A special, time-honored tradition within the Chinese arts was celebrated at ShaoLin Center when SiFu Kleppe "adopted" 10 disciples into his martial family. Known as a Bai Si, it literally means "bowing to SiFu" or "becoming a disciple of SiFu." In the West, emphasis is placed on rank or accomplishment, but in China, the highest form of respect is shown by welcoming an individual into the family. Within these bonds, knowledge is shared for lifelong development, and commitment between family members is cemented to the end of time.
The ceremony itself is merely a formalization of the relationship that already exists between SiFu and student. According to SiFu Kleppe:
"It is the responsibility of the SiFu to watch over the progress of all students, or Tou Dai. Over the years he teaches. He also...
My teacher, my father, my friend, passed away this morning.
SiFu Kwong Wing Lam was the one person in my life who had the greatest influence on my personal growth and development. I am who I am today as much as a result of my relationship with SiFu, as any other person or circumstance. It is my belief that many in the world feel the same way. This was SiFu Lam.
31 years and 26 years ago respectively, my mother and father passed away. There is really no way for me to share the loss with others. As the oldest of five, I felt an emptiness, a void, that I could not understand, much less fill. Today, I am experiencing that same void, that same emptiness, that immense loss.
Perhaps more words will come later; for now, "more words count less."
What happens when two students who love each other and traditional Chinese martial arts plan a wedding? They choose a ceremony that honors both passions! ShaoLin Center's very own Matt and Marisa exchanged wedding vows at the studio, while their family and friends shared in the very special day. SiFu Kleppe officiated, and the lions not only accompanied the bride down the aisle, but also blessed the happy couple with three gifts that signify good wishes for a long life together. Congratulations to Matt and Marisa, and thank you for inviting ShaoLin Center to be a part of this amazing event.
Gong Xi Fa Cai... Happy New Year! The Year of the Rooster began with much excitement and celebration, including ShaoLin Center's annual performance for the Moy family and Golden Gate Restaurant. Multiple lions, traditional tricks, firecrackers, and special community guests always combine for an afternoon of culture and fun. Click here to see the story in Waukesha Now!
Blessing a new business is always cause for celebration – especially when the owner is a member of our extended family! Kyle Smith, a longtime Tai Chi Chuan SiHing, invited ShaoLin Center's lion dance team to perform during the grand opening festivities for his practice's new location. We congratulate Kyle, and his partner, Novia, on their beautiful facility, and wish them much luck and prosperity as the practice continues to grow.
Milwaukee is known as the "City of Festivals" – a place where culture is highlighted, honored, and celebrated. For the second year, Asia Fest Milwaukee brought multiple cultures together to give area residents an opportunity to experience and enjoy food and traditions from the Far East. ShaoLin Center proudly represented China through lion dancing and martial arts demonstrations, extending the love and respect we have within our kwoon to the outside community. (Video courtesy of the Xinhua YouTube channel.)
Anime Milwaukee has been a gathering place for people who appreciate the union of art and Asian culture. This year, ShaoLin Center's lion dance team helped kick off the convention with our own union of performance art and Chinese tradition through a special lion dance for attendees. It was a blast – and something we hope will become a tradition of its own in the years to come!
Each year, ShaoLin Center welcomes in the New Year with excitement and tradition. The Year of the Monkey was no different – from lion dances, to student presentations, to martial arts demos, attendees were treated to a number of festivities that reinforced the special nature of the Chinese culture, and an endearing martial family.
ShaoLin Center's lion dance team turned in another blue-ribbon performance at the Waukesha County Fair! Beginning with some spectacular Kung Fu demos outside the Children's Tent, the team then moved through the fairgrounds so spectators everywhere could enjoy the fun and excitement of a traditional Chinese lion dance. Keep your eyes and ears open... you never know where or when you may be treated to one of our performances.
ShaoLin Center was proud to share traditional Chinese customs during Asia Fest of Milwaukee's opening ceremony! Alongside representatives from other Asian cultures, ShaoLin Center's lion dance team welcomed festival goers as they celebrated the history and traditions of many Eastern countries, and enjoyed the variety of sights, sounds, and tastes that were key parts of the cultural experience. Rina Modak, Asia Fest of Milwaukee Coordinator, joined the team for a photo prior to the performance – one that entertained and educated everyone who saw it. Great event... looking forward to next year!