Shi Xing Xue

32nd generation Shaolin Temple monk

The following text and photos have been submitted by Björn Javefors, of the Shaolin Si Wushu Guan Association in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Shi Xing Xue is a fighting monk master of the 32nd generation. The personal part of his name, "Xue", means "to learn". He was born in 1970 by the name Fan Jinxue, into a poor family that lived in a small village by themselves in the Henan province. At the age of 10, his father sent him to the Shaolin temple so that he could live a life free from the constant harassment of the larger and more important neighboring families. The harassment was also one of the reasons why Shi Xing Xue wanted to learn Gong Fu. At the temple Shi Xing Xue had several masters/teachers, most important among them where Shi Su Yun and Shi De Ding (Jiao Hong Bo, now retired from monk life and working as deputy chief of the Wushu Guan at Shaolin).

Shi Xing Xue finally chose to become a monk due to his personal beliefs. In Chinese the word "monk" consists of two characters: "He" which means to be kind, gentle and harmonious, and "Shang" which means great moral. The life of a monk, he says, is a to set out for a higher goal - to evolve yourself and help people to understand how to live honestly, ultimately to save every living being from suffering.

Shi Xing Xue explains that being a monk isn't so hard as some people think, but one does not simply become a monk by following certain rules set by Buddhism and the temple. One must also understand the true purpose of these rules and fully agree with them. If this kind of life agrees with you then it isn't so difficult. One should not become a monk however, if the rules feel like a heavy burden.

During his martial training Shi Xing Xue has mastered several aspects of Shaolin Wushu, and currently teaches Shaolin Gong Fu, San Da, Chen style Tai Ji as well as various forms of Qi Gong. His feels that he is best in San Da, health Qi Gong, and hard Qi Gong exercises such as the Iron Shirt.

That competitions are an important part of learning Wushu is something that he agrees with. In participating in a competition one can learn one's limits, and how to improve them. He recalls the first time he competed in San Da. He says he was very nervous and thought that he might win just by hitting faster. He made 3rd place, but felt he could do better. Since then he has competed at different levels, including several national competitions in China, where he has been awarded for 1st place in San Da, 1st place in long weapons Gong Fu, and 2nd place for bare hand forms.

In 1988 China opened up. The training facility commonly known as the Wushu Guan was built with government funding and became a center for foreign students. Shi Xing Xue was given the position as an instructor at the Wushu Guan alongside Shi De Cheng and several others, and in this line of work he has traveled to over 30 countries world wide, both as an instructor, as member of Shaolin monk exhibition tours, and as part of cultural exchange projects. He has exchanged experiences with several celebrities (including Jean-Claude van Damme, Jean Frenette and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin) and currently has students in over 20 different countries.

Since 1997 Shi Xing Xue has been in Sweden teaching Shaolin Wushu. During the autumn '98, the Shaolin Si Wushu Guan Association was founded in Gothenburg. The association is currently the only official Shaolin annex in Scandinavia, and has future plans of maybe inviting yet another monk to Scandinavia and in time expanding to Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo.

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