The History and Origins of Shaolin Kung Fu
Question: What exactly is Kung fu? Where did kung fu come from? How did it originate?
Answer: The simple answer is that kung fu is a way of fighting. It is a stylized system of combat that comes from China. Here at the Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy, our school teaches both techniques and strategies from many different styles of martial arts but the emphasis is on Shaolin temple kung fu. The history of this extremely unique style of martial arts begins in the great and venerable temple named Shaolin. The Shaolin temple is one of the most ancient temples of Southern China. Throughout its history it was legendary for its incredible kung fu fighting monks that lived and trained within its walls. [pullquote style=”right” quote=”dark”]These warrior monks were masters of the martial art of kung fu. These men and women dedicated their lives to a grueling regimen of martial arts training in hopes of reaching the highest levels of inner knowledge. [/pullquote] These warrior monks were masters of the martial art of kung fu. These men and women dedicated their lives to a grueling regimen of martial arts training in hopes of reaching the highest levels of inner knowledge. Throughout the history of Shaolin temple, the monks in this monastery trained for up to 8 hours per day in the martial arts of kung fu, chin na, shuai chiao, and tai chi chuan in addition to farming, meditating and studying the scripture of Buddhism and Taoism. The name of the particular martial arts style taught at our school is Shaolin Fut Ga Kuen. This literally translates to “young forest Buddhist family fist” or “The martial arts style of the monks of Shaolin Temple.” Its history first starts in the early 17th century. Shaolin Fut Ga kung fu originated as a fusion of the 5 most powerful and efficient kung fu schools of the time. Training in the martial art of Shaolin Kung fu requires, patience, dedication and hard work. It is only through working hard that you can get the all the benefits that martial arts have to offer.
Question: Did the monks invent kung fu?
Answer: For most of its long history, China was virtually a lawless land. There were many tribes of marauding bandits that roamed the countryside looking for easy targets to seize. The Shaolin temple had many halls and grounds that would make it a perfect target for theses outlaws. Thus out of this very basic need for self protection did this class warrior monks arise. Self defense was the motivator that led these pacifists to start learning martial arts, but how did these monks first learn the art of Shaolin kung fu? [pullquote style=”right” quote=”dark”]The story of the origin of Shaolin temple kung fu is legend.[/pullquote]The story of the origin of Shaolin temple kung fu is legend. During the Ching Dynasty in China, there were many dissident and malcontents that were very interested in overthrowing the central government of China. In the eyes of many, China was being ruled by foreigners. The people to the North of China were called Manchurians. The Manchus were ethnically different from the majority of the people of China who were called Han. Many of the dissidents that desired the overthrow of this foreign government, were experts at different schools of kung fu. These kung fu martial arts masters had devised their own systems of fighting from their personal experiences and battles. Each had their school of fighting named after their surname. For example if John Smith had devised a particular school or style the school or style would then be named after him (Smith Ga Kuen) or Smith family kung fu school. Many of these rebels and kung fu martial arts masters found themselves living within the walls of the Shaolin Temple at one time or another. They taught their school of kung fu martial arts to the Shaolin temple warrior monks who lived there, in exchange for hiding out from the Ching government officials.
The 5 Great Schools/Families Of Kung Fu
Early on in its history, one monk at the Shaolin temple was fortunate enough to learn kung fu martial arts from fighters that had mastered the 5 most popular schools at the time which were called Lau Ga, Li Ga, Mok Ga, Hung Ga, and Choy Ga. This Shaolin master realized the value of incorporating different schools or styles together and took only the best techniques of each school and discarded all kung fu martial arts techniques he thought were useless or ineffective. This became Shaolin Fut Ga Kuen kung fu or Monk Family Fist. Throughout the history of the martial art of kung fu, masters have been learning many different schools or styles and combining them to become more efficient. It was because of this open minded attitude of combining different schools or styles, that Shaolin kung fu martial arts became and remained a very powerful school of martial arts.