April 20, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Contact: Mark Stevens (251) 626-3303

DAPHNE, Ala. – The President of Russia and the President of the United States Sports Academy have a common heritage, and both have visited their roots in the past couple of months.

Vladimir Putin has a black belt in judo. The Russian chief executive visited China recently and paid a visit to the Shaolin Temple where he met The Abbot, Shi Yong Xin, leader of the Shaolin Temple Buddhists and master of Kung Fu. Kung Fu is considered to be the “mother of all martial arts.” USSA President Thomas P. Rosandich, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, met with The Abbot two months ago and is now developing a nine-part certification program to teach Kung Fu through the Academy.

The Abbot and his certified Kung Fu instructors will be appearing at the United States Sports Academy graduation at the Admiral Semmes in Mobile, Alabama 22 July to be presented with an international honorary doctorate. The Abbot traveled to Hollywood in April to produce a nine-part television documentary on Shaolin Kung Fu.

Shaolin Kung-Fu refers to the traditional cultural system that has been formed in the particular Buddhist cultural environment in the Shaolin Temple over its long history. Shaolin Kung-Fu boasts a history of more than 1,500 years. It is based on a belief in the supernatural power of Buddhism and fully reflects the wisdom of Chan Buddhism. The martial arts practiced by the monks in the Shaolin Temple are its major form of expression. It is a system of skills and knowledge which is transmitted from its masters to it acolytes in a strict and systematic manner.

Shaolin Kung-Fu is the centuries-long result of the Shaolin monks’ efforts to create a practical martial arts system closely integrated with the study of Buddhism and Chan Buddhism in particular. The result is a huge and well-developed technical system as opposed to the many “schools” or “boxing styles” of other martial arts forms. The Chinese martial arts are complex in structure and rich in many schools, and even sects, but according to historical records, Shaolin Kung-Fu is that preeminent sect that boasts a long history, and a complete spiritual, physical and intellectual system, which is accompanied by the mastery of many complex and difficult skills.

Shaolin Kung Fu has a cultural meaning that transcends combative martial arts. It is characterized by a belief in supernatural power and the pursuit thereof. The ability to control the body with the mind extends beyond physical self-defense and combat. A public demonstration of Kung Fu by the Abbot is being planned for graduation week.

There are three principles of Kung Fu: meditation, Chinese medicine and combative drills.

“The monks can do a hand stand on one finger,” Rosandich said. Another demonstration the USSA president witnessed was of a monk balancing on swords without piercing the skin.

Buddhists monks follow the purist of principles. The five principles of Shaolin are: Do not kill any animal or fish (all monks are vegetarian); Do not steal; Practice celibacy; Do not lie; and Do not drink alcohol. These principles are instilled in them at an early age, as most are selected for this type of service at age 3 or 5.

The Kung Fu certification program developed by the Academy will not be the first of its kind for the Academy. The leaders of Tae Kwon Do in Korea and Judo leaders in Japan have asked the Academy to develop certification programs for their martial arts as well.

The United States Sports Academy, “America’s Sport University,” is an independent, nonprofit institution that offers sport-specific programs to students, teachers, and administrators around the world. The Academy has a special mission to serve the sports industry as a resource in instruction, research, and other vital sports-related services. It is the only freestanding institution of higher learning in the United States offering bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees in Sport Science and Sport Management, in addition to its extensive certification programs.

For more information about the United States Sports Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit the Academy’s website www.ussa.edu