Kids off to flying start

CHILDREN at Lansvale Public School have kick-started a new fitness program with weekly kung fu classes.

Chinese language teacher Yanxia Zheng organised the eight-week program with the Shaolin Kungfu Meditation Temple of Australia, in Cabramatta.

The classes are available for children in years 3 to 6.

Shaolin monk Yan Lan Shi said it was important for children to be fit and healthy from an early age.

"Nowadays when people get sick they realise how important their health is," he said.

"We believe that practising martial arts helps you to be confident, improve your self-esteem and to help people to become fit."

He said he found it rewarding and was proud to train the children at the school.

"I am from the Shaolin Temple in China and it has been there for 1500 years," Mr Shi said.

"It is our tradition to train the young monks from an early age so they can master the skills.

"My master chose me to come to the Cabramatta area because he wanted to promote Chinese culture and kung fu martial arts."

Mr Shi has been training for 12 years and he said mastering kung fu required dedication and persistence.

He said the children showed great potential. Any pupil just needed to put their mind to it.

The Shaolin temple not only teaches kung fu, it also holds classes in Chinese medicine and calligraphy.

Details: shaolin.org.au.

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