A Letter from Kung Fu Headmaster

I am very honored to write this letter with special significance today, in the hope that my students could get some inspiration from my own experience. At the age of 41 this year, I have been studying and practicing Shaolin Kung Fu for 30 years. How time flies!

Everytime I meet students with great enthusiasm and passion in Kung Fu, it feels like seeing myself when I was a little boy, who has the same passion for Shaolin Kung Fu as everyone else, enjoys reading books and watching movies of Kung Fu.

A Letter from Headmaster 1

In April 1993, at the age of 11, I finally got a chance to train at the Shaolin Temple, the place that had appeared in my dreams for many times. Before leaving, my father repeatedly asked me if I had made up my mind because it would be very hard to train Kung Fu, and even if it is too difficult, I cannot become a deserter. When that decesion was made, the promise to my father was made. With my determination in Kung Fu and also to fulfill this promise, I didn’t return home for the next three years, during which time, through my hard work, I participated in performances and provincial, municipal, and national competitions, and won many prizes. This period of experience was really hard for little me but rewarding in developing myself independence, determination, persistence, and gives me courage of never giving up, no matter doing performance in Flaming Mountain desert, Xinjiang Province when the temperature was over 50 degrees, or over the sleepless nights in the freezing temple accommodation with broken windows when it was -15 degrees snowing heavily in Song Mountain.

At that time, training equipments were not as good as current conditions.
There were no mats, no carpets, and very few protective measures.
When I started to train for less than a month and I got four stitches on my head due to a mistake in my movements. Injuries and pains were common Kung Fu training, but I never thought of giving up.

In November 1998, I participated in the coach learning and training organized by the Dengfeng Sports Bureau and was awarded the title of first-class master after passing the technical theory exam. In September of the same year, I participated in the World Cultural Festival held in Seoul, South Korea, representing Shaolin Temple, with a total of 36 countries participating. It was my first time to come into contact with cultures and martial arts from so many different countries. It was a very impressive event that inspired my aspiration of spreading Kung Fu to the world, meanwhile I got to train even harder with the sense of commitment.

The sense of commitment grew stronger and stronger during the following years, especially when I won the first place in four events in the National Shaolin Fist Competition held in October 2000 – Shaolin Canon Fist, Shaolin Plum Blossom Broadsword, Shaolin Yinshou Staff, and Double Broadsword and Spear Sparing.

A Letter from Headmaster 2

After getting the Excellent Master Certification in 2001, I had more chances to do performance and cultural exchange in other countries, such as the USA, Russia, and Indonesia, which enabled me to see how much the world loves Chinese traditional culture, and strengthened the determination of opening my own school.

A Letter from Headmaster 3

In the year 2014, my dream finally came true and my Kung Fu school opened. In 2018 we moved to the location now sacred Second Ancestor Temple – the ideal place for Kung Fu training, culture learning and self cultivation.

I am really happy to see students coming from all the way here, working hard, being immersed in this culture and achieving a better self. In the summer of 2018, I accepted my first disciple Oliver Vulliamy, from the UK, who had been training with me for 4 years by 2018. He was given Buddhist name Shi Yongzhong as official 33rd generation Shaolin warrior monk. In November 2019, Shi Yongzhong passed the strict exam and was awarded the title of Chinese Martial Arts Ranking 6 and First Class Coach.

I sincerely hope that students who come to our school will learn not only Kung Fu but also the lifestyle, the character. Kung Fu is not just a martial art, it is an inner cultivation and an overall improvement of personality. I hope that our students can truly experience the combination of Buddhist Chan(Zen) and Kung Fu.

Shi Xinglin
October, 2023

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