Shaolin Temple: Monk KO'd by American not one of us

16:56, December 28, 2010      

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On Dec. 14, a spokesman of the Shaolin Temple claimed through his micro-blog: "Yi Long, who was billed as the No. 1 Shaolin Kung Fu monk, is neither a Kung Fu monk of Shaolin Temple, nor could he be named as the No. 1 Shaolin Kung Fu monk at all." He also told reporters that all the Shaolin monks can be identified on their official website, reported by Henan Commercial News.

A Kung Fu fighting program named "Wu Lin Feng" in Chinese, which was put on by Henan Province of China, went to Las Vegas, America last month. A featured fight between so-called "Shaolin Kung Fu monk" Yi Long and American police officer Adrien Grotte was held in Nov. 13 at Harrah's Las Vegas Casino and Hotel.

The fight was supposed to be canceled because no one dared to fight the mysterious Shaolln Kung Fu master who claimed to be the "No.1 Shaolin martial arts monk," until one American police officer, also an ex-member of the U.S. Marine Corps, answered the challenge.

Before the fighting started, almost everyone predicted that Yi Long would win. However, just 44 seconds into the second round, Yi Long was suddenly punched in his head by the American player and lay on the ground for quite a while. Finally, the referee announced that Adrien Grotte won the game.

A piece of footage was uploaded to the Internet and named "American Police officer K.O.'s No. 1 Shaolin martial arts monk." Afterward, the peace and quiet was broken suddenly among Chinese netizens. People kept asking "Why is Shaolin Kung Fu so weak?" and "Is Shaolin Kung Fu dying?"

Some netizens said "don't let those Shaolin monks embarrass China" and some question about the existence of the so-called "No.1 Shaolin martial arts monk" and even the credibility of Shaolin Kung Fu.

Regarding all the gossip about this Yi Long and the questions about Shaolin Kung Fu, a person in charge of Shaolin Temple's public communication updated his micro-blog on Dec. 24 and claimed that Yi Long is absolutely not a Shaolin monk and certainly not the "No. 1 Shaolin martial arts monk."

He also told Henan Commercial News that it is hard to judge whether Yi Long is a secular disciple of the Shaolin Temple because of the easy procedure of becoming such a member and the huge number of the Shaolin Temple's secular disciples.

Action: Shaolin Kung Fu should be protected

Qiao Fengjie, a professor from Henan University, said it did not make any sense to connect the personal failure with the rise and fall of Chinese martial arts.

Qiao believes that currently martial arts are divided into two parts. One is competitive martial arts under some rules, and the other is the traditional Chinese martial arts. The competitive martial arts have changed essentially, although there is still some relation with traditional martial arts.

He also said the real masters would never go public for games but hide themselves for self-practice against loneliness, and that was the real essence of Chinese martial arts.

However, the traditional Chinese martial arts are in an embarrassing situation just like traditional Chinese medicine, Qiao said, and they need to be protected by the compilation of books and spreading the knowledge from generation to generation.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online
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