Zen and Shaolin Kungfu
Monday, 11 October 2010 12:41

shaolin-kungfu-sparring-2Originally Shaolin Kungfu was designed for spiritual cultivation. Most of todays kungfu- or Shaolin-practitioners may not be aware of this fact. However, it is easy to understand once we remind ourselves that in the past, the monks of Shaolin monastery were there for one single purpose: Spiritual cultivation aiming for enlightenment.

The origins of Shaolin Kungfu are in chi kung. In the early history of Shaolin, many famous military generals retreated to the monastery to cultivate spiritually. While there, they adapted the "Eighteen Lohan Hands" chi kung-exercises to better serve their purpose. Over time these exercises developed into a kungfu set called "Eighteen Lohan Fist", which the monks used to strenghten themselves physically and mentally, improving their chances at achieving enlightenment.

For many, the idea of a fighting art being used to achieve the highest spiritual fulfillment may seem strange, even impossible. From Zen-perspective, this is not the case: Classical Shaolin Kungfu is simply a tool that is aiming directly and clearly to achieve a simple goal. 

The original aim of Shaolin Kungfu can still be realized for today's practitioners, as long as the art is genuine. Over the centuries this martial art has grown from its roots to a vast, branching tree of different arts and training methods, which can excellently fulfill a multitude of different aims. In Shaolin Wahnam Institute, Shaolin Kungfu also includes its original Zen-training.


Last Updated on Friday, 16 December 2011 16:22