Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu refers to a collection of Chinese martial arts that claim affiliation with the Zen Buddhist “Shaolin” Monastery. Of the tens of thousands of Kung Fu and Wushu styles, several hundred might have some relationship to Shaolin. However, aside from a few very well known systems, it would be almost impossible to establish a verifiable connection to the Temple for any one particular art.

ShaolinWhile most warrior monks tend to be focused on performance geared toward the touring troupes, a smaller cadre of Shaolin warrior monks seek the traditional route that focuses somewhat more on self-defense and authenticity of techniques. In many ways, the contemporary performing warrior monks are comparable to contemporary Wushu artists who focus on beautiful, elaborately dazzling form rather than original martial application and fighting prowess.

The 72 Shaolin Martial Arts are more indicative of the older, original Shaolin temple fighting system and theory. While some ardent disciples exist within the Shaolin tradition, most of the “performing” monks are adherents of the new ‘Shaolin’ and are not pressured to into a true Zen Buddhism practice and monastic lifestyle.