ZHENGZHOU, Sept. 9 (Xinhua)
-- Finishing a set of forms, 19-year-old American young man Philip Sahagun was
pleased that the seclusion life in a Chinese temple made him understand Kungfu
Philip Sahagun was one
of 36 Kungfu practitioners from a dozen countries to have a nine-day seclusion
in the Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province. The seclusion ended on
The practitioners were
outstanding members of the Global Chinese Kungfu Star Competition starting March
this year, which was jointly organized by the Shaolin Temple and Shenzhen
Satellite TV Station in south China.
Seclusion is a training
method of Zen Buddhism which focuses on concentration and meditation. Shaolin
Temple, built 1,500 years ago, is the birthplace of Zen Buddhism.
During the seclusion,
they not only learned Kungfu skills from Shaolin's 18 Lohan Kungfu monks, but
had lectures on Buddhism and Kungfu history. They wore Kasaya, a kind of
costumes of Buddhist monks, and ate vegetarian meals.
To mark the completion
of their seclusion, the practitioners performed martial arts, or Kungfu. But
what they learned was more. "Martial arts are about self-control," said Philip.
"We should fight for self-defense, not for violence."
Dyra Sao, another
practitioner from the United States, was impressed by meditation. "Kungfu is not
only about fists. Mental power is also important."
"Chinese martial arts
are part of Chinese traditional culture, "said Shi Yongxin, abbot of the temple.
"By holding the competition, we hope to promote Shaolin culture and Chinese
martial arts to the world and enhance exchanges with foreign countries, so as to
make people cherish peace and health more."
performances were scored during the seclusion and the top nine - four Chinese,
two Americans, one Russian, one French and one Australian - would go into the
final contest later this September.