47 Sherwood Court, Lancefield, could be Victoria’s only Shaolin temple inspired home.
EVER wanted to live in your own Shaolin temple?
With a karate dojo, guardian statues at the front gate and even a door from a 400-year-old Chinese monastery, the Wu Lin Retreat has kicked up plenty of interest since hitting the market.
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James Sumarac and wife Shou Mei have devoted their lives to the martial and healing arts of the orient. And it shows. They’ve been living at an utterly unique Shaolin Temple inspired home where they’ve trained people from around the world in karate, tai chi and meditation. Picture: Jay Town
James Sumarac, a Goju Ryu karate expert with 49 years under his 8th dan black belt, as well as martial arts healing training, and his tai chi and meditation teaching wife Shou Mei have run the home at 47 Sherwood Court, Lancefield as a training centre and accommodation space for guests from around the world.
It’s even appeared on Getaway and Coxy’s Big Break.
“The first time people see it they are shocked,” Mr Sumarac said.
“As far as a purpose-built martial arts and healing centre, I don’t think there’s anything like this in Australia or New Zealand.”
Go on. Admit it. You’ve always wanted a dojo. Picture: Jay Town
And there are less physical ways to relax at the property. Picture: Jay Town
The property was hand built and modelled on a Shaolin temple and a Taiwanese village.
It follows feng shui principles — and has a few other traditional aspects, including a pair of Chinese guardian statues at the front gate.
“They are guardians of the property,” Mr Sumarac said.
The first is a subtle warning to think before doing anything bad at the property. The second, with a hand on a sword, is a much less subtle warning.
The property’s tranquil location also helps to keep the peace.
The guardian statues are hidden by a more welcoming garden.
Antique furniture from China, windows and doors, have all been imported.
Their bed was shipped in from Hong Kong and based on those once reserved for Chinese royalty and the exceptionally wealthy — though quite a bit bigger.
Four semi-detached guestrooms accommodate guests, often from overseas and interstate, who want to practice aspects of their martial arts disciplines.
Shou Mei in one of the property’s out buildings. Picture Jay Town
Ancient monastery doors add to the character and the appeal. Picture: Jay Town
“We initially set the place up to operate like a bed and breakfast, and it has that potential, but we don’t really run it that way,” Mr Sumarac said.
Instead they’ve turned it into a popular wellness and martial arts retreat.
“It’s a holistic approach to martial arts with health management and fortifying yourself against disease,” he said.
“It went out of fashion for a while and now people are a lot more informed about traditional and authentic practices.”
The property also follows traditional design.
While the pair are sad to be moving on, they’re ready to downsize.
“You have to come to that realisation that there are different stages of existence and at a point you have to move on,” Mr Sumarac said.
Kennedy and Hunt real estate director Jason Kennedy said the 8ha allotment and the unique home was too difficult to price but had already attracted four prospective buyers.
“Parties looking for something unique as a retreat, meditation (centre) or weekend chill out,” Mr Kennedy said.
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