Shaolin KungFu also called Shaolin Wushu,
is among the oldest institutionalized styles of Chinese martial arts.Known in Chinese as Shaolin Quan or Shaolin wugong.
It originated and was developed in the Buddhist Shaolin temple in Henan province, China.
During the 1500 years of its development,
Shaolin kung fu became one of the largest schools of kung fu.
The name Shaolin is also used as a brand for the so-called external styles of kung fu.
Many styles in southern and northern China use the name Shaolin.
Chinese Shaolin KungFu
Chinese shaolin historical records, like Spring and Autumn Annals of Wu and Yue, the Bibliographies in the Book of the Han Dynasty,
the Records of the Grand Historian, and other sources document the existence of martial arts in China for thousands of years.
For example, the Chinese martial art of wrestling, Shuai Jiao, predates the establishment of Shaolin temple by several centuries.
Since Chinese monasteries were large landed estates, sources of considerable regular income, monks required protection.
Historical discoveries indicate that, even before the establishment of Shaolin temple, monks had arms and also practiced martial arts.
The establishment of Shaolin Kung fu is, however, the most important of these stories.
In 1784 the Boxing Classic:
Essential Boxing Methods made the earliest extant reference to the Shaolin Monastery as Chinese boxing’s place of origin.
This is, however, a misconception,but shows the historical importance of Shaolin kung fu.
Though the Shaolin Monastery Stele of 728 attests to these incidents in 610 and 621 when the monks engaged in combat,
It does not allude to martial training in the monastery, or to any fighting technique in which its monks specialized.
Nor do any other sources from the Tang, Song and Yuan periods allude to military training at the temple.
According to Meir Shahar, this is explained by a confluence of the late Ming fashion for military encyclopedias and, more importantly, the conscription of civilian irregulars, including monks, as a result of Ming military decline in the 16th century.
Documentary evidence shows the monks historically worshiped the Bodhisattva Vajrapani’s “Kimnara King” form as the progenitor of their staff and bare hand fighting styles.