Little known facts about Shaolin
The name "Shaolin" is well-known even to 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 founded by no means Chinese.
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 Songshan Mountain.
2. The legendary Bodhidharma lived in Shaolin for some time.
Tradition says that around 475 AD Buddhist monk Bodhidharma arrived by sea in China, where he began to preach his teachings. Then he settled in the Shaolin monastery, shortly before this, based on Mount Songshan, where he founded the first school of Chan Buddhism.
3. At first, the monastery did not have a monastic army.
In 620, 13 Shaolin monks helped Li Shimin (599-649) to remain on the throne, and the monastery received the highest permission to do 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 studied, and martial arts did not appear at all. Other orders of monks began to diligently study the martial arts and battles on sticks even earlier. The recordings of Chunqiu, which were made around 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 Mun dynasty (1368-1644 AD), when Shaolin was only beginning to be associated with perfect martial arts, Kung Fu was already known throughout China.
5. In 1928, the warlord Shi Yusan set fire to the Shaolin Monastery.
Unique written sources were destroyed: for example, the treatise of Zhang Sanfeng, which was considered to be the source of Tai Chi. In the ruins of the monastery lay half a century. At that time, there were only seven monks living there, only three of whom were familiar with Kung Fu.
6. In addition to the Northern Shaolin, there was a certain Southern Shaolin.
According to the legends, besides the North Shaolin, there was a certain South 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 Province. A real Buddhist temple was used as scenery. Later, the Children of Shaolin (1983) and The Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986) appeared. The trilogy was shown even in the USSR as part of a film application for the Film Travelers Club in 1989.
8. The prototypes of the Jedi in Star Wars are the monks of Shaolin.
According to George Lucas, Shaolin monks became the prototypes of the Jedi in Star Wars.