January 30, 2008 > Shaolin Temple USA Grand Opening Celebration
Shaolin Temple USA Grand Opening Celebration
Submitted By Diana Hong
16 Shaolin Kung Fu (martial arts) monks from the world famous Shaolin Temple of China arrived in the Bay Area last year and established the Shaolin Temple USA, a Zen Buddhist temple and Shaolin Kung Fu academy. Spectacularly adept in the art of Shaolin Kung Fu and well versed in Zen Buddhism, most of the monks were members of the renowned Shaolin Temple Kung Fu Monks Corps and have performed for world audiences in over 40 countries including heads of States such as Queen Elizabeth II, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. They are now here in the Bay Area to share their 1,500+ years old Shaolin culture that includes Zen Buddhism, Shaolin Kung Fu and Shaolin Wellness Exercises with local residents and help them achieve physical and spiritual wellness.
Established in 495 AD, Shaolin Temple was the birthplace of Zen Buddhism and Shaolin Kung Fu. It is the only monastery in China that trains martial arts monks. Shaolin Kung Fu monks train in the discipline they call Shaolin Kung Fu Ch'an (Zen), a unique tradition that integrates physical and spiritual elements in their practice and performance for health and cultivation of the spirit. Shaolin Kung Fu is credited as the father of many martial art disciplines of the world. The Temple is immortalized by the popular 1982 Kung Fu movie "Shaolin Temple" starring Jet Li.
Since their arrival the Shaolin masters have provided many successful and popular programs for youth and adults in local communities. They have made great connections with their neighbors through performances, Zen meditation sessions, Kung Fu classes as well as community and charity work, from performances for public school students and senior citizens, to disaster relief fundraising, to weekly Kung Fu classes and the upcoming Shaolin Kung Fu & Wellness Workshop at Friends of Children With Special Needs in Fremont. When the masters performed at Fremont Public Main Library on November 24, 2007, so many people waited in line to see them that the library added a second show to accommodate the overflow and there were still people being turned away. They have also performed at professional venues such as California Theatre in San Jose, Cow Palace in San Francisco and Hawaii Theatre in Honolulu (4 performances) last year to sold out houses.
Shaolin Temple USA now has over 100 students learning Shaolin Kung Fu. The student body is very diverse in age, ethnic background and professions. Many are children and there also also quite a number of senior citizens in the Shaolin Wellness Exercise classes. There are also students flying in from other cities for private lessons. The masters are greatly respected and admired by their students and parents. Several performing arts companies in the Bay Area inquired to collaborate with them in new, full length productions. The grand opening will mark the beginning of their life and work in this community.
Grand Opening of Shaolin Temple
Sunday, February 3
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
4343 Peralta Blvd., Fremont
10:00 Buddhist Ceremony
10:30 Guest Speakers
11:00 Ribbon Cutting, Lion Dance
11:30 Shaolin Kung Fu Exhibition
Shaolin Kung Fu Demonstration
Free Kung Fu Lessons