Tag Archives: shaolin temple

What Really Happened at the Shaolin Temple

The Real Shaolin History That Nobody Tells You!

The real Shaolin History is one of those animals that’s difficult to pin down. One reason for this is that the communist regime controls all history, and rewrites it to suit the state. Another reason is that the current history is of an oral tradition, and therefore quite open to mythicizing.

The real history starts with Bodhidharma taking the long journey to China to see the emperor. This tends to build up Bodhidharma at the expense of the emperor, and this isn’t right. The Chinese ruler, you see, was encouraging Buddhist monks to translate texts from sanskrit to Chinese.

The emperor believed that if he saw to the translation of these religious texts the general public would be enabled to study this religion. He believed this would allow him to enter nirvana. Bodhidharma told the emperor otherwise, which gained him nothing but a swift kick in the pants right out the emperor’s doors.

Bodhidharma then sought refuge at a local temple to meet up with other monks, and was turned away. The head abbot apparently thought him a trouble maker, or maybe he just didn’t want to rub elbows with somebody the emperor found wanting.

The temple he was refused entrance to was constructed in an area which had been razed, or burned down, and the emperor’s gardeners had planted new trees. Thus, the temple was named Shaolin (young forest). Nowhere to go, Bodhidharma began living in a cave.

Eventually Bodhidharma gained admittance to the temple, and legends have it that it took nine years, he bored a hole in the cave with his eyesight, he cut off his eyelids and planted them, and all sorts of other rather ludicrous legends. No one knows why he was admitted to the temple, but it was a good thing he was. The monks were in bad physical shape.

The Shaolin monks spent all their time hunched over books (scrolls, etc.) and were a sickly lot. So Bodhidharma taught them a series of movements based on hatha yoga and raja yoga. These movements were based on the 18 main animals of Chinese-Indian iconography, and this was doubtless the source of the five Shaolin animals.

This was the true origin of shaolin kung fu, though it is difficult to say when body conditioning was transformed into actual martial arts. The region was preyed upon by bandits, and it can be safely assumed that somebody whose body is in good physical condition is going to stand a better chance of survival than somebody whose body is not. At any rate this real Shaolin history has more legitimate sources than the various myths and legends which currently abound.

The Shaolin Butterfly is very true to the fighting principles of the Shaolin Temple. Check it out, and get some free martial arts books, at MonsterMartialArts.com.

Behind the Shaolin Butterfly Gung Fu System

A Better Way of Doing Shaolin Gung Fu

I was getting nowhere studying Kung Fu.

I had twenty plus years of Karate, knew aikido and a bit of Wing Chuna nd Northern Shaolin, but I wanted the temple stuff!

sanchin kata pan gai noonI wanted the things you saw in those great Shaw Brothers movies!

I wanted unique training methods wherein Kung Fu would burst over me and I would suddenly know the secrets of the universe!

One day this fellow walks in, gives his name as Richard, and wants to take Karate.

But I knew he knew something. His attitude, the calm in his eyes…he knew something.

So we talked, and it turned out he knew Tai Chi and Pa Kua, and…Shaolin.

Real Shaolin. Fut Ga Shaolin, which is ‘Five Monks,’ and is so named after the five monks who escaped the burning of the Shaolin temple hundreds of years before.

Now, why did he want to study Karate?

Well, actually, he didn’t. I mean, a little, but what he really wanted was a place to work out.

So we ended up trading systems.

I taught him Karate, and he taught me Shaolin.

Form by form, we went through, and the ancient mysteries, well, they didn’t burst over me, they sort of dribbled.

Don’t get me wrong, it was cool, it was exciting, but, it was also not very logical.

Same as any martial art these days, and more than most (it had had a long time to get messed up), the whole thing was made up of random sequences of motion.

Not everything worked.

Took a long time to learn.

I was in heaven, of course, dribble or burst. But I kept looking for the key to the whole thing.

And there, in one of the forms, was a sequence of steps, and suddenly the dribble did burst.

Man, I took that footwork and began matrixing it. Worked it from every angle, and plugged in Shaolin concepts one after the other.

That opened the door, broke the dam, put fireworks in the sky.

I remember spending hours and hours, late at night, working out in the middle of the street. Didn’t have a dojo in the house, so I just went out in the street, stepped out of the way of the occasional car, and worked my way through Shaolin.

Now it made sense!

Now it was EASY to learn.

And I didn’t give up any of the ancient stuff. Same moves are still there, same techniques, but everything is rearranged so that it makes sense, so that the chi still comes from the moves, but the moves come slick and easy and logical, arranged in perfect order.

I renamed what I was doing The Shaolin Butterfly. The footwork, you see, looked like the wings of a butterfly.

And that is how one of the oldest and most respected forms of gung fu, Fut Ga (Five Monks), became upgraded, empowered, and matrixed.

Checkout the Shaolin Butterfly Gung Fu at Monstermartialarts.com.

How I learned The Shaolin Butterfly Gung Fu

The Shaolin Butterfly Kung Fu

I was getting nowhere studying Kung Fu.
I had twenty plus years of Karate, knew aikido and a bit of Wing Chuna nd Northern Shaolin, but I wanted the temple stuff!
I wanted the things you saw in those great Shaw Brothers movies!
I wanted unique training methods wherein Kung Fu would burst over me and I would suddenly know the secrets of the universe!
One day this fellow walks in, gives his name as Richard, and wants to take Karate.
But I knew he knew something. His attitude, the calm in his eyes…he knew something.
So we talked, and it turned out he knew Tai Chi and Pa Kua, and…Shaolin.
Real Shaolin. Fut Ga Shaolin, which is ‘Five Monks,’ and is so named after the five monks who escaped the burning of the Shaolin temple hundreds of years before.
Now, why did he want to study Karate?
Well, actually, he didn’t. I mean, a little, but what he really wanted was a place to work out.
So we ended up trading systems.
I taught him Karate, and he taught me Shaolin.
Form by form, we went through, and the ancient mysteries, well, they didn’t burst over me, they sort of dribbled.
Don’t get me wrong, it was cool, it was exciting, but, it was also not very logical.
Same as any martial art these days, and more than most (it had had a long time to get messed up), the whole thing was made up of random sequences of motion.
Not everything worked.
Took a long time to learn.
I was in heaven, of course, dribble or burst. But I kept looking for the key to the whole thing.
And there, in one of the forms, was a sequence of steps, and suddenly the dribble did burst.
Man, I took that footwork and began matrixing it. Worked it from every angle, and plugged in Shaolin concepts one after the other.
That opened the door, broke the dam, put fireworks in the sky.
I remember spending hours and hours, late at night, working out in the middle of the street. Didn’t have a dojo in the house, so I just went out in the street, stepped out of the way of the occasional car, and worked my way through Shaolin.
Now it made sense!
Now it was EASY to learn.
And I didn’t give up any of the ancient stuff. Same moves are still there, same techniques, but everything is rearranged so that it makes sense, so that the chi still comes from the moves, but the moves come slick and easy and logical, arranged in perfect order.
I renamed what I was doing The Shaolin Butterfly. The footwork, you see, looked like the wings of a butterfly.
And that is how one of the oldest and most respected forms of gung fu, Fut Ga (Five Monks), became upgraded, empowered, and matrixed.

Check it out at MonsterMartialArts.com, or just click the link below.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/6-shaolin-butterfly/

 

Shaolin Kung Fu, From Hung Gar to the Butterfly

Shaolin Kung Fu Gets a New Set of Wings!

Shaolin Kung Fu is one of the oldest of the Martial Arts. It was started back about the time of Buddha, rode through many changes, and is still pertinent and powerful. The question we ask in this article is: can anything new be added to Shaolin Kung Fu?

The original Shaolin Kung Fu dates back to the time of Buddha. Buddha came to the Shaolin Temple from India and began to instruct the Shaolin Monks in sacred scripture. Unfortunately, the monks were of weak constitution. They fell asleep, they were easy pickings for bandits, they just couldn’t cut it.

shaolin kung fu

Symbol of the Shaolin Butterfly

Buddha began teaching the monks traditional exercises to help strengthen them. These were chi developing exercises, and the exercises he was teaching them bears strong resemblance to martial arts exercises. Thus, the exercises slowly turned into forms and techniques that we now know as Shaolin Kung Fu. The bandits in the area around the Shaolin Temple began to finding that the monks were no longer easy pickings, began to leave the area.

Time passed, and Shaolin passed through many trials and tribulations. Emperors came and emperors went, but Shaolin persisted, and people who studied the traditional Shaolin Kung Fu lessons came to be in great demand. They would leave the temple and train people to protect themselves, train bodyguards how to fight off bandits, and even became involved in training warriors for battle.

At last, the emperor had had enough, these Shaolin Kung Fu people were causing too much trouble, and he ordered the temple burned.

Five monks manage to flee the destruction of the temple, and they began to teach martial arts on a broader scale. Some of the systems that came about as a result of these monks teachings were Hung Gar, Fut Ga, Wing Chun, and so on.

That brings us to modern times, and state of modern Shaolin Kung Fu. While the art persists in some areas, under the hands of dedicated teachers, all too often it has been transformed into tournament arts, flowery styles that mean little, and, of course, the Wu shu of the People’s Republic of China, which is not true to the original Shaolin Kung Fu, but was made up by physical education coaches after the Great Revolution, and spread for the glory of the state, and not because of a desire for understanding the spiritual teachings originally taught at the Shaolin Temple.

One of the modern styles of Shaolin, a trim and tight system that yet encompasses the majority of the original teachings, is the Shaolin Butterfly. This art holds to the original concepts, such as animal modes of fighting like the tiger, the dragon, the snake, and so on.

It is begun with a study of six basic steps, which steps take on a twining, mixing character, and which are then place upon standing bricks. Thus, the student has to keep balance, all while learning how to kick and punch, how to cling to an opponent, how to entrap and take down with a variety of locks and throws.

There is a logic to this approach, a blessing of western culture, that enhances the eastern origins, yet enables the student to learn much faster than ever before.

That is the history of Shaolin Kung Fu to the present, and while it is a rich history, it manages to avoid the degrading of the art due to influences such as tournaments, commercial interests, and so on.

Here’s a good article on Shaolin Kung Fu. If you would like to actually learn how to do this incredible art, check out the course at Monster Martial Arts.

Five Kung Fu Animals Reveal A Series Of Exact Steps In Learning How To Fight

Boddhidharma brought Kung Fu to the Shaolin Temple some 2500 years ago, and the world has been learning ever since. A hundred generations of religious fanatics perfecting themselves through fantastic, rigorous exercises. Interestingly, the five animals of Kung fu stand for a series of steps in the progression of fighting tactics and strategy. Check out the video and I’ll tell you more.

The Tiger is known for developing strength. He is a mighty animal, and he charges in aggressively when attacking. He is a diehard fighter, and the old saying is ‘If two tigers fight, one will die and the other will be maimed.’

The Leopard is known for quickness. He charges in and out, snapping his attacks with tremendous power. Thus, he is not as aggressive as a tiger, but has learned to ‘dance.’

The Crane reveals ‘True Soft,’ as that animal remains aloof, poised and waiting, evading and avoiding. Not dancing, but matching the movements and finding the precise instant to counter. And the attack is not always violent, but rather exact, often taking advantage of pressure points.

The Snake is definitely True Soft. Instead of charging, dancing, or even waiting, it is part of the motion, going with the motion, taking advantage of the movements by being them. This is not just going away from the attack, but merging with the attack, and turning it to advantage.

With the progression of Tiger to Snake we have a progression from hard to soft, from external to internal. Interestingly, this equates to a progression from learning to go against, to learning to go with. The next animal, the Dragon, is an entirely different matter.

The dragon is neither hard nor soft, it is both. It is the ability to go against or with at will. it is the ability to use all animals, as one wishes, in the middle of combat.

Thus, the five kung fu animals train the body, discipline the mind, and finally, reveal the spirit. For the dragon, as the final animal, represents imagination, the ability to have choice, and these are characteristics of a spiritual being. As the old phrases state, the Tiger strengthens the bones, the Crane resides within stillness, and the Dragon trains the spirit, and this gradient exploration of concepts definitely represents the True Shaolin Teachings. 


For an excellent method of Shaolin Kung Fu which uses all the Animals, mouse on over over to Monster Martial Arts. Pick up a free Martial Arts book on the home page top left.

National Geographic and the Soul of Shaolin Kung Fu

National Geographic has done a good job of comparing the search for the sould of Kung Fu, with what is happening at that monastery now.

Tourists are happening now: “Today, however, temple officials seem more interested in building the Shaolin brand than in restoring its soul.”

But also in the article, amongst the gems of life style descriptions and life at the august temple: “You cannot defeat death…But you can defeat your fear of death.” The master speaks this as he does a form on the edge of a precipice.

Interestingly enough, if you read the paper version you get an extra section, a section dealing with Mao and the effects of the Great Cultural Revolution.

An art of war, destroyed by a political belief system, and now being used by that belief system to foster…what? Glorified policemen? Movie stars?

Still, just reading the article, paper or digital, there is a hope for  mankind. Hope is the soul of  Shaolin Kung Fu. Drop by Monster Martial Arts and check out the Shaolin Butterfly Kung Fu.