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EDITIONS
Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 17:35 GMT
Monk helps build kung fu school
Pol Wong and Shi Xing Du
Pol Wong and Shi Xing Du are trained in kung fu
A monk has travelled from China to Wrexham to help open a special temple to teach the ancient discipline of Shaolin.

Shi Xing Du will draft a syllabus for students to learn the Shaolin way, which includes kung fu, Chinese medicine, Buddhism and meditation.

Pol Wong and Shi Xing Du in robes
The monks spend time meditating

He has been brought over to north Wales by Wrexham-born Pol Wong, who runs a kung fu school in nearby Ruabon.

Master Wong wanted to build a specific Shaolin school which incorporates the culture's philosophy.

The centre of the discipline's teaching is the Shaolin temple in the Henan Province of China, which is a Buddhist temple.

Only a handful of people outside the temple have been allowed to teach the ancient skill.

Shi Xing Du said he knew instinctively that north Wales was the right place to create a temple.

"Wales is beautiful and I think it is the right place to set up a school," he said.


Hopefully we can build a syllabus together so people can learn Shaolin kung fu in this culture and lifestyle

Pol Wong

Speaking through his disciple Pol Wong, he said the area surrounding the school in Ruabon was similar to the area around the Shaolin temple on the Song Shan Mountain.

"He compares it all the time to China," said Pol Wong, whose Shaolin name is Shi Yong Jie.

Monastery

Kung fu master Shi Xing Du has lived in the temple since his mother took him there as a child.

The 80 monks who live in the building take a number of vows including one of celibacy.

Pol Wong, who visits the monastery annually, said he had asked the 33-year-old master to visit him many times.

"Over the years that I've been going over there, I've been speaking to Shi Xing Du about teaching Shaolin kung fu in my country and he's been saying 'maybe one day I'll come and see'".

"He's very fussy about who he'll teach. It took me five years to get into the close family circle of the Shaolin temple.

Pol Wong has travelled to China
Pol Wong has travelled to China

"Hopefully we can build a syllabus together so people can learn Shaolin kung fu in this culture and lifestyle.

"To learn Shaolin kung fu is very difficult, but especially in our lifestyle and culture.

"The main emphasis is on learning the Buddhist mind, it's actually a tool to discover your own mind.

Master Wong said he was committed to creating an authentic school.

"At the moment in the West and in China a lot of places say they teach Shaolin kung fu but they don't."

"Very, very few people actually know real Shaolin temple kung fu," he added.


More from north east Wales
See also:

23 Sep 02 | Asia-Pacific
29 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
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