Report from Dave Bromwich.
Diary March – April
In May 2016 I visited this school and the Shaolin Temple with Ken Liu at the time NZCFS signed an MOU with Zhengzhou FAO. I got a very strong impression about what the school was delivering, and nearly 2 years later, returned to establish an opportunity to send young New Zealanders here for short term training camps.
Dates are yet to be set, although the July school holiday period would be achievable if there is early interest. This is available to all New Zealanders, although young people are especially targeted. Please promote this to any groups in your area who may be interested. All interested people can respond with an expression of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org with Shaolin in subject line.
The school, associated just outside the Shaolin temple, was started in 1997. 21 years later it has reached 20,000 full time students from age 5-6 up to 20. They practice various kung fu exercises for half the day, and normal academic classes for the other half day. They have a world renowned performing troop that has travelled world-wide, including New Zealand several times. We attended a half hour performance displaying a full range of activity, and found that 10-12 of the performers had been to New Zealand.
In discussions, the founder of the school and director, Master Shi Yanlu, presented a very strong tradition and culture of Kung Fu, and welcomed NZ groups to participate in training camps. He treated us to a splendid vegetarian banquet.
One new aspect of the school is their recent move into training football teams. The school teams have already achieved success in international competition. Unfortunately we were not able to witness their skills on the football field, but photographs show a remarkable agility in air born manoeuvres. A real challenge to traditional football training coming up!