China / Society

Kung fu recruits find skills well-suited for police work

By Qi Xin in Zhengzhou and Jia Tingting in Guiyang (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-21 07:59

It took nearly a week for Guo Hanghang to change his greeting gesture from baoquan - the traditional Chinese gesture, especially for kung fu practitioners, in which the left open hand rests on the right fist - to giving a salute.

But he said he's glad about the change.

Guo, 26, is one of 48 students from the Shaolin Tagou Martial Arts School in Dengfeng, Henan province, who recently were recruited as trainers for the local police by the government of the Qiannan Buyi and Miao autonomous prefecture in Guizhou province.

Guo said he had planned to become a kung fu teacher after graduation.

"Becoming a policeman is both a happy surprise and a fresh start," he said.

Zhao Zhenzhen, an official at the public security bureau of the Qiannan Buyi and Miao autonomous prefecture, said the local government recruited 10 students from the school in April to work as instructors to train local police officers, especially SWAT team members.

A month later, they recruited 38 more to give routine training, and they might recruit more if necessary, Zhao said.

The instructors will also assist in rescue efforts when natural disasters occur, Zhao added.

Liu Haiqin, president of the Shaolin Tagou school, said there is an increasing demand from the police for such instruction as violent crime and terrorist acts occur more frequently.

Liu said his school teaches students both knowledge and professional skills, which enables them to qualify as police officers. The school has already supplied officer candidates to public security bureaus in the cities of Tianjin and Wuhan as well as in Guizhou province.

The students picked this time are 18 to 28 years old and include 11 women. The selection criteria are strict, with comprehensive evaluation that considers height, daily performance, education background and professional skills, according to Liu.

Liu Haike, vice-chairman and head coach of the Shaolin Tagou Education Group, which governs the school, said the students are very interested in joining the police force.

"Our students usually join the army, become a teacher, go on with study, or work in the police, among which working as a police officer is the most attractive to them," he said.

"We look forward to sending more outstanding students to Qiannan to help maintain safety and peace in the prefecture," Liu Haike added.

Peng Chao contributed to this story.

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