Girl power: bending the gender rules

There’s a new rule at the Shaolin Epo Wushu College: girls are allowed to attend as well. But this isn’t just any school: not only do they have to pass their exams with flying colors, they also have to follow a very strict Kung Fu training schedule.

The school gives children a chance to learn as well. There are about 8,000 students, some as young as 3. At first the school only allowed boys, but now it allows girls as well. Shaolin Epo schoolgirls have no time to sip tea and play with dolls though. Instead, they train with fists, swords, daggers, and other weapons everyday. The girls are treated the same as the boys, everyone lives in the same Spartan conditions. Many students live in the same room, meals are very modest, and there’s only one parental visit a week. Girls and boys alike have to toughen up and focus on their goal of becoming a skilled warrior.

Life in the school can be hard, but these girls fight just as well as the boys. The bar is set very high and there are no exceptions for those who fall behind. Nevertheless, despite the hurdles along the way and the unrelenting schedule, every girl soldiers on determined to make her parents, teachers, and country proud.

I love that girls are being given the same chances as boys. Gender equality makes me happy. Anything you can do I can do better. Did you know that I trained in Praying Mantis Kung Fu for 6 years? I recently left my school but plan on finding a new school after I run the Chicago Marathon. I feel like Kung Fu teaches so much more than just how to defend yourself.

Watch the documentary below and let me know what you think about it. Have you practiced martial arts? If so, which type? Would you send your kid to this school? Or if you’re like me, would you attend this school?