My Shaolin Lifestyle

Being a Shaolin hero makes life incredible and rewarding every day.

When I was about ten years old I was camping with a friend of mine, David D.  His dad was a military spy and shared some of his stories with his son David, who shared them with me.  One of my favorites was his dad’s stories about Praying Mantis Kung Fu.  Little did I imagine that I would ever discover it, then learn it… and now be teaching it.

Rich Connor of Shaolin Digital
Singing Webmaster of Shaolin Digital

In 1980 I was engaged to Rita Wolf and realized that as a performing musician I was relying on my roadies to be my bodyguards.  When we played the Chinatown nightclubs in the 1970s we were assaulted by the Chinese gangs and had to rely on our roadies like Don J. to rescue us.

So in 1980, engaged to be married… I realized I needed to be able to protect my wife.  I’d gotten good at talking my way out of fights, but somehow I needed more confidence that I could protect my family.  Because of the David Carradine KUNG FU television series: I loved Shaolin Kung Fu, but never thought I’d have the opportunity to learn it.  I appreciated Shaolin Kung Fu for its spiritual foundation as opposed to all other martial arts that evolved from cages and caves.

Richard Del Connor is Buddha Zhen



Chinese signature chop of Zhen Shen-Lang, Spirit Wolf of Truth.
Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang

After five years of Shaolin Kung Fu training I had learned all the physical martial arts of Shaolin.  I knew all the Beginner Level forms of Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan.  I learned the Intermediate Level forms of Shaolin and the Intermediate Level weapons of staff, single sabre, double sabres, and short weapons.  I learned the Advanced Level forms of Shaolin Kung Fu which also include the Northern Praying Mantis forms and Advanced Level weapons of spear, straight sword, double tiger hood swords, 9-section whip chain, and halberds.  I also learned the Instructor Level Qin Na, Strategy Theories, Dim Mak (“Death Touch”), and Shaolin Monk Spade.  I have good calligraphy so Grandmaster Kam Yuen had me hand write the lists of forms and weapons taught at the Tai Mantis Federation.  If you remember those lists on the walls–I wrote them.  Then I learned all those weapons and Forms from several Shifu at Tai Mantis including Dr. Kam Yuen.

However, when I enrolled in UCLA in 1984 as I was graduating Tai Mantis Federation, I realized that there was a spiritual void that my Shaolin Kung Fu had not filled.  That’s because all Shaolin Monks would learn their Buddhism before they learned their Kung Fu.  So very few people who have been trained in the physical jumping around Shaolin style have a Buddhism foundation for their Shaolin Kung Fu.  That also means they are unable to teach the Buddhism of the Shaolin Temple.  So here in America, and perhaps in China, very few people who have spent 20 years mastering the punches and kicks of Shaolin have mastered the Buddhism and psychology of Shaolin Zen Buddhism which is meant to be a balance of Buddhist wisdom and Shaolin Kung Fu.  All good Chinese Buddhists have also been influenced by the wisdom of Taoism, so many Taoist beliefs are in Buddhism.  But don’t worry, in Shaolin Chi Mantis our Tai Chi Program, which was originally created in a Taoist Temple, includes Taoist philosophy and Confucian knowledge..

It is the combination of Buddhism / Taoism / Confucianism that develops peace of mind and social skills in our students and disciples.

It is the combination of Shaolin Kung Fu / Tai Chi Chuan / Praying Mantis Kung Fu that develops the self-awareness, self-esteem and self-discipline that enables our disciples to succeed in any future they pursue.

I love Shaolin Kung Fu!


Feedback & Reviews

Comments from students of Shaolin Chi Mantis, Buddha Kung Fu, Tai Chi Youth, Tai Chi Kids, and Shaolin Chinese Yoga programs.

“My WuShu instructors didn’t teach me how to understand what I was doing.”


Danielle S.

Shaolin Chi Mantis student

” The Kung Fu Bootcamp was the most fun we’ve ever had as a family together.”


Mom, Dad and Two Teens

Buddha Kung Fu student

“Tai Chi Youth gave me a family when I was going through difficult times.”


Jerold S.

Tai Chi Youth student

How do you get started?

 ALL STUDENTS must obtain a physical printed-out notebook 3-ring binder to put all your notes and paperwork in.  

So follow the steps below and get your uniform and SCM Student Notebook with the Tai Chi Beginner book included.  See the “CHECKLISTS” below for product and information links.


I’ve got a SIGN-UP CHECKLIST.  I will move it here.

Student Final CHECKLIST

I made this for the Buddha Kung Fu schools.  I will create a new one for here.


I will rewrite the release forms and other startup requirements.

Need advice?

I will create an FAQ page for here real soon.

If, after reviewing the FAQs… you still have questions or concerns about joining Shaolin Chi Mantis:  send us your questions.  

LOGO: Shaolin Chi Mantis Kung Fu and Tai Chi

Shaolin Chi Mantis Traditional Buddhist Gongfu and Taijiquan

Shaolin Chi Mantis Traditional Buddhist Gongfu and Taijiquan  was created to preserve and maintain the Shaolin Kung Fu and Shaolin Zen Buddhism learned and developed by Richard Del Connor from 1980 to 1992. Richard Del Connor / Buddha Zhen Shen-Lang “Spirit Wolf of Truth” continued to develop and add physical / intellectual / spiritual knowledge and weave it into the martial arts curriculum of Shaolin Chi Mantis to share this wisdom with as many students as possible.

Shaolin Chi Mantis is probably the most difficult martial art system in the world because it is a balance of intellectual and spiritual information blended together with the physical lessons of Shaolin Kung Fu.  Since most Karate classes do not include spiritual, philosophical, scientific, and historical lessons each class… SCM is much more difficult that any Karate system.  You can get a Black Belt in almost any Karate school in one year; but it requires at least seven years to learn the lessons of Shaolin Chi Mantis.

Shaolin Kung Fu makes life better, but it is not easier. Shaolin Kung Fu adds work to your life.  By challenging your body your mind gets stronger.  By challenging your mind your spiritual potential grows.  With all three of these parts of you: body-mind-spirit  in constant development your life is a constant adventure and rewarding journey.