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A Random Talk on Shaolin Kungfu
and Wushu Festival

article selected from Travel China weekly

Shaolin Kungfu is one of the most influential school of martial arts in China and well represents the 1,000 year history of kungfu in China.

Shaolin Temple & Kungfu

Kungfu is derived from traditional Chinese sports. In ancient times, these martial arts were used to train people for military purposes.

Shaolin Martial Arts
Shaolin Kungfu was created during the Northern Wei Dynasty (368-534) at the Shaolin Temple, which stands at the foot of Songshan Mountain. Shaolin Kungfu became well known during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), when Shaolin Temple monks rescued an emperor's life. Shaolin Kungfu is famous for its vigorous, powerful, simple, unadorned, and unpredictable style. Nowadays, there are 130 series of Shaolin Kungfu skills and tricks, including Taijiquan (shadow boxing), Shaolin Boxing, and Southern Boxing. It combines Buddhism and the Chan sect to form a unique Shaolin Culture.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a number of Shaolin Kungfu themed literature and art works appeared. These works greatly aroused people's interests in Chinese Kungfu. Particularly after the film entitled "Shaolin Temple" was released during the early 1980s, Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Kunglin have been well known all over the world.

The biennial Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival has provided an opportunity for Kungfu fans to get together. During the 6th China Zhenghou International Shaolin Wushu Festival held this year, some 44 overseas Kungfu teams from 19 countries and regions with 454 numbers attended the festival. Participants from abroad accounted for 70 percent. Mauro Sebastiano, the coach of the Italian Wushu Festival three times. He has been practicing Kungfu for 20 years. He said that there are more than 8,000 people learning Chinese Kungfu in Italy.

Ian Powers from the New York Wushu Team of the United States also has done a good job. Prisckla Schirmann, a woman from the Mexican Wushu Team, ranked third in the Women's Changquan competition at the Sixth Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival.

Kungfu originates from China but belongs to the world. The profound Shaolin Kungfu is a bridge that links more and more people together.

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