Shaolin kung fu earned its name from the temple where it was first practiced; the Shaolin Temple Monastery. This legendary temple was located in Deng Feng City of the Henan Province in northern China. Many fables and myths have been created over time which have obscured the exact origins of martial art. The Shaolin Temple was originally built as a Buddhist temple around A.D. 377 during the time of the Six dynasties (A.D. 221 -589). During this warring era, the famous Buddhist monk, venerable Da Mo (Bodhidharma), visited India to preach Buddhism. During his years long stay at the temple, he discovered that the monks in the temple were weak and unable to defend themselves. He understood that a physically healthy body was a requirement for the preparation of spiritual enlightenment and so the venerable Da Mo taught them the “Eighteen Lohan Chuan” to stay fit.
Students practice Shaolin Kung fu and its application at the beach park of Japan.
Combination of Practice & Application. After learning how to perform Shaolin Kung Fu patterns correctly, a student must learn how to use them for combat. It is not enough for a student to merely learn the combative functions of Shaolin kung fu patterns. The student must practice the uses many, many times so that they can apply the Shaolin kung fu patterns flawlessly when needed. This can be realized through combination practice. Here, two or more students practice together using various techniques of attack and counters in order to make the students remember the movements and combinations well. The attacks and defense techniques are logically arranged to form a Combination Set.
The practice and application of Shaolin kung fu are guided by general as well as specific principles. If we understand the underlying principles thoroughly, we can not only perform Shaolin Kung Fu with insight, but also achieve better results with less time and effort. Knowing the principles often makes the difference between the novice (no matter how long he may have practiced the art) and the master. Their knowledge of Shaolin Kung Fu principles will enable the master to view with perception and appreciation any form of martial arts he sees, although he may not have learned it before. Most martial arts in the world are influenced in one way or another by Shaolin Kung Fu and all those different martial arts are found in Shaolin Kung Fu.
Shaolin kung fu requires great finesse and is the most profound martial art in the world. Its depth is not only in its uncountable defense techniques, but more importantly, in its inner meaning-the training of jing qi sheng, Essence, Mind-power and Intrinsic Energy