updated 4/27/2011 1:18:26 PM ET 2011-04-27T17:18:26

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A first-of-its-kind event focusing on China's renowned ancient Shaolin Temple and its 1,500-year-old influence on traditional and popular cultures will be the center of a major summit to be held on Saturday, May 21st at the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall) from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m. The first "Shaolin Summit" will celebrate the compelling appeal of Shaolin, the originating source of a substantial portion of Asian martial arts practiced today and birthplace of Chan (Zen) Buddhism. An estimated 200 million people worldwide practice martial arts derived from Shaolin. The event will also feature a rare appearance by Shi Yong Xin, the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple of China. The event is being produced by the non-profit Shaolin Association of North America in association with the Shaolin Temple of China.

Peter Shiao, President of the Shaolin Association of North America and CEO of Orb Media Group, one of the day's sponsors, said the event is expected to draw thousands of followers and enthusiasts of the Shaolin Temple, united in supporting its basic philosophy of bringing compassion and health into the world that empower people through non-sectarian practices.

"We are reaching out to the millions of members of the worldwide Shaolin family in Western territories across the globe. We invite people to be part of Shaolin – our goal is to share greater first-hand understanding and appreciation of the disciplines, practices and ethos of Shaolin in a way that has never been done on a large scale, and to bring together a community that can participate in a myriad of future programs aimed to empower and enlighten our community members," Shiao stated.

Events during the day will include powerful Shaolin Martial Arts/kung fu demonstrations with secret techniques and training tips revealed by authentic Shaolin Warrior Monks; a dialog with the Shaolin Temple's Abbot Shi Yong Xin, along with a preview of his autobiography; and panel discussions on the power of meditation and martial arts, Shaolin's cultural heritage and its influence on popular culture today.

Tickets are $20 per person through May 14th, after which the price will be $25 per person online or at the door. Groups of 10 or more will have a fixed price of $20 per person. A limited number of seats are available, so tickets should be ordered by visiting www.shaolinunited.com or calling 310-358-3136.

In addition to Orb Media Group, event sponsors to date include East West Bank, Kung Fu Magazine and United Studios of Self Defense. For further tax-deductible sponsorship information by corporations, organizations and individuals, contact Robert Wu at 310-358-3187 or Robert@orbmediagroup.com. A similar event is being planned for New York on May 23rd in association with the Asia Society ( www.asiasociety.org ).

About the Shaolin Temple

The Shaolin Temple of China has persevered through 1,500 years of evolution, affected by invasions, wars and revolutions, dynasties and more. Shaolin became the most famous Buddhist temple in China and grew into a center of philosophy, history, mathematics, martial arts and poetry. Today, Shaolin's powerful influence in these areas is still felt. The Temple is located in the Songshan region of China and has also continued its unbroken cultural and philanthropic initiatives, including work with orphans and other charitable endeavors, large scale performances and demonstrations, preservation and teaching of its core practices in martial arts, health/healing and the arts, and many international cultural and educational initiatives.

Shaolin's reach extends to many areas of global popular culture, having influenced a large body of films and television programs (such as Shaolin Temple, that gave rise to the career of Jet Li, The Last Airbender and Shaolin Soccer, among others), games and lifestyle though kung-fu, fighting choreography, storylines and philosophy. Orb Media Group, as one example, has several entertainment initiatives in development based on Shaolin principles as part of its mission to generate transformative content across multiple media platforms worldwide.

Shaolin Association of North America was formed earlier this year to provide greater access to the institution by students, supporters and enthusiasts, and is composed of key Shaolin affiliated organizations in North America. In addition to the annual Summit, the non-profit entity will provide a touring Speaker Series featuring Shaolin Masters, wellness retreats at the Shaolin Temple, and various educational initiatives aimed at youth and at-risk communities in America.

CONTACT: Craig Parsons for the Shaolin Summit
         310.472.7632 or 310.200.4310

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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