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Thread: Tagou

  1. #31
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    Holy cats!

    I luv MIA.

    Gene Ching
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  2. #32
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    Slightly OT

    13 spectacular pictures of the art of Shaolin
    By Multimedia Desk Published: April 8, 2016


    PHOTO: REUTERS

    Shaolin is among the oldest institutionalised styles of Chinese martial arts practiced today. Dating back 1,500 years, the Shaolin Temple is the main temple of the Shaolin school of Buddhism to this day.

    Shaolin Kung Fu, also called Shaolin Wushu was developed in the Buddhist Shaolin temple in Henan province, China. With its rich content, and over 1500 years of its development, Shaolin kung fu has become one of the largest schools of kung fu.

    Here we look at students of Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School participating in a rehearsal at a stadium in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China.









    continued next post
    Gene Ching
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  3. #33
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    Continued from previous post





    PHOTOS: REUTERS
    Not all of Tagou but mostly, which is why I say 'slightly' OT.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #34
    There is something fundamentally disturbing about that kind of mass choreography.

  5. #35
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    Taguo - 29,560 strong

    It's been a while since we've done a Shaolin Special. We were going to do one after the The 4th Shaolin Cultural Festival last year, but after that fell apart, we've been on hold. Maybe soon. A lot of readers have been asking. I truly appreciate that support. Soon come.

    30,000 students in International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal
    2016-10-16 16:30:58 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Shi


    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]


    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]


    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]


    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]


    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]


    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]



    The 11th International Shaolin Wushu Festival rehearsal takes place at the Shaolin Temple Scenic Spot on Mount Song in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province on Oct. 14, 2016. A total of 29,560 students from Tagou martial arts school participate in the event. They showcase numerous performances featuring group exercises, Shaolin stunts and Wushu melodrama. [Photo: qq.com]
    'Wushu melodrama'
    Gene Ching
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  6. #36
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    Trending back once more

    Will this never end? Imagine if they actually succeed.

    Shaolin Soccer the movie gets real in China
    posted November 19, 2016 at 12:01 am by AFP

    China's national team is struggling: the world's most populous country ranks a lowly 84th according to FIFA and the latest setback to its fading hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia was a 0-0 home draw this week with Qatar -- which has only around 300,000 citizens.

    But China is investing hugely in football training and has vowed to have 50 million school-age players by 2020, as the ruling Communist party eyes "football superpower" status by 2050.



    The vast Tagou martial arts school, a few miles from the cradle of Chinese kung fu, the Shaolin Temple in Henan province, has 35,000 fee-paying boarders, who live in Spartan conditions and are put through a rigorous training regime.

    Some 1,500 of its students, both male and female, have signed up for its new soccer program, centered on a pristine green Astroturf football pitch where dozens of children play simultaneous five-a-side-games.

    A concrete viewing stand is under construction to accommodate future spectators, with cement mixers churning and a crane swinging girders above the children as they practiced.


    Shaolin monks show off their football skills during a demonstration game in Dengfeng, central China's Henan province. China's celebrated Shaolin Temple is training young kung fu disciples to play football in the far-off hope of reversing the flagging fortunes of the national team, state media reported. AFP

    "We are responding to the country's call," said Sun Dawei, a crew-cut former martial arts champion who took a soccer coach training course last year.

    "What we want to do is combine Shaolin martial arts with football and create an original concept," he added.

    Sun's class of 12-year-olds wore red jackets emblazoned "Shaolin" and the canvas-style shoes favored by practitioners of Chinese martial arts, known as wushu.

    They cartwheeled from one side of the pitch to another, before assembling in formation and running through tightly choreographed routines of high kicks and punches.

    "With a foundation in wushu, their bodily flexibility and force is a great help when they are playing football," said Sun. "Their jumping ability is helpful."

    Awesome movie

    The training base has drawn comparisons with the hit 2001 Hong Kong film "Shaolin Soccer," about a ragtag band of out-of-shape martial artists who defy the odds to storm to victory in a football tournament.

    The film's heroes play in yellow monks' robes, flying through the air, carrying out dazzling dives and overhead kicks of tornado-like power and winning one game 40-0.

    "The flying and those sort of awesome things I can't do," admitted 12-year-old winger Sun Linyuan.

    But he added: "In the future I will be able to do spinning kicks and bicycle kicks. Then I'll be a better footballer."

    When the soccer program opened a year ago the province's top sport official Zhang Wenshan addressed a ceremony which saw thousands of students carry out a tightly choreographed martial arts routine.

    "We have carried out deep research into using our province's advantage in traditional martial arts to develop youth football," he said.

    A provincial document vows to "build shaolin soccer into a brand", and the school has given itself five years to become one of the province's top three youth teams.

    Each child who signs up for the soccer program practices for several hours every day and the school has signed a deal with a British firm to import coaches.

    Work in progress

    Sun's group split into two teams, with captains assigning positions. One striker in a number 10 jersey backflipped his way onto the pitch.

    Despite their years of kung fu training, the students' football skills were still a work in progress, school staff admitted, with sloppy defending, shaky shooting and poor ball control all in evidence.

    "You're just running wherever the ball is! Do you think that's ok?" an exasperated Sun told his students in a half-time huddle. "Should you be marking people or not?"

    "Yes!" the students all affirmed at once.

    Long a football fan, Sun admitted there was a "vast" difference between the Beautiful Game and Shaolin kungfu.

    Still, he said, "We are the number one school for martial arts. So we have the confidence that in another area we can also be among the nation's best."
    Gene Ching
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  7. #37
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    More on Taguo and Shaolin Soccer (football)

    The key point here that the author misses is that Taguo is not a direct branch of Shaolin Temple. It's run by the Liu clan, and they are CCP members. Communism does not extol Buddhism, or religion of any sort.

    China’s investor-monks offer divine example
    By Kunal Sinha | December 22, 2016, Thursday

    IN China’s startup scene, restaurant delivery firm Ele.me is a standout success story. With 20,000 employees picking up food ordered from 300,000 restaurants, mostly over the mobile phone, it serves over 40 million users in 1,000 cities, and racks up a daily turnover of 60 million yuan (US$8.65 million).

    So even as the company recently raised capital from the likes of Tencent, Sequoia Capital, and CITIC Capital pushing its market cap beyond US$1 billion, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the angel investors in the fledgling firm was none other than a fund started by the monks at Shanghai’s Jade Buddha Temple. (Shanghai Daily, 13 December 2016).

    The firm’s founder and CEO, Zhang Xuhao started the company while still a student. But when he was about to go bankrupt in 2009, he received a 100,000 yuan sponsorship from the temple. Ele.me never looked back — and its founder calls the investment his “lucky money.”

    Devotees across the globe shower wealth on their deities, their Gods and Goddesses, in the belief that their prayers will be answered. It is extremely rare to hear of instances of monks and priests investing the money they have received from the grateful into social good, especially in young people. Granted, they feed the poor and sometimes build charitable hospitals. But venture capital for the young? It is indeed a move that merits applause.

    Out-of-the-box thinking

    For a temple to be aligned to a national, or societal interest — such as boosting entrepreneurship and employment — requires out-of-the-box thinking.

    This is something that the Tagou school of martial arts, a training ground for thousands of Shaolin monks in Dengfeng County, Henan Province, has also demonstrated. Even as China invests big in football training, vowing to have 50 million school-age players by 2020, some 1,500 students at the school (all trained in the martial arts) have taken to football. The program’s founders, all Shaolin monks, believe that the martial arts form with its emphasis on body flexibility, jumping, control and force meets essential requirements for the game. Their investment is of a different kind, but one that shows an engagement with a young community and their ideals.

    Why did these stories appeal to me so much? I’ve been reading about how much money is being collected by temples in India right now, in the aftermath of the country’s demonetization drive.

    Unable to convert their “black” money legally, many people are dropping them into collection boxes in temples, hoping for a karmic payback.

    The collection at one of Mumbai’s most popular temples, the Siddhi Vinayak Temple dedicated to Ganesha, increased from 4 million rupees (US$59,000) a week to 6 million. At the Tirumala Temple in Tirupati, arguably India’s richest temple, daily collections have similarly increased from 20-30 million rupees to almost 60 million — even as the number of devotees came down slightly.

    I wonder what the temples in India would do with so much extra cash. I would urge them to take a leaf out of the book of the monks at the Jade Buddha Temple and Shaolin Temple and invest in providing young people startup opportunities. Or invest in building the infrastructure that the country desperately needs, even if it is about doing it in the immediate vicinity of the temples. These are places that are often in need of better hygiene and sanitation, parking lots and wider streets. We need the priests and policymakers to sit down together and work out where the collaboration can have the quickest payoff.

    Such investment can really be the kind of divine intervention that could boost the fortunes of any society.



    Kunal Sinha has over 25 years of unearthing and commenting on consumer and cultural trends, and helping companies profit from them. Based in Shanghai for over a decade, he is the author of two books about creativity in business: China’s Creative Imperative, and Raw – Pervasive Creativity in Asia, and has taught at some of the world’s leading business schools.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #38
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    35,000 students

    In my recent article, Shaolin by the Numbers (JAN+FEB 2018), I reported 38000 students. That number was given to me by my old friend, Wang Yu Min, who is seriously connection in Dengfeng and gets my stats.


    © Sputnik/ Zhanna Manukyan

    Enter the Student, Exit the Dragon: A Tour of Legendary Martial Arts School
    VIRAL

    Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School, located near Mount Song (the site of the legendary Shaolin Monastery) in Henan, China was founded in 1978 by Liu Baoshan, a lay disciple of the Shaolin Monastery.

    A vast complex of buildings that accommodates some 35,000 students, Shaolin Tagou is one of the largest martial arts schools in China.

    While an applicant needs to be at least 5 or 6 years old to become eligible to train here, there’s no ‘upper age limit’ in Shaolin Tagou.

    The school accepts students regardless of their gender, though boys and girls live and train separately, and out of the school’s 35,000 students only 3,000 are female.


    © SPUTNIK/ ZHANNA MANUKYAN
    Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School Students

    People become students at Shaolin Tagou for various reasons. Some of them are unruly children brought by their parents in hopes that the school’s discipline would set them straight. Others are attracted by the fame and prestige of Shaolin Tagou. And yet there are also plenty of those who simply consider wushu a hobby or just want to become famous martial arts film actors like Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan.


    © SPUTNIK/ ZHANNA MANUKYAN
    Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School Students

    The school’s regimen is strict and almost military-like: a wake-up call at 5:30 in the morning, PE, breakfast, training time, general education lessons, lunch, more training, more lessons, supper, yet more training and then bedtime.

    While corporal punishment wasn’t uncommon in martial schools in the past, the Shaolin Tagou faculty does not resort to such methods: after all, in this day and age striking a child might result in a lawsuit being filed by his or her parents.


    © SPUTNIK/ ZHANNA MANUKYAN
    Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School Students

    Faculty members also believe apart from learning martial arts at Shaolin Tagou, the students also build up their willpower – something that will help them in life no matter what career they may decide to pursue in the future.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #39
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    38K students!

    Spectacular footage shows 26,000 Chinese martial arts students performing Shaolin kung fu in unison
    Students put on a stunning performance of Shaolin kung fu, one of the oldest styles of Chinese martial arts
    The students were seen carrying out difficult acrobatic acts and sparring with poles in perfect sync
    The impressive performance was filmed at the foot of Song mountain in Henan, home to the Shaolin Temple
    By KELSEY CHENG FOR MAILONLINE

    PUBLISHED: 12:26 EDT, 8 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:55 EDT, 8 June 2018

    A total of 26,000 students showed off their excellent martial art skills in a spectacular performance on Wednesday in central China.

    The young energetic students, donning red and black kung fu uniforms, put on an awe-inspiring performance of Shaolin kung fu, one of the oldest and most famous styles of Chinese martial arts.

    The massive cadre of students were seen carrying out difficult acrobatic acts and organising themselves into different formations with their bodies - all completed in perfect unison and under a single command.


    Students of a martial art school perform Shaolin kung fu at the foot of Mount Song on Wednesday in Henan province, China


    All 26,000 students in the performance are from Shaolin Temple Tagou Martial Arts School in Dengfeng city


    The student then assembled themselves in a flawless formation to show the words 'Glory to our country'

    The breathtaking performance was filmed at the foot of the Song Mountain, which is home to the Shaolin Temple, the Buddhist temple founded more than 1,500 years ago.

    In a video of the event released by Modern Express, the students were seen leaping, hitting, kicking, grappling and sparring with poles in a perfectly synchronised choreography.

    They were seen performing difficult aerobics movements, flying through the air and landing in human pagoda formations.

    A single kung fu master, dressed in white, is seen giving out commands from the centre of the arrangement, with the students converging and dispersing around him, creating a stunning sight of human wave.


    The breathtaking performance was filmed at the foot of the Song Mountain, home to the Buddist Shaolin Temple


    The students are seen converging and dispersing to form perfect patterns and words during the spectacular performance


    The young energetic students, donning red and black kung fu uniforms, are seen getting ready for the big performance


    The school is renowned for its martial arts training and the entire education group has six institutions with 38,000 students

    Spectacular aerial shots also show the students doing back flips and splits in perfect unison, demonstrating the superb results of their rigorous training.

    The student then assembled themselves in a flawless formation to show the words 'glory to our country' with the China flag, followed by an impressive performance of Tai Chi as well as other individual performances.

    All of the young kung fu practitioners are from Shaolin Temple Tagou Martial Arts School in Dengfeng city, Henan province.


    Spectacular aerial shots show the massive cadre of students doing back flips and splits in perfect unison


    The ancient Shaolin kung fu combines kicks, blocks and punches to stop attackers, achieved through rigorous training


    The students are also seen carrying out individual acrobatic performances during the event on Wednesday

    The school is renowned for its martial arts training and the entire education group currently has six institutions with 38,000 students, according a statement on its website.

    The ancient yet powerful Shaolin kung fu combines kicks, blocks and punches to stop attackers, achieved through rigorous mental and physical training.

    The discipline also stresses on 'hard' and 'soft' striking techniques, making it an aesthetically-pleasing fighting style.
    Worth it to follow the link and see the vid.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #40
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    pix

    "Shaolin Kung Fu" performed at Shaolin Temple scenic area in Dengfeng, C China's Henan
    Source: Xinhua| 2018-10-21 11:07:16|Editor: Chengcheng



    (SP)CHINA-HENAN-SHAOLIN-MARTIAL ARTS-PERFORMANCE(CN)
    Students of the Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School stage performance "Shaolin Kung Fu" at the Shaolin Temple scenic area in Dengfeng City, central China's Henan Province, Oct. 20, 2018. (Xinhua/Zhu Xiang)
    Nothing like a Tagou mass demo.



    THREADS
    Tagou
    12th Zhengzhou International Shaolin Wushu Festival
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  11. #41
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    [2019央视春晚]武术《少林魂》 表演:河南少林塔沟武校(字幕版)| cctv春晚

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  12. #42
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    From space!

    Earth From Space to show our remarkable world as we've never seen it before
    BBC1 show Earth From Space uses cameras on the ground, in the air and in space to show nature’s greatest spectacles, weather events and dramatic seasonal change

    ...



    Shaolin kung-fu students put on a display of strength and coordination in Deng-feng China.
    (Image: BBC/Freddie Claire)
    9 of 12


    Thousands of China's Shaolin students move in unison in vast displays that can be captured from space.
    (Image: BBC)
    12 of 12
    Well, not really. Not sure how these pix got stuffed into this pictorial essay but it's the Mirror, so there you go.
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  13. #43
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    Shaolin Kung Fu Training: Spectacular Display Caught From Satellite | Earth From Spac

    I recant. That was from space. Only the Mirror didn't use those Earth From Space | BBC Earth pix.

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  14. #44
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    Liu Haike

    13:57, 17-May-2019
    Chinese martial arts: Shaolin-style boxing


    CGTN

    Shaolin Kung Fu is one of the main martial art styles in China. It is named after the Shaolin Temple.

    Shaolin-style boxing generally refers to the bare hand forms, weapon forms and sparring. Among the bare hand forms, the “Seven Star Fist” and “Long Guard the Heart and Mind Gate Fist” stand out. They don't have many moves but both are powerful and practical. In Shaolin Kung Fu, the main hand position is the Dragon Claw, and the practitioners typically use circling blocks outward and inward and the dragon stance. When it comes to weapons, the Shaolin broadsword and stick techniques are fierce and strong.

    Liu Haike's family has been practicing Shaolin Kung Fu for 10 generations. Liu started to practice kung fu with his father even before he could remember, when he didn't have to herd sheep and work on the farm. “Practicing kung fu gave me a fit body and a strong mind to overcome all difficulties,” said Liu. “I also become more humble when I practice, because I know there's always somebody better than me and I need to improve myself all the time.”


    CGTN Photo

    Shaolin-style boxing is now mostly inherited by martial art schools and Liu works as a manager and a professional coach. He was a coach of the 2008 Beijing Olympics special training team for Chinese kickboxing, and coach of China's national kickboxing team. He now works as the chief coach of the Henan Chinese kickboxing team.


    CGTN Photo

    “I feel that many techniques of Shaolin-style boxing can be used in Chinese kickboxing,” said Liu. “But Chinese kickboxing and traditional martial arts have different rules because modern sports care more about the practitioners' safety. But we can still apply the concept of traditional kung fu, like ‘you either attack or defend' in modern Chinese kickboxing, creating a new training method which works well in actual fighting. Till now we've trained many skilled athletes.”

    Under Liu's training, a couple of renowned Chinese kickboxing athletes emerged in Henan Province. During the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, his pupil Zhang Shuaike won China's first gold medal at the 56-kilogram level in Olympic history. In March 2014, as the coach of China's national kickboxing team, his team members won three gold medals in the 5th World Junior Martial Arts Championship. In August 2014, his team won four gold medals in Chinese kickboxing in the Youth Olympic Games. In 2018, three pupils of Liu brought back 3 gold medals from the Asian Games.

    On the other hand, Liu promotes martial arts as a performance. The performances of his students have been on the stage of 16 of CCTV's Spring Festival Galas, as well as the opening/closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games, Asian Games, and the Youth Olympic Games.


    CGTN Photo

    “Teaching martial arts is a heavy responsibility that requires us to inherit and pass on the ancestors' knowledge,” Liu said. “We need to bring it to a larger stage. We need to cultivate more pupils. I hope that someday, Kung Fu could become an official Olympic sport.”

    Director: Lei Rong,

    Editor: Gao Xingzi

    Filmed by: add later

    Designer: Yu Peng

    Article Written by: Zhu Siqi

    Copy Editor: add later

    Producer: Wen Yaru

    Chief Editor: add later

    Supervisor: Pang Xinhua
    Liu Haike is the primary author of Shaolin Gong Fu – A Course In Traditional Forms, published out of Tagou.
    Gene Ching
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  15. #45
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    Tagou teaches ice hockey & surfing too?

    Does Tagou have an ice rink now? And a wave machine? Shaolin is land-locked and the river isn't big enough to surf.

    Shaolin martial arts school promotes soccer on campus
    By Shan Jie in Dengfeng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/28 17:53:39

    ○ A Shaolin martial arts boarding school is developing youth soccer training

    ○ Players with a martial arts background have some advantages, say their coaches

    ○ The school is also training talent for ice hockey, skating and surfing


    Wan Yi (center) celebrates victory with teammates Zhou Jiangyin and goalkeeper Zhou Aoxiang. Photo: Li Hao/GT

    Wan Yi is upside down.

    The mid-July sun burns. He begins to shake, breathing heavily. Sweat drops from his face to the ground. The azure soccer jersey soaks into a deeper blue. His face turns beetroot.

    A few minutes earlier, Wan and his 10-year-old teammates ran off the artificial grass field, having just won their match. Wan decided to celebrate in his own unique way, ball between feet.

    It's his superpower. He acquired it from five years of martial arts training.

    Five minutes over, Wan puts his legs down and stands up again.

    "Only I can do this!" Wan says, picks up his ball and races to join his teammates on the stand.

    About 200 schoolmates on the stand cheer the players in an extremely organized way.


    Tagou school players cheer from the stand. Photo: Li Hao/GT

    Behind them all, another intense match is occurring between older boys.

    Wan, 10, is a student at the Tagou martial arts school in Dengfeng, a county-level city administered by Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province.

    All the students take martial arts training in the school.

    When this relatively remote school with its deep links to the mythological Shaolin Temple unveiled its youth soccer training project in 2015, massive online attention ensued.

    In the popular imagination, kung fu soccer is using a superpower - 10 bald superheroes in plain robes flying around the pitch and volleying the ball from a goalkeeper who apparently has eight arms…



    Internet users yearned for Tagou's secret kung fu skills to rescue China from centuries of soccer humiliation.

    The 2001 movie Shaolin Soccer would appear more than a lightweight comedy movie for many online soccer aficionados.

    Or as Wan puts it, "Soccer was invented in China. People will laugh at China if we do not play well."

    A midfielder in one of the school's under-11 teams, Wan's goal is to play for China's national team and in the FIFA World Cup.

    China's men's team played once in the World Cup, in 2002, and went home without a single goal from three group matches.

    The government in 2015 stepped up efforts to promote soccer on campuses across the country.

    Tagou started youth soccer training in December 2015. Wan was one of the earliest to join the program when teams were formed in 2016 by selecting children with perceived soccer talent.

    Tagou, the only official Shaolin soccer youth training base under the sports bureau of Henan Province, has 1,519 young boys and girls aged 4 to 15, 23 teams based on different ages and capabilities.


    Girls in Henan Tagou shirts prepare for kickoff at Tagou martial arts school in Dengfeng, Central China's Henan Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT

    "Children with a martial arts background are quicker, more flexible and determined," Liu Songpu, who is in charge of the soccer department in Tagou school, tells the Global Times.

    In four years, China has made notable progress in promoting soccer in schools through enhanced training, more games and upgraded facilities, Wang Dengfeng, a senior official at the Ministry of Education, said on July 23 in Beijing, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

    China has named 24,126 primary and middle schools across the country as specialist soccer schools to spearhead youth soccer development, Xinhua reported.

    Mysterious team

    Zhu Xinggang scores in the U12-13 match of the Second Youth Games of China in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

    Right fist meeting left palm, Zhu bows solemnly and salutes the opposition goalkeeper.

    But the kung fu bow backfires as the referee warns Zhu, believing the gesture by the Tagou school right winger was intended to humiliate his opponent.

    "They don't understand," Coach Liu says. "The gesture is actually showing respect in martial arts."

    This is the first time Tagou's soccer team played at a national level and crowds follow the mysterious team with Shaolin in its name.

    At the end of the day, the team from Shaolin finish a respectable, if unmagical, fourth.

    "People thought that soccer at the Shaolin kung fu school must be something mysterious," Liu says. "But we are just the same."


    A Tagou player demonstrates the "controversial" kung fu bow at his dormitory. Photo: Li Hao/GT

    The students take regular compulsory education courses including Chinese, math, English and science. They have two hours' soccer training daily.

    Every day all the players at Tagou have 1.5 hours' training in martial arts.

    "They have learned the Da Hong Fist, Xiao Hong Fist, Shao Lin Fist and Qi Xing Fist," Zhao Yaodi, a coach to 20 young players under 7, tells the Global Times.

    Zhao, 20, graduated from Tagou four years ago. He stayed at the school as a soccer coach after some training.

    Most of the soccer coaches at the school have a martial arts background.

    In three years, the number of soccer students has grown from 900 to 1,519.

    As one of the most famous martial arts schools in Dengfeng, Tagou school has a deep connection with the Shaolin Temple.


    Tagou students practice martial arts after lunch. Photo: Li Hao/GT

    The school was built in 1978 by Liu Baoshan, who is from a martial arts family in the village near the temple.

    The boarding school today has its original campus, which is only 2 kilometers from the Shaolin Temple.

    In total the school has more than 35,000 students and teachers on three campuses, reads its official website.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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