Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kung Fu School and Shaolin Temple

Kung Fu school near Shaolin Temple

On our last day in Henan Province we visited a Kung Fu school and the famous Shaolin Temple in Zhengzhou.

Apparently there are similar small kungfu schools scattered around the area.
Kung Fu student demonstrating skills

I gather they are sort of a cross between trade school, reform school and summer camp. Some of the kids stay for a few weeks and others for a number of years.

Kung Fu student demonstrating his flexibility

The kids learn discipline and Kung Fu self-defense skills in addition to regular academic training. They may end up as security guards or other tradesmen but they aren't very likely to end up at Peking University. Ages seem to range from 5 or 6 to mid -teens.

I thought is was a nice pot.

From the Kung Fu school we headed to the Shaolin Monastery or Temple. The temple was established in about 477 A.D. It is a Buddhist temple that has long been associated with Kung Fu martial arts.

Margot Savage, Tom Savage, Greg Brue and Theresa Brue at the Shaolin Temple

Here is a nice picture of Margot and me along with Greg and Theresa.

Monk arranging an incense burner at the Shaolin Temple

It is an active temple but I can't imagine studying or meditating with the hoards of tourists parading through.

Tree with holes made by monks practicing their finger punching.

This tree is pock marked from the monks practicing finger punching.

Click to enlarge.

I guess placing a coin here is sort of like a wishing well. Anyway I thought it was a nice picture.

As I mentioned there were a lot of people there and it is a fairly small temple.

You can learn more about the Shaolin Temple here ---> Shaolin Monastery

Pagoda Forest at the Shaolin Temple

The monastery and it's associated Pagoda Forest were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.

After the temple we had lunch nearby. Here is the table before we dug in.

Zhengzhou East high-speed rail station

Zhengzhou (admit it - you've never heard of the place) is the site of the largest rail interchange station in Asia. It opened a couple of years ago. Here is a picture of half of it. The other half is a mirror image. It sits at the intersection of the north-south Beijing to Guangzhou line and the east-west Xuzhou to Lanzhou line. That is a lot of zhou's. Zhou basically means administrative region or prefecture. It is an old term. Zhengzhou is pronounced, approximately, 'jung-joe'.

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