Meeting the "Top Monk" and Shao Lin Temple Martial Arts Students

Guest Blogger Adam Controy from Shao Lin Temple, China

So we traveled from Beijing to Luoyang in an overnight train and the experience far surpassed my expectations. Why? Because I actually got a better night’s sleep in a passenger car that slept 4 then I did in my hotel room. There is something to be said for the rhythmic sound of a train traveling along its track. The next morning we visited the Longman Grottos and saw a collection of Buddhist cave sculptures, including one that was over 17 meters tall. It is the world’s largest Buddha. Next we traveled to the Shaolin Temple and listened to a lecture given by the “Top Monk” on Kung Fu. He taught us a great life lesson about how we should keep our hearts pure and resist greedy, anger, and envy. After the Shaolin Temple we took a bus over to the Shao Lin Temple Marshall Arts School where we had an opportunity to watch an impressive demonstration by students. The students performed some intense form routines and spared with each other. I was in awe at the number of students training at the school. We literally had to serpentine through the children on our way back to the bus. There were hundreds, if not a couple thousand, scattered throughout the campus. It was nice to see all the children. They were comfortable in their environment and very curious about visitors. It was great to watch the students walk in formation and chant out, “one two three four.” Occasionally we would get a wave or the peace sign and that put a smile on everybody’s face.
Today we went back to the Shao Lin Temple Martial Arts School and learned Kung Fu from trainers. Our bodies were twisted and contorted in ways many of us are not accustomed to. We learned a series of moves and forms while practicing our technique. The session was intense and quite the workout! These children take Kung Fu very seriously. After our lesson we visited a classroom. It was great to see children learning. They sang a song for us and we sang a few for them. The looks on their faces were priceless. Interacting with the students made me think about my own classroom. I am so excited for the school year and cannot wait to meet my new students. Today was an amazing cultural learning experience and one that I will certainly share with my 5th graders.
Tomorrow we will go back to the Shaolin Temple and have another opportunity to practice Kung Fu with students in the temple. This truly is an adventure of a lifetime!
Posted by Adam Controy at 2:20 PM 0 comments

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