updated 5/16/2011 3:15:15 AM ET 2011-05-16T07:15:15

LOS ANGELES, May 13, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two celebrated panels of professionals comprising China's legendary Shaolin monks to experts from the fields of martial arts, entertainment, academia and clinical psychology will be among the key participants at the Shaolin Summit in Los Angeles on May 21st. The Summit is a first-of-its-kind event blending presentations and martial demonstrations with a central focus on China's renowned ancient Shaolin Temple and its 1,500-year-old influence on traditional and popular culture. It will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (West Hall) from 1:00 to 5:30 p.m.

In addition to two panel discussions, the event will also feature a rare appearance by Shi Yongxin, the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple of China. The originating source of a substantial portion of Asian martial arts practiced today and birthplace of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, Shaolin estimates that there are 200 million followers worldwide practicing martial arts derived from Shaolin.

One panel, featuring authentic Chinese Shaolin monks in simultaneous translation for both Eastern and Western audiences, is entitled "The Three Treasures of Shaolin," focusing on Chan (Zen) philosophy, martial arts, medicine and holistic healing. This panel's participants include these Shaolin monks, all of whom have achieved substantial mastery:

  • Shi Yanfan, 34th generation Shaolin Warrior Monk. He is the head of the Shaolin Temple Los Angeles in Sherman Oaks, CA and a co-founder of the Shaolin Association of North America. Master Shi Yanfan was the first Westerner to become an ordained monk and receive the ancient Jieba at Shaolin Temple in 2007;
  • Shi Yande is a master of martial arts, Chan tea, calligraphy, and traditional musical instruments such as Guqin and Bamboo Flute;
  • Shi Yongliao spent years in quiet cultivation in Mount Zhongnan, the home to many Chinese Masters. He is currently with the Shaolin Chan Meditation Hall;
  • Shi Yanyong has cultivated in renowned mountains including Mount Zhongnan, Mount Emei, Mount Song, Mount Hua, Mount Wudang, and Mount Yunju. He placed first in the 2009 Shaolin Chan debate;
  • Shi Yanyi is an expert in Shaolin's traditional Chinese medical sciences, especially in the use of acupuncture and massage. He has also published books on orthopedics and healing;
  • Moderator Shi Yanli is vice president of the Shaolin Association and is dedicated to introducing real Buddhism to Americans. He also serves in a leadership capacity with the Los Angeles Shaolin Cultural Center.

The second panel, "Zen, Power of the Mind and Martial Arts," features martial arts and entertainment professionals, noted authors and a respected psychologist.

  • Mark Dacascos, actor and martial artist. Multiple Karate and Kung Fu champion. Known for his roles in The Crow, Iron Chef, Hawaii Five-O, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Wing Commander;
  • Lucia Rijiker, world champion kick boxer and the first female inducted into the international World Boxing Hall of Fame;
  • Writer Matthew Polly, author of American Shaolin;
  • Gene Ching, associate publisher of Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine and www.KungFuMagazine.com ;
  • Dr. David Rapkin, a clinical and health psychologist and founding director of the Mind-Body Medicine Group in the UCLA Department of Surgery, Head and Neck Division;
  • Moderator Jonathan Blank is an award-winning writer, filmmaker and creative technologist. He has spent 25 years studying high-level martial arts, meditation, Eastern philosophy and esoteric metaphysical practices around the world.

Other 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 and a dialog with Shaolin's Abbot Shi Yongxin, along with a preview of his autobiography.

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.

The event is being produced by the non-profit Shaolin Association of North America in association with the Shaolin Temple of China to enlighten people and generate further support of the Temple's basic philosophy of bringing compassion and health into the world that empower people through non-sectarian practices.

Event sponsors include Orb Media Group, 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 has also continued its unbroken cultural and philanthropic initiatives.

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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