Mexico Branch Visits Home at the USA Shaolin Temple

On May 22, Shi Heng Yi of the Templo Shaolin Mexico brought 18 of his students to visit their home in New York, the USA Shaolin Temple. Disciples and students of the Temple welcomed the team early in the morning at JFK airport as they arrived on the redeye from Mexico City. Immediately the team was swept up into the hustle and bustle of New York City. With luggage in hand, they got on the subway to Canal St and walked over to Broadway to their home for the next 9 days. As they arrived at the temple, they paid their respects to Shifu, who was delighted to see his students and disciples from the Temple’s branch in Mexico.

The overnight flight didn’t stop the team from jumping right into training – More Chi, Train Harder! Even after two hours of intense training and a fair amount of jet lag, the group still was so excited that they went sightseeing right after class. They meandered through the streets of Chinatown, taking in all of the exotic sights, sounds, and smells, then later visited the Brooklyn Bridge.

Day 2 of the trip started with a little breakfast from neighboring delis, followed by the 11am Kung Fu Level 1 class. Afterwards, the team enjoyed a lunch of Vietnamese Pho – a giant bowl of beef noodle soup with 4 different cuts of beef, beef tendon, and tripe (otherwise referred to by Shifu as “internal style”). Shifu vows that this is one of the best foods to regenerate the body and replenish chi, especially after training. After lunch, the group went shopping and visited Times Square – a must for all visitors to New York.

The next few days consisted of more training and sight seeing, including visits to Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Empire State Building, the Natural History Museum and other sites of the Big Apple.

The 6th day of the trip was Heng Yi’s birthday. After training, everyone celebrated with special water and cake. Shifu spoke to the team, encouraging them to try and take in as much knowledge as they could during their visit. Heng Yi also explained how he hoped that his students from Mexico would have a chance to feel the same feeling of wonder and inspiration that he did when he first visited the USA Shaolin Temple.

It’s not unusual for the trampoline and crash mat to make an appearance at these types of occasions, and this night was no exception. Disciples and students flipped and jumped through the air, and set up all different kinds of obstacles made from other mats to jump over or through. Later in the night, the group broke into song and dance honoring the late Michael Jackson. It’s a special kind of love that the Shaolin family brings together — good fun!

With 3 days left for more training and sight seeing, the group soaked in as much as they could. Their last night was spent dining with Shifu and students from the New York temple in Chinatown’s Congee Village Restaurant. It was a lovely close to an eventful 9 days.