Little-known facts about Shaolin
The name "Shaolin" is even heard by those who have little interest in oriental martial arts.
However, we know quite a bit about this legendary monastery.
1. In 495, the Shaolin monastery was not founded by a Chinese at all.
Its founder was a wandering Buddhist monk from India named Bhadra. He appeared in China in 464 and preached there for several decades before Emperor Xiao Wen-di ordered the construction of a Shaolin monastery for him on Mount Songshan.
2. The legendary Bodhidharma lived in Shaolin for some time.
Tradition says that around 475 A.D. the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma arrived by sea to China, where he began to preach his teachings. He then settled in the Shaolin monastery, shortly before that, based on Songshan Mountain, where he founded the first Chan Buddhism school.
3. At first the monastery did not have monastic troops.
In 620, 13 Shaolin monks helped Li Shimin (599-649) to stay on the throne, and the monastery received the highest permission to engage in martial arts.
4. Contrary to popular belief, Shaolin is not the only Chinese monastery
Contrary to popular belief, Shaolin is not the only Chinese monastery where martial monks were trained, and martial arts did not appear there at all. Other orders of monks began to study martial arts and stick fighting even harder. The records of Chunqiu, which were made about 800-500 BC, refer to the "hard" and "soft" techniques of hand-to-hand combat - these two techniques formed the basis of modern kung fu. During the reign of the Moon Dynasty (1368-1644 AD), when Shaolin was just beginning to be associated with the perfect martial arts, kung fu was already known throughout China.
5. In 1928, the commander Shi Yusan set fire to the Shaolin Monastery.
Unique written sources were destroyed: for example, the treatise of Zhang Sanfeng, which was considered the source of Taijiquan. In ruins, the monastery lay for half a century. At that time, only seven monks lived there, of which only three were familiar with kung fu.
6. In addition to Northern Shaolin, there was a certain Southern Shaolin
According to legends, in addition to Northern Shaolin, there was a certain Southern Shaolin, which was located in Fujian province. No reliable sources of its existence were found.
7. Interest in Chinese martial arts began after the film "Shaolin Temple" (1982).
Filming took place in Hunan. A real Buddhist temple was used as the scenery. Later appeared "Children of Shaolin" (1983) and "Martial Arts of Shaolin" (1986). The trilogy was even shown in the USSR as part of the film appendix to the “Cinema Travelers Club” in 1989.
8. The Jedi prototypes in Star Wars are the Shaolin monks.
According to George Lucas, the Shaolin monks became the prototypes of the Jedi in Star Wars.