Xinhua: Feature: Shaolin kungfu competition enthralls martial arts enthusiasts in Oceania

Publish Date:2023-12-04

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by Liang Youchang

SYDNEY, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- A Shaolin kungfu games competition was held in Sydney on Saturday and attracted more than 300 martial arts enthusiasts from Australia, New Zealand and other regional countries.

The 2023 Oceania Shaolin Games include various kungfu styles and weapon categories such as Shaolin Fist, Animal Styles and Seven Star Fist.

"Shaolin kungfu is a world-renowned intangible cultural heritage and an important cultural heritage shared by mankind," Shi Yongxin, abbot of the Shaolin Temple, told the opening ceremony of the competition at the Quaycenter in the Sydney Olympic Park.

Once a year, the abbot would assess and confirm the Shaolin disciples' eight kinds of practice such as preaching, chanting and etiquette. The Shaolin kungfu games competition is part of these contents.

"The contest has enhanced understanding, friendship and cooperation among Shaolin disciples around the world, and also reflects Shaolin kungfu's core values of strengthening the body and clarifying the mind," Shi said.

Blake Brown, a 22-year-old man who achieved a high score of 9.05 with a spectacular set of monkey fist, told Xinhua that Shaolin kungfu gave him the meaning of life and dreams.

"I found my purpose in life, my dreams. I was a bit lost beforehand and kungfu training told me to find peace," said Brown from Brisbane, Australia, who was elected as one of 10 Shaolin kungfu stars at the games.

So far this year, the Shaolin Temple has held Kungfu games in Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America and Europe. The Oceania competition was the final one.

According to the organizers, more than 2,300 Shaolin disciples from more than 100 countries and regions participated in the examination contests this year.

"This competition serves as a testament to the universal appeal and profound impact of Shaolin martial arts," Wang Shuyu, consul for cultural affairs at the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney, said at the opening ceremony.

"In seeing participants from different cultural backgrounds, we recognize the unique opportunity this competition presents for cultural exchange and collaboration," she said.

Riley Greenland from Sydney told Xinhua that he had practised martial arts for more than 20 years since he was three years old and he went to China three times to learn kungfu.

"Kungfu for me is everything. Everything, no just training," Greenland said. "I love the way it makes me feel. The energy, the power, the mental strength, everything." ■


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