About 170 Shaolin Kung-fu practitioners from the United States have made a three-day pilgrimage to the famous Shaolin Temple in Henan Province on July 4.
|The disciples listen attentively to a sermon by Shaolin Kung-fu masters. [Henan Business Daily]|
They were the second largest group of foreign Shaolin Kung-fu disciples to visit the temple since an earlier group of 500 American practitioners came in 2006, according to Chinanews.com.
The disciples, who ranged in age from five to 62, are all students at the United Studios of Self Defense, a franchise of kung-fu training centers throughout the United States. They received three days of training at the Shaolin Temple.
The disciples received a warm welcome from Shi Yongxin, the abbot of the Shaolin Temple.
"The Shaolin Temple is your home in the east," Shi told them in a welcoming speech. "We hope you can enjoy your stay here."
Shi Yandeng, founder of the United Studios of Self Defense, also expressed his respect for Shi Yongxin. Shi Yandeng, whose original name is Charles Mattera, received his monastic name when he converted to Buddhism in 2002.
The United Studios of Self Defense was founded in 1972 and has more than 120,000 students from 42 states.
(CRI July 8, 2009)