Slow down, sensei. Journey to Shaolin might sound like a forgotten Bruce Lee flick or possible inspiration for an upcoming Wu-Tang Clan album, but attendees at todays martial arts play should expect a healthy balance of art and culture amid the flying fists. The play is being put on by Heroes Unite, a nonprofit organization that caters to at-risk children, and Kung Fu Connection, a traditional Chinese art school co-owned by event organizer Alice Billman. The plot finds four children heading out to discover an ancient temple. Along the way they encounter the five animals featured in the Shaolin style of Kung Fu. Its kind of like The Wizard of Oz goes to China. They also meet Quan-Yin, and theres a tai chi scene for the internal arts. Then theres a big war scene where our high-skill teenagers can show off their talents, Billman adds. The play takes place today at the Byron Carlyle Theater, (500 71st St., Miami Beach). Tickets cost $12. Call 305-895-8326, or visit www.heroesunite.org.
For real roundhouse kicking and high-flying martial arts action, head to the Pharmed Arena at Florida International University, (11200 SW Eighth St., Miami) for todays USA Taekwondo National Qualifiers. The event takes place from May 25 through today. Call 305-818-7188 ext. 1002, or visit www.miamisports.org.