Shaolin Kung-Fu

Shaolin kungfu has eighteen different official weapons, but there are forms for more.  Shaolin has five main animal styles – tiger, leopard, eagle, snake, and praying mantis – but there are more.  It is estimated that Shaolin has more than 200 open-hand forms, but no one has been able to record them all.

Historians of martial arts explain the creation of all these styles either for self-defense (Shaolin was an isolated monastery often attacked by bandits) or religious reasons (kungfu forms are a type of moving meditation), but that doesn’t explain the complexity.

It took me all of a week to come up with own theory: boredom.

Put a bunch of sexually repressed young men on a mountaintop with nothing to do but meditate and practice kungfu and the myriad of Shaolin styles is the result.

– American Shaolin by Matthew Polly, Pg. 91

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4 Responses to “Shaolin Kung-Fu”

  1. You spent a whole week to come up with that conclusion? That must have been one intense meditation session!

  2. I don’t know about boredom ! Actually, I visited one of the Shaolin temples in China, it was awesome!
    http://alwaysrestlessfeet.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/shao-lin-temple/

  3. That is an awesome book btw.

  4. ctkwingchun Says:

    Most excellent, Pak! Thanks for the link.

    I’ve quite enjoyed that book. I’ve laughed out loud because of it.

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