Action creates wisdom. Wisdom creates peace. We take action .
HOW I BEGAN
My name is Wang Bo. I was born in a traditional farming village in the Shandong province of China. My parents were farmers, and I am the youngest of three. My parents had to work hard every day to provide for us, but they were always loving and kind. I started practicing Baji Kung Fu with my father when I was three, and it became my favorite thing to do. He could see that I loved it, and when I was 5 years old, my father sold a large part of our farm in order to send me and my brother to a special Kung Fu school in the city, 50 miles away from our village.
I was born and raised in this house until I was 8 years old
My second home - the Shaolin Temple, which changed my life forever
A SHAOLIN STORY
Millions have dreamed of training at the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of martial arts. I was among the fortunate ones, chosen at the age of 8 to live and train in the Shaolin Temple. When I was accepted, I got so excited that I passed out and fell face-down on a table. Today, I still have a scar on my forehead - it will always be a reminder of how happy I was that day.
Life in the temple was very hard, but I was peaceful and content. Even through the blood, sweat, and tears, it was a happy time of learning and brotherhood. Since ancient times, daily life in the Shaolin temple has included the study and practice of Buddhism, meditation, learning about herbal medicines, Qigong, and kung fu. We also took care of the temple - cleaning the buildings and grounds and working in the gardens.
Each day began at 5am, chanting and praying for an hour and a half. Morning chanting is about praying for peace, enlightenment and to purify our spirits. The food we ate at the temple was vegetarian - all based on vegetables and herbs that grew in our gardens and around the Shaolin Temple. We had our own center for herbal medicine, and we would gather wild Reishi mushrooms, teas, and other herbs in the nearby mountains. Hunting for herbs and cleaning the temple were actually the most fun times at the Temple for us because we had a little time to play together.
We were required to train for eight hours every day; we had no weekends off. We trained in the sun and snow; no matter how hot or cold it was, the training never stopped. Once, when I was still very young, we were training on Shaoshi mountain. I was tired and moving slowly, and I got left behind by the group. I was lost, scared, and hungry, and I didn’t find my way back to the temple until after dark. My master was waiting in front of the temple, but all he said to me was, “Getting lost is part of training.” Then he turned and walked away. At that moment, I hated him, and I couldn’t hold back my tears. That was the first time I learned that crying is not something we can control.
In the evening, we had Buddhism and meditation classes. After a long day of training, we were all tired and restless, and this was when we would get into trouble - falling asleep while reading sutras, talking during class, teasing each other while meditating. But our masters were strict. On the average day, I would get whacked by the teachers around six times, but that’s not too bad - some boys got whacked more than 10 times.
When I was nine years old, I was chosen to be part of the Shaolin Temple's ambassador team. I had the opportunity to travel to over 45 countries to promote Buddhism and Shaolin Kung Fu and to meet people like Queen Elizabeth II of England, the Russian President Putin, and King Juan Carlos I of Spain.
Henry Kissinger, US 56th Secretary of State
Russian President Vladimir Putin
King Juan Carlos I of Spain
Queen Elizabeth II of England
In 2008, I decided to move to Los Angeles. It was a huge struggle for me. I had to learn how to survive in the city without money. I slept in the park, fought with surfers over their turf, and I didn’t have enough to eat. During that time, I experienced what it is to be really lost and helpless. When I thought of giving up, my master’s words came back to me: “Getting lost is part of training.” I found courage through the words I had hated so much back then. I decided to work hard to survive, and I did. I opened my first Kung Fu studio in 2010, and four years later, I opened my second studio. I had the opportunity to meet so many great friends and students. In 2015, I sold my studios and decided to build a center online where I could reach many more people. This website is my online temple where I want to share Buddhism, herbal medicines, and all other Shaolin practices. Connect with me here and on all my channels.
Over the years, I have been so fortunate. I was featured on the cover of Black Belt Magazine twice, as well as in the Wall Street Journal, Yoga Journal, and South Bay Magazine. I was inspired by my history to create a new type of practice called Hungrymonk Yoga, which incorporates Kung Fu and Tai Chi into a new type of yoga. And I am now bringing herbal remedies from the Shaolin Temple to the US for the first time.