Dragon Strom Karate Club

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Martial Arts History Page

This page features information on China's Dynastys from (1600 B.C. to 1912 A.D.) and the styles of martial arts from china. It also will cover Kung-Fu and the eighteen Shaolin martial arts.

Want to learn about different Styles of martial arts. Then Click Here: Styles

Below is a list of Chinas History andthe story of Kung-Fu and information gathered on each one.

China's Dynastys (1600 B.C. to 1912 A.D.)

1) Shang Dynasty through Han Dynasty (1600 B.C.-220 A.D.) Most Chinese martial arts styles can be traced back about 3,500 years to the practice of Shuai Chiao. Shuai Chiao developed from such influences as the grappling maneuvers of Mongolian wrestling; the footwork of horn butting (Chiao Ti); and the simple empty hands boxing being practiced by the feudal nobility. It took approximately 1800 years of development for Shuai Chiao to develop into some type of standard techniques (with variations from different regions of China). Shuai Chiao became a national pastime that was widely practiced by the nobility and the military.

By the onset of the Han Dynasty, Taoism had developed as the main belief structure in China. The philosophy of yin and yang, force and counter-force, balance and counter-balance, and the philosophy of the Five Elements were incorporated into the people's Shuai Chiao. Taoist priests continued to work and develop internal power (qi or chi), breathing methods (nei gong), as well as moving and standing meditation.

One such Taoist contributor was Hua T'o, a surgeon who proposed a series of health exercises involving animal postures (bear's neck, fowl's twist, etc.). He is the source of the southern long-hand forms. Hua T'o also introduced our animal attitudes as physical and mental models, as well as the Taoist breathing techniques.

2) Liang Dynasty through Sung Dynasty (500-1260 A.D.)Bodhidharma (Daruma Daishi, Tamo) was the 28th East Indian prince and the successor to Buddha. Bodhidharma traveled to China to preach Buddhism, i.e., that one must coexist with nature and the surrounding environment. After being rejected by the warring Chinese populace, he retired at the Shaolin Monastery. While attempting to teach the Shaolin monks, Bodhidharma found that many fell asleep during meditation. Bodhidharma introduced a series of hand and foot movements to strengthen the physical and spiritual natures of the Buddhist monks. The Shaolin monks used Bodhidharma's exercises as well as the fighting skills of body guards, temple guards, military generals, ex-soldiers visiting Shaolin and fellow monks (who came from poor backgrounds) to create the 18 Lohan Boxing style. From this beginning, the Shaolin monks continued to develop their martial techniques to aid in the protection and defense of the monastery from bandits.

Bodhidharma's influence is preserved by us in his most famous quote, which is restated by Mitose: "...to fall down seven times, to rise eight times, life starts from now."

3) Yuan Dynasty (1260-1368 A.D.) During this Era, martial arts also became an integral part of the Chinese lifestyle. The martial arts were taught by only a select number of clans, who in turn passed on the deadly secrets to select clan members. The selected clan members were made, by their mentors, to swear never to disclose the secrets they received.

Around 1200 A.D., Genghis Khan began his conquest of China and in the process attacked a region containing one of the Shaolin temples. A high priest of the temple escaped to Japan where he met a Shinto priest whose name was Kosho. Kosho had already mastered a variety of fighting arts including: Kendo (Swordsmanship), Naginatado (Lance fighting), Kyudo (archery), fighting on horses and swim fighting. The high priest taught the Ch'uan Fa (Fist Law) system to Kosho. After becoming a master of all these systems combined, he changed his name to Mitose and began teaching his martial arts (Kosho-Ryu Kempo).

Nearly 80 years later, a Buddhist descendant of Mitose (Kosho) founded the Kosho-Shorei (Old Pine Tree) temple in order to teach his philosophy of true self-defense (self-defense without body contact). Koshu-Shorei contained a complete system of wartime self-defense (Kosho Ryu) as well as s system of teaching religion, the arts, and humanities (Kosho-Shorii). The wartime art of Kosho-Ryu Kempo, was taught only to family members (insiders). Kosho-Ryu was passed on from generation to generation in order for the family members to be familiar with it and to be able to defend against it. Through these Japanese generations, the ancient Chinese art was extensively modified from its original circular movements to the more strict linear format preferred by the Japanese. The linear movements and takedowns incorporated into the modern American Kenpo can be trace directly to Kosho-Ryu.

4) Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) By the start of this period, the Shaolin monk Ch'ueh Yuan had increased the original techniques of the 18 Lohan style to 72 movements. Ch'ueh Yuan eventually obtained permission to leave the monastery and traveled extensively throughout China in search of other Martial Arts masters to confer with. Ch'ueh Yuan obtained many techniques and ideas from his travels before teaming with two contemporaries; Li Sou (great Lohan martial arts master) and Pai Yu-Feng (Hit Tai Tau internal boxing master). The three masters returned to the Shaolin Monastery to combine what was known from the internal and external styles. Ch'ueh Yuan's 72 movements were expanded into 170. The new movements were then categorized into five distinct animal styles: Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Dragon, and Serpent. The five animal styles are the basis of the Shaolin Ch'uan Fa ("Fist Law") known as "Five Forms Fist".

Also during this era a dispersion of Ch'uan Fa or "Fist Law" occurred outside of China. In 1372, an official Chinese tributary relationship was established between China and Okinawa's King Sho-ha-shi. The Chinese martial arts began to mingle with Okinawan fist fighting (Tode). The intermingling of fighting styles occurred because of the establishment of a permanent Okinawan settlement in the Chinese capitol of Ch'uan Chou and the migration of 36 families from the Chinese province of Fukien to Kume-mura, Okinawa. In this way Chinese boxing was passed on to many Okinawans.

In 1609, Japan, lead by Shinazu, conquered Okinawa. However, the Okinawa Te Style (Ch'uan Fa) was already established within the populace. By 1629, various Okinawan Ch'uan Fa groups and tode (fist fighting) societies had banded together to from a new fighting style called "Te". During this period, many Okinawans were secretly sent to China to learn its fighting systems.

5) Ch'ing Dynasty (1644-1912) After the Mongol takeover of China, the Ming Dynasty officials, which consisted mostly of the Imperial Guards, took refuge in the Shaolin Monastery to plot their revenge. With the influence of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Guards the shaolin Monasteries began to codify and strengthen their particular martial art styles.

Legend has it, and we emphasize the legend has never been empirically verified, that in order to graduate from the Shaolin monastery, monks would have to exhibit phenomenal skills and pass through 18 testing chambers in the temple. If they survived the first 17 chambers, they would have to grip an iron cauldron with their bare forearms and have the raised relief of a tiger and dragon burnt into their skin. These marks were the signs of a true Shaolin Master.

During this tumultuous period, the monasteries were periodically burned down and the ever resilient Shaolin Monastery had to be relocated in Honan, Fukien, Kwangtung and elsewhere. This was beneficial to the development of the martial arts, because as battles between the Ch'ing Dynasties and the Shaolin monks continued the different fighting styles intermingled and spread to the common populace. Two such styles born from the turmoil were Wing Chun Kung Fu and Hung Gar Kung Fu. Not only were these styles important to the spread of Ch'uan Fa to the common people of China, Japan, and Okinawa but they have significant influence on the evolution of American Kenpo Karate.

China's Monasteries

To show the diversity of fighting styles available throughout China, the following list names the various monasteries that existed at one point in time. This will show you some of the different styles that have been developed by the different monasteries:

Honan - Northern Fist, Ground Dragon, Monkey Praying Mantis, Cotton Fist, eight Drunken Immortals, 10,000 Lotuses Blooming, Golden Snake, Staff, Spear, Jointed Sticks, Single Broadswords, Double Broadswords, Tiger Hook Swords, Double Edged Sword, Three Sectional Staff, Chain Whip, Double daggers, Double Hand Axes, Single and Double Butterfly Knives.

Fukien - Southern Fist, Golden Centipede, Sparrow, White Monkey, Wild Horse, Iron Bone Training, Iron Palm Training, Iron Shirt Training, Short Fist.

Kwangtung - Tiger-Crane System, Fist of Ch'a, Crab, Golden Roaches, 10,000 Bees Attacking.

Shantung - Shantung Black Tiger, Tan Family Leg Techniques.

Omei Shan - White Crane, Eagle Claw, Golden Cock, white Swan, Ostrich.

Wutang Mountain - T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Pa Kua Chang, Hsing I Ch'uan, Liu Hsing Ch'uan, T'ai Chi Broadsword, Spear, Ta Mo Sword and Double Sword and Spear, Seven Star Sword.

Hua Mountain - Classical Fist of Hua, Modern Fist of Hua, Chang Ch'uan.

China's breakdown of styles

This list gives you an idea of how some of the styles break down into Northern and Southern realms.

Northern Styles: Long Fist, Ta Shan Pi Kwa, Cha Chuan, Lo Han, Eagle Claw, Northern Praying Mantis.

Southern Styles: White Crane, Tiger, Mou Cha, Chai Li Fou, Dragon, Hung Gar, White Brow, Monkey, Southern Praying Mantis, Wing Chung.

Kung fu's eighteen Shaolin martial arts

The Shaolin kungfu is famous for its wide range and profound attainment. Take boxing alone for example, it has hundreds of varieties. When people say "the 18 Shaolin martial arts" the numeral 18 is a generalizing notion for all the Shaolin martial arts.

Of all the martial arts of the Shaolin Temple, boxing is the oldest art. Tradition has it that at the very beginning, the Shaolin boxing had only 18 actions, which were named "the 18 moves of arhat". Later, based on boxing, the martial art for using cudgel was developed. After many centuries, with the growth of the Shaolin kungfu, the boxing maneuvers were greatly expanded. By the time of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms, a senior monk of the Shaolin Temple, named Fujiu, invited the kungfu masters all over China, belonging to 18 schools, to the Shaolin Temple, where they studied martial arts for three years. The result was that the strong points of all the kungfu schools were collected, and a boxing book, Shaolin boxing, was compiled. During the Jin-Yuan dynasties, two armed monks, Bai Yufeng and Li Shou, came to the Shaolin Temple, where they studied boxing art together with the monks of the Temple. The 18 moves of arhat where then developed into 72 moves. Moreover, "Five Boxing Arts" were created based on the moves of five animals, i.e. dragon, tiger, leopard, snake and cock.

The Shaolin boxing lays emphasis on skill. Its practicing is not limited by space. The saying goes, a boxer can practice where only one ox can lie down". That is to say, a Shaolin boxer can beat his opponent with a space of several steps. Another saying "boxing goes along a line", indicates that when practising boxing including raising, falling, turning sidling, huddling and jumping, all these moves should be conducted along a straight line. As to the specific moves, they should be neither "absolutely bent nor absolutely straight". Too much bending would miss the target; while too much straightness would lack maneuver. When attacking with boxing, both forward and backward actions are done in a "turning manner". In other words, a rotation is necessary when attacking, and elasticity is reached. As to the eyes, they should look up when raising and further at the sky when falling. Your eyes should gaze at the opponent's eyes so as to know what position the opponent is in. As to the body maneuver, the stress is laid on swiftness and an absolute mastery of the gravity center so that a perfect and kinetic balance is kept. As to the maneuver of stepping, low steps are used when forging ahead and high steps used when backing. They should be light, graceful, and steady. As to the kicking maneuver, the requirement is that, when lifting a leg, it should be as light as a feather, and when kicking, the leg should be as heavy as the Mount Tai.

Internally tranquil and outwardly fierce, Shaolin boxer should be "as calm as a virgin when defending" and "as fierce as a tiger when attacking". Meanwhile perfect skill should be employed to take advantage of the opponent's force and momentum. Each move, each punch and kick, embodies an organic combination of attack and defense. The attack is contained in defense. The force attack and real maneuver are integrated with the sole purpose of surprising the opponent. The Shaolin boxing art, as a whole, stresses the integration of the internal with the external and the figure similarity with spiritual identification. When practicing, a close coordination of the eyes, hands, steps is required. The boxing formula emphasizes six coordination's, i.e. "the coordination of shoulders with loins, elbows with knees, hands with feet, mind with intention, intention with breath, and breath with force". By the Ming Dynasty, the traditional kungfu got a great lap forward. Kungfu adopted weapons. There were even books concerning the weapons. Reverend hongzhuan, a senior monk of the Shaolin Temple in the Ming Dynasty, wrote a book, "Spearmanship in Menlu Hall". During the reign of the Emperor Wanli, Cheng Zongqiu, a mundane disciple learned cudgel ship for more than ten years in the Shaolin Temple. As a result he wrote the famous book, "Summary of Shaolin Cudgel ship". Secondly, in the Ming Dynasty, the martial arts used in actual battles were gradually combined with the Shaolin kungfu. During the reign of the Emperor Jiajing, Yu Dayu, a famous general in resisting against the pirates, used the martial art of cudgel which he had learned in the Shaolin in actual battles. The cudgel ship was thus carried forward. He later returned to the Shaolin Temple. Wen Xianggang, another Ming personality, wrote in his "Travel in the Mount Song": In the old temple there are sixty monks who are practicing boxing, swords, iron staff, and jie". This record indicated that in the Shaolin Temple at that time were not only boxing, but also sword, iron staff, jie and other weapons. Of all the weapons of the Shaolin, sword is eulogized as "the marshal of all weapons". The saying goes, "the sword is like a fierce tiger". Most Shaolin swords are brandished closely around the user's head. When slashing with the sword, the qi is concentrated in the two arms and goes along with the sword. Among the different swords of the Shaolin, the variety of the shapes lead to the variety of characteristics. Tradition has it "maneuver of a single sword stresses the hands", "maneuver of double swords stresses the steps", and "maneuver of broadsword stresses the stability of hands". The spear in the Shaolin repertoire is praised as the "king of weapons". It is characterized by "forging ahead like a dragon in a straight line". That is to say, the spear should be wielded up and down swiftly and with no definite patterns. And the performance of the spear should be along a straight line. The Shaolin saber has long earned its reputation as the "monarch of the weapons". The Shaolin saber is graceful and unconstrained in performance, Henan the saying "saber goes like a meandering dragon". The saber formula has the following secret teaching: "This is a blue-dragon saber and should be performed steadily on a plane line. Your qi should go along with your saber with both eyes gazing at its point. When wielding the saber it should be as swift as a flying swallow. When you stop the performance, it fall as gently as the wind ebbs. When taking back the saber it is as light as a petal. When stabbing forward, the saber head is a steel nail". The Shaolin cudgel is the most reputed among all the weapons used in the Temple. It is also the oldest arm of the Temple. Hence the reputation of "the ancestor of all weapons". And the legend goes that the 13 Shaolin monks using cudgels once helped the Prince Tang and established their brilliant martial feats. The Shaolin cudgel is characterized by attacking a broad range with the cudgel". When performing the cudgel, all over the body is the source of momentum. The wielding of cudgel is accompanied by the whistling of the air. The rhythm should be fast and the moves should following one another closely.

The Shaolin kungfu is a kungfu treasury of very profound and wide-rand nature. In the terms of boxing arts, there integrates power with flexibility. Included in the bold and powerful traditional boxing arts are the Shaolin arhat boxing, chain boxing, plum-blossom boxing, and warrior boxing. Belonging to the category of mimic boxing are monkey boxing, leopard boxing, snake boxing, etc.. And the internal-kungfu boxing arts include intention boxing, Changhu intention boxing and Seven-star boxing, etc.. As to pair-practice boxing, the number of variety is still larger, including kick-punch six-in-one boxing, ear-handle six-in-one boxing, and hand-biting six-in-one boxing.

There is a great variety in Shaolin kungfu's weaponry. Hence the saying of "eighteen weapons". In terms of classification, they can be divided into long weapons, short weapons, soft weapons, rare weapons, and hidden weapons. Long weapons include broad-sword, long spear, cudgel etc.. Short weapons cover saber, club and dagger. Chained iron balls and 9-sect iron staff are soft weapons. Sickle, Qian-Kun ring and dharma staff are rare weapons. And flying dart and flying prick are hidden weapons. Pair-practice of weapons covers a wide range too. Such as pair-practice of spears, pair practice of a sword versus spear, cudgel versus spear, and the group practice of shepherd cudgels.

In the Shaolin kungfu, apart from boxing arts and weaponry, there are hand battle, attack-defense and capturing used in fighting; qigong, hard qigong, child-gong, yin-yang-gong, pile standing kungfu, etc. used for internal kungfu. The marvelous feats of the Shaolin kungfu can be summarized as: powerful, simple, battle-oriented, highly changeable. When lying down, the body resembles a bent bow. When sitting, the body is as firm as an brass bell. When standing, the body is as if nailed to the ground. When moving, like a dragon. The kungfu performer should be as graceful as a cat, as fierce as a tiger, as swift as a thunderbolt.

Kung fu's animal styles

Mimic boxing in the Chinese kungfu can be dated back to very ancient times. It is no exaggeration to say that mimic boxing is the very origin of the boxing art. Tradition has it that in prehistoric times there was a game in which three men danced each with an ox tail in hand. During the Han Dynasty and the Wei Dynasty of China there was "the game of five birds". Whether the mimic boxing of the Shaolin is an inheritance from the tradition or a creation of the Zen is now a problem beyond solution. But one thing is sure, i.e. mimic boxing is the oldest variety of Shaolin kungfu and is at present still playing an important role. Mimic boxing is, to some extent, a manifestation that the Zen has imbibed the spirit of the philosophy of Laozi and Zhuangzi which advocated that the Tao should abide by the nature. It also reflects the Buddhist view that all species share the same origin and all living creature share the same original nature. These, in turn, constitute the fundamental cause that the mimic boxing of the Shaolin Temple could reach such a miraculous acme. As indicated by the name, mimic boxing is the boxing art created by mimicking the animals or insects. From the giant lions and tigers to the tiny mole crickets and ants and mantis, all living creatures in the nature are equipped with their respective and unique abilities for survival. It is no doubt that human being is the highest and cleverest species in the world, yet the animals have their strong points which human beings are in lack of. The Mount Song provided the Zen with a unique natural environment, the inspiration of all the living creatures. Thus the advantageous skills of the birds, animals, fishes and insects were used to enrich the human abilities and to improve the man's adaptability to the natural requirement for survival. The Shaolin mimic boxing is a superb creation in this very direction.

The Shaolin mimic boxing is distinct from other mimic boxing arts in that it has mastered the delicate mystery of the objects it mimic. It is capable of attacking as well as defending with countless varieties in maneuvers. For example, the monkey boxing is subtle characterized by its many changes in the course and its defending as a means for attacking. The crane boxing is featured by the lithe and graceful maneuver; while the dragon boxing usually takes the initial by preemptive attacks. The snake boxing attacks the opponents most vulnerable points with swift actions; the tiger boxing takes an aggressive offence; the leopard boxing is so fierce that its imposing manner can conquer the enemy's will to fight. Other mimic boxing arts include the eagle boxing, cock boxing, dog boxing, mantis boxing etc. All od the have won universal admiration for their lifelike mimicking in both forms and spirit.

The Shaolin mimic boxing is most particular about "spiritual transcending end picturesque mimicking". By "spiritual transcending" is meant that, while sitting in the Zenist meditation, one should reach an ego less ideal state. In other words, when mimicking the dragon, you think yourself as nothing but a real dragon; and when you are practicing crane boxing you just imagine yourself as a real crane. In the course of each maneuver, offensive or defensive, you should gain a profound understanding of the strong desire of survival of the mimicked animals. Only in this way, you can beat the enemy in the course of attack and can stand the enemy's attack when you adopt a defensive posture. And by "picturesque mimicking" is meant a stress must be also laid on the similarity in appearance, by means of which the spiritual identity can be achieved with what you are mimicking, e.g. a snake, dog. In each move or stroke, the boxer learns the strong points of the animals so as to reinforce his own capability to get adapted to the nature. It is this special requirement of "picturesque mimicking" that has won the admiration from the wushu circle "this superb state can only be achieved by the Zen".

History of Kung fu

Almost all the stories can be traced back to him, Bodhidharma, the 18th-generation heir of Mohakasyapa. It is Bodhidharma who founded the religious philosophy named the Zen. It is he who developed the world's unique Shaolin kungfu. And, most important of all, he integrated the status focused Zen with the Shaolin kungfu known for its bravery and fierce valor, thus rendering the martial art tradition of the Zen an ever lasting glory. The Zen buddhism is as tranquil as still water, while the martial art is as fierce as fire. How could the water and fire be integrated in perfect harmony? This is an eternal riddle Bodhidharma left to us.

The Mount Song, the central one of the "five mountains" of China, is situated at the hinterland of the country. The Mount Song is divided into two mountains, i.e. the Taishi and the Shaoshi. This miraculous mount is a remarkable creation of the joint force of the mysterious natural evolution and the ancient Chinese civilization with a history of several thousand years. On the Mount Song the scenery is so charming and the cultural relics are so numerous. The Shaolin Temple is located in the embrace of the Shaoshi Mountain.

The Shaolin Temple was so named after its location in the forest (pronounced as "lin" in Chinese) of the Shaoshi Mountain. It was built in the 19th year of the reign of Emperor Xiaowen during the dynasty of North Wei (495 AD) in order to host an eminent Indian monk named Bada. The revered Bada abided by the sutra of Hinayana and not much accomplishment of his is known today. After 32 years came Bodhi-dharma with his intoxication at the charming and inspiring landscape or his attachment to the fertile cultural soil of the central China, Bodhi-dharma finally put a period to his roaming career. Alone, he entered the cave beneath the Wuru peak and sat before the cave-wall for nine years. When the feat of cultivation by facing the wall was completed, his image was incredibly printed into the wall, hence the famous "wall-facing rock" which we can still see today. It is hard to ascertain whether the "shadow-printed rock" is genuine or not. But one thing is sure, that is when Bodhi-dharma came out of that cave, a new buddhist sect, the Zen, was brought forth into the world.

This is a historical fact supported with records. From the on, the Shaolin Temple became a world-famous birthplace of the Zen. Hence the renown, the No.1 famous Temple on Earth. From this land of numerous cultural relics, Bodhi-dharma imbibed in an extensive manner the quintessence of the traditional Chinese philosophies, which he integrated with the Buddhist theory of allegorical comprehension of the truth. The result is that he created the unique doctrine of the Zen of China which is based on self-cultivation by sitting in meditation and which claimed that one can become a buddhist the moment he comprehends his Buddhist ego. The chief approaches of the Zen cultivation are "viewing the wall" and "sitting in meditation". He got rid of the scholasticism characterizing the ways of self-cultivation advocated by the traditional Buddhist sutras. His theory involved no written scripture. He advocated that one can become a buddha by an "instant complete understanding". Thus he conducted rather radical reform on Mahayana, the "bigger vehicle". When other buddhist sects had seen their heyday and were then declining, the Zen was then enjoying an unprecedented prosperity.

By the Tang dynasty, the reverend Hui Neng, the 6th-generation chief of the Zen Buddhism, made a comprehensive summary of the theory of the Zen, which brought about additional splendor to the Zen. In China then, 70 to 80 percent of the temples belonged to the Zen sect. The Zen was rapidly spread to other countries in the east and south of Asia, thus laying a solid foundation for its worldwide popularization later on. Since the Zen, with silent meditation as the chief way of cultivation and Buddhist comprehension as the cardinal principle, needed to be far away from the mundane world and the Zenist cared nothing but self accomplishment, why should they practice swords and spears and fostered the Shaolin kungfu, which was no doubt a means for fighting and battling? Bodhi-dharma's statement of "no written document for the Zen Buddhism" has put the latecomers in an awkward position to guess this paradoxical phenomenon. Hence the many different theories there upon. Some understand kungfu as a way of stretching the limbs after long time of meditation while sitting silently. Some think that the monks, while living deep in the mountains, needed kungfu as a means to resist fierce animals. Others consider kungfu an approach by means of which the monks could make friends in the kungfu circle while studying the martial art. Still some others deem kungfu as something used to achieve longevity and good health. These explanations sound rather reasonable in their respective aspects, but they fail to touch upon the key point. Historical records have verified the truth that the four red walls of the Shaolin Temple have never separated any generation of the monks from the outer world. The temple yard is, at most, a small boat drifting on the ocean of the times. The waves of social evolution has never stopped beating the sides of the boat. If the monks wanted to be able to sit silently in calm meditation so as to practice their world outlook with "tranquility" as the cardinal principle, it was a must to have something dynamic as a supplement or support or protection. This vividly reflects the traditional Chinese philosophy that extreme tranquility generates dynamics. In the final analysis, kungfu is a means of fight with martial art. In the social competition, if without the protection by martial art, the tranquility of the Zen would have been impossible, let alone the later development. Regardless of the times, whether you are monks, Taoists or laymen, the most essential for human beings is survival. To have a detailed examination of each posture of the kungfu of Shaolin, every punch or kick constitutes an effort for survival and a maneuver in the course of competition. To protect tranquility with the dynamic, to generate dynamic with tranquility, to aid the dynamic with tranquility and the other way round...all this indicates that it was the profound understanding of the true meaning of these phenomena that the reverend Bodhi-dharma resolved to walk out of his cave.

As a matter of fact, before Bodhi-dharma came to China, kungfu had been highly developed already. however, the kungfu before his times arose out the necessity of war among the then social-political groups. During the time when the reverend Moha founded the Shaolin Temple, his disciples, such as Weiguang and Weineng, were also famous monks excellent in martial arts. The point is that during their times, martial art was not yet some independent system. The legend goes that Weiguang could kick the shuttle-cock for 500 times in a stroke, and Monk Chou drove away two fighting tigers with his buddhist staff. And the contribution devoted by Bhodi-dharma and the Zen was that the kungfu was combined with the individual personalities and got gradually methodized and systemized, which rendered it possible for the shaolin kungfu to develop and perfect itself in an eternal and stable way. It is this methodization and systemization that have brought about worldwide fame and everlasting glory. Though the kungfu of the Shaolin is not, necessarily the origin of the Chinese wushu, the Shaolin temple deserves the honor of the stream-head of the world's kungfu. The age of Bodhi-dharma has long elapsed together with the legend of "a shoe going west". But the martial art tradition he founded has been carried forward by the Shaolin monks from generation to generation. The Shaolin kungfu at present day has a splendid system. It's mysterious and remarkable martial arts have won world's admiration. Shaolin has become the world's most outstanding and widespread sect in the wushu circle.