Shaolin Martial Artists Dazzle Asia Society with Acrobatic Display

A disciple from the Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters on the Asia Society stage in New York on May 23, 2011. (Slideshow and video below.)

Asia Society New York witnessed an exciting display of acrobatic grace Monday night, when practitioners of the Shaolin style of martial arts took to the stage for a demonstration and lecture on the world-famous discipline.

Under the auspices of Shi Yong Xin, Abbot of the Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng, China, students from the official Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters in New York City were a whirlwind of motion as they undertook flying balletic leaps, kicks, lunges, and a host of other moves that are undoubtedly best not tried at home.

Later in the program, Abbot Shi lectured on the Buddhist underpinnings of the Shaolin style, grounding the dazzling display witnessed earlier in centuries of spiritual and cultural tradition.

Click here to watch the complete program, including Abbot Shi's talk (presented in English translation), and enjoy slideshow and video highlights of the evening below.

Slideshow: Shaolin on stage

Video: Shaolin Temple demonstration highlights (3 min., 36 sec.)

About the Author

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Jeff Tompkins is New York Content Manager at Asia Society.