Joining the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy has been one of the most rewarding things that I have done for myself. Starting out my goal was simply to lose weight, I had tried different sports and activities but I struggled to see results. Any weight I lost I would gain back as soon as my workout regiment changed. By practicing Kung Fu and kickboxing, I was quickly able to reach my goal and I’ve been able to keep the weight off. I did not have any martial arts experience beforehand. Now, after training for over a year, I continue to look forward to the next class and the next opportunity to train. Even without taking into account the many benefits I have gained so far, training at the Shaolin Kung Fu Academy has been a lot of fun and it’s an activity I hope to continue to do for many years to come.

Joshua S. Pestano

My son, Nathan, started at Shaolin Kung Fu in 2011. He was only seven years old. Like any typical kid that trials a class for the first time he felt a sense of intimidation not knowing what to expect. It didn’t take Nathan too long to embrace the variety of classes and his teachers. From the minute you walk through those doors, you feel that you are part of a big family but most of all a part of something great. Nathan participates in their after school care program which has been a wonderful program from the assistance with his homework as well as his physical training. He feels at home at Shaolin. Over the years I have seen him grow in such a positive manner in building his self-confidence. He has learned so many great character building qualities that have benefited not only at home but also at school. Nathan has established a long standing friendship with his fellow warriors. Nathan competes in an international martial arts tournament in Orlando and in Fort Lauderdale twice a year earning his placement in every competition. Sifu is an incredible mentor to Nathan and all other Shaolin warriors. He challenges them to believe in themselves and always finds a way to motivate them and get them excited to work harder and push further. As a family, we are blessed to be part of such a great organization. I am looking forward to see what holds for Nathan in the future. I know that what he has learned at Shaolin are important seeds to his future success.

Alina Martinez, mother of Nathan Martinez

I have been training with Sifu John for over a decade (since 2001) and aside from the incredible physical conditioning, I have gained certain qualities from Sifu’s teachings that I now utilize and will continue to utilize for many years to come in every aspect of my life. I have learned that, with whatever kind of obstacle in your way, you must always move forward. You cannot let an obstacle stop you permanently in your tracks, find a solution, execute it, and repeat if necessary. Also, it is important to bear in mind that failure in life is inevitable, the question is not when or how you will fail but rather how you will get back on your feet. No matter how deep the hole you are stuck in or how long it takes you, just keep climbing. Finally, no matter what you do in your life, always make sure you strive to be the best. Learn from your mistakes, continue to learn from others and always stay dedicated to your advancement. Stay humble, respectful, and grateful. It is through the application of these attributes that guide me and keep me focused in and out of the gym, thanks Sifu!!!

Yousuf Shafiq

I met Sifu in 1995 at another academy and although he may not know it he was my inspiration in that academy. Shortly after that I found out he opened his own school and i transferred there quickly. From then on til about 2001 I couldn’t be there enough. Not only did he help mold the person I am now, I still carry his fundamentals with me. He worked with me, he pushed me, he encouraged me and even beat me around sometimes but it all paid off. It helped develop my level of patience, my demeanor, my way of life. He included me in so many things from helping teach classes to demonstrations and I felt so honored and privileged. All you would ever want to do is your best. Everyday I wish I still lived in Florida just to be at Shaolin Academy, it truly made you feel like family. Any time I’m there I always pay my respects and always will. We’ve all had instructors of some sort that come and go, but Sifu and Shaolin Academy made a home in my heart.

Todd Williams

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