(Words: about 290; Time: 3.5 minutes)
Five hundred martial arts students from the United States, on a pilgrimage （朝圣之旅） to the birthplace of Chinese kung fu, arrived at the famed Shaolin Temple in Henan Province on July 4th.
The Americans showed off their skills in front of Shaolin Temple abbot （方丈）, Shi Yongxin, by performing knife wielding （挥舞）, snake boxing and self-defense skills. Eighteen kung fu masters from the temple also gave them instruction “The pilgrimage will teach you the traditional oriental lifestyle, etiquette and culture and enhance your understanding in kung fu,” said the abbot. He encouraged the Americans to integrate the traditional oriental culture with the modern culture of the US and contribute to peace and happiness of all human beings.
The abbot praised Yandeng (Charles Mattera) and Yandi(Stephen Demasco), two US kung fu masters who received their monastic （僧侣的） names when they converted （转而信仰） to Buddhism in 2002.
Yandeng noted that his group had arrived at Shaolin Temple on American Independence Day which celebrates the founding of the US 230 years ago. “I’m happy to celebrate this historical day for Americans at the temple that is the root of kung fu. Martial arts has brought our two nations together and I hope we can live in peace forever,” said Yandeng.
Established about 1,500 years ago in central China’s Henan Province, the Shaolin temple is famed for combining martial arts with Zen Buddhism and features instruction on how to purify the mind.
The Americans, who are between the ages of 5 and 62, come from 30 US states. They will be trained at the Shaolin Temple for three days. They are students of the United Studios of Self Defense, a franchise kung fu training center that has studios in 46 US states.
enhance v. to improve the quality, amount or strength of something 增强
integrate v. to make into a whole by bringing all parts together; unify 使成为一体
franchise n. a professional sports team 职业运动队