US martial artists arrive at Shaolin Temple
Updated: 2013-07-04 10:17
Shi Yongxin (R), the Shaolin Temple abbot, presented a Buddha Dharma statue to a member of the United Studio of Self Defense (USSD), in Dengfeng county, Zhengzhou city, Henan province, July 3. [Photo/Xinhua]
Some 250 martial arts enthusiasts from the United States arrived at the renowned Shaolin Temple in Central China on Monday and demonstrated their skills to the temple's masters on Wednesday.
They demonstrated multiple Chinese martial arts skills, including the three-section whip, Buddha's fist, tiger hooks and Chinese boxing, in front of the temple gate while the temple's abbot, Shi Yongxin, watched.
Shi commended their demonstration and said it was a helpful practice for kung fu students to travel to China and communicate with the monks at Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of kung fu.
"Amateur martial artists will improve their skills and see original kung fu here," Shi said.
The tour was initiated by the United Studio of Self Defense (USSD), a martial arts training center with hundreds of thousands of registered members in the US.
Charles Mattera, co-founder of the studio and a disciple of 48-year-old Shi, said, "If it was not for Shaolin Temple, there would not be the USSD and there would be no martial arts."
The Shaolin Temple, one of the most famous Mahayana Buddhist monasteries in China, was built in the fifth century and has became a symbol of Chinese kung fu.
In recent years, the temple has established more than 40 cultural exchange institutes around the world to promote Shaolin-style martial arts, simple lifestyles and Buddhist philosophies.
"I hope more people can feel the essence of Eastern culture through the concept of tolerance and the healthy way of life spread by our disciples," Shi said.