Sam Palmer

China Instructor

Sam was born and raised in London, England, but has enjoyed exploring new countries and cultures from a young age. A huge fan of martial arts films in general, and Bruce Lee in particular, he took up kung fu classes as a teenager, thus sparking his interest in China. He first travelled to China at the age of 19, to train for a year at the Shaolin Temple in Henan province. Eager to learn more about other martial art styles, he spent the next year exploring China and South-East Asia, learning from different masters and absorbing local language and culture.

Keen to gain a deeper understanding of Chinese history, Sam went on to study a bachelor’s degree in Chinese back in the UK, including a year spent as an exchange student in Beijing. After graduating, he took up a language- study scholarship offer from Taiwan, and spent a year and half living in Taipei. There he studied Chinese and hung out in coffee shops with friendly locals during the week, took up gymnastics, and explored the island’s beautiful mountains, beaches, lakes, and waterfalls by scooter at the weekends.

In the years since, Sam has split his time working and traveling between London and East Asia. Over the 15 years since he first visited to China, he has spent more than seven years immersed in Chinese culture, with periods spent living in rural villages, industrial towns, and bustling cities all over the country. He has also gained experience of many different aspects of Chinese society from doing a wide variety of jobs, which have allowed him to interact with locals from all walks of life. Since 2016 he has been based in Kunming, where he runs a translation agency and personal training service.

Sam’s main interest is physical training, and he trains regularly in too many different things to mention! When he’s not out sweating, running and jumping around, he also enjoys traveling, reading, live music, theatre and the ballet. Even after so many years in China, he still loves the constant discovery of fresh elements of local life, traveling to new provinces to see amazing scenery and try the local cuisine, and gaining a deeper understanding of Chinese language, history and culture. He is keen to share his knowledge with all who are interested, and looks forward to exploring new places together with his students.