I spent about three or four days in and among the students at Shaolin Monastery, watching and observing their extreme athleticism, and their incredible feats of acrobatics. Really amazing to be able to see these young men leaping off the walls and doing all sorts of feats of strength. I think, one day they hope they will be able to star in a movie the way Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan did, or that maybe they will be in a feature film like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. So there’s literally 10s of thousands of these young students of martial arts in and around Shalom Monastery.
This was part of a story I was doing on Buddhism and the origins of martial arts. I went to all over the world photographing Buddhism in Europe, North America, and Australia and all over Asia. One of the highlights for me was to go to the Shaolin Monastery, in Hunan province, and to see the birth place of martial arts, which actually started as a Buddhist practice to protect themselves from thieves and bandits, maybe 1000 years ago.