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Thread: What do/don't you consider as being "Shaolin" ?

  1. #1

    What do/don't you consider as being "Shaolin" ?

    ok, the term "Shaolin" basically is a generic term of styles that came from, developed from, or influenced by the martial arts of the Shaolin temple in the northern part of China.

    However, what I would like to hear is where does people draw the line between Shaolin and not Shaolin ?

    When someone says "I train the style of Shaolin", which do you accept and disregard as being what he is possibly practicing.

    Styles such as Northern Shaolin, Mizong, Lohan, Erlang, Yin Ching, etc I would definately consider as being Shaolin. I would even accept Baji and Piqua as well.

    However, things like eagle claw becomes rather blurry.

    Praying Mantis I believe is even further. So I don't consider that as being "Shaolin" Shaolin. Just a style that was developed from it.

    Internal arts I would not consider.

    Under the premise that the Southern temple did not exist, I would say that most southern arts are not Shaolin either. If you disagree with that premise, then same question applies, which styles do you consider as being too far away to be considered when someone says "I train the art of Shaolin" to you ?

  2. #2
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    Smile Here's a theory

    I shared my thoughts in KFO Mantis Forum already. Check the link below:

    Thoughts on Shaolin and TCMA In General

    Regards

    Mantis108
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  3. #3
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    Tough Question

    I feel Shaolin is its own distinct style. When I think of Shaolin I think of the Shaolin temple, monks, buddhism and martial arts all rolled into one. Yes, Shaolin does have "influence" in other martial arts, however, the other great martial artists who have come along and advanced a particular style like mantis, tiger, eagle claw, wing chun etc. etc. has added their own "flavor" so I wouldn't consider it Shaolin. Shaolin has it sets of traditional forms along with Wushu forms which are very distinct.

  4. #4
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    Basically, for a school to claim Shaolin lineage I look for the following:

    1. Temple Exercises - Muscle/Tendon Change, Golden Bell/IronShirt, traditional warm ups.

    2. Forms to include Longfist and the Shaolin 10 fist sets. You should also have a healthy availability of animal forms.

    3. Tai Chi. Meditation, and Chi Gung to be emphasised for well-rounded training.

    Some of my earliest learnings were that the kung fu is only part of being Lohan and I came to understand that rather quickly.

  5. #5
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    i dont consider wah lum shaolin. or wing chun or chay lay fut(sp??). but i dont know too much about choy lay foot. hmmm any tibetan martial art i dont consider shaolin. i know those 3 styles have their roots somewhere from shaolin, but i dont consider them shaolin. other ones border line for me are jsut some of the crap styles invented in the last 10 years from white people that they claim are true shaolin. oh and shaolin-do

  6. #6

    shaolin eagle claw

    eagle claw's past is very diverse but the founders direct teacher "zhao tong" was a shaolin student.

    Eagle Claw is primarily: Fan Tzi Quan, Ying Kuen (eagle Fist) and Chang Chuan (long fist catagory). All 3 have their roots in shaolin quan.

  7. #7
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    To be "Shaolin"

    It must include Ch'an (zen).
    It must include healing practices.
    It must include Martial arts practice.

    (personally, I feel the real benchmark is the Ch'an where as the martial arts, animals and styles etc are less important simply because the shaolin have influenced, built and created so many styles over the centuries, this set or that set or the other set is of considerably less importance. No Ch'an=No Shaolin imo)

    cheers
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  8. #8
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    I agree with Kung Lek's definition and I'd like to emphasize the importance of moral code and philosophy (Zen) practiced in Shaolin that has survived from generation to generation. As for the physical side, I honestly don't know, because I couldn't possibly find concrete evidence of all the various forms of martial arts practiced in Shaolin hundreds of years ago to plausibly pinpoint their connections with styles that exist now.
    "Extra inch, extra power." -Tarm Sarm

  9. #9
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    What's in a name?

    It's all Shaolin, if you're going to put faith in the Bodhidharma legend. Where I draw my distinction is the lineage. Even the maligned Shaolin-do can stake a claim as long as they draw some lineage. Sure, sure, we can go into the dog-faced monk and all and whether you beleive it or not, but the same scrutiny can be applied to any lineage - we all have skeletons in the closet, maybe not dog-faced monks, but skeletons.

    The important distinction here is just that. For example, there is Songshan Shaolin - the curriculam that is actually practiced at Songshan today. There is also Bak Sil Lum - northern shaolin - does that have Chan? Well, marginally, as much as anything can have Chan. Many of the southern styles like Hung Gar, Wing Chun etc. draw their lineage to Shaolin, so they could call themselves Shaolin Wing Chun if they want.

    One of the fundamental teachings of Buddhism is not to be possessive of the teachings. So to be possessive of the name Shaolin misses the Chan. Now this gets complicated, especially with the current movement from the temple to trademark Shaolin. Their stance is that there were products that defied Buddhist principles bearing the Shaolin name, the most frequently cited was Shaolin sausage. You know, to this day I regret not keeping a Shaolin sausage wrapper, just for posterity. Anyways, this raises the question of where to draw the line in the sand, often a tricky problem for any religious doctrine. It boils down to a schizophrenic contradiction in the application of Buddhist principles: non-possessiveness vs. compassionate diet. What's the solution? Time will tell.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #10
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    ahhhh Shaolin Sausage.....is it good?

    yeah, it can be considered all Shaolin. I like the way you put it Gene. There are a lot of schools that consider themselves Shaolin and don't have the "chan". It either makes it or breaks it.
    Last edited by Songshan; 12-12-2003 at 10:12 AM.

  11. #11
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    I never tried Shaolin Sausage

    I remember all the kids would buy that Shaolin sausage whenever they had a little extra cash - their bodies were probably craving protein. It can in these little plastic tubes, kind of like a pepperidge farm sausage but the size of a mini hot dog, and looked sort of like spam. I was too freaked out about food in those early years to try it. I did try Shaolin mineral water - in fact, I have an old label from one of those ubiquitous plastic bottles. That's was pretty good actually. The seals were strong so you knew you were getting clean water and it seemed to be more refreshing than the other brands. That's probably just brand loyalty on my part

    Mind you, there are still Shaolin products available, both official and illegal. The newest official one is Shaolin Tea. I'll give you all a little tip, just ofr the Shaolin forum loayl - we are not going to carry Shaolin Tea any more. Tea comes under food tariff and with the cost of transportation, customs, etc, plus the shelf life, it will be discontinued. Once we sell out, we won't restock. Too bad, it's a good product. Personally, I don't think it's that flavorful as Chinese tea goes, but I can be a tea snob after being spoiled by some of the monks who cultivate tea as a Chan discipline. But the containers are sure cool. Anyways, if you want one and don't think you'llbe going to Shaolin soon, better grab it now. It won't last.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  12. #12
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    Chinwoo-er,
    Why not Mantis?
    Even the Shaolin temple supports that Fuju invited 18 masters to Shaolin around the beginning of the Song(960-1279) Dynasty.
    The styles and names of teachers were preserved at that time.
    This is in Shaolin records as well as Mantis which has preserved an in depth version of the old manuscripts.
    The dates and stories can't be verified through normal historical channels.

    Though all undateable the writing style as well as choice of characters suggest great antiquity.

    After the Song, Shaolin MA fades from the spotlight, not to appear until middle to late Ming(1368-1644).
    Here is where the fame of Shaolin stick fighting starts.
    The story of Shaolin stick can easily be traced to the Yuan(1260-1368)(maybe earlier by others)when written material appears.
    The originator of Shaolin stick-we are talking Yuan legend here-was a cook who used his stick to beat invading bandits.
    The legend later claims him to be Jinnaluo.

    It has been rewritten at different times with different names and details though.

    Shaolin's big fame with the stick began in the Ming with the manual Exposition of Shaolin Stick(one of the best and most important CMA books ever written).
    Though there are also verifiable accounts prior to this of the greatness of Shaolin stick.

    The Longfist derivitives such as Hua Chuen, to my knowledge, aren't mentioned until Chi Ji Guang's military training manual of mid Ming dynasty.
    Though it first appears in the alleged Fuju's account of 18 masters.

    In this book other styles such as Eagle Claw are also mentioned.

    A book on Shaolin published in early Ching(1644-1911) but with roots to late Ming gives a different picture of Shaolin pugilism.
    This book details Mi Chuen, which, to my knowledge, is not practiced by Shaolin temple anymore.

    Scythefall,
    The methods descended from Shaolin are vast.
    Many legit schools of Shaolin can easily not include any of your mentioned requirements.

    To determine if the MA is genuine Shaolin:
    -Prove to some extant the date of Fuju's 18 masters and clearly show where the descended over the past hundreds (thousand?)of years.

    -Show how a master studied at Shaolin as in ngokfei's case.
    -anymore?

  13. #13
    Tainan Mantis
    Good post, I was planning to
    sit down and do a post myself and will do so in the near future. As you point out
    Shaolin's fame (including todays interest) was the result of generations of lay-practioners from many different schools and traditions keeping its name alive over many, many centuries.

    r.
    Last edited by rik; 12-13-2003 at 07:27 AM.

  14. #14
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    Smile About Fuju's work

    Frankly, I always have reservation about Fuju's manuscripts.

    1) The name of Fuju needs to be verified. I have seen 2 characters of Ju in Chinese. One character means "resides" which seems to be the more popularly used. The other is "gathering" which is not as common. Do we know for sure that Fu represents the generation? If it does, which generation (time) was he? We need that info to verify with others.

    2) We know for sure that 18 styles listed Song Taitzu as the first and foremost style. This indicates that the work has to be much later than 976 and must be sometime after Song Taitzu's death because the title was given posthumously as custom required.

    3) there are at least 2 names, Yinching and Lin Chong, who appeared in a Ming dynasty novel "water margin" which set the story timeline arround 1100 CE. Some people claim that Water Margin was based on an uprising that happen in Shandong but the time was late Song arround 1200s. Assuming that these 2 did exist and the time mark would be arround 1200s. This we can cross check with Fuju's generation.

    4) How and when did this text gets into Mantis system and other systems? It is said that this survived a 1927 CE a raid of the Shaolin temple. So is this being reprinted and became popular arround the 30s and 40s amongst the CMA community?

    There are quite a few things that remain unanswered about this text. The best we can do is to approach it with care.

    Mantis108
    Last edited by mantis108; 12-13-2003 at 01:42 PM.
    Contraria Sunt Complementa

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    凡立勢不可站定。凡交手須是要走。千着萬着﹐走為上着﹐進為高着﹐閃賺騰挪為
    妙着。


    CCK TCPM in Yellowknife

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  15. #15
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    Re: What do/don't you consider as being "Shaolin" ?

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Chinwoo-er
    [Internal arts I would not consider.

    QUOTE]

    lol


    ...and this dude thinks he's practicing kungfu...

    bwahahahahahahahaha

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