Camp Director & teacher
Panagopoulos Christos (Shì Yán Shān) was born in 1970 and raised in Athens. With a degree in graphic design from the School of Art Studies of Athens Technological Educational Institute he is working since 2002 as a freelancer graphic designer. His parallel interest in martial arts brought him from an early age in contact with various types of martial arts such as boxing, Tai Chi, Aikido, Wing Chun and others. In 2006 his love and perseverance for the "authentic" led him to China to accept direct knowledge from its source at the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of the famous Shaolin Kung Fu and the Zen philosophy (Chán in Chinese). Since then every year with the help of his teacher Shì Yán Yè, 34th generation warrior monk of Shaolin Temple, he makes a hard and difficult journey in search of the paths that keep alive the tradition and knowledge of techniques maintained from generation to generation for centuries in China that lead to mental balance, physical well-being and longevity.
After a long training cycle in 2007 he officially took the title of "Shaolin Cosmic Apostle" by the teacher Shì Héng Jūn of the Fawang temple school along with all legally certified documents attesting to his responsibility as a teacher of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu. The same year he founded in the city of Corinth the Traditional Shaolin and Tai Chi School "Source of Young Forest" maintained as today.
Although his involvement with Tai Chi started in the early 90s, in 2011 he began training at the birthplace of Chen style Tai Chi, the village Chén Jiā Gōu with the teacher Wáng Zhàn Guó, nephew of Wáng Xī'ān one of the 4 greatest Tai Chi masters of China.
In 2013 he officially comes under the pedigree (34th generation) of warrior monks of the Shaolin Temple with the name Shì Yán Shān (释 延 山) given to him by the abbot of the Shaolin Temple, venerable master Shì Yǒngxìn, along with the relevant official document - a certificate as successor of the tradition of the Shaolin culture.
In 2014 he began training at the "Shaolin Wú Gǔ Lún Kung fu Academy" under the supervision of master Wú Nán Fāng, in the old training system of Shaolin Kung Fu known as "Xīn Yì Bǎ" or else "union of heart and mind". Combining the "soft with the powerful" it’s characterized as the epitome of internal cultivation with physical exercise as the expression of "Zen”.
Christos Panagopoulos is certified coach from the Greek Federation of Self-Defense (E.O.A.) and holds a coach diploma from the Greek Federation of Martial Arts. He is the author of the book "The Temple of Young Forest - The Story of Shaolin Kung Fu" with ISBN 978-618-81022-0-0 and the design and editing manager of the websites www.taiji.com.gr
. He also writes in blog.saolin.gr
and in the "Panhellenic Martial Arts Guide" magazine (polemikes-tehnes.gr).