Zengzhou Shaolin Martial Arts Festival
From: Monday, September 10 2007, 7:00 am
to: Saturday, September 15 2007, 1:00 pm
This martial arts festival, celebrating the great tradition of kung fu, acquired its name from the famous monks of the Shaolin Temple, whose skilled disciplines spread throughout Asia.
The practice originally developed as an exercise to counter hours spent in immobile meditation. Based on the movements of animals, kung fu was soon adapted as a self-defence against bandits. Today the practice involves amazing physical discipline, meditation and adherence to a moral code. 20 years of this rigour produces one fully fledged Shaolin monk!
Although the practice of kung fu has now spread worldwide and burgeoned into a number of fledgling disciplines such as judo and karate, this is the place where it all began and therefore the inspiration for every kung fu movie you've ever seen! The festival includes martial arts displays, workshops and exchanges for martial artists from all over the world. It's also possible to book martial arts courses through the Chinese Tourism Administration.
This is a busy place at any time (Shaolin kung fu was banned for many years and only revived in the 1980s), with crowds of people and stalls selling all kinds of weapons. Be prepared for more than a little company during the festival.