Kung Fu Kids

Shaolin Monastery or Shaolin Temple is a Buddhist temple on Mount Song, near Zhengzhou, Henan province. Founded in the fifth century, the monastery is long famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu and, to the Western world,  it is the best known Mahayana Buddhist monastery.

A huge courtyard filled with groups of students.

A huge courtyard filled with groups of students.

In the past, many have tried to capitalise on Shaolin Monastery fame by building their own Kung Fu schools on Mount Song.   However, the Chinese government eventually outlawed this; the schools were moved to the nearby towns. However, as of 2010, the Tagou Kung Fu school, one of the largest martial arts schools in China, owns and practises on land below Shaolin Temple.  This is a boarding school and includes thousands of students.

Our tour included a demonstration of about half an hour by boys (I’m guessing they were between 10 and 16) of various skills and practices.  The picture quality is bad because the light level was very low and I was not sitting in the front row.

Choreographed moves with flags.

Choreographed moves with flags.

Choreography with fans and swords.

Choreography with fans and swords.

The young boy fastened the bowl from which he is hanging to his abdomen by creating a vacuum inside the bowl.  The older boys then lifted him by the handle of the bowl.  Such discipline.

The young boy fastened the bowl from which he is hanging to his abdomen by creating a vacuum inside the bowl. The older boys then lifted him by the handle of the bowl. Such discipline.

After the show, we walked around the school where the students were out for a break.

After we watched the performance, we saw boys as young as 5 in a group in a small courtyard.

There were boys as young as 5 in a group in a small courtyard.

I'm a little surprised that some of the older boys, sitting at the top, have cell phones.

I’m a little surprised that some of the older boys, sitting at the top, have cell phones.

Awaiting sword practice.

Awaiting sword practice.

One identifiable girl in a group jogging in formation around the yard.

One identifiable girl in a group jogging in formation around the yard.

For a really big show by Shaolin Kung Fu practioners, click on the link to some photos by the British Daily Mail Online.

Gateway between the Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest and the Shaolin Kung Fu School.

Gateway between the Shaolin Temple and Pagoda Forest and the Shaolin Kung Fu School.

Next Post: The Shaolin Temple

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2 comments on “Kung Fu Kids

  1. Wow, I would have loved to see that school and their performances! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Joanne says:

    What an incredible experience!

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