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American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron…
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Growing up a ninety-pound weakling tormented by bullies, Matthew Polly dreamed of one day journeying to the Shaolin Temple in China to become a fighter like in his favorite 1970s TV series, Kung Fu. Later, Matthew decided to pursue this quixotic dream: he dropped out of Princeton to spend two years training with the legendary sect of monks who invented kung fu and Zen Buddhism. Expecting to find an isolated citadel of supernatural ascetics, he instead discovered a tacky tourist trap run by Communist party hacks--but the dedicated monks still trained in the rigorous age-old fighting forms. As Matthew grew in his knowledge of China and kung fu skill, he would come to represent the Temple in challenge matches and international competitions, and ultimately the monks would accept their new American initiate as close to one of their own as any Westerner had ever become.--From publisher description.
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