Thanks to Minjae for this tip! This Thursday, December 18, 2008, at 10pm, National Geographic Channel’s Secrets of the Kung Fu Temple takes viewers inside the 1,500-year-old monastery known for training the best warrior monks in the world. We meet novice monks, hand-picked from kung fu schools across China, and see what it takes for these boys to become master fighters. We also see how Shaolin is adapting to the 21st century and transitioning into a tourist attraction complete with entrance fees, monk-blessed souvenirs and commercialized excursions.
Kung fu literally means “hard work.” Over five hours a day, 365 days a year, the monks train with a very strict regimen. For these novice monks, Shaolin could be their chance to get out of the poverty and isolation of rural China. By traveling the world displaying their kung fu mastery, the best at Shaolin may very well strike stardom.
Meet Yan Xiu, the instructor and expert warrior who uses drill sergeant techniques to work his students, while his 60-year-old colleague Shi Yong Qian offers the students his deep knowledge of meditation and Zen. You’ll also meet Zhou Jinbo and Luo Zhenzhong, two student monks competing to be among the top kung fu fighters in the world. We get an inside look as these students tackle extraordinary acts of strength, grace and flexibility not commonly seen in the West, such as breaking metal bars with their skulls by standing on their heads for 30 minutes each day.
Sounds like an interesting program. Thank again to Minjae for sharing!!