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  1. Jaric is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/26/2005 12:24pm


     Style: Maybe Kyokushin soon...

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    Shaolin Q and A

    Okay I am a litle confused. I was under the impression that there were no 'real' shaolin monks left. That there was no real authentic shaolin martial arts taught anymore. On Jet Li's webpage, he talks about how he went to Shaolin in 1979 to film a movie, and there were just 3 monks left, and none of them were martial artists. Now you can go to China and supposidly train with real monks and learn real Shaoline Gung Fu. Now I am most certainly not talking about Shaolin Do or garbage like that. So what is real and what is not? Can you learn real shaolin kung fu anymore? If so where? Any answers would help me alot.

    Cheers,


    Jaric
  2. Mr. Mantis is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/26/2005 12:51pm

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     Style: Kung Fu

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaric
    Okay I am a litle confused. I was under the impression that there were no 'real' shaolin monks left.
    There are monks at Shaolin now, but they are not exactly like the ones who were there circa 1673 when the temple was burned down.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaric
    That there was no real authentic shaolin martial arts taught anymore.
    That's my impression too, what I have seen is wushu, which is the national communist sanctified "martial art" which is really like gymnastics.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaric
    On Jet Li's webpage, he talks about how he went to Shaolin in 1979 to film a movie, and there were just 3 monks left, and none of them were martial artists.
    There may have been monks there by then, I would expect them to be Buddhists, but who knows. I'm not too sure when the communists realized that they had something the world was interested in with Shaolin, and then permitted it to begin operation, probably for tourist income.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaric
    Now you can go to China and supposidly train with real monks and learn real Shaoline Gung Fu. Now I am most certainly not talking about Shaolin Do or garbage like that. So what is real and what is not?
    I have not seen what they are teaching over there, some of it may be authentic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaric
    Can you learn real shaolin kung fu anymore? If so where? Any answers would help me alot.
    Yes you can. Some authentic CMA survived WWII and the cultural revolution. Good places are a bit hard to find, but they are out there, you just have to look.

    Good luck.
    “We are surrounded by warships and don’t have time to talk. Please pray for us.” — One Somali Pirate.
  3. Ronin is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/26/2005 12:54pm

    Join us... or die
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    You can try Taiwan and Macao.
  4. Chuan is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/26/2005 12:58pm

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     Style: Roberto Traven BJJ (Blue)

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    Most of the schools around the temples teach performance oriented WuShu not the traditional Shaolin KungFu.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jaric
    Okay I am a litle confused. I was under the impression that there were no 'real' shaolin monks left. That there was no real authentic shaolin martial arts taught anymore. On Jet Li's webpage, he talks about how he went to Shaolin in 1979 to film a movie, and there were just 3 monks left, and none of them were martial artists. Now you can go to China and supposidly train with real monks and learn real Shaoline Gung Fu. Now I am most certainly not talking about Shaolin Do or garbage like that. So what is real and what is not? Can you learn real shaolin kung fu anymore? If so where? Any answers would help me alot.

    Cheers,


    Jaric
  5. BaguaMonk is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/26/2005 2:25pm


     Style: Alien Cosmic Chi Quan

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    True.

    I can say from some things I've seen that some of the Shaolin forms the monks do are authentic. But when it comes to the tours, (which most of them aren't even monks), the shows, etc. its mostly Wushu. For the ones that combine buddhism, and their gung fu together, I have much more respect than just the performers. But it is a jaded topic, no one is sure. I wondered once, if the government ever retained some of the Shaolin information/forms/techniques, and hid them until they deemed it was safe. Some of the forms that are taught now really are quite traditional and fundamental (as if in, not flashy). Opening the Shaolin temple for the gov is no longer dangerous, but I wonder.
  6. Cullion is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/26/2005 4:52pm

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     Style: Tai Chi

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    Dan Docherty wrote a good article on his visit to Shaolin. There was also a pretty good series of articles by a guy in 'Black Belt' magazine by a guy (his name slips my mind) who travelled around asia seeing what kind of instruction he could turn up.

    Basically, Dan Docherty described the place as a mix between a wu shu training school, with an element of kung fu theme park thrown in to capture tourist dollars.

    The black belt magazine guy was kinder, and actually lived there for a while (anybody can enroll if they pay enough and follow the rules about doing as they're told and not bringing drugs or alcohol into the temple). He said that they did a brief cross-country run in the morning (which most of the students skipped to smoke cigarettes in the woods), and then spent most of the day doing forms. They _did_ have San Shou classes, but he said that the shaolin students didn't seem very good at fighting with contact (with a few exceptions), as if it was a recently introduced practice. Apparently, they did spend some time on 'chi' stuff, like breathing exercises which appeared to let the monks exhibit brief bursts of abnormal/adrenal strength (but which turned out not to work very well in actual sparring).

    Without being overly harsh, he basically backed-up the 'government owned wu shu training camp/theme park' assessment.

    Interestingly the same guy did an article about a Thai ex-soldier turned monk (still looked tough in his robes. Covered in tatoos) who ran what sounded like a _completely_ authentic Muay Thai training camp in Northern Thailand where he took in orphans, provided them with food and taught them basic academics, MT and horseriding so they'd be able to get jobs in the border patrol when they came of age.
    The older teens who were close to leaving for the service would prize fight and donate any winnings to the running of the camp. Apparently the quality of tuition was really good and practical, and he taught this journalist for a bit. Told him not to bother with too much jumping and kicking and just blast away with punches and elbows, because he was too old and heavily built to learn to kick and jump like a Thai teenager.

    In some ways the place in Thailand seemed almost to actually fit the description of what people are fantasizing about when they think of Shaolin, but there was no mention of chi or forms, and everybody had to do their pushups..
    Last edited by Cullion; 5/26/2005 4:56pm at .
  7. MasterKiller is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/27/2005 8:40am


     Style: Flower Boxing

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    When the temple was shut down, the monks who lived there were forced into sectarian life (marriage, kids, etc...). When they re-opened it, some of them were forced to come back and reassume their monastic lives, so some kung fu was brought back to the temple.

    For the most part, real Shaolin kung fu survived in the villages and country-side, and most of it left for places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, and even Seoul after 1947. The folk masters and expatriats kept the arts alive, not monks themselves.

    Even after the temple was re-established, the government still relied on bringing in the folk masters to re-teach real kung fu to the new and returning monks.

    When they decided to develop modern wushu (1957) as a replacement for combat arts, they didn't call monks in develop the forms. They called in the well-known folk masters to congregate and create the forms from real, established, traditional styles.
  8. ChrisJKD is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/29/2005 4:14am


     Style: Jeet Kune Do

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I trained in Deng Feng China next to shaolin temple for 6 months before i finally had enough sense to walk away from it all and head to Thailand.

    After the cultural revolution the temple re opened and there were 8 monks who went back to the temple. Some of them were martial monks, they were mainly from the De generation. By the time they went back to the temple alot of them all ready had families and a differnt way of life. Shi De Quian my Sifus uncle was one of those monks. Now he owns a school in Deng Feng and writes books on Shaolin forms and his main concearn is money as for most of the chinese people ive meet envolved in Shaolin... In my expereince in Deng Feng and the World first "traditional" wushu festival i went to in China. Shaolin Gong Fu is dead at its core and the Chinese people care none at all as they all want to be the next jet li so they do modernized Wushu. I was in a very small school with 5 students living in my masters house and i managed to learn 2 old forms and the rest was wushu training. When i went to the traditional wushu festival it was all modernized wushu and alot of people were mad, well the small minority who were competeing using old forms. In my division for a pudao form i did i was against 2 olympic wushu people, one from hong kong the other from Cuba. And i actually placed higer than one of them since my form was old and basically had no acrobatics. As for the current monks, all you do is train in a school in Deng feng and you get a monk name if yoru chinese so they all claim they are shaolin monks yet none of them follow buddhism or any of that stuff. As for the monks currently in the temple, They are all fake and take the robes off when the temple closes for tourists for the day. There is a small room in the temple for the abbot and an old sick dieing man named Shi Sui xi lays there with parkonsons. He was an abbot of the temple before the Chinese government apointed there new current "Abbot" who makes sure the temple is making lots of money for the big red machine. There are still a few masters who pride them selfs apon their traditional ways but most of them have left China. Thats is why there is a problem in the first place as the art that was shaolin is rotting away from its core and people were driven away from china to teach it.

    Basically the best move ive ever done was to fly out of china and head to Thailand for some real training.
  9. Wounded Ronin is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/30/2005 10:53am

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    I know a guy who might know how to hook you up. PM me if you want an email.
    “nobody shoots anybody in the face unless you’re a hit man or a video gamer.” - Jack Thompson
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Th...%28attorney%29
  10. Jaric is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/31/2005 11:42am


     Style: Maybe Kyokushin soon...

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    So then I guess the general Consenus is that Shaolin is dead. The area in China today is nothing more then a big Red money making machine. Who then can honestly say they still practice real Shaolin Kung Fu? That kinds makes me sad. So much knowledge lost...
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