More than 2,000 people from 65 countries spanning five continents competed in the 12th Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival between October 19-23. Our host Master Shi Yanchen’s traditional Shaolin Kung Fu school walked away with 18 gold medals.
UpTrek host Master Shi Yanchen who runs an officially recognized traditional Shaolin Kung Fu training center in Dengfeng, China, registered 21 of his students to take part in the 2018 International Shaolin Wushu Festival taking place in Zhengzhou.
The years of arduous practice paid off and Yanchen’s students emerged victorious and walked away with 18 gold medals, 26 silver medals, and 6 bronze medals.
One of Master Shi Yanchen’s foreign students - Alexey Karpov from Russia, who had been living and training at Yanchen’s school for three years -, came out on top in the Arhat Fist (Xiao Luohan Quan) tournament and landed the gold medal.
The festival opened with an impressive display at the 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple atop Song mountain.
Hundreds of Shaolin Kung fu students in red t-shirts performed intricate acrobatic routines in front of the large crows, while Shaolin warriors showed off their skills and sparred among themselves using staffs and swords.
The first International Shaolin Wushu Festival was held in 1991 with 381 athletes from 17 countries. This year, when the festival celebrated its 27th anniversary and 12th edition, 2,212 entrants (aged from only two-years-old to 79) from 65 countries showed up to vie for one of the medals.
About Shifu Shi Yanchen
A genuine Shaolin warrior monk, disciple of Shi Yong Qian, and former Shaolin Kung fu Chinese National Champion, Shifu (Master) Shi Yanchen joined the Shaolin Temple and started his training when he was 7 years old.
Having mastered Shaolin’s 18 different weapons, Shifu Shi Yanchen started traveling the world with the Shaolin Kung fu Show and was invited to give Shaolin Kung fu performances in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Turkey. However, his true calling remained at home, in China. In 2011, he returned to his native village in the Songshan Mountains and opened a traditional Shaolin Kung fu school, together with his wife, Chen Lily.
The school teaches martial ethics and follows the family rules and all the traditional teachings of the Shaolin Temple. Not only are foreign students accepted at the school, but – as you can see, Master Shi Yanchen trains them to such a high standard that some of them end up competing against Chinese Shaolin Kung fu students and coming in first.