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China Adventure

Meeting the "Top Monk" and Shao Lin Temple Martial Arts Students

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


So we traveled from Beijing to Luoyang in an overnight train and the experience far surpassed my expectations. Why? Because I actually got a better night’s sleep in a passenger car that slept 4 then I did in my hotel room. There is something to be said for the rhythmic sound of a train traveling along its track. The next morning we visited the Longman Grottos and saw a collection of Buddhist cave sculptures, including one that was over 17 meters tall. It is the world’s largest Buddha. Next we traveled to the Shaolin Temple and listened to a lecture given by the “Top Monk” on Kung Fu. He taught us a great life lesson about how we should keep our hearts pure and resist greedy, anger, and envy. After the Shaolin Temple we took a bus over to the Shao Lin Temple Marshall Arts School where we had an opportunity to watch an impressive demonstration by students. The students performed some intense form routines and spared with each other. I was in awe at the number of students training at the school. We literally had to serpentine through the children on our way back to the bus. There were hundreds, if not a couple thousand, scattered throughout the campus. It was nice to see all the children. They were comfortable in their environment and very curious about visitors. It was great to watch the students walk in formation and chant out, “one two three four.” Occasionally we would get a wave or the peace sign and that put a smile on everybody’s face.
Today we went back to the Shao Lin Temple Martial Arts School and learned Kung Fu from trainers. Our bodies were twisted and contorted in ways many of us are not accustomed to. We learned a series of moves and forms while practicing our technique. The session was intense and quite the workout! These children take Kung Fu very seriously. After our lesson we visited a classroom. It was great to see children learning. They sang a song for us and we sang a few for them. The looks on their faces were priceless. Interacting with the students made me think about my own classroom. I am so excited for the school year and cannot wait to meet my new students. Today was an amazing cultural learning experience and one that I will certainly share with my 5th graders.
Tomorrow we will go back to the Shaolin Temple and have another opportunity to practice Kung Fu with students in the temple. This truly is an adventure of a lifetime!

17 comments:

Changing Connections said...

Truly an adventure of a lifetime, Adam, and we are so glad you had this chance from Discovery. I am going to copy/paste your post to PA DEN blog with you as a guest blogger.

I must tell you that of all the days' varied experiences, this day of all days was the one I would so gladly switch places with you. To have conversed with these monks, to engage in their special brand of duality in meditation and prayer, blending the physical and spiritual--I would have loved today with your group. You will undeniably have a wealth of experiences to bring back to your 5th graders. What an amazing cultural immersion and global learning experience. Keep posting; we're with you all the way.

RJ Stangherlin
PA DEN LC Blog Coordinator

Changing Connections said...

Hi, Adam,

I posted you as a guest blogger to 4 of my 5 blogs, and am tweeting via PADENLC and cover you on Facebook as well.

http://krunchd.com/e62

Keep posting; love that you add photos. Discovery really delivers!

RJ Stangherlin
PA DEN LC Blog Coordinator

Tina Controy said...

What an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing, hopefully you will never forget it.

KTI said...

Looks like so much fun! You'll have to share some of those moves... And tomorrow you follow the day of a Monk... soooo cool :)

Karen Wells said...

Adam, I almost hate to say it but "China seems almost as cool as South Africa was!" I am not prepared to say it was better since I am only experiencing this one virtually. People can say all they want about virtual field trips, but I don't see how they would ever equal an actual adventure like you have had.

Marianne said...

Hi Adam,
Sharing this amazing journey with all of us has been unbelievable. We are so very proud of you and look forward to hearing about the entire experience. Stay well and enjoy the rest of the ride of a lifetime. Love Mom & Dad

Adam Controy said...

Truly an adventure! Mom, you rock too! Ya made me proud by posting to the blog. I can call you a 21st century learner now! :)

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I imagine that your experience tude have exceeded expectations. has a better night's sleep in a sleeping car passengers in April and then I did in my hotel room. also to learn many things about the country

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I was student of this man and it's so hard to acquire his techniques because he's so rude, in fact he broke my leg.

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I've heard some interesting things about this man actually my cousin told me he was his coach and he taught him a lot of perfect techniques.

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Essential Programs Details

Duration 15 days
When August 1st - 14th, 2009
Focus History/Culture
Martial Arts
Modern/Ancient Architecture