The Shaolin Bandwagon

Discussion in 'Other Styles' started by 47MartialMan, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member


    First, may I state with utmost respect, my intention/post/writing/thread, is or was ,never meant to offend nor be condescending

    Thanks for the information. A web link would be nice

    Many Martial Art Masters fled not only during Japanese Occupation, but 20th Century communist regime

    My question, I have read-somewhere, that the "Southern Shaolin", wasn't really known as "Southern Shaolin". It was named something different (trying to find the resources)

    Also, wasn't the "Southern Sect" that which went on to be found on Okinawa?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  2. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

  3. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    As far as I know you are correct, the most well known proponents of "Southern Shaolin" in China did not call their arts "Southern Shaolin", they just referenced them as Shao lin/Siu Lum-related arts, if they didn't rename them completely (for obvious reasons). Later on they would become recognized as the 'southern flavor' of Shaolin largely because the environment they evolved in and became cultural ingrained in was quite different than the 'original' Henan environment, which is of course far older. Most styles south of the Yellow river are called collectively Nanquan. The original name of that umbrella of arts is closely associated with many of the traditional 'southern' styles like Hung Gar Choy Li Fut and Wing Chun. Technically, these are all 'Southern Shaolin'-esque arts. In my opinion the thing that makes them more 'authentic' Shaolin to use Mr. Man's nomenclature, is the presence of Buddhist doctrines and meditation embedded in the actual training. In particular the forms of Qigong that are common between Shaolin si practices and Hung Gar and its cousin arts is pretty clear when you train them, they share many of the same sets. It should also be clear that Qigong while it has martial benefits, is truly a unique part of the meditative aspects of Shaolin Chan (building indeed on Taoist ideals as well), and what sets their form of Buddhism in a very interesting place (something Japan and other nations would of course later pick up on and develop on their own). As you know I totally agree with you that the best things to ever come from Shaolin were the training methods for enlightenment, not combat. That was more or less circumstantial, for better or worse, and largely due to Shaolin's close ties to the Imperial power base, not to mention the literal geographic and cultural significance of the mountain itself, something often lost in the talk of Shaolin history is that mountain was important before they showed up!! :D
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  4. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    No side tangent - main course! Yes!! We've gotten the same thing and quite often see the flyers and posters in restaurants.

    Years ago, I asked the wife ( native Cantonese ) - this being before I knew anything about CMA and its history or the more unsavoury histories associated with some - if she wanted to go see a performance. Her curt response reminded me of what you'd see if you'd unknowingly mentioned a colleague who'd gotten out of hand at an office party or something.

    Never elaborated. It warn't till years later that I'd picked up enough from the culture to put together a mosaic of sorts - with them, its not so much what they say as what they don't say that paints the picture.

    I'm referring to Shen Yun - I'm not familiar with Falun Dafa or their association with Shen Yun.

    *Just checked - yep, they are performaning at the Performing Arts Centre nearby. I canna recall a time, in any Stateside city that I've lived or visited, when they weren't performing, come to think of it.

    Market saturation...yes, hallmarks of an item on the hot-export list.


    Wush dance-like acrobatic touring troupes - there are several and they seemed to have gotten lumped together - the Qi Gong as well as WuShu, the peanut butter...the chocolate.

    I really don't follow Fallon Gong doings or know anything of it so your reference to Falun Dafa didn't register. :eek:
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  5. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    I've seen the Shen Yun show!! It's fairly amazing and once in a lifetime experience imho. The show is run by the Falun Gong. Just my opinion but I think the Falun Gong are relatively harmless and not a 'cult' per se. They do not engage in cult-like behavior, believe it or not they are devoted to ethics meditation, and physical exercise. They became heavily persecuted by Communist China for their teachings, and the US and international performances of Shen Yun are part of their education and awareness program, which is designed to showcase the beauty of art and dance in China prior to the Communist regime.

    This may not make sense but while I was thrilled by the show, thinking about it made me quite sad afterwards. Good art...underneath is a story of suffering and death. I post this link/bio with a warning, some of what you read about the human rights abuses exacted upon the Falun Gong might really turn your stomach. Unfortunately it's true and sourced properly. the horror here is quite real and well documented.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  6. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Almighty thing went down taking my hour's worth of reflection with it.:bang:

    Sorry - took me a bit to recollect who Falon Gong were/are. Fuzzy image of what a "Church of Feng Shui" would look like :p - courtesy of the wife - which is about all I remember she and her aunties discussing regarding it.

    It quite possible that her commentary (or lack of) regarding Shen Yun was directed at touring "Shaolin" Troupes in general, rather than specifically at Shen Yun - I highly doubt she'd be consciously aware of the connection with Falun. A bit of an ostrich in that regard. I'll have to ask her about it again.

    I'd always thought it somewhat odd that she'd never wanted to see any of the touring troupes with her being from the PRC.

    "Not real" - something she undoubtedly heard from her eldest Yima who believed everything her younger brother told her.


    "No. There are some who are real (shaolin) over here and they are business men."

    "You mean, suit and tie..."

    "I mean the kind you don't want to mess up with."

    To which I attributed to the culture's zealous enthusiasm towards financial success.

    They made Shaolin sound more like the Kray Twins than Master Po and Grasshopper. :rolleyes:

    Funny how one's adaptation of cultural "good" can alter your view of things at the most basic level.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  7. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    Did want to pass these topically relevant links discussing some of the issues and views regarding the Shaolin as has been brought up in the thread.

    The last one requires a bit more time to go through than I have. Hopefully, one of you here can spare it. The article looks to be attempting to give some depth to the subject, at least.

    Appologies for any links that have already been posted by members in various parts of the thread.
  8. Thompsons

    Thompsons Valued Member

    Another book to recommend on this topic:

    "Training methods of 72 arts of Shaolin"
    By Jin Jing Zhong, Tanjin 1934
  9. Thompsons

    Thompsons Valued Member

    Speaking of who is authentic and who is not, in buddhist terms i think has always been complicated at the Shaolin Temple.

    Shi Miao Xing aka "Golden Arhat" WAS abbot in the late 1920`s and he DID die during a battle against forces with Warlord Shi Yousan. His Stupa and its transcriptions can be found in the Shaolin Pagoda Forest a few hundred metres from the Temple proper.

    Jin Jing Zhong apparantly met him, but i think the one photo ever portrayed of him publically in the West is to be found in Dr Uwe Schwenkes book, might also have access to more - i know the website creator was in contact with Uwe on these mysterious photos with very obscure origin - it is clear though that they are old and from the area since significant signs in the landscape are the same as today.

    The present Abbot Shi Yongxin, aka "The CEO of Shaolin" is probably the best example of how questionable buddhist authenticity really is.
  10. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Buddhist temples in Thailand can be oddly unauthentic too. Several abbots have been arrested for doggy business dealings. But then in the 70/80's the Vatican Launderd money for the mafia. So doggy business and religion are not restricted to Buhddism.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2015
  11. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member


    It's a sad fact of life that wherever such institutions pop you will have people using them for their own ends.
  12. Guitar Nado

    Guitar Nado Valued Member

    Thanks for the post! good to hear an opinion of the show - if it's that great maybe I can convince the wife to go!

    I'll try to keep an open mind about the Falun Gong people. I have never talked to any in person. I actually have looked quickly at their website in the past, and did get a sort of cultish vibe from it (but that might just be me). They are probably nice people, and I do agree they have been horribly persecuted by the PRC.

    From what I have read they do a Chi Gung sort of practice as part of their meditation, is that true?

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