China is undoubtedly the epicenter of martial art excellence, with its wide variety of martial art fields and a history lasting centuries. From the powerful Shaolin Kung Fu to the smooth movements of Tai Chi, this great nation is home to a variety of martial art schools that attract both citizens, and foreigners in search of enlightenment, self-discipline, and physical mastery.
In this comprehensive guide, we will be embarking on a journey through the fascinating world of martial art schools in China. We will examine the fundamentals of these ancient combat styles as well as the top 15 martial art schools in China that have gained recognition worldwide for their commitment to upholding, passing down, and developing these age-old customs.
So, whether you’re a seasoned professional looking to further your knowledge or an eager newcomer with questions, this article is your gateway to the most prestigious and respected martial art schools that China has to offer.
Without further words, join us as we uncover the secrets, concepts, and extraordinary training experiences that await those who venture into the realm of Chinese martial art.
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Table of Contents
Best Martial Art Schools in China
Here’s a list of 15 renowned martial art schools in China. Please note that this list is not in any particular order, and the ranking can vary depending on personal preferences and specific martial art styles;
- Shaolin Temple Yunnan
- Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu School
- Yuntai Shaolin Kung Fu School
- Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School
- Kunyu Mountain Shaolin Kung Fu School
- Shaolin Tagou Wushu School
- Longwu Kung Fu Center
- Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy China
- Chenjiagou Taijiquan School
- Shanghai Jiading Martial Arts School
- Shaolin Temple Harbin Wushu School
- Dengfeng Shaolin Martial Arts School
- Shaolin Temple International Martial Arts College
- Beijing Shaolin Wushu School
- TianYi Kungfu Club
Now, let’s dig deeper and see what set’s these martial art schools aside from the crowd…
1. Shaolin Temple Yunnan
Location: China, Yunnan, Kunming, Guandu District.
The first on our list of martial art schools in China is the Shaolin Temple Yunnan. Located amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Yunnan, the Shaolin Temple Yunnan stands as an official bastion of Songshan Shaolin Temple, renowned for its profound teachings in martial arts, Buddhism, traditional culture, meditation, Qi Gong, and traditional Chinese medicine.
The school embraces students from different backgrounds and varying levels of martial arts expertise, inviting them to embark on a transformative journey of self-discovery and physical mastery.
They provide training in several forms of kung fu, including Shaolin Kung Fu, Wing Chun Quan, Sanda (Chinese Kickboxing or Sanshou), Meihua Quan (which includes training in the use of Meihua Poles), Qinna, Taiji Quan, Qigong (soft, hard, and meditation), and Ba Guazhang.
Shaolin Temple Yunnan holds a distinguished position as one of the world’s leading Shaolin Kung Fu centers, with an outstanding reputation backed by National and International awards, titles, medals and accomplishments.
2. Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu School
Location: Shimen Mountain National Park, Qufu City, 273100 Shandong Province, China.
The next is the Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu School. Nestled in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Qufu, the birthplace of Confucius, the Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu School is a beacon of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu and Chinese Martial Arts.
Founded in 2008 by 34th Generation Shaolin Warrior Monk Master Shi Yan Jia under the auspices of Venerable Shi Yong Xin, the school welcomes students from around the world, regardless of skill level.
From Shaolin Kung Fu to Wing Chun, Sanda, Praying Mantis Fists, Tai Chi, Qigong, Bagua, Xingyi, and Baji Chuan, the schools offers different trainings, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of martial art disciplines.
Qufu Shaolin Kung Fu embodies the spirit of Buddhism, where Kung Fu is a path to spiritual awakening and perfection. It not only enhances physical strength, flexibility, and self-defense but also fosters mental clarity and self-awareness.
3. Yuntai Shaolin Kung Fu School
Location: YunTai mountains, Xiuwu County, Jiaozuo, China
Next up, Yuntai Shaolin Kung Fu School. Yuntai Shaolin Kung Fu School, also known as “The International Kung Fu Training Center,” is nestled in the overlap of the Yuntai Mountains and offers a unique blend of natural beauty and martial art masteries.
With over a decade of international Shaolin Kung Fu training expertise, Master Trainer Xie Xu Yong, also known as Shi Yan Lin, founded this school as a tribute to his mission of offering outstanding service to overseas students.
The school is set within a vast geological park in the Yuntai Mountains, surrounded by an array of interesting rock formations, beautiful canyons, flowing waterfalls, and calm streams. This beautiful setting, far apart from the busy crowds of conventional Chinese Kung Fu schools, is ideal for practicing Shaolin Kung Fu and other Chinese martial arts.
The school is new, and it offers everything a traditional Kung Fu Academy should offer to contain at least 800 students. School buildings, accommodation and dining rooms which are all newly built, are being used also by students. Each room is equipped with its own toilet, shower and air conditioning.
4. Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School
Location: 88, Jima Village, Yangshuo County, Guilin, China
The next school on our list of martial art schools in China is the Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School. Located in the charming Guangxi province of China, the Yangshuo Traditional Tai Chi School is an icon of traditional Tai Chi expertise.
Founded in 2012 by Master Wu Heng Dong (Kim Wu), the school’s mission is to share the universal benefits of Tai Chi with people of all ages, abilities, and aspirations.
The school specializes in Chen Style Tai Chi, Tai Chi Qi Gong, Pushing Hands, and a variety of weapons training, including staff, sword, broadsword, and fan. Additionally, students can explore Tai Chi Boxing, Yang Style 24, 42 Sword, and Southern style Shaolin Gong Fu.
Whether the goal is improved health, physical conditioning, self-defense, or inner harmony, this is one of the best martial art schools in China to help you achieve your goals.
5. Kunyu Mountain Shaolin Kung Fu School
Location: Kunyu Mountain, Natural Conservation District, Yantai City, Shandong Province, China.
For those in search of an authentic Chinese Kung Fu experience steeped in tradition and culture, the Kunyu Mountain Shaolin Kung Fu School stands as one of the best martial art schools in China for you.
Established in 2004, the school has been well-known to accept thousands of international students, regardless of their martial arts background, and transform them into the best version of themselves through Chinese Kung Fu.
Nestled beneath the majestic Kunyu mountain range, birthplace of Taoism, the school offers not only martial arts instruction but also a deep spiritual connection with the surrounding landscape.
In addition to traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, they also impart knowledge in a multitude of ancient Chinese martial arts, including Wing Chun, Chi Kung (Qigong), Tai Chi, Wudang, Xingyi, Bagua, Baji, Mantis boxing, and Sanda (Chinese kickboxing).
Complementing martial arts training, they also offer optional free Chinese culture classes to deepen your understanding of the nation’s heritage. Their dedication to providing age-long martial art techniques is what sets this school aside from other martial schools in China.
6. Shaolin Tagou Wushu School
Location: Mount Song Shaolin Temple Tagou Wushu School, Dengfeng City 452470, Henan Province, China.
Number 6 on our list of the best martial art schools in China is the Shaolin Tagou Wushu school. Renowned as the best and largest kung fu academy in China, the Shaolin Tagou Wushu School, also known as Shaolin Temple Tagou Martial Arts School is a global hub for Chinese Martial Arts education.
Welcoming students from every corner of the world, they offer comprehensive training in a myriad of Chinese Martial Arts styles under the expert guidance of distinguished Shaolin Masters.
Nestled in Henan province, within the sacred Mount Song Shaolin Temple Scenic area near Zhengzhou, this school provides not only room and board but also an immersive environment ideal for mastering the art of kung fu within the Shaolin Temple’s spiritual embrace.
Their traditional training methods, tailored for international students, ensure a personalized approach to learning. Small group sizes of up to 10 students per group foster individualized attention. With rigorous training six days a week, each day exceeding six hours, you’ll embark on a journey of physical and mental transformation.
7. Longwu Kung Fu Center
Location: 1 Maoming S Rd, Lu Wan Qu, Shanghai, China.
The Longwu Kung Fu Center in Shanghai, China is another place where you can go to get an in-depth training in Chinese kung fu, and enhance your overall martial art experience. This organization was formed by a group of Chinese masters, to provide martial arts training for citizens.
Regardless of your age, gender, strength, or prior experience, this Kungfu center welcomes everyone in seeking health, self-defense, bodybuilding, and inner harmony. Here, beginners take their first steps alongside seasoned practitioners, all seeking to refine their skills under the guidance of true kung fu masters.
At Longwu Kung Fu Center, kung fu becomes more than a practice; it’s a profound journey of self-discovery, wellness, and camaraderie amidst the captivating beauty of Shanghai’s natural surroundings
8. Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy China
Location: SongShan Shaolin Temple , Dengfeng City, Henan Province ,China
Founded in 1978, Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy, also known as Shaolin Temple Wushu School, stands as a forerunner of authentic martial arts education in China. It represents not only a professional martial arts institution but also a bastion of Chinese culture, martial arts, film, television performances, and integrated training.
Over its 45-year history, Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Academy has consistently upheld its mission to teach Genuine Shaolin Kung Fu. The academy has participated in over 600 domestic and international martial arts competitions, earning 2,159 medals, including 1,021 gold medals.
The academy’s remarkable teaching, and outstanding training achievements, have earned it numerous accolades, including being named one of the top ten martial art schools in China, the Sanda training base in Henan Province, the Boxing and Taekwondo training base in Henan Province, one of the five best martial arts schools in Dengfeng City, and the prestigious title of ‘the green school.’
9. Chenjiagou Taijiquan School
Location: Central China – Henan Province, Wenxian.
The next school on our list of the best martial art schools in China is the Chenjiagou Taijiquan School. Nestled in the cradle of Taijiquan’s birthplace, Chenjiagou Taijiquan School stands as a guardian of the ancient martial art form, meticulously preserving its essence.
Chen Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) was created in the 1600s by members of the Chen clan in China’s Henan province. Combining traditional martial arts, energetic methods and the ideas of balance and harmonization drawn from China’s ancient philosophy.
Chenjiagou Taijiquan School offers a unique balance in nurturing both the internal and external facets of human potential. They introduce students to a progressive system that blends physical training, focusing on joints, muscles, and fascia, with mental aspects like mindfulness and intention. This holistic approach caters to modern practitioners, fostering both health and martial arts prowess.
Chen Taijiquan’s movements span from slow, smooth, flowing actions to dynamic expressions of energy. Rooted in a centuries-old system, it encompasses basic exercises, standing pole techniques, hand forms, weapon forms, and partner drills. This comprehensive curriculum positions it as one of the best martial art schools in China.
10. Shanghai Jiading Martial Arts School
Location: C779+VGJ, Xinjian Rd, Jiading District, Shanghai, China.
Nestled in the heart of Jiading district, the Shanghai Jiading Martial Arts School epitomizes a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation. The school’s architectural aesthetics draw inspiration from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, creating an ambiance steeped in history.
With state-of-the-art facilities including teaching buildings, apartments, a Martial Arts performance hall, free combat halls, and a gymnasium, Jiading Martial Arts School offers a comprehensive environment for martial arts enthusiasts, making them one of the best martial art schools in China.
The school boasts a roster of seasoned Wushu teachers, many of whom have earned illustrious reputations in the martial arts world. Their experience and wisdom provide the foundation for the school’s enduring tradition.
In recent years, the school has welcomed a cadre of young and exceptional Wushu coaches, injecting fresh vitality into its legacy. These coaches bring new perspectives and approaches to martial arts training, ensuring a dynamic and evolving learning environment.
11. Shaolin Temple Harbin Wushu School
Location: National Highway 102, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
The Shaolin Temple Harbin Wushu school is next on our list of the best martial art schools in China. Distinguished by its vibrant and straightforward forms, diverse routines, and endless variations, Shaolin Wushu has captivated the hearts of martial arts enthusiasts worldwide and evolved into a globally beloved fitness regimen.
From Shaolin Kung Fu to Wing Chun, Sanda, Praying Mantis Fists, Tai Chi, Qigong, Bagua, Xingyi, and Baji Chuan, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of martial arts disciplines.
The school’s primary focus lies in Chen Style Tai Chi, Tai Chi Qi Gong, Pushing Hands, and weapons training (staff, sword, broadsword, and fan). Students also have the opportunity to delve into Tai Chi Boxing, Yang Style 24, 42 Sword, 42 (Chen, Yang, Wu, Wŭ, and Sun), and Southern style Shaolin Gong Fu.
The school is open to students from different backgrounds, and of different experience levels so whether you’re new to the concept or a seasoned professional, you can register and master the martial art to the fullest.
12. Dengfeng Shaolin Martial Arts School
Location: Mount Song Shaolin Temple Tagou Wushu School, Dengfeng City 452470, Henan Province, China.
Located in the heart of martial arts history, the Dengfeng Shaolin Martial Arts School stands as a bastion of tradition and excellence. Nestled in Dengfeng, this school pays homage to the ancient art of Shaolin.
With a strong dedication to preserving the timeless traditions of Shaolin martial arts while evolving with the modern world, this school has employed great Shaolin Masters with deep understanding of the art’s philosophy and techniques, who are committed to passing on their knowledge and skills to the next generation of martial artists.
Their curriculum is designed to nurture both the physical and spiritual aspects of the students. They offer a comprehensive system that encompasses physical conditioning, forms, weapons training, meditation, and philosophy, providing a well-rounded martial arts education.
13. Shaolin Temple International Martial Arts College
Location: F29F+879, Dayu Rd, Dengfeng, Zhengzhou, Henan, China.
Founded by Shaolin Temple’s 34th Generation Warrior Disciple, Shi Yan Hui, the Shaolin Temple Martial Arts Academy in California serves as a sacred bridge between ancient and contemporary martial arts. It carries the mission of preserving and imparting the timeless traditions of Shaolin culture, encompassing Chan (Zen) philosophy and martial arts.
The Shaolin Temple was established with a noble purpose – to educate the public in the profound Shaolin cultures of Chan philosophy and martial arts. It stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Shaolin, transcending geographical boundaries to bring the wisdom of the ancient temple to the modern world.
The academy provides a holistic education that intertwines Chan philosophy with the artistry of martial combat. Students not only acquire physical prowess but also cultivate inner strength, mental clarity, and a deep understanding of the Shaolin way.
14. Beijing Shaolin Wushu School
Location: J4X9+3CV, Wanyao Rd, Fangshan District, Beijing, China.
The Beijing Shaolin Wushu School, founded in 1991, is one of the best martial arts schools in China with an outstanding reputation. It is recognized and accredited by the Education Administration and provides primary, junior, senior, and specialized secondary education that combines traditional Chinese martial art with modern learning.
The school has a 6,000-square-meter site in Huilongguan, Beijing’s northern outskirts. The Beijing Shaolin Wushu School has a tradition of excellence, with pupils competing in major competitions such as the Olympic Games, World Expo, and Asian Games.
The Beijing Shaolin Wushu School is not only a center of education but also a diplomatic bridge. It hosts an annual International Wushu tournament and culture exchange conference, drawing teams from across China and around the world, including the United States, Europe, and Africa.
15. TianYi Kungfu Club
Location: 38 Liangmaqiao Rd, Sanyuan Bridge, Chaoyang, Beijing, China, 100125
The last school on our list of the best martial art schools in China is TianYi Kung fu Club. The TianYi Kung Fu Club, located in the colorful heart of Beijing, China, is an ideal spot for martial arts lovers looking for a unique combination of ancient Chinese styles.
The school offers individuals a way to be physically healthy while also releasing the worries of modern life through the ancient art of Chinese Kung Fu. Their training improves not only physical strength but also mental discipline and self-confidence.
Their classes are taught in Chinese with English translation, making them accessible to people of different fitness levels and martial arts backgrounds. Since their first session in May 2003, they have welcomed thousands of students from over 40 nations, creating a rich tapestry of cross-cultural interaction within their martial arts community.
What is a Chinese martial arts school called?
A Chinese martial art school is often referred to as a kwoon. A kwoon is a training hall for Chinese martial arts.
Can a foreigner learn kung fu in China?
Yes. Martial art schools in China are open to both local and international students from all over the world, making it easy for foreigners too to learn kung fu.
Can you go to China to learn martial arts?
Yes. You can learn Kung Fu at some of the best martial art schools in China. From Taichi in beautiful Yangshuo, Shaolin Kung Fu at the Shaolin Temple to learning Wudang Kung fu with the best Wudang Masters.
Are there still Kung Fu schools in China?
There are thousands of Shaolin kung fu schools in China, located in various provinces, with some having over 10,000 pupils and others only a few dozen.
How much does it cost to train at a martial arts school in China?
The prices differs with every school. However, the average tuition fees for martial art schools in China costs around $5,000 per year.
How many years does it take to master Shaolin Kung Fu?
In Kung fu, there is a phrase that goes, “Three years small success, ten years big success.” This approximately translates to being skilled after a few years of training and beginning to master the art after a decade.
How many months does it take to learn martial arts?
Learning the basic principles of a martial art can take anything from a few months to a year, whilst mastering advanced techniques and skills might take years of dedicated practice. Progress, however, is not necessarily straight up, and there may be moments when it appears slow or static.
In the realm of martial arts, China stands as an ancient crucible where centuries of tradition, discipline, and wisdom have melded to create a legacy of extraordinary prowess. Our journey through the Top 15 Best Martial Arts Schools in China has unveiled a tapestry of institutions, each with its own unique blend of tradition and innovation.
From the revered Shaolin Temple, where the roots of martial arts run deep, to modern academies like the Beijing Shaolin Wushu School that seamlessly marry tradition with contemporary education, China offers a rich landscape for martial arts enthusiasts.
These schools not only impart physical skills but also nurture mental discipline, inner harmony, and cultural understanding. They transcend borders, welcoming students from across the globe, fostering friendships and cultural exchange.
So whether you are a complete novice looking to dive into the world of martial arts, or a professional looking to relocate to China, the best martial art schools in China listed in this article offer a transformative journey of discovery, empowerment, and harmony.