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Thread: Shaolin commercialism

  1. #1
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    Shaolin commercialism

    a unit of the temple?

    China's famed Shaolin temple kick starts online store
    Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:20pm BST
    By Sophie Taylor

    SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of kung fu and the star of many martial arts films, has set up an online store to flog its wares.

    Named "Shaolin The Stage of Joy," a Web page has been set up by a unit of the temple on popular Chinese e-commerce site www.taobao.com, offering a range of goods including shoes, tea, T-shirts and slippers.

    Enthusiasts can snap up a kung fu instruction manual for 9,999 yuan ($1,456), or pick up a pair of "environmentally friendly" chopsticks for 29 yuan.

    This is not the first time that the monastery -- known in the West as the training ground for Kwai Chang "Grasshopper" Caine in the 1970s hit television series "Kung Fu" -- has made a commercial foray.

    Shaolin Temple's business ventures include kung fu shows, film production and a reality TV search for the next kung fu star. Its monks also go on world tours to perform feats of agility and balance.

    The temple, in central Henan province, was also the driving force behind a local government plan to float shares in tourism assets, a Hong Kong newspaper reported late last year.

    But the temple came under fire in 2006 after a senior Chinese monk was awarded a luxury car for services to the local tourism industry, which forms a bulk of the city's revenues.

    Some Chinese Web surfers also appeared equally unimpressed by the Shaolin Temple's latest commercial venture.

    "Shaolin temple is getting less and less likeable," one Internet user wrote in an essay posted on news site ifeng.com on Wednesday. "There's a giant laughing buddha in Shaolin temple. If it saw what the temple is doing these days, I'm not so sure it would still be laughing."

    ($1=6.866 Yuan)

    (Editing by Miral Fahmy)
    Gene Ching
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  2. #2
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    yeah...just saw that on msnbc...oh gee, the secret's out now
    "The true meaning of a given movement in a form is not its application, but rather the unlimited potential of the mind to provide muscular and skeletal support for that movement." Gregory Fong

  3. #3
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    The article came out over Reuters so it got a lot of coverage

    I haven't quite been able to figure out taobao yet. We did a search there. My favorite discovery so far is this. I can't resist babelfishing this:
    Commodity name: Shaolin Temple element cake/peanut shortbread Ingredient: The vegetarian diet butter, the walnut are broken, hard sugar, peanut oil, special-purpose powder, coconut tree powder, table salt Specification: 320 grams Guarantees the nature time: 12 months Edible method: Breaks a seal is the food Depositing: Cool dry place " Shaolin Temple element cake " The formula is fastidious, it originates from the Shaolin Temple inherited meals secret recipe, releases by Shaolin Temple extends teaches master the supervised manufacture. Uses raw material butter is the pure element butter which Taiwan produces. The element cake low sugar, does not contain the fat, after the food, has effect of the rapid supplement physical ability. The Mt. Songshan Shaolin Temple is the world famous imperial sacrifices ancestors courtyard, is also Shaolin sends the skill at martial arts the place of origin, has emphatically the important place position in the Chinese Buddhism history. The vegetarian diet true development is also spreads to China after Buddhism starts, the temple and the vegetarian diet have had the very complicated relation. According to the record, Shaolin Temple once used the Shaolin vegetarian diet to entertain Emperor Taitsung of Tang, Yuanshizhu Emperor, the clear too ancestor successively in the temple and so on more than 20 kings. Because A.D. 629 year in September, Emperor Taitsung of Tang read and the same year 13 stick monks rescues graciousness, led personally Wei Zheng et al. to visit Shaolin Temple, Hao Zong buddhist priest entertains Emperor Taitsung of Tang by 60 many patterns vegetarian diet ornaments coiled dragon feast. In the temple vegetarian diet, has contained the idea which Buddhism universals restoration, leniency. The world first session martial arts festival holds in Henan, the world will appreciate the area south of Yellow River martial arts charm and Shaolin Temple culture broad and profound. The head store series Shaolin Temple vegetarian diet is your throughout the year nutrition companion, is also your home travel, presents high quality goods of the relatives and friends.
    Gene Ching
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    As much respect i have for shaolin and the real monks within it, when will they take a look at what they are doing to themselfs and realise that this is not what they are supposed to be about or is it? have they forgotten they are monks? or were they never monks to start with? ( at least some of them) interesting ?

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    You can't beleive Reuters nowadays

    taobao means something like 'dig out treasure'. It's and e-commerce site akin to Craig's list or eBay, but you have to be a member to play. Private individuals or companies can post items they have for sale. Unlike eBay, this is driven more by companies selling wholesale inventories than individuals auctioning personal items. This site seems to be based in Zhejiang. We've signed in and are trying to locate the site. 53,187 matches come up when we search Shaolin on taobao. There are 7 Shaolin subsections that come up. There are even more subsections under each of these. None of them seem to be official. They all seem to be The stores are selling various Shaolin items, mostly VCDs, but also weapons, movies, and of course, Shaolin Temple element cake/peanut shortbread.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #6
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    Word of warning

    Do not join taobao. We are getting peppered by taobao spam. Should have seen that one coming.

    We doubled checked on the official Shaolin Temple site and couldn't find any mention of Shaolin The Stage of Joy. The official Shaolin site does not have a store at this time. There's a book listing for Shaolin publications, but there's not even a basket or means to purchase. That's always been a funky site, especially the English section. I asked Abbot Yongxin about that years ago and he just laughed at me.
    Gene Ching
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  7. #7
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    more grist for the mill

    Shaolin Temple Should Curb Commercial Endeavors
    2008-06-30 10:00:14

    The Shaolin Temple in central China's Henan Province has come under fire for selling "Shaolin Kung Fu and Medicine Secret", a series of kung fu instruction manuals.

    Priced at about 10,000 yuan each, or nearly 1,500 U.S. dollars, the book is the most expensive item in the temple's online shop.

    An article in the China Youth Daily says the Shaolin Temple has focused too much on making money, harming its prestige as a Buddhist pilgrimage site.

    In traditional culture, kung fu masters only pass down their skills to their apprentices based on their virtues rather than on economic conditions. But the article points out that the high price of the book prevents most martial art lovers from buying it.

    The article also questions the manual's authenticity and originality and points out that it has no real contents. It is believed to have been written by Shi Yongxin, the temple's celebrity abbot, the article says.

    The article emphasizes that the Shaolin Temple should restrict its commercial endeavors and return to its role as a symbol of Buddhist culture.
    This one is more of a fair cop. Shaolin does offer some very expensive books.
    Gene Ching
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    Now I want to know where to get a powdered coconut tree to make Element Cakes.

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    Yijinjing is secret?

    Yijinjing has been officially recognized as one of four qigong forms that China is actively promoting, so there's a ton of new materials on it, most notable the stuff from FLP. Our non-profit arm, the Tiger Claw Foundation, is involved with a workshop this October on this. See Qigong Symposium - Total Health & Wellness Center: Grandmasters from China - Qigong Symposium The articles below make it sound like no one has ever released yijinjing.

    Here's a yijinjing secret DVD. Shhh. If the abbot knew I was releasing these, he'd have my bald head.

    Once-secretive Shaolin wants to teach kung fu to everybody

    SHANGHAI (AFP) — China's Shaolin Temple, famous as the birthplace of kung fu, is planning to roll out classes across the country to teach martial arts once reserved for just a few, state media said Friday.

    Wang Shifa, director of Shaolin Huanxidi Company, told the Shanghai Daily that Shaolin Temple, located in central China's Henan province, is in talks with gyms in major cities to start training classes by the end of this year.

    The classes will help popularise the temple's previously exclusive practice of "Yijinjing", a form of kung fu often known as Chinese yoga, which has been widely portrayed in martial arts novels and films, the report said.

    Wang's company is a subsidiary of the temple's commercial arm, which also operates an eBay-style store selling Shaolin branded merchandise on China's Taobao auction site.

    Cheng Tao, director of the temple's Yijinjing Research Center, told AFP that Yijinjing was a series of movements that help strengthen muscles and bones, and coordinate breathing.

    "Actually it is not as mysterious as people think. It's just like yoga, good for everyday fitness. Even though the moves and respiratory control methods are very unique, ordinary people can still master it after practice," Cheng said.

    Cheng said he believed in making the secret martial art form better known. The research centre he heads has already started to offer distance learning, relevant books and DVDs on Yijinjing.
    Shaolin Temple to start commercial drive amid controversy

    A conical bamboo hat, Chinese kung fu slippers and even secret martial arts instruction manuals -- all these you can already find in the Shaolin Temple's online shop with its own registered trademark.

    But to realize your dream of becoming a Dragon Warrior like Poe the panda, you'd better sign up for the kung fu training courses that the legendary temple is offering.

    After a series of commercial drives, the monastery in the central Henan Province, will publicize its secret practice "Yijinjing", or literally "Muscle/tendon Change Classic", a once-exclusive kung fu, by publishing books and providing training courses, according to the Shanghai-based Oriental Morning Post.

    "We have made Yijinjing CDs and textbooks and are planning to launch training courses in the country's biggest cities first and then go to the smaller ones," Cheng Tao, a senior official with a martial arts research center affiliated to the temple, was quoted by the newspaper.

    But he did not reveal the specific timetable and course price.

    Sources said that Shaolin would cooperate with local fitness centers and Yoga gyms to provide Yijinjing courses but Cheng said he was not clear about that.

    Yijinjing, dubbed "Chinese yoga", is expected to turn flaccid and frail sinews and tendons into strong and sturdy ones by a set of body movements and respiration controlling methods.

    "We believe the practice of Yijinjing can enhance the practitioners' martial art power and build a strong body even if they are beginners," Cheng added.

    He said the movements were very easy to follow.

    Traditionally, kung fu masters only passed down skills to selected apprentices based on their virtues rather than on their economic conditions.

    The latest commercial move has exposed Shaolin into harsh criticism, which the 1,500-year kung fu shrine is no stranger to.

    Almost 90 percent of the 500 netizens who commented on Sina forum on the piece six hours after its release voiced their dissatisfaction with the over-commercialized temple.

    "The temple has been degrading to a company," an anonymous netizen from central Hubei said.

    Shaolin abbot Shi Yongxin declined to comment on the issue. "I am not yet clear about it," he told Xinhua.

    Shi has earned the nickname of the "CEO monk", since many people have accused him of running Shaolin like a business.

    Over the past years, under his leadership, Shaolin has developed business ventures include kungfu shows, film production and online selling.

    But Shi's supporters said it is a good way to develop Shaolin in such a brand-oriented society because commercialized operation helps to protect and spread Chinese kung fu further.

    (Xinhua News Agency September 5, 2008)
    Gene Ching
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Yijinjing has been officially recognized as one of four qigong forms that China is actively promoting
    What are the other 3?

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    sweet its in english!
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Mantis View Post
    Genes too busy rocking the gang and scarfing down bags of cheetos while beating it to nacho ninjettes and laughing at the ridiculous posts on the kfforum. In a horse stance of course.

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    NJM, follow the link

    From the Qigong Symposium site above:

    These four forms, Five Animal Frolics (五禽戲 wuxingxi), Bone Marrow Washing (易筋經 yijinjing), Six Healing Sounds (六字訣 liuzijue), and Eight Section Brocade (八段錦 baduanjin) are based on traditional healthcare methods and refined by the Chinese Health Qigong Association (established in 2002 to enhance today’s busy lifestyle) the only nationally sanctioned health Qigong organization.
    FLP has put out a nice instructional book series, complete with DVD, for each form. They are exorbitantly expensive here so far. We're hoping to start importing them at a more reasonable price.
    Gene Ching
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    I'm changing the title of this thread

    It started out as "Shaolin Temple's online store" but I'm changing it to "Shaolin commercialism".
    Zen and the martial art of Buddhist temple maintenance
    Published Date: 11 January 2009
    By Andrew Jacobs in Guandu
    THE cluster of temples at the heart of this dusty, traffic-clogged town are picturesque reminders of China's faded Buddhist past. Dogs warm themselves in the winter sun as a few toothless devotees bow before smiling Buddhas.
    While soothing to some, the tranquility is galling to Guandu's city fathers, who recently spent $3m to rebuild the four temples.

    "The temples have been money losers," grumbled Dou Weibao, the commissioner of ethnic and religious affairs in Guandu, which has long since been subsumed by the sprawl of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province.

    Dou found a saviour 1,200 miles away, in the Song Mountains of central China, where the warrior monks of Shaolin have long since mastered the art of monastery marketing.

    Since the early 1990s, the chief abbot, Shi Yongxin, has turned Shaolin into a lucrative draw for kung fu aficionados and has transformed his lithe disciples into global emissaries for the temple's crowd-pleasing mix of Zen Buddhism and fly-kick combat.

    In November, the two parties struck a straightforward deal. In exchange for managing the Guandu temples for 30 years, the monks will keep all proceeds from the donation boxes and gift shops. Shaolin said its primary goals were to carry out charitable activities, maintain the temples and "spread the faith".

    Dou, an atheist, sees things somewhat differently. "We're going to use their fame to attract more business," he said as he and some newly arrived monks exchanged pleasantries.

    Guandu officials say they will get no money from the deal but they hope the Shaolin mystique will pull in the kind of crowds that have turned the monastery's Henan province flagship into one of China's most popular tourist destinations.

    Dou said the government would save the £57,000 a year previously spent on temple maintenance.

    They are also counting on the tax revenue from a vast new mall that is nearing completion next to the temple complex.

    The management deal has provoked howls among some Chinese, with many critics decrying the commercialisation wrought by Yongxin, who drives a Land Rover and has established Shaolin branches in Italy, Germany and Australia.

    "Shaolin Chain Store", read the headline of one recent posting on Sina.com, a popular website. "There's nothing wrong with chasing profits and fame, but they can't use the name of Buddha."

    But after reading about the Shaolin deal in his local newspaper, Ying Daojin made the eight-hour journey by bus just to catch a glimpse of the monks. A 30-year-old corn farmer from northeast Yunnan, Ying described himself as a non-believer but seemed willing to give religion a try. "I've heard Buddhism can open your mind," he said wide-eyed as a monk glided by. "Kung fu is also good for your health."

    According to his secretary, Yongxin, the head monk based in Henan province, does not give telephone interviews but he encouraged a reporter to seek out Master Yanjiang, the abbot assigned to run the Guandu complex.

    Yanjiang, however, proved just as elusive and refused to discuss his plans for the temples. His monks were decidedly unapproachable.

    The young men waved away inquiries. When one bespectacled monk found himself the subject of a photographer's interest, he grabbed the camera and then offered a menacing martial arts pose when his demand to have the pictures erased went unmet. Negotiations proved fruitless and the pictures were deleted. The monk bowed, smiled and walked away.

    A few days after their arrival, the monks taped a handwritten poster at the temple entrance advertising kung fu lessons. The cost: £30 for a month of instruction, nearly a full month's wage for some Chinese workers. The security guard at the front gate said the classes were selling well, with more than 100 people already signed up. He showed off the student roster, most of them children and teenagers. "Everyone loves the Shaolin monks," he said with a smile.
    Gene Ching
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    shaolin in china is strictly for tourism purposes... a grand hoodwink to the ignorant masses... this explains it's commercial endeavours... product marketting strategy at it's finest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uki View Post
    shaolin in china is strictly for tourism purposes... a grand hoodwink to the ignorant masses... this explains it's commercial endeavours... product marketting strategy at it's finest.
    so you've been, you have a first hand account and tacit knowledge of this then?
    I had no idea you were so well travelled and had so much knowledge on this subject that you would take such an assertive stance with your position.

    tell us f your travels and experiences please!
    Kung Fu is good for you.

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