Is kung fu Buddhist?

Kung fu dates back to AD 527.C., when Bodhidharma, an Indian Buddhist, took over the temple. The story tells that he sat in a nearby cave, meditating for nine years. In Shaolin legend, the founder of Zen, Bodhidharma, taught kung fu, and Shaolin is the birthplace of all martial arts. It is likely that the origins of kung fu are older than Zen, and there is no reason to think that Bodhidharma knew the position of a horse from a horse.

Shaolin Buddhism is synonymous with both Buddhism and kung fu. Shakyamuni Buddha's sutta methods are more like a “mental martial art” than a devotional path. The Eightfold Path is oriented to behavior and discipline, as is martial arts. Certainly, the most esoteric traditions of Buddhism, such as tantra, focus on mind, discipline and method.

In Korea, a martial art called sunmundo is part of Zen or seon Buddhism. “There is only a very small chance that even the best students will become kung fu stars,” her classmate Chang Xiufeng says pragmatically. In some other martial sport, the athlete who performs a successful jumping kick can disable his opponent and gain victory. The sequence of weapons between Shang and Hu Bei (Corey Yuen) is very smooth and the ease of the beautiful transitions from weapon to gun reveals its Beijing opera background.

Certainly, his business acumen extends far beyond the monastery's gift shop, with its wushu shoes and elegant ceramic incenses. Grand Master Liang Yiqun, founder of Shaolin Epo Wushu University, 82, draws on six generations of kung fu experience to give his positions a comprehensive education. Although Shaolin monks did not invent kung fu, they are rightly known for a particular style of kung fu. Kung fu is the epitome of martial arts, and practitioners say that other fighting arts, including karate, originated from kung fu.

It's 8 p.m. on a Saturday night, but, although they can hardly be discerned through fog and shadows, diligent teenagers in gray suits are still spinning, kicking and punching on the otherwise peaceful slopes above the legendary Shaolin Temple. For the 60,000 young aspiring kung fu stars who kick and beat in schools around the temple, shaolin kung fu offers a way out of poverty. Popular sayings in Chinese folklore related to this practice include All martial arts under the sky originated in Shaolin and Shaolin kung fu is the best under the sky, indicating the influence of Shaolin kung fu among martial arts.

This is Chan's first major film, as each fight reveals Chan's knowledge of Kung Fu, athletics and introduces a new historical style of rhythmic wrestling choreography that was repeatedly copied to exhaustion. Some popular historians consider Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Chinese Buddhism who had a great influence on Shaolin Kung-Fu. Liu's fights use authentic kung fu skills and real weight weapons to increase the feel and reality of combat. It is a measure of the temple's money-minded reputation, which quickly rivals its kung fu fame, which recently spread rumors that it planned to float on the stock exchange.

Kung fu owes its existence to an Indian monk, Bodhi Dharma, who began to preach Zen Buddhism in the temple and began his martial arts tradition.

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