Buddha Zhen in 1984 was known as Richard O’Connor, while living in Brentwood, California with his fiance, Jennifer Olds. A satellite repairman saw Richard practicing his Tai Chi Chuan and Shaolin Kung Fu in his secluded parking lot where Richard lived. From his vantage point atop the roof he watched Richard for several days. The Satellite Dish repairman-installer began asking questions from above Richard, who was graduating his Kung Fu training at Tai Mantis Federation in Torrance, California.
Although Buddha Zhen was not intending to become a Kung Fu or Tai Chi Chuan instructor, this Satellite Repairman was his first of over 300 students and 30,000 one-time students at seminars and public events.
The instructors of Tai Mantis predicted that Richard would become a good Shifu (“Master Father”) and used him during his years at the Tai Mantis school to initiate the new students and teach them the basic stances, kicks and punches of Chinese martial arts.
In Utah, Richard was hired by the State Governor to teach his Shaolin Chi Mantis Traditional Buddhist Gongfu and Taijiquan at Decker Lake Maximum Security Prison. His students became model prisoners and Richard’s Tai Chi Program was contracted to several other rehabilitation centers and several high schools and the Salt Lake City Continuing Education where his classes included “Chinese Fencing,” “Shaolin Staff,” “Qin Na” (Chinese self-defense), “Yang Tai Chi Chuan,” “Shaolin Kung Fu,” and a Shaolin Chi Mantis DEMO TEAM that performed Utah State Fair and all local Salt Lake City events.
Since 2013 Richard, known to his students as, “Buddha Zhen,” has been teaching classes and private lessons at North Hollywood Park, North Hollywood, California. With students all over the world wanting to continue or begin Shaolin Kung Fu lessons, Buddha Zhen will begin filming classes to become daily lessons for his SHAOLIN CHI MANTIS ONLINE SCHOOL at www.ShaolinInteractive.com. Students can join in and practice and learn the lessons with the videos which must be learned consecutively as if in the actual class location with Buddha Zhen teaching.