The Shaolin Whip is gaining popularity in China as a fun recreational practice. Its not uncommon to see people practicing whip techniques in public parks. Whips are portable and can be worn discreetly as belts. Also known as the Shepherds Whip (muyang bian 牧羊鞭), it came into the Shaolin curriculum back in the Yuan Dynasty (12711368) when Kublai Khan prohibited martial arts practice. According to legend, the Shaolin abbot, Fuyu, found favor with the Yuan and was permitted to develop Shaolin kung fu, including whip techniques from shepherds from Gansu Province. Training whip develops arm and shoulder strength and teaches how to expand the chest and cultivate qi the Shaolin way. Shaolin Monk Shi Yanran is a fully-ordained Buddhist monk and a direct disciple of the Abbot of Shaolin, Venerable Shi Yongxin. He has accompanied the Abbot on many Buddhist and cultural exchange missions to over 30 countries worldwide. Shi Yanran was also the cast leader for one of Shaolins most distinguished theatrical shows. Shaolin: Wheel of Life, which toured the world for three years. Wheel is considered as one of the best martial arts live shows to date, so much so it was documented by PBS Great Performances. Shi Yanran founded Shaolin Temple USA, and has established three Shaolin Temple Culture Centers in San Francisco and Fremont, California, and Herndon, Virginia.
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