Grandmaster Tse’s Chun Yuen Dairies 俊元日記 3

Grandmaster Tse continues his discussion of the history behind Chun Yuen Quan and its roots in the Shàolín Sì 少林寺 - Shàolín Temple .

History and Name Part 3

All the monks in Shàolín Sì 少林寺 – Shàolín Temple were Buddhist. In Buddhism there are many rules. The most important five rules are:

  1. No killing
  2. No stealing
  3. No sexual misconduct
  4. No lying
  5. No alcohol

However a lot of the monks practise Kung Fu, so what is Kung Fu for? The first thing Kung Fu is for is good health, the second is self-defence. In the old times in China, there were bandits everywhere. Temples like Shàolín were built in the countryside far away from cities and the rule of government. This made them easy targets for bandits who would attack them and steal and snatch away whatever they wanted. Monks would often travel to different areas and so they were also easy targets to bandits. Shàolín Temple was built in a forest, Shào 少 means small and Lín 林 means forest, so Small Forest Temple. The Shàolín monks were in a small forest area far away from the protection of the government, but with their Kung Fu were able to defend their temple and themselves much better than other temples and monks that did not have any Kung Fu. Actually in the whole china there are many other Buddhist and Daoist Temples where the monks also train Kung Fu have a very good skills. After a long time in history, they also became their style. So we can see today there many style of Kung Fu like Wu Dong Style 武當派, Kunlum Style 崑崙派, Heavenly River Montastry style 天河寺派, Er Mei Style 峨嵋派 and many others. Buddhism emphasises no killing and so Shàolín Quán 少林拳 is good for health and for self-defence, and this is also why the most famous weapon of Shàolín Quán is the Gùn 棍 – Staff, not the Jiàn 劍 – Sword or Dāo 刀 – Knife.