The Legendary Shaolin Temple – Birth Place of Kung Fu

The legendary Shaolin Temple is perhaps one of the best known destinations in the world when it comes to martial arts. The Shaolin Temple is heralded as being the birthplace and home to the origins of modern Kung Fu. However it was originally constructed in 495 as a Buddhist monastery to house Batou who eventually became Grand Monk in the year 537.

Today it remains a highly important role as a center for Buddhism and pilgrims visiting for meditation. It is hugely popular with tourists from all over the world who come to see it as a historical site. It is also visited each year by police and security forces from across the globe coming to see the source of the training they now practice. Many foreign presidents and prime ministers also include the Shaolin Temple on their rounds including Russian leader Putin who also made a visit here and holds a black belt himself.

It is said that Kung Fu was started by another Buddhist monk – Boddhidharma after he spent 9 years meditating in a near by cave. The techniques where are first very rudimentary, but became honed into the amazing style witnessed today over hundreds of years. At one time the Shaolin Temple housed over 3,000 monks and martial arts students. Kung Fu’s rise to fame and recognition as an effective form of combat is due to the tale of 13 Shaolin monks who are said to have defeated an entire division of enemy troops in battle!

Since then Kung Fu has been exported across the world beginning with Japan in the form Okinawa Shorin Ryu karate in the 18th century and now is practiced in many styles in almost every country on earth. Still today the Shaolin Temple is a great place to go and watch Kung Fu in it’s original form. The Shaolin has also spawned several other training centers and schools throughout China that accept foreigners wanting to come and learn from masters that have trained for decades and have had closely guarded techniques handed down to them from generation to generation. However if you think it sounds like a fun trip, don’t expect it to be a picnic, this is some really hardcore training, by instructors who take their art very seriously.

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