Shifu Shi Yan Ming Leads Seminar at Full Circle Martial Arts Academy
This last Saturday, April 10th, Shifu Shi Yan Ming and several of his disciples and students from the USA Shaolin Temple visited the Full Circle Martial Arts Academy in Glenn Dale, Maryland. Shifu had been invited by the Academy's two masters, Master Samuel Scott and Master Wallace Powell, to lead seminars in Shaolin Chan Philosophy or Martial Arts.
The first seminar began at 10 AM sharp, when Shifu and the USA Shaolin Temple group were greated warmly and enthusiastically by a huge group of the Academy's students. Training began right away just as it does back in New York, with the entire group repeating "Amituofo" three times. The students quickly divided into several lines, and training began.
Shifu demonstrated several basic kicks and stances, interspersed with comments and reflections on the philosophy of Shaolin Temple and martial arts training. In training, just like in life, the physical cannot be seperated from the mental.
The Academy students' discipline and commitment shone through as they all quickly followed along with the moves Shifu demonstrated. He even had them practice a basic fighting-style kick and punch.
After basics, Shifu led the Academy students through a basic Shaolin form, Yiluquan, or First Path Fist. The students, some as young as 6 or 7, beautifully understood the meaning of "Train Harder!" as they pushed themselves to practice the new form to perfection over and over again.
After training, the group sat down to listen to Shifu lecture more on Shaolin History and Chan philosophy, including that his secret to training, and life, is simple - "More Chi, Train Harder! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!" He also encouraged everyone to be like the horns of an ox - an ox only has two horns, and millions of hairs. In life, move forward - push yourself to be one of the horns, standing out from the rest. If you can't be a horn, be the tail, that's fantastic too - there's only one! Or even one of the feet, also very powerful. If you're going to do something, do the best, or don't do it.
Finally, it was time to finish, and just like in Chan philosophy, the group ended the way they began, with saying "Amituofo" three times. After Shifu signed his book for many of the participants, the instructors from the Full Circle Academy and the USA Shaolin Temple group replenished their chi with some tasty food from a nearby Chinese Restaurant. The group had a wonderful time exchanging views on the importance of strengthening communities and helping people to be the best they can be by realizing their full potential, which the Full Circle Academy has been doing wonderfully since 1992.
After lunch, it was time for the second part of the day's activities - a seminar in Tai Chi and Qi Gong. Shifu Shi Yan Ming led a new group through the first few movements of the Yijin Jing (Muscle and Tendon Changing Sutra), one of the original Qigong Sutras created by Bodhidharma when he came to the Shaolin Temple after his arrival in China in the year 527. He also showed them the beginning of the Shaolin Tai Chi form, and explained in detail the history of the practice, originally called Rou Quan (Soft Fist) in Shaolin Temple before being spread to other parts of China.
After another discussion of Chan Philosophy, Shifu answered several questions from the second group. One student asked if it's ever too late to start training, to which Shifu replied, "There's no late, there's no early, it's always the perfect time."
With everyone feeling fantastic after a beautiful day of training and philosophy, it was finally time for Shifu and his disciples and students to head back to New York. The group exchanged warm farewells with all of the wonderful instructors of the Full Circle Academy, with plans to see each other again soon.
If you are interested in having Shifu Shi Yan Ming teach a seminar in your area, please contact the USA Shaolin Temple at (212)-358-7876. Amituofo!