TELLURIDE – “I grew up watching David Carradine in Kung Fu on TV,” said Meditation Summit organizer Eric Nepsky. The longtime director of the Telluride Karate Studio and second-degree black belt continued, “I always thought, wouldn’t it be cool to have teachers like that. And now we have the rare opportunity to study with a Kung Fu master here in Telluride.”
The Meditation Summit will bring two of Nepsky’s heroes to town for a four day martial-arts and meditation “camp” August 14-17, co-sponsored by South Coast Martial Arts in Costa Mesa, Calif. “There will be 6-8 hours of available practice each day,” Nepsky said, “all for $165. More than 20 hours of instruction with Chinese masters. It works out to less than $8 an hour.” Much of the course work will be conducted outdoors in the Bear Creek Preserve.
Nepsky himself will teach the sections on the history of meditation. “These will offer college credit, in philosophy, from Mesa State College and the University Centers of the San Miguel. I’ll be teaching an introduction to all the different traditions that originated at the Shaolin Temple in China, the birthplace of Zen.” These include: Zen, Tai Chi, Kung Fu and Chi Kung. (David Carradine’s “Grasshopper” character was a Shaolin warrior monk.)
Shaolin figures in the biographies of Nepsky’s two co-instructors, as well. The first is D.Y. Sao, who has had a long career in action-film choreography and stunts. He worked as an actor in Rush Hour 3 with Jackie Chan and on the History Channel series Art of War. He performed onstage in Tina Turner’s 2008 tour as one of “Tina’s Ninjas.” Most recently, he was fight coordinator on the film Kungfused.
Sao works at the Southern California school with Nepsky’s other co-leader, Philip Sahagun, a martial arts prodigy, who at the age of 19 won the K-STAR Chinese Global Martial Arts competition in front of 200 million Chinese television viewers. The Shaolin Temple was a co-sponsor of the competition and selected Sahagun, according to Nepsky, “to be their representative as a monk-teacher” in North America. You can see a video of that competition, in which the 6’ tall Sahagun towers over the other finalists, all of whom were Chinese. The video is on YouTube: type in kungfustarglobalmarshalartscompetition.
Sahagun, who is 24 now, met Nepsky (although he doesn’t remember it) when he was 8 years old, attending a karate demonstration. “Mr. Nepsky comes from the same [karate] lineage as my father,” Sahagun told The Watch. “I’m third generation. We both come out of the Ed Parker lineage of American Kenpo karate style.”
Sahagun followed up his dramatic victory in China with study at the Shaolin Temple. He is a seven-time U.S. national karate champion and was a U.S. team member in 2007 on the Jackie Chan show, “Disciple,” which sought a worthy successor to Chan’s martial arts empire.
Registration for the Meditation Summit is at: southcoastmartialarts.com or by calling 714/545-5759.