Born Richard Del Connor in San Diego, California, February 4, 1954. Buddha Zhen was chosen to be a MENSA student while a straight-A student of Marvin Elementary School.
He was given special privileges in elementary school. He was a patrol boy, boy scout, 1st Chair trombone, and got to be on television debates against school teachers.
Then he became a teenager. The stories of Buddha Zhen's teen and rock star years can be found in the Buddha Kung Fu Student Manual. We put plenty of his dirty laundry in here--so his students won't be surprised when they find out.
He was in the musician's union, laborer's union, carpenter's union, newspaper guild, and was a delegate to the AFL-CIO where he served on several committees.
He attended UCLA and graduated the Motion Picture Program in 1987. Richard first attended the White Lotus System of Douglas Wong before enrolling and graduating from Tai Mantis Federation school in Torrance California 1984. In 1992 Sifu Richard O'Connor formed Shaolin Chi Mantis traditional Buddhist Gongfu and was named, "Zhen Shen-Lang" the "Spirit Wolf of Truth" by the Chen Family from China. The Chinese referred to him as, "Zhen Shifu." Americans called him, "Master Zhen."
Buddha Zhen's move to Utah was inspired by his girlfriend-booking agent when he was performing under name of, "The Coyote,"in Los Angeles, California. This story is detailed in his music albums by his folk rock band, AMERICAN ZEN. Visit www.CoyoteRadio.NET for dozens of podcast radio shows that tell and explain his hardships and Mr. Mom years in Utah.
In 1996, Buddha Zhen founded the Tai Chi Youth nonprofit organization which received funding from many donors including the NEA National Endowment for the Arts.
Buddha Zhen relocated back to California in 2000, but a black widow crawled up his pant leg and stung him repeatedly. With swollen feet that engulfed his toes and a weakened heart from the spider's poison, Buddha Zhen kept up his daily Kung Fu and in 2007 realized he had completely rehabilitated not only his weakened condition from the black widow spider bite, but also an injured lower back. He had also accomplished what everyone thought was impossible after ripping the tendons of both shoulders making it impossible to lift his arms over his head for several months. Buddha Zhen is back with his double sabres and monk spade claiming to be in the best shape of his entire life.
2006-2009, Buddha Zhen teaches Tai Chi Kids classes, Senior Tai Chi classes, Beginner and Intermediate Tai Chi classes at the local YMCA's of Tujunga California, as well as his Shaolin Staff classes at CV Park.
2008 was the launch of BUDDHA KUNG FU. This new Kung Fu school is the compromise between TAI CHI YOUTH and SHAOLIN CHI MANTIS. It has enough weapons and Kung Fu to make a Kung Fu Master, but isn't as hard to earn as from Shaolin Chi Mantis.
Visit www.BuddhaKungFu.com for classes, books, clothing and current events of Buddha Zhen.