A Chinese martial arts school has introduced a new twist to a classic sport, opening a football academy which will combine Shoalin kung fu with football in a bid to produce more skilled footballers in China just like in the 2001 Chinese movie Shaolin Soccer which was a huge success back then for the Chinese film industry.
Tens of thousands of young Shaolin students train at the historic Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School in Dengfeng, China, every year. This year the training takes on a different nature as the school puts 100 of its best students into a government-backed academy that will combine Shaolin kung fu training with football coaching.
The goal is to develop better footballers on a national level by training students who are already physically and mentally adept through the school’s kung fu training.
Zhang Wenshen, the director of the government sports bureau in Henan, said, “this is a bold attempt by the province to bring Shaolin kung fu into soccer to deepen football reform and promote the Chinese martial art.”
The new academy has three senior football coaches responsible for training the young athletes as well as other coaches.
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