The Shaolin Temple is considering a further strengthening of its efforts toward increasing international awareness of its tradition and profile.
After planning the development of kung fu mobile apps and videogames, specifically designed to attract younger generations to the world of martial arts, the temple is now considering organizing and hosting an international martial arts contest to raise its international profile. The plan was disclosed last week by Shi Yongxin, the temple’s current abbot and one of the first Shaolin monks to ever receive a BA degree.
“Shaolin Temple expects to form ties with the world through various events, expand the impact of Buddhism and make Shaolin culture better known,” he told Want China Times.
He maintained that the temple needs to keep attracting new audiences and expand its influence.
In order to establish ties among different disciplines, the contest would reportedly involve several martial arts, including karate, taekwondo and kung fu. Timetables for the contest’s organization and implementations are yet to be released.
In the past few years, China’s Shaolin Temple has shown increasing engagement in promoting its profile internationally through martial arts forums and global events. An example is the Shaolin Cultural Festival, held every year in different locations of the Western world – Berlin in 2012, USA in 2013.
The Festival is a showcase not just for kung fu but for the many typically Buddhist Chinese cultural disciplines and activities, such as meditation, medicine, tea, and incense ceremonies.
The 2014 edition will take place in October in a few locations in Great Britain, including London and the University of Oxford.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. By ShaolinTorrance (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons