Calling all UK Shaolin fans!
From the 8th to 10th October, The London Soccerdome will be home to the Third Shaolin Cultural Festival; a week-long event jam-packed with a plethora of breathtaking Shaolin spectacles.
Hosted by the Shaolin Association, one can expect the Shaolin Temple Delegation to provide a once-in-a-lifetime cultural experience for spectators, with a mix of Shaolin Kung Fu performances, exhibitions on Shaolin culture and relics, and a speech from the Abbot of the Shaolin Temple.
The First Shaolin Cultural Festival 2012 was met with resounding success in Berlin, attended by the Abbot and thirty five monks from the Shaolin Temple. Furthermore, around 350 children, youth and adults alike from all over Europe came together to compete in a Kung Fu competition.
But are you still stumped about Shaolin? Well we have listed seven Shaolin Facts that will help brush up your knowledge before the big day!
1) What does Shaolin mean?
In Mandarin Chinese, ‘Shao’ is in reference to Mount Shaoshi in the Songshan mountain range in China. ‘Lin’, which literally translates as forest, refers to the woods around Mount Shaoshi.
2) Where and what is the Shaolin Temple?
The Shaolin Temple is located in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, Henan Province, and is credited as being the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts (Shaolin kung-fu). Thus, its deep significance within Chinese culture has earned itself a place on UNESCO’s World Cultural & Natural Heritage List.
3) Shaolin hilosophy
Apart from striving to achieve equilibrium in mind, body and soul, Shaolin monks adhere to four main philosophical principles:
- Have Kind Thoughts
- Speak Kind Words
- Do Good Deeds
- Universal Wisdom of Life
4) What is Shaolin Kung Fu?
As the saying goes, “all martial arts under heaven arose out of Shaolin”. Shaolin Kung Fu (Chinese: 少林功夫; pinyin: shao lin gong fu) is believed to be the oldest institutionalized style of Kung Fu and is one of the most famous martial arts. In essence, Shaolin Kung Fu refers to a collection of Chinese martial arts that claim affiliation with the Shaolin Monastery.
Shaolin Kung Fu is believed to be the forefather of all Chinese (and other) martial arts, therefore its many barehanded and weapon styles have served as inspiration for other disciplines.
5) What are the main techniques of Shaolin Kung Fu?
Shaolin Kung Fu has various techniques and styles which have been incorporated with routines to enhance the physical and mental state of the practitioner. It is said that most of these skills require anywhere from three to ten years to master!
- Iron body (both offensive and defensive) techniques
- Jumping and wall scaling techniques
- Pole-top leaping dexterity training
- Pressure-point/nerve manipulation
6) How far can we trace Shaolin?
The creation and development of Shaolin Kung Fu can be traced back 1500 years to the Shaolin Temple. However, the oldest evidence of Shaolin participation in combat is a stele from 728.
7) How did Shaolin gain international recognition in the modern world?
Shaolin’s worldwide presence in popular culture can be attributed to the popularity of Chinese martial art films, TV shows and other media. Yet, apart from this commercialized aspect of Shaolin, Shaolin Kung Fu has been the driving force for keeping the 1500 year old Buddhist temple from vanishing from obscurity in modern society.
Hit the link below for a full itinerary of the Shaolin Cultural Festival: