Shaolin kung fu impresses audience, fosters tourism exchange at Expo
Martial artists display Shaolin kung fu at the opening of Henan Week at the Milan Expo, July 12. (Photo/Xinhua The ancient martial art of kung fu was on stage at the world exposition in Italy’s Milan on Sunday as China’s Henan Week opened.
A group of masters from the Shaolin Temple Wushu Training Center — located 500 meters to the east of over 1,500-year Songshan Shaolin Temple in Henan province — performed a variety of kung fu scenes at the Expo’s China Pavilion.
Their audience of international guests included Italian authorities, other pavilions commissioners as well as members of the Henan delegation, whose activities at the Expo will last until Thursday.
In an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the show, one of the masters in their 20s, Shi Xingming, a member of the Shaolin kung fu performance team, said he and his fellows were proud of presenting the ancient art during a global event.
Shaolin kung fu is a complex art taught mainly by oral formulas handed down from generation to generation. In history, the recognition of inheritors of Shaolin kung fu was based on the patriarchal clan system of Shaolin temple.
In the process of teaching and learning Shaolin kung fu, Shi explained to Xinhua, it is necessary for masters to teach disciples by personal example as well as oral instruction and for disciples to study diligently.
The reputation of Shaolin kung fu was set early during the Sui and Tang dynasties (581-907). In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), it became a unique school of wushu (Chinese martial arts) and established itself as a school of excellence.
“Our youngest students can even be only three years old. But we also have adults. Kung fu can be practiced at different stages,” Shi went on saying.
Today Shaolin kung fu is renowned throughout the world. In fact Sunday was not Shi’s first performance in Italy. “In 2007 we exhibited in Rome and I hope we will come back to Italy soon,” he told Xinhua.”We also have international students. Last year, for example, we had one from Milan,” he noted. Actually Milan is home of a wushu school, part of the Shaolin Europe Association (SEA). This Article Continued Below