A farewell ceremony is held for students of the year 2020 who join the army, Shaolin Yanlu Martial Arts School, Henan Province.
The Shaolin Yanlu Martial Arts School in Henan Province recently held a farewell ceremony for students of the year 2020 who were enlisted. Twenty-eight kung fu students have been enrolled by the special forces and will join the PLA marines, armed police, and army special forces. Over 10,000 students at the school came to see off the future soldiers.
Zha Xi, a Tibetan boy who has been studying at the martial arts school for six years. He applied soon after the military recruitment began this year and passed rigorous tests to become a new special forces soldier. Zha Xi’s mother, grandma and uncle came all the way from the hometown in Aba Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous prefecture, Sichuan Province, to see him off.
In recent years, many Shaolin kung fu students have joined the military. For example, Corporal Chen Longfei, a kungfu master assigned to a special forces reserve team under Ningxia Armed Police Contingent, who used to be a student from Tagou Martial Arts School in Henan.
During the military training, Cpl. Chen made use of his own experiences to explain the essentials of capturing the enemy to his teammates, and was affectionately called the "Prince of Kung Fu". During a 300m obstacle sprint, he noticed that a teammate was in an imminent peril of falling from the aerial ladder. Cpl. Chen reacted intuitively, dashed to his back within 0.1 second, and saved him from getting wounded.
Pfc. Yang Shiyu demonstrates martial arts movements.
Scars on the calf, callus on the palm, and dark skin are the marks of Cpl. Chen’s growth, who finally ranked second in the phase-one assessment. “My father used to be an armed police soldier. Being here for the training, I’m determined to make new progress, hone my skills, and become an excellent special forces member,” said he.
Yang Shiyu, a private first class assigned to a special forces brigade of the 71st Group Army under the PLA Eastern Theater Command, is a student from Songshan Shaolin Temple Martial Arts School. He began to learn kungfu from the age of 9 and had won second prize at a 48kg free combat match in Dengfeng by defeating more than 30 rivals when he was 15 years old.
Pfc. Yang Shiyu applied to join the army in 2016, but was rejected because of overweight. After one-year fitness training at the reserve forces, he was finally enlisted and realized his military dream.
The 1.67m-tall boy trained very hard with a strong will. During a fighting competition of the Army “King of Special Forces” contest in 2018, his nose was broken with blood all over his face, but he never thought of giving up. Instead, he stood up from the ground time and time again despite a swoon, bruises, and bone injuries, and eventually won the championship. Pfc. Yang has been honored as “Excellent Compulsory Serviceman”, “Outstanding Soldier of the Group Army” and other titles, and has won a second-class merit citation.
Cpl. Chen Longfei and his comrades are in combat training.