Little Miss Kung Fu: Girl Power in a Shaolin MAs School

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Little Miss Kung Fu: Girl Power in a Shaolin MAs School

Postby marvin8 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:07 am

RT Documentary
Published on Jul 24, 2017

Shaolin Epo Wushu College in the Shaolin Mountains is among China’s top martial art schools. Nearby is the famous monastery, where monks have practiced the ancient martial art of wushu (also known as kung fu) for centuries. The school gives children the chance to learn as well. There are around 8,000 students, some as young as 3.

Although the boarding school only accepted boys at first, it now welcomes girls as well. Shaolin Epo schoolgirls have no time to play with dolls. Instead, they train with fists, knives, swords, and other weapons every day. The girls practice just as hard as the boys and live under the same Spartan conditions. With several people living in one room, very modest dinners, and only one day a week for parental visits, the girls have to toughen up and learn to focus on their goal of becoming skilled warriors.

Life in the school can be hard. In order to stay, the girls must pass every exam with flying colours, so they try their hardest to meet the required standard. The bar is set high and there are no allowances for those who fall behind. Nonetheless, despite the hurdles along the way and the unrelenting schedule, every girl soldiers on, determined to make her parents, teachers, and country proud.

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Re: Little Miss Kung Fu: Girl Power in a Shaolin MAs School

Postby nicklinjm on Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:38 pm

Good documentary in general, but think it would have been better if they had focused more on why the kids / girls are there and what their choices are when they leave. I would guess that a lot of the kids are there not because they love kungfu but because they are from migrant worker families who think it will be a good way of teaching them discipline.

Also, the translations in the subtitles sometimes are wrong and make the instructors seem harsher than they actually are. For example, in the end of term wushu taolu test, the coach did not say anything like 'this is a dismal performance', he just said they weren't up to standard and actually encouraged them to practice more.
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Re: Little Miss Kung Fu: Girl Power in a Shaolin MAs School

Postby marvin8 on Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:32 pm

nicklinjm wrote:Good documentary in general, but think it would have been better if they had focused more on why the kids / girls are there and what their choices are when they leave. I would guess that a lot of the kids are there not because they love kungfu but because they are from migrant worker families who think it will be a good way of teaching them discipline.

Also, the translations in the subtitles sometimes are wrong and make the instructors seem harsher than they actually are. For example, in the end of term wushu taolu test, the coach did not say anything like 'this is a dismal performance', he just said they weren't up to standard and actually encouraged them to practice more.

It is a sacrifice to be away from family that long. Hopefully, the kids network, make good friends and other opportunities will open up for them. The government should give them a good education, sports education teaching jobs, traveling troupes, etc.

Yes, some of the comments said the translations were bad and harsher than it actually was.
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Re: Little Miss Kung Fu: Girl Power in a Shaolin MAs School

Postby zrm on Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:30 am

I know some people at Shaolin Wu Shu Guan which is one of the schools at Shaolin. It's the only government run one. The rest are private. The government run is mainly full of poorer kids. They seem to get a decent high school education along with the intense training. I asked one of the trainers there what tended to happen to the kids after they leave. They said that a lot of the them ended up working in security related jobs or join the police force or military. Others do sport and physical education stuff. A few of the really talented students end up become teachers and trainers and some of these open their own schools. Most of the travelling troupes you see consist of kids who are still at these school and do not consist of graduates.

There are some actual Buddhist monasteries still around Shaolin. It is extremely rare but not entirely unheard of for some people to enter that lifestyle. There is a small group of monks who live a relatively self-sustaining lifestyle in a monastery up in the mountains and only allow people to enter via invite. They grow their own food and practice traditional martial arts / qi gong and meditation the old fashioned way. On the other hand they also have solar power and wifi up there so they aren't entirely dismissive of modern society either.
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