 6 days a week, with a very strong emphasis on basic stances, kicks, and coordination. The training can be difficult, although if you remember to stretch, keep hydrated, and get into the mindset of challenging yourself, you will be on the right path. Remember, at the Academy, your health and wellbeing is the most important. In the end, we want to build you up, and help you gain a more balanced life and mind.
8. I was only provided a visa for a fraction of my intended stay at the school. Can I extend my visa at the school?
It is very easy to extend your visa here in town. Non-citizens of China are allowed to stay in China for one year. After one year, they are required to leave the country in order to apply for a new visa. Most students who stay for more than one year simply travel to Hong Kong or other neighboring countries for a short visit to do so.
9. What's the best way for me to get to Wudang?
Travelling by train from Beijing or Shanghai are the most convenient as they are very Western-friendly cities. However, you can also take a train, airplane, or bus here from other parts of China. It is most convenient to be able to travel directly to Wudang from inside China. If you cannot purchase a train or bus ticket directly to Wudang, try to purchase one to the nearby city, Shiyan, or Xiangfan. Those travelling by airplane must fly to Xiangfan and then travel by bus or taxi to Wudang. Make sure that all travel arrangements are clearly communicated with the school at the earliest possible date to make sure that there are no complications in your travel. Taxis from Shiyan or Xiangfan to Wudang can be arranged. Have a good plan and talk it over with the staff at the school before your travel to ensure a smooth transition.
10. Do I need to be able to speak Chinese?
No, Master Yuan's English is great and he is constantly learning and studying to better his communication with students. Also, the staff here is English friendly. If you have any direct concerns you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to clarify any details you think may be lost in translation.
11. Should I get any vaccinations before coming?
Most students that come to the school do not get vaccinations before coming. This is up to your personal preference.
12. Can I work at the school or elsewhere during my study in order to have extra spending money during my stay?
There are no opportunities for work at the school and as Wudang is located in a small town, there are no work opportunities in town.
13. Will I be living and training inside the temple?
The school has recently undergone a transition to a new facility. While we are not far from the temple, most training will be conducted on school grounds starting in March of 2018.
14. What is the safest way to carry and exchange money?
Despite what travel books say, often times using traveller's checks can be inconvenient, difficult, and time consuming. The Bank of China located in Wudang only exchanges currency, not traveller's checks. Traveller's checks can be exchanged in Shiyan, the nearby city. Many students open bank accounts and then have their money wired to them from home. Please be sure to be careful if travelling with large sums of money. Travelling with large sums of money is not encouraged. There are many ATM's in town that accept Visa and Mastercard debit and credit cards.
15. What should I bring for clothes, shoes?
Make sure to be mindful of the seasons. In Summer, make sure to bring light, loose, comfortable fitting clothes. For winter, bring heavier clothing that will keep you warm but will also permit movement. Students are encouraged to wear low shoes during training. Many students come and have clothes made here in Wudang for training. This is also an option. Although be aware that this will be at your own expense and shoe sizes are difficult to get above size 45.
16. Can I have internet set up in my room? Are there internet bars located nearby?
Students who plan on bringing laptops can have internet set up in their rooms (note: this is not a service provided by the school, so all costs must be covered by students). Also, there are many internet bars located conveniently in town that are very inexpensive (about 2 RMB per hour). There is free Wi-Fi offered in some of the common rooms at the school.
17. How do I pay tuition?
The most secure, and convenient way to pay your tuition is by wiring it directly to Master Yuan. Once you have wired your tuition, please contact the school to let us know. Also, please make sure that when entering bank account information that all the information that you provide is correct. Those who prefer to pay upon arrival are welcome to as well. Either way, just make sure that everything is clearly communicated before and after transferring tuition.
18. Is there anything else that I should bring?
Most everything, whether for a short stay or a long stay, can be bought locally in Wudang. The rooms at the school do not come with amenities. Although, you can purchase toiletries and the like very conveniently nearby. One good thing to bring would be a good towel as the school does not supply them. In addition, as mentioned above, comfortable loose clothing and low top athletic footwear is the best for training. You can also purchase clothing, school uniforms, and shoes and the school store once you arrive.