As the acknowledged founders of Kung Fu, the Shaolin Monks
have experienced a turbulent history. Over the past fifteen hundred years
they have engaged in battles to protect the Chinese Emperors against warlords
and foreign invaders and to defend their Temple against attack.
The monks developed their Kung Fu to help them defend
themselves, but more than that to enable them to carry out their spiritual
development. They understand the connection of the body and the mind (now
proved by the west through NLP).
:: Soldier Monks ::
The monks became soldiers to protect their Temple from bandits. In 495 AD
the Temple grew considerably in size and importance when Emperor Wen Di of
the Sui dynasty donated 1,648 acres of land on which it built exquisite halls
and pavilions. This obvious wealth made it a target for marauding bandits
and thus the Monk-Soldier was born.
In the early years immediately following the founding
of the Shaolin Temple, the first Soldier Monks created a set of eighteen different
fighting actions - the original Kung Fu - which utilised all parts of their
bodies. These were combined with the use of various weapons made from simple
farming tools and were initially a means of providing daily exercise and as
a form of meditation. Later they were used as a means of self defence.
:: Defenders ::
Nowadays the Monks are renowned as much for their peaceful existence as for
their elite fighting skills but, as in centuries past, they continue to practice
their Kung Fu disciplines and remain steady to defend their Temple.