??strong>Chinese Kung Fu is a precious treasure that belongs not only to China but to the whole world. We will take you to the cradle of Chinese Shaolin Kung fu. You will see power and grace combined in a demonstration of the art of Shaolin Kung fu by a Shaolin Master and even get a chance to learn from him for a while. You can also learn and experience for yourself what has inspired the great action heroes of today's movie blockbusters.
????aoLin KungFu, widely known as ShaoLin Quan, is the splended cultural heritage contributed by the Buddhist monks of ShaoLin Temple in the past centuries. ShaoLin KungFu has been reveared by the KungFu masters both at home and abroad as the Most Respectable art among KungFu circle for its greatest popularity and abundant content as well as its outstanding achievements and contribution to the country.
??ShaoLin KungFu bears its name because of ShaoLin Temple. ShaoLin Temple monks of different dynasties studied and practiced the prevailing fighting arts of the country, combined the merits of the other KungFu styles and the philosophy of Zen Buddhism to make their KungFu techniques most be celebrated in the world, acclaimed by the Emperors and recognized by the common people of China.
??Geographically, ShaoLin Temple is located in the dense forest of Mount Shaoshi . The wild animals like Tigers, wolves, leapords in the mountain and bushes threatened monks' lives. The monks had to practice KungFu by immitating the moves of wild animals and flying birds for self defense.
??Religiously, ShaoLin Temple is the birthplace of Zen Buddhism, which took sitting meditation as the main method of cultivation. Long time's meditation made the monks muscle sore, tense , tired and numb. KungFu training exercises benefit them a lot. The doctrines of Zen Buddhism and the terms of Zen Buddhism were introduced to their daily KungFu training.
??Politically, ShaoLin Temple became a royal temple since the Tang Dynasty, when the 13 staff monks rescued the prince of Tang Empire. The Emperor named the Temple No. 1 Temple Under the Heaven and permitted the Temple to own a prestigious army with 500 monk soldiers and previllege of abbacy nomination by the Emperors. Monks' KungFu training for self-defence and body building began to associate with the military warfare. From the Sui Dynasty, a lot of cultivated land was given by the emperors to the Temple. The rich Temple was often stolen by the famers and robbed by the bandits. To profect the Temple fortune and land, KungFu training became the regular life of the ShaoLin Monks.
??Did Buddhidarma creat ShaoLin KungFu? According to the records, ShaoLin Temple was constructed in 495 AD, Buddhidarma came to ShaoLin Temple in 527 AD. Before Darma's coming, ShaoLin Temple had existed for more than 30 years. Monk HuiGuang and Chou were the original KungFu masters ever mentioned in the history. They were excellent KungFu experts in QiGong, sparring and weaponary. But what they practiced at that time was not systematically called ShaoLin KungFu.
??ShaoLin KungFu won its fame in the Tang Dynasty because the Emperor Lishimin praized the 13 monks of ShaoLin Temple for their contribution to help his empire. A lot of land was given to the temple to support 500 imperial monk warriors. The Temple began to pay more attention to the practicing of KungFu. ShaoLin Temple became a most respectable holy land for the KungFu masters of different styles.?br />??FuJu, an abbot of ShaoLin Temple in the Song Dynasty, invited a lot of outstanding KungFu masters of 18 styles at regular intervals to teach the monks, perform their versatile techniques for mutual progress. It's said Zhao Kuangyin, the first Emperor of Song Dynasty had ever been to the Temple and sent several of his generals to learn from the Temple monks and teach the Temple monks. The form Taizu Chang Quan is created by the Emperor and tranformed to ShaoLin Temple. In the Song Dynasty, Shaolin KungFu developed into 170 fist forms and 130 different weapon forms. All these forms had been noted and organized into books and stored in the Temple.
??The ShaoLin Temple Record noted that 5 branch ShaoLin Temples were established in HeLi, Chang An, Yanji, Taiyuan and LuoYang at the abbacy of Fuyu, for spreading ShaoLin KungFu and Zen Buddhism. Dazhi,a Japanese came to ShaoLin in 1312 and spent 12 years to study ShaoLin Fist forms and staff forms. After his return to Japan, he began to enroll a lot of Japanese for practicing ShaoLin KungFu. In 1379, Japanese monk Shaoyuan stayed in ShaoLin Temple for 8 years under the instruction of the Abbot JuAn. He introduced ShaoLin KungFu to Japan and ShaoLin KungFu was widely spread and acclaimed as "The soul of the country" in Japan.
??The 260 years history of Ming Dynasty marked the peak prosperity of ShaoLin KungFu. Hundreds of monks were selected to be generals, four volums of KungFu works were published and 13 new forms were invented. Abbot Xiaoshan had been appointed to be Marshal of the royal army to lead his Temple warriormonks to fight against Japanese pirates in China's southeast coast and more than 50 of them sacrificed their lives in the war. A Southern Shaolin Temple was constructed to settle the wounded monks and commemerate those who sacrificed their lives in the war.
??In the Qing Dynasty, KungFu training was forbiddened in the country. The monks of ShaoLin Temple had to practice secretly in the night. 48 feet marks in the Thousand Buddhas Hall of the temple are the existing evidence of that period. In 1828, an important official of Qing Empire wanted to watch the performance of ShaoLin monks after his official work in ShaoLin, The monks pretended to disunderstand him at the begining, seeing this, he said that ShaoLin has been famous for their KungFu training to profect the Temple, it's not necessary to hide. His non-hostility encouraged the abbot. Some outstanding monks were chosen to perform six hormony fist and sparring. The fresco in the Guanyin Hall vividly dipicts the scene of the excellent performance. The successive abbots in the Qing Dynasty had paid lot of attention to the composition of ShaoLin KungFu theory and collection of forms. Some important books on ShaoLin KungFu came into being at that time.
??The disastrous fire in 1928 set by a warlord Shi Yousan witnessed thousands of KungFu books burned into ashes, temple buildings cracked into ruins and monks fled like birds.
??After liberation in 1949, especially after 1978's reform and opening policy, the governments at all levels had played an important role on the renovation, reconstruction and extension of ShaoLin Temple. A special organization was formed to search for the missing KungFu theory and forms. A warrior monks delegation founded in 1988 to perform ShaoLin KungFu both at home and abroad. Thanks to the people's government, China Zhengzhou international ShaoLin Wushu Festival has been held every year and every other year from 1991 to invite KungFu fans and masters of different countries and regions for performance, sparring and exchange.
??Hundreds of government owned and private KungFu schools has been set up in recent years to train the youngsters of different countries with traditional ShaoLin KungFu.???
??ShaoLin Temple is working hard to apply for being the world history and cultural heritage. With the approaching of 2008 BeiJing Olympics, ShaoLin KungFu will become an official event of the great Olympic family.?/p>