My understanding is that many kung-fu styles that are around today either inventions of the Chinese Government to entice tourists, off-shoots of original styles (without true knowledge of them), or integrated styles from other martial arts (karate, tkd, mt, etc)...
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the "heart" of kung-fu; which is shaolin was destroyed long ago and nothing survived. In fact, I remember studying Choylifut long ago and recall some of its history. I don't remember specifics, as I was only 7, but the founder learned some sets from his teacher, who learned some sets from another. They didn't know enough, so they sent the young man to learn from another... And in the end, he created a system based on these sets. He DIDN'T create system based on self-defense, he just combined all these sets into something that pleased crowds in lion dance festivals.
My own personal theory regarding kung-fu is this:
Long ago, kung-fu was a relevant self-defense and exercise system founded on the principles of grappling, striking, leverage and correct breathing. This is based on the fact that when it traveled to Japan and other parts of Asia, where it didn't change as much, the self-defense aspects still remained intact.
However, as it became immersed in Chinese tradition, the two became inseparable. Over time, styles developed as purely aesthetic artforms to showcase the beauty of the art. During this time, the fighting and spiritual applications of kung-fu was at its peak at shaolin. Unfortunately, when the Temples were burned and its teachers hunted to extinction; real kung-fu disappeared.
What remained was scattered ideas, sets and remnants who carried partial kung-fu knowledge and added their own ill-conceived ideas to make them whole. Years later, with the popularity of kung-fu movies, the Chinese Government would implement ways to re-invent shaolin kung-fu through wushu.
I'm not implying that no real kung-fu exists at all. I'm simply stating that most kung-fu that tries to trace its origins to shaolin are exaggerating. I'm quite certain some kung-fu styles developed on their own outside of Shaolin and even during modern times; Some of which are more adapted to real fighting than wushu.
Have to agree. The current Shaolin Temple is just a tourist attraction with ex soldiers and so on shaving their heads and putting on wushu demonstrations pretending it's Shaolin
It's a government money making machine.
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. Albert Einstein
When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
CLF was put together by Chan Heung. He learned techniques (not sets), training methods and theories from 3 different teachers. He didn't learn sets.
He combined what he learned from all three into CLF and created sets from there. The majority of CLF sets were created AFTER Chan Heung's death. He is credited with the basic sets, Ng Lun Ma & Ng Lun Choi, the Bat Gwa and a couple of others. All the students of Chan Heung did was drill... hands & footwork. They learned a couple of basic, common weapons... stick, broadsword, butterfly sword, spear... and they went out to fight/teach.
His family got more information as he grew with what he had created, his students created their own sets for training their students and on down the line.
However CLF is first & foremost in design & application for fighting, not putting on shows. Now... however modern teachers are expressing & teaching CLF... that's up for debate with arguments on both sides of the coin.
I was under the impression that the temple was burnt and most of the shaolin monks were killed but some of them did escape and went into hiding.
Mark R. III
3rd level black sash
here is an exerpt from an article on the history of the shaolin temple and the monks that lived there.....
Three hundred and fifty years ago, Wong Long, the founder of the northern praying mantis style of kung fu , decided after learning the shaolin fighting system that he needed to make improvements. Wong, who was opposed to the Manchurian takeover of China, had joined the shaolin temple in Hanon province to learn kung fu in order to become a skilled fighter. He felt that mastering the renowned fighting ability of the shaolin monks would allow him to become an officer in the rebel army fighting the Manchurians. Unknowingly, he was to begin a process for generations of eclectic thought.
In the meantime, due to a traitorous rebel army general, those in opposition to the Manchurians lost their bid to overthrow the Ching, and restore the Ming dynasty. The shaolin temple became a sanctuary for the remaining rebels. It was the combination of the shaolin temple's autonomous nature, as well as its reputation as a refuge for rebels that began to cause concern for the new ruling Manchurians.
This concern built to a point where the emperor ordered the shaolin temple burned and the monks killed. Afterward, Wong Long and the other surviving monks of the temple rescued their teacher and fled to the mountains. There they became nomads travelling from province to province to escape detection. Once they felt that it was safe, Wong and his fellow monks resettled in the Shan Tung province mountains where they continued to pursue their religious studies as well as the development of their kung fu skills. When their teacher passed away, Wong and his senior brother monk Feng, became the leaders of their group.
To read the whole article click on the link below.
Mark R. III
3rd level black sash
Kungfu is not limited to martial arts alone. Shaolin and soldiers who shave their heads are no phenomena which exclude oneanother. Unless you are a shaolin monk you cannot know. As far as i can see the originator of this thread is superficially well informed but lacks a perspective which transcends and penetrates the superficial.
Furthermore, I was recalling the history of a style I learned more than 20 years ago... I hope you're not expecting me to sight exact references? I was 7 years old.
"The only thing lacking is your reading comprehension skills".
Are you sure?
Let me ask you: can shaolin exist without buddhism?
Just one more thing. All forms are like recipies. Someone in an altered/enhanced state of body and mind came up with a specific form/routine.
It is virtualy impossible to reincarnate a form/recipie in perfect alignment with the original. Change affects all form. What happens is this: approximations of form and states of energy are translated into misconceptions eternity. All singularities equal tendency. Harmony exists inbetween. Clinging to form equals the extinction of spontaneity. I does not matter what shaolin is or was when you are free to not choose but open to be chosen according to equilbrum. All choices are ideally brought about by the state of wu. When you are in the wu-state everything you do will be a testimonial of presence, not past or future. You may have been training under imperfect conditions.
Which "destruction a long time ago" are you referring to? The burning by the Qing government where 5 monks escaped?
Last edited by TTEscrima; 03-12-2009 at 05:58 PM.
My work is done, what else is there to say.
Maybe you never attended school or took a writing class, but the title was a rhetorical question intended to provoke a response.
On a side note: The temple wasn't destroyed in Kung-fu Panda. At least get your references straight if you're going to use it.
Anyway, I'm glad you decided to take my advice and partake in the discussion. Have at it.
Apparently you didn't pay attention in school, or you can't comprehend anything. For instance why chi Sau wasn't used while you were sparring a WC student, or that questions have question marks after them. Otherwise when someone sees a thread titled "REAL history of Kung Fu" and proceeds to read you spouting BS about how KF came to the state it's in today because Shaolin was destroyed long ago it doesn't sound like a question it sounds like you talking out of your ass.
Then, when I asked you for some dates or time lines (a common thing in history discussions) and you cant seem to come up with anything people can't learn from a place mat. It is interesting you're more up on cartoons than actual history, it explains your views (which I notice you pussed out rather than defend). You crack me up, You're obviously a mma fan who ran around spouting utter crap like an authority about the CMA's in the CMA forums (because they're essentially dead due to the trolling) and now that you're called on it you run away with a couple of cop outs.
So, are you going to answer the question or are you just going to run away tossing insults over your shoulder? Would you like me to provide you some links so you can look up the BS you were spouting or are you frantically googling on your own?
Oh BTW when you typed "REAL history of KF" the bold implies you were shouting...it's odd you would shout REAL history of KF then try to claim you were asking a question, well not really, it just shows how lousy you are at covering up your BS.
Last edited by TTEscrima; 03-12-2009 at 08:26 PM.
My work is done, what else is there to say.
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