At the end of the 5th century an Indian Monk named Ba Tuo arrived in China. Emperor Xiao Wen of the Chinese Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534), had deep respect for Ba Tuo and ordered the construction of the Buddhist Shaolin Temple at the foot of the small side of the Song Mountain, near Dengfeng, Zhengzhou, in the Henan Province.

Tradition states that latter another Buddhist monk, named Bodhidharma, arrived at the Shaolin Temple. He became known as Tamo. He arrived teaching a different approach to Buddhism that latter came to be known as Zen. In the begging he was not understood by the monks so he went up the mountain peak behind the Temple and sat in meditation for nine years in a small cave. After those nine years he became he started to teach the Shaolin monks. He noticed that the monks grew weak from sitting in meditation for long periods so he taught them a series of exercises to stimulate circulation and to limber up muscles and joints. Some of them still practiced to these days (Yi jin Jing, Shiba Shou, etc). According to oral tradition these exercises were probably the earliest forms of Shaolin KungFu.

By the end of the Sui Dynasty (581-618), the Imperial Court was tottering. In order to safeguard the Shaolin Temple, a guard monk army was organized. The Shaolin guard monks headed by Zhi Cao, Hui Xi and Tan Zong rescued Li Shimin (598-649), the Qin Prince, captured Wang Renze, and forced Wang Shichong to surrender. After taking the throne of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Li Shimin offered official posts to the Shaolin monks, and issued an order that the Shaolin Temple would have guard monks. This is recorded in an inscription on a stone tablet at the Shaolin Temple.

From the end of the Tang Dynasty through the Five Dynasties (618-960), the Shaolin Temple had a weak existence, but revived in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), all monks at the Shaolin Temple practiced martial arts, and Shaolin KungFu became well known nationwide. The Shaolin guard monks also took part in the fight against the Japanese invaders, and won several victories.

Over the years, the essence of various schools of Chinese martial arts were integrated in the Shaolin Temple, making the temple a center of martial arts. That’s way many refer to the Shaolin System as the original MMA – it embodied the best of many different styles that were previously tested in war fields. Thus, the Shaolin School of martial arts came into being from years of development and became well known far and wide.

Shaolin monks spread their knowledge throughout Asia and that’s way there is an ancient saying that states: “All martial arts under haven came from Shaolin or were influenced by Shaolin“.

In 1928, the Shaolin Temple was destroyed by a fire, and all of the ancient books and records burned into ash. However, Shaolin Martial Arts at that time had already formed into a system. The system was taught to the escort companies that protected Temple carts from being assaulted during the exchange of goods between the Temple and surrounding cities. So, the core structure of the system was kept intact and have been passed down through a lineage of masters to the present today. This system became known as the Northern Shaolin Style of KungFu. At KungFu Connection we teach the Authentic Northern Shaolin Style.

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