Shaolin Temple

Shifu Shi Yan Ming leads Seminar at Zen Dragon School of Martial Arts

Shifu with the students of the Zen Dragon School.On February 12th, Shifu Shi Yan Ming and a small group of disciples traveled to Chambersburg, PA to reconnect with Master David Bowers and the Zen Dragon School of Martial Arts. When they arrived in the morning, Master Bowers took Shifu to visit the school for a special surprise.One of his talented young students had created a mural-style painting, inspired by Shifu's previous visit, that boldly commanded one of the most important phrases Shifu uses to help his students understand themselves and understand life, "More Chi! Train Harder!" After a tour of the school and some photos, the group was off to the seminar.

Shifu was welcomed back with a warm and respectful response. There were so many enthusiastic students of all ages that a larger space was needed to accomodate everyone. With over 100 people eagerly anticipating the seminar, it was time to begin.

Shifu demonstrating Xiao Hong Quan.Shifu started by leading everyone in a series of basic stretches. Afterwards, he led the group through several basic movements and kicks. The excitement was palpable as more and more students were yelling "More Chi!" while others responded "Train Harder!" After the basic movements and stretches, it was time to begin learning Xiao Hong Quan, one of the basic Shaolin forms. As Shifu guided the group through the various stances and movements, the students focused diligently to perfect the form. Some of the younger students, aged 6 to 9, had already been training for 3 or 4 years and welcomed the challenge of learning a new form. Everyone was excited, enthusiastic, and focused.

Shifu demonstrating Xiao Hong Quan.The second part of the seminar was an opportunity for Shifu to share the history of the Shaolin Temple and discuss Chan philosphy. All of the Zen Dragon students attentively gathered around Shifu in a circle on the floor and listened closely while he expounded the 1500 years of Shaolin Temple wisdom. At times, Shifu expressed the ideas to the captivated audience with great seriousness, at other times with humor or an imaginative story to explain his meaning. He encouraged the audience to "do ther best", "move forward", and to express themselves in life, also to "love themselves and love the world" and understand that each day is a gift and a holiday.

Afterwards there were photo opportunities and each of the students was able to meet Shifu personally. Many had their copies of Shifu's book ready to be signed, and discussed with Shifu how long they'd been training. Some students also brought pictures of themselves with Shifu from previous seminars for him to sign and shared with him how they practiced Yilu Quan - the form Shifu taught on his previous visit.

Shifu with Master David Bowers.After an amazing afternoon, it was finally time for Shifu and his disciples to make their way back to New York, but not without an enthusiastic farewell from David Bowers, his family, and dedicated students. The seminar was concluded by sharing "Amituofo" three times, just as it began, and it was agreed that everyone would see each other again soon.

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