Shaolin Monks – Chinese State Circus

The Shaolin Monks practice the martial art that is now called Shaolin Kung Fu. They may now perform with the Chinese State Circus, but they are Chan Buddhists and martial arts experts trained in the use of 36 weapons and other fighting techniques. The Shaolin Temple was built in 495AD in the Henan Province China.

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5 Replies to “Shaolin Monks – Chinese State Circus”

  1. Hi Richard, I love this part of your coursework. I think you have captured it brilliantly. I wouldn’t worry too much about the noise or the shake as in this series they are definitely adding to the mood and ambience greatly. The It reminds me of the part of the coursebook that says, visual blur and grain can sometimes add to your images and I think its work very effectively in your photographs. The energy of the images and the intensity of their faces is coming out so beautifully in this set. you really should be just proud of this and forget to worry about the noise. To me, I wouldn’t like it any other way. Again, the usage of red light adds to the mood. Here displaying an extremely dynamic action-packed series. Also in some way, adding the element of danger or warning.

    I have always admired the intense training that they undergo to achieve great levels of mastery in their art. It also makes me think that this ancient art that was once so revered and was almost a way of life for people who practised it, is displayed in a circus. Does it imply in any way that the changing times are forcing these people to display their skills in a circus as a source of earning money? It is no way demeaning but its just a thought that came to my mind. Maybe if you have researched about it, you might have the answer.

    An explosive series Richard. You should be pleased with this. In a situation like this where you cannot use a flash or use shutter mode as it will make it even more darker, increasing the ISO and using the lowest aperture are the only solutions in my opinion, which you have used quite effectively. It gives it a sense of movement and works better than a complete freeze. I quite enjoyed looking at both your sets. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate your feedback Archna, especially as my confidence in my ability is quite low at the moment.

      The Shaolin Monks were a defensive army/force for over a thousand years, which they are not any more.

      They train for over a decade, from childhood, before they are considered to be Shaolin Monks, and it is a way of life for them.

      By being part of the circus then they have become a cultural representative of China and it’s history and funds do help the monastery to continue.


  2. Their history is amazing. I hadn’t realised how many young people go there to train and how hard the training is. It was wonderful to watch them when we visited there and you’e captured their energy and skill really well.

    Liked by 1 person

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