HUBER HEIGHTS — One of the most famous names in the martial arts is the Shaolin Temple, a mecca of Chinese martial arts. Imagine a demo team travelling thousands of miles to visit you, perform a demonstration, and conduct a special workshop.
This was the reality Sunday and Monday for students at Meng’s Martial Arts International at 5715 Brandt Pike in Huber Heights.
Grand Master Benny Meng, a Centerville High School graduate, is the founder of Meng’s Martial Arts, an international martial arts organization with schools in over 20 countries and throughout the United States. He was also one of the first outsiders allowed into the Shaolin Temple in the early 1980s and also one of the first non-monks to be certified as an official instructor. His connections throughout the martial arts community to China, Hong Kong, Brazil, the Olympic Training Center, and more are second to none.
The theme of the demo and workshop was the Shaolin Halls, a unique training format within the Shaolin martial arts community as researched by Grand Master Meng.
“The head master who led the team focused on Life Skills and Character Development through genuine effort and challenges to develop his students,” said Grand Master Meng. “He particularly mentioned that in modern society today’s youth are becoming soft and spoiled throughout the world. Within the Shaolin facilities back in China they can house up to 2,000 students, who live, sleep, eat, go to school and learn martial arts all in the same place much like a boarding school.”
Their typical day starts at 5:30 a.m. for conditioning and training. Next, they clean and have breakfast. Afterwards it’s time for academics. After lunch, the younger students take a nap followed by more academic classes. Middle afternoon is for additional training followed by dinner. After dinner is self-study time to practice martial arts and review academic lessons.
“This is their life for 5½ days a week,” Meng said. “On weekends, they perform or travel as an excursion for learning. This creates a very disciplined and regimented life. Graduates of this program go on to Sports University as a martial arts teacher, continue to do martial arts competitions, open their own schools, or pick careers in the police or the military.”
For the demonstration and workshop the team demonstrated Second and Third Hall skills. The Second Hall of Shaolin is focused on basic movements, forms, and patterns. Demos included Iron Shirt, empty hand forms, and 10 different types of weapons. The Third Hall is focused on practical and effective fighting skills.
After witnessing the power, speed, focus, discipline, flexibility, timing and flow of the demo team members, it was easy to see why they are a world-class team. The workshop was focused on grappling and joint control skills much like the submissions seen in events such as the UFC and MMA style competitions but focused on real application instead of focused on what is safe for competition.
“All the students and family members were impressed and delighted with the event,” Meng added. “Plans are in the works for future demonstrations as well as the possibility of students from Ohio travelling to China to train for the summer.”
Reach Meng’s Martial Arts International at (937) 236-6485.