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SHAOLIN TEMPLE Background of Shaolin Introduction The Shaolin Temples served a great role in Chinese History They were not just simple temples for monks to stay in and do religious practices they were temples of martial arts temples where every day is a new training Not only were the temples involved in martial arts they once played a big role in political movements too The Shaolin Temple went through many changes throughout the generations In the following one will be able to understand how Shaolin temples have evolved during the past thousand years and be introduced to the many different kinds of martial art forms practiced even today in the modern world Legend If the legends of Shaolin were actually accepted as truthful fact then one would have to believe that the best martial art in China originated in one small place over a period of ten years Furthermore one would have to accept that all these forms of fighting originated from one single Indian Buddhist monk Though a legend is a legend and shouldnt be taken as truth this is one incredible legend According to oral myths and legends passed down throughout generations an Indian Buddhist monk arrived to China in about AD 5201 This monk was Pu-ti-ta-mo or often known as Ta Mo Bodiharma He settled at the original Shaolin Temple located at Sung Shan in Honan province It was said that Ta Mo was the First Patriarch to his type of Buddhism known today as Chaan Zen There at the Temple he taught the concepts of Zen as well as skills of temple boxing2 Meditation was Ta Mos main teaching He spent nine years meditating while sitting in front of a wall Interesting enough during this time his legs withered away due to lack of use Ta Mo became very disturbed when he found out that the monks at Shaolin often fell asleep during their meditations
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