The wheel of life

Posted by Craig Grobler on Google+ On Monday, November 06, 2006

Yesterday I got to see the Shaolin Wheel of Life at the Peacock theatre. It was their last UK performance of the Wheel of Life. So no fireworks for me, last night was Bonfire night/Guy Fawkes - “remember, remember the 5th of November“. Wow!! The Shaolin Monks are a troupe of about 30 martial art monks, ranging in age from young kids through to veteran masters.

They demonstrate their physical skill and mental discipline through various feats of strength, agility and endurance all performed to a thin storyline. The physical side of the show is made up of demonstrating fighting skills with a wide variety of weapons; staff, broadswords, shields, whips, long staffs, etc. They demonstrate various Kung Fu styles such as; crane, monkey, Shaolin Mantis Fist, Cha Style, drunken master and frog style. (These are just the styles I could recognise.) This is interspersed with incredible feats of physical endurance and manipulation of their Chi or Ki.

In the early years, immediately following the founding of the Shaolin Temple in 495 A.D. in Henan Province, the first soldier monks created a set of fighting actions -- the original Kung Fu -- that utilized all parts of their bodies. These actions were initially a means of daily exercise. They were later combined with the use of various weapons, made from simple farming tools, and developed into a form of meditation.

The Shaolin monks have experienced a turbulent history. During the past 1,500 years, they have been called upon many times to defend both their country and their temple from a succession of warlords and foreign invaders. Their involvement in these campaigns further developed what has become known as Shaolin Kung Fu. - Public Broadcasting Service (

The premise of all the action is discovered in the exciting story of the Shaolin Monks' early struggle to establish and protect their Temple. The performance is an illustration and celebration of their history, their religion and their tremendous physical skill. The story is told in three parts and reveals itself as follows:

The Invitation
A troupe of Shaolin Monks are invited by the Emperor to his palace. The Emperor, impressed by the Monks' skills, asks them to protect his palace from an invading force. A fierce battle then takes place from which the Monks emerge triumphant.

The Threat
When the Monks decline the Emperor's subsequent invitation to serve him permanently at court, he feels threatened by their superior 'Shaolin force'.

The Survival
He then attempts to slaughter the Monks and out of this tragic scene, five children, now celebrated as the 'Five Ancestors' survive and continue to spread Zen Buddhism and the art of Shaolin Kung Fu throughout the land.

Once I understood that this was no Las Vegas honed performance troupe, but rather a bunch of Shaolin Monks expressing their skill and discipline. I appreciated what was happening before my eyes. You know its real when the troupe gather in the wings (unseen by the bulk of the audience) to watch members perform difficult stunts. bits.

Some points throughout the show they made the physical marvelery seem so easy and natural that I almost forgot that these were performers that had been training from a very young age to allow their bodies to be able to do this.

It would be hard to pick out a best bit of the show but a particular highlight was being able to observe one of the young monks performed the Frog style. He was brilliant . If you get the chance catch them in action.


Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

On the RADAR


I really enjoyed Johannes Roberts' gripping & taut shark attack thrill ride 47 Metres Down - FILM REVIEW

Christopher Nolan & Emma Thomas introduce their modern classic DUNKIRK and answer some questions about DUNKIRK - EVENT REPORT

The Game of Thrones: Touring Exhibition is coming to London - UPCOMING EXHIBITION

I visit the BT Tower for the riveting Fear The Walking Dead Season 3 pre-premiere launch - EVENT REPORT

In Cinemas this week


The 2017 EE BAFTA Nominations announced

Matthew McConaughey introduces GOLD and tells us a little bit about the film

xXx: Return of Xander Cage European Premiere EVENT REPORT
Richard Kelly talks the Making of Donnie Darko
Alex Zane Presents the FDA Autumn/Winter Film Preview & chats with Tom Conti
The Light Between The Oceans Press Conference
De Palma Review
Prop Store Auction Preview Exhibition
Idris Elba suprises us at Star Trek Beyond
The Nice Guys Surprise Us
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
10 Criminally underrated British Crime Films you probably haven't seen yet
Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile
In discussion the making of Triple 9
Deadpool Film Review
Quentin Tarantino talks The Hateful Eight
Star Wars Visions Exhibition Tokyo
SalonQP 2015 Preview
The Rogues Gallery Creation of a Super Villian Book Launch
Legend Press Conference
SPECTRE all the news
No Escape Review
Ant-Man Euoropean Press Conference
Batman: Arkham Knight Cape & Cowl Exhibition London
Ant-Man Willard Wigan Micro Exhibition
Unheard James Bond Themes
Peyton Reed & Paul Rudd introduce Marvel's Ant-Man
Knight of Cups Trailer Breakdown

Latest Film & TV News

Latest reviews:

Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Review
Triple 9 Review
Deadpool Film Review
The Hateful Eight Review
Legend Review
No Escape Review
Mr. Holmes Review
The Grandmaster Review
Dawn of The Planet of The Apes Review
The Drop Film Review
300: Rise of an Empire
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

Craig Says...


Legend of the East End Exhibition

135 Bethnal Green Rd,E2,
28 Aug - 11 Sep 2015
the alibi film club

The Alibi Cult Film Club

The Alibi ,Dalston, E8 2PB
Every Mon

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London The Making of Harry Potter

Harry Potter Tour

WB Studios, Leavesden
April 2014+

Bond in Motion Exhibition

Bond in Motion at London Film Museum

Bond in Motion London

London Film Museum
21 March 2014+

TheEstShot Listening To:

Craig's Awesome Mix