Shaolin Kung Fu is one of the most respected and revered martial arts traditions in the world. The practitioners of Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin Monks, are esteemed as some of the most committed warriors, too. However, Shaolin Kung Fu is much more than just a martial art. It is part of a complete spirituality that is grounded in Buddhism. The path of a Shaolin Monk, if you choose to follow it, will require you to completely change your life. Shaolin Monks give up much, restrain themselves from typical pleasures that we take for granted, and have lives completely dedicated to their faith.
Shaolin Monks history Edit
The origin of all martial arts leads back to the famous Shaolin Temple in Henan Province in China. 1500 years before the Indian monk Bodhidharma (also known as Ta Mo) came in the Shaolin temple and found the Shaolin monks in a catastrophic health condition. He taught Buddhism to an already existing group of monks, and also taught some form of martial arts based on Indian martial arts and/or dance. The reason he did this was variously given as the monks were out of shape, or needed to defend themselves, or China was too cold to sit in yoga meditation and so he invented a moving meditation. Bodhidharma developed the 18 boxing techniques of Shaolin and trained the monks to prepare their body condition willingly for the long meditations. The exercises should promote the health of the monks, the steely muscles and stimulate the internal organs, so they live longer.
Shaolin monks daily routine:
Since the ancient times to the date, daily life of the monks at Shaolin temple have included to study and practice Chan Buddhism, to study and practice kung fu, and doing the temple affairs, like cleaning the temple, working at the farms, guarding the area, etc. The typical daily training schedule is:
5:20 am: rising from bed, 5:35–6:30: morning kung fu practice: warm-up and basic skills. 6:40–7:40: morning Buddhist lessons, 7:45–8:30: morning meal, 9:00–11:30: doing temple affairs, like working at farms, chopping wood, commercial affairs; elder and child monks attend Buddhist classes. 11:30–12:30: lunch 12:40–14:00: noon rest time, 14:00–17:00: afternoon kung fu practice: martial exercises and combat skills. 17:10–18:40: evening Buddhist lessons, 18:50–19:30: dinner, 21:00–23:00: 1 hour of night kung fu practice: reviewing and every kind of exercise. 23:10: going to bed.
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