Martial Arts Display
Demonstrating the ancient form of qigong (pronounced “chee-gong”), which dates back more than 4,000
years in China, the Shaolin Troupe displays
supernatural strength and unbelievable agility in Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents DRAGONS.
Summoning their inner “qi,” the troupe meditates an hour a day to balance their
energy so that their minds and bodies can focus on performing the unimaginable
for The Greatest Show On Earth®.
the Shaolin Troupe represents the Eastern Dragon tribe that symbolizes wisdom. Children Of All Ages witness several
amazing feats during their performance as these warriors apply powerful
concentration and skill to break wooden and metal poles in one precise strike. Troupe
members also get lifted seven feet into the air on the points of five handheld
spears, balance on top of spinning tridents and use a special Kung Fu animal
discipline to represent several types of animals.
Most of the troupe members have been together for 10
years, presenting this age-old Far East discipline in countries all over the
world, including Germany, France, Russia, Japan and Brazil. The troupe has also
participated in various martial arts matches and has been awarded the
prestigious Praying Mantis Award for their animal discipline at the
International Shaolin Martial Arts Competition.
Graduates of various martial arts schools throughout
China, the Shaolin Troupe members are 18
young men who range in age from 19 to 31 and were recruited by coaches after
they held elite auditions at their schools. As most members of the group,
troupe leader, Sun, knew that he wanted to become a master in Kung Fu at the
young age of 10. He began practicing Shaolin Kung Fu at the age of 15. Sun was
chosen to lead the troupe after he displayed expertise in the art form and extraordinary
competence in leadership..
“Martial arts is a discipline because you need to have
discipline to practice it. To maintain our physical ability and expertise in
the art, we rely on our qi energy and make sure that we practice up to six
hours a day,” explains Sun.
their debut with The Greatest Show On
Earth, the Shaolin Troupe is honored to be a part of a unique edition that
celebrates the diverse characteristics that the dragon symbolizes. To keep
troupe members in good condition and form, the troupe’s personal cook, teacher
and coach are traveling with them.