Kung fu begins in earnest at USA Shaolin Temple

Above: Shaolin kung fu practitioners at the opening ceremony for the new USA Shaolin Temple in Fleischmanns, held in May on the grounds of the temple. Photo courtesy of USA Shaolin Temple.

If you're curious about the ways of Buddhist warrior monks, you should head to Fleischmanns this weekend, where Shifu Shi Yan Ming and a few dozen trained kung fu fighters will be on hand to introduce Delaware County's greenest grasshoppers to the ancient art of Shaolin kung fu.

This Saturday, September 15, the Shaolin temple at 383 Breezy Hill Road in Fleischmanns -- new home of the USA Shaolin Temple, a growing contingent of American Shaolin warriors founded in 1994 -- will hold a free training session for the community. Class begins at 11am. Here's what to expect, disciple Heng De writes in an email:

The classes are two hour fairly intense cardio workouts where people will learn some of the basic kicks and stances of Shaolin Kung Fu. We also do a lot of stretching. But people of all ages and experience are welcome, we have people who train that are even over 60, and all different body types. The best way to get an idea of class is to just come watch or try one! But after that, you can go to our website -- the video on the homepage has a few clips of class in it.

Any loose fitting comfortable clothing is fine, sweatpants and a t-shirt or sweater if its a little chilly. Everything will be taken care of when they get to the temple, we have a big parking lot and there will be people there to welcome everybody.

The temple began offering its first regular weekend kung fu classes on September 1.