Shaolin LA – Kung Fu

19 11 2007

I had the chance to attend a Kung Fu classmate’s 16th year, anniversary reunion event this weekend past. He runs the Shaolin Temple Lomita – Kung Fu school In Lomita Ca., which is south of LA. It was the first event I had attended in several years. This one was told to me to be different as it was more of a reunion for my schoolmates.

studio

I flew in late Sat. afternoon, wisely into Long Beach this time. It was much nicer experience than going into LAX. it paid off more so on my return as I was able to sit outside the terminal and snack, read and enjoy the sun and great weather. But I’m jumping ahead.

airport LB

I checked out my rental car and headed over to Lomita. I was running early so I wisely decided to stop at a nice little Chinese Vegetarian restaurant I go to when in town. It is just a few blocks from the Lomita Studio. I had a small meal, figuring since there was suppose to be food there I would not stuff myself.

I pull up to the studio just as my elder brother and another school mate are getting out of the car. I pull along side the car and in jest, blew the horn and grumble about people leaving their car doors open blocking the street while shaking my fist in the air.

After parking I head in the the school. It was already starting to fill up, with a lot of people I did not know & students who I also did not know bowing. A found a couple of my brothers, we talked in the corner as others showed up, along with Kam Shifu. We all did the chit chat thing in the corner next to the main table whist everyone hustled about making ready for the ceremony to start.

Things were ready to begin so we took our spots at the table.

I was next to Shifu, with Manual the school’s Shifu on the other side. I had a good seat for the show, honored I was, but it should have been Rob’s place since he is the eldest…and much closer to Kam Shifu. I was also seated next to Zhong Xuechao aka Master Bing from the WuDang School. He was unfamiliar with the Tai Chi Mantis style so we had a chat on a few subjects later that evening. He is more quiet than me, started by asking where I learned to speak Chinese. At the far end of the table to me & Kam Shifu’s right were all my other classmates.

my table

The events started with a speech from Manual Shidai ( younger brother), and group tea drinking. Then incense and 3 bows for the past Sigungs (Grand masters). Next the Lion Dance.

The Lomita school and the Las Vegas school both have well known lion Dance teams and sometimes work together on shows and events. Tonight it was just the Lomita school preforming, although our brother from the Lohan school of Shaolin was also there.

lions

Following that there were demo from the various schools. There were some 8 -10 different schools from both Northern and Southern Styles present along with some young Shaolin Monks from China and their Shifu.

monks

The demos were excellent. The one that stood out most to me, were the Bua Qua, Wu Dang and the Half drunken from a student of the Lomita School. Most impressive was the Hsing Yi Master bending the 1/2 in thick iron bars , that were shoved into his neck. I got it on film! Impressive, they were thick bars which could not be unbent by hand.

Kam Shifu also gave his healing demos correcting pain from anyone who wanted to come up. Something I learned from him at the basic level of but have no confidence in using. He on the other hand has a large following of people who swear by it, and some who do not, just to be fair, in my statement.

After much To Do, and Ceremony , the last of which was a presentation of black sashes to 4 students of Manual’s it was time to eat.

sash

Things were laid out buffet style with everyone helping themselves. This is were eating before hand paid off. There was next to nothing I could eat, everything for the most part had meat. I ended up with a small portion of rice, like a half a cup with a small amount curry sauce, 1 teaspoon which I could not tell if was pure veggie so I did not take a chance with more than a spoon of plain sauce also some garbanzo beans. It was a wise move for me to look out for myself and eat first.

By now everyone is eating and chatting , chatting and eating. It was worth the trip seeing classmates I had not seen in some 20 yrs and retouching the bond of Shaolin training we share. It was pleasing to see some are doing very well on their paths. Large full time schools with many students, film, TV, etc. Makes me feel like have not really accomplished much, however some have stopped training at all. I am still on the path at least, humble as it is…

the group

A few of us slipped away after the end, when folks were leaving and went to one of the old gang’s house and shot a few rounds of pool. It was like old times, but now with gray hair.

Some left after a few games they had a long drive, shortly after that I crashed in the spare room I had a early trip to Ch’an practice some hour drive away. I left the couple of the regular players still at it. It was a good day of memories and vibes.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: