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Thread: the 108 wooden men hall

  1. #1
    Kymus Guest

    the 108 wooden men hall

    In a baddly subtitled jaky Chan movie I first saw this, it looked really cool, I know there are also two books out on it. I would greatly appreciate any information on this subject.

    "Crosstraining is the key"
    ~Sifu Rick Tucci~

  2. #2
    Kung Lek Guest

    The hall of wooden men is quite legendary in Shaolin circles.

    This hall was the last hall the monk would pass through before entering into the outside world as a buddhist priest.

    The wooden men were rigged to spin, fall, rush, launch weapons etc, at the monk as he passed through to get to the gate which led to the outside courtyard.
    To get through the hall the monk would need all of his kung fu skills to succeed or he would be injured or worse yet, killed.

    when he finally did get through the wooden men he would come to a door that was blocked by an urn filled with burning hot coals of iron filings that he would need to lift out of the way of the door before he could leave the temple. He was required to lift with his forearms and in doing so, to raised designs would be forever burned into his arms marking him as a Shaolin Priest. they were Dragon and tiger.

    or, so the legend goes. The legend actually was shown in several movies but most notably it was in the opening scenes of every episode of the old Kung Fu tv series with david carradine. I know that movies are lousy references to Kung fu but hey, that's the way it goes. take it for what its worth.


    Kung Lek

  3. #3
    Iron_Monkey Guest
    I thought all that stuff was fake. It is kind of a cool story, Though. But Kung Fu the show (not the shoddy half-asked new one) is a veritable bounty of wisdom. Each morning, at 4 am Mountain Standard Time, I rise to recieve my instruction in the ways of Buddha and the martial arts. For that blissful hour each morning, I am inspired, enlightened, and somtimes humbled by the wise words of Master Po and the brave Cain. I struggle with Cain through his hardships although somtimes I let my pride get the better of be when somone treats Cain unfairly, and I yell at the TV, "Beat his ass to a bloody pulp, Cain!" But Cain and I know that, if we chivalrous, stay true to the Spirit of Shaolin, and walk the middle path, then good will always overcome evil. I start each day with a sense of renewed hope and optimism for what the day will bring. Kung Fu, even though they ripped Bruce off, still turned out to be a wonderful piece of enlightenment. It should be classified as educational entertainment in my book. I just thank my lucky stars that someone in the TV business loves that show as much as I do, and plays it at 4 am Mountain Standard Time.

    [This message has been edited by Iron_Monkey (edited 08-16-2000).]

  4. #4
    Fa Hui Guest
    The old Kung-fu show isn't probably the best place for Buddhism and or how Shaolin Temple is or was. Number one, they have no idea about the teachings of Buddha nor do they teach anything about Ch'an throughout the series. Also the Shaolin Temple undoubtedly was never like that, although i am not sure about then, now it is far from Kwai Chang Caine. For more info on Shaolin today, you should go to this site presents the truth of Shaolin today, but prepared for culture shock, because this is nothing those old Kungfu movies and television series. If you want to get a fantastic dose of Buddhism go to,, this is an excellent site of Ch'an (zen) Buddhism. Make sure you read THE SEVENTH WORLD OF CH'AN BUDDHISM, this is an excellent book. Anyways, take care.


    Fa Hui

    [This message has been edited by Fa Hui (edited 08-16-2000).]

  5. #5
    MoQ Guest
    Don't be too hard on that show, man. It not only introduced those images of Shaolin to the West, but the term "Kung Fu" itself!

    I'm sorry if Bruce was in any way ripped off, but we're **** lucky it went down the way it did 'cuz Bruce would've SUCKED as Caine.

  6. #6
    Tekarius Guest
    Bruce would have sucked as caine, we don't know, but certainly you don't think David Carradine is better then Bruce Lee? David Carradine doesn't even know kung fu.
    just given another opinion man no offense or anything like that dude.

    Kung Lek,
    I heard of that but I heard its 18 wooden dummies and not 108 right?


    [This message has been edited by Tekarius (edited 08-16-2000).]

  7. #7
    Fa Hui Guest
    Well I wasn't insulting the show at all. Infact, I love to watch the show when I am sick as a dog lying on the couch. But you should not use it as a source of information but a source of inspiration.


    Fa Hui

    [This message has been edited by Fa Hui (edited 08-16-2000).]

  8. #8
    Paul Skrypichayko Guest
    Are you kidding? David Carradine represents all that sucks in the world of martial arts. He may have been in a somewhat popular yet hokey TV show, but he really brought a negative image to Chinese martial arts. The guy is a criminal and drug addict, has no martial skills whatsoever, and he really caused a lot of negative martial arts and racial stereotypes.

    How can any sane martial artist see anything good with that guy? How can you compare him to Jet Li, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, or even Van Damme? hahaha

  9. #9
    Taomonkey Guest
    As I was told, GM Williem Reeders said that when you lift the urn with your forearms, you do not end up with a tiger and dragon on your arms, you just get burned.

    As for the show Kung Fu, I also love to watch it, so the martial arts are crappy if you even want to call it MA. The darhma sceenes are my favorite. The producers actually did talk with several Masters from the old Sholin, pre communist.

    I have a question for you new Sholin Guys?
    If a tennant of Communism, is "Religion is Poison", and in China religion has been outlawed since the time of MAo. The Fulon Gong chi kung sect members and leaders are hunted and arrested every day there. How does Sholin still exist, if it is still true to its origional teachings, or is it a tourist attraction showing good wu shu.

    This is a serious question, not just to start an argument.

    What are your thoughts?

  10. #10
    Fa Hui Guest
    Buddhism is no longer outlawed in China anymore. Its just limited. In the olden days Buddhism would be taught by public chats and such, now it is taught privately. This is good and bad. Its good, because this allows a one on one type basis, which is easier in some ways more than public talks, but the public talks help get people interested in Buddhism and also helped the Monastic community (the Sangha) grow. But religion is no longer outlawed there. You can't tell people they can't practice religion anymore, its like telling a teenager not to notice the member of the opposite sex (i dare you to try that and see what happens). Many monasteries are in desperate need of repair as well, Shaolin being one of them.

    Now with Shaolin things are a changing. The new abbot is now making it a requirment for all future monks to attend a Buddhist College before being ordained, this as upset many people of Chinese and Non-Chinese orgin. For more on this visit
    this will have the information on the politics of shaolin. That is all for now. Take care.


    Fa Hui

  11. #11
    MoQ Guest
    Who's Willem Reeders? GM of what? He's right though, there was a design on the urn that burned across your arms and chest, not cute lil' tatts.

    Paul, don't get your panties in a bunch. No one is knocking your favorite action stars. I just stated something you teenage know-it-alls may not realize:
    "It not only introduced those images of Shaolin to the West, but the term "Kung Fu" itself!"

  12. #12
    Quite to the contrary, the old Kung Fu tv series was very accurate in its portrayal of a Shaolin temple. Not all Shaolin temples were Ch'uan, many were taoist and others were a blend of taoism and Ch'uan. Many of the sayings in the tv series are right out of the Tao and it clear to me that the temple portrayed is one with strong taoist roots. We are led to believe that the temple in the show is the one at Honan it is more like the temples at Omei. At one time there were over 100 such temples on Omei mountain and many of them were very beautiful architecturally like the one in the tv program. In fact, several have survived intact and you may travel and see for yourself the beautiful gardens, streams and nature that is nearby.

    I might add too, that the television series used actual Shaolin monks from a temple in northern California as advisors and hence, it's accuracy. That temple was founded by refugees from several different temples in China who fled to America during the destruction of the temples during the Boxer Rebellion.

    As for the halls of Wooden men, I only know of one temple that was supposed to have had it. It was the temple at Kwantung, although some legend says one existed at Fukien. Most temples did have running of the gauntlet ritual that the student had to pass through as part of the his last ceremony.

    Perhaps this small bit of information will be of help in addressing this question. I have read on some of these boards that there are some who even question the existence of any Shaolin temples and who say Da Mo and Lao Tzu were myths. It is very sad, but then again, these individuals probably also think Buddah was a myth too.

    P.S. For those who are truly doubters about the temples tours are available to Omei. See for yourslf as I have.

    May Peace Be With You

    [This message has been edited by Sifu Bok Se Teung (edited 08-17-2000).]

  13. #13
    Iron_Monkey Guest
    Do any of you know David Carradine? He is probably the most kind, gentle, and drunk man I have ever known. His mastery of the martial arts is second to none. Having been a personal student of his, I can attest to this fact. If any of you think he is just some washout, I dare you to challenge his "Cocaine induced psychotic raging fist" style kung fu! Then we will see who is real and who is fake........

  14. #14
    SnakeEagle Guest
    Carradine let it all go to his head too. His brother the one from revenge of the nerds' said That He was getting all cocky around his friends like he really knew something, So he beat the crap out of him.. I wish I could have seen that!

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