HISTORY OF SHAO LIN KUNG FU
Shaolin Kungfu Monk Corps’s predecessor was the Shaolin Warrior Monks. During the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Li Shiming (598-649 A.D), indebted to the thirteen monks for saving his life, granted the privilege of maintaining warrior monks at the Shaolin Temple.
Late in the Song Dynasty, Emperor Taizu (founder of the Song Dynasty from 960 to 976) paid a visit to the Shaolin Temple, and following his visit he dispatched batches of military troops to the temple to train the warrior monks and master Shaolin martial arts.
During the Yuan Dynasty, the Shaolin Abbot Fuyu was appointed as Grand Preceptor by the royal court where he strongly advocated for the warrior monks’ Kungfu practices.
The Ming Dynasty witnessed the largest ever scale of warrior monks at the Shaolin Temple, with over a thousand standing warrior monks. More than 500 warrior monks enlisted and fought back Japanese pirates, winning honor for the Shaolin Temple.
In the Qing Dynasty, the royal court suspected the temple of plotting to overturn the Qing Dynasty and reinstate the Ming Dynasty, and therefore prohibited the practice of martial arts. However, having a fondness for Kungfu, some warrior monks practiced covertly by themselves.
The Republic of China revived Shaolin Kungfu. While visiting the Shaolin Temple, the then-president Chiang Kai-shek was enthralled by the demonstrations of warrior monks.
During the most prosperous period for the Shaolin Temple, the number of standing warrior monks reached over one thousand. Warrior monks were enlisted in the army many times and contributed to many national victories against aggression - most notably in defending China against the Japanese invasion.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, especially after the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee, the Chinese government’s religious policies were abolished and participation in traditional sports gradually rose. In 1987, in order to promote Shaolin, Master Shi Yongxin formed the Shaolin Wushu Team. In 1989, the Shaolin Wushu Team was renamed as the Shaolin Kungfu Monk Corps. The Kungfu Monk Corps follows the historical pattern of Shaolin warrior monks, performing Shaolin Kungfu with the aim of spreading traditional Kungfu as well as authentic Shaolin Chan culture.
Currently, as the inheritor and ambassador of Shaolin Kungfu and Chinese culture, the Shaolin Kungfu Corps has been invited to over 60 regions and countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas to perform authentic Shaolin Kungfu.