Kung fu fighter Zhang Shan teaches Shaolin boxing to students at No. 4 Primary School in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. [Photo: IC]
"Hey! Ha!" students in Zhengzhou's No. 4 Primary School shouted, imitating the Shaolin boxing moves demonstrated by a small boy clad in a red jacket.
The nine-year-old boy, Zhang Shan, has been learning kung fu for nearly four years and won a kung fu competition hosted by a local television station in Henan Province. The school invited him to serve as a guest teacher after provincial education authorities introduced a Shaolin boxing program in all of the primary schools in Zhengzhou.
"Zhang Shan, as a professional kung fu fighter, can teach the children the correct moves. Moreover, it is easy for the students to bond with a teacher of the same age," a school official said.
The kung fu classes are intended to keep the students active, but not combative.
"The boxing course teaches simplified Shaolin boxing, retaining its style while removing the power and other training components. Thus, it can tone up the students' bodies, but will not provoke campus violence," Dang Jian, a physical education teacher at the school, said.