That the monks of the Shaolin Temple have a secret fighting method isn’t news. Whats news is that the secret is probably pretty easy to figure out.
There is a movie in which a camera crew visits the Shaolin Temple. This is a light tour, with the usual things to see and do format, but with one very interesting, little happening. The occurrence is that a mixed martial arts warrior is seen going up the steps to one of the shaolin temples.
There is a hard smile on his face, and he claims that he is on his way to find out if the monks of shaolin know how to fight for real. Some time later, he is seen returning…and it is obvious that he has just been kicked on his mixed martial beautocks.
If one youtubes a bit, they will come across a boxing match between a martial artist (taekwondo or karate or something) and a shaolin temple monk. In the fight, the monk pretty much slaps aside all attacks, then launches a gorgeous assault. What is interesting is that it is obvious that the monk isn’t really going in for the kill; he is just sparring for the heck of it, without any real malice.
If one examines the records of karate in early Okinawa, there is much mention of training with temple monks in a certain province of China. The method which was studied eventually resulted in the art of Uechi Ryu (Pan Gai Noon in China), and there is some evidence that this martial art was evolved from Bak Mei Kung Fu. This is a direct connection between two significant martial arts.
If one examines the art of Uechi, and that of Bak Mei (White Eyebrow Kung Fu), there are a lot of simple slaps. The specific method is either slaps with the palm or beaks with the backs of the wrist, and in both up and down and sideways directions. If one analyzes these slaps, an entire fighting method can be figured out pretty easily.
Indeed, if one looks at fighting in general, the basic parry is nothing more than a slap. This is a method which could easily be trained in. Simply set up two bags a couple of feet apart and practice striking them with wrist and palm; this actually closely resembles basic iron palm training from the ancient methods of kung fu.
To conclude, there is much loose thought in this article, but there is also a specific line of thought. Could true kung fu fighting methodology be founded upon something as simple as the palm and beak? This writer would suggest that any interested martial artist could discover whether this was so; simply bow and offer a polite challenge to any Shaolin Monk you might meet.
This has been a page about the Secret Fighting Methods of the Shaolin Monks.