I'm 17 years old in Australia and I want to dedicate myself to a shaolin Buddhist who`ll teach me the true way of a human, I do want to do some sort of kung Fu but I want to look up to a teacher that would make me into a teacher myself, also I want to see if I can stay for a couple of years is that possible?


2 Answers 2


I was going to leave this as a comment, but I had more to say on the subject.

First, you'll want to look at my two answers to similar questions here:

Could a non-Buddhist person become a monk/master at Shao-lin temple?

Training martial arts in china

In short, yes you can go to Shaolin temple and train there with the monks. A junior monk will be assigned to teach you. And depending on who you arrange all of this with, you can have where you stay, transportation, food, clothing, translators, tour guides, etc. all picked out and ready for you. You just have to pay them, and in China things are much cheaper. So two years there could easily be done on the cheap.

Once there, you will be asked what you want to train in. Your senior monk will assess your interests and where you are physically, and then he'll assign you to junior monks who work on specific things with you. So what you'll want to do ahead of time is research what they teach at Shaolin. If something catches your eye, then mention it to your senior monk.

The training will be hard. You can read about it in my links above.

There are so many forms that you can learn at Shaolin. By the end of the year, you could have over 100 forms. You won't remember them, though. So record everything you do (after class when you're by yourself).

Now I want to talk about the other aspect you mentioned. You seem to have the wrong impression of Shaolin temple and what is taught there. You want them to show you the "true way of a human". That implies you expect them to teach you spiritually, with all kinds of Eastern wisdom, Buddhism, and mysticism. That is what you learned by watching movies. Unfortunately, it's not something you'll learn at Shaolin temple. Not really.

There are some spiritual monks there at Shaolin. They see the world in unusual ways. They've taken to Shaolin's form of Buddhism. But they probably worked that out by themselves, by reading, not by being taught it at Shaolin.

Shaolin monks are there to learn wushu. That's it. They also have to know Buddhist rituals. But most don't particularly care about Buddhism. Most are not "spiritual". In fact, most of them have worldly aspirations. They want to either become movie stars, or they want to be the head of many kung-fu schools. In exchange for a kung-fu school being able to use their name as the head of their school, they get a certain percentage of the school's income. They may never even step inside those schools, by the way. They all have cell phones and computers. They all have electronic bank accounts and can receive money electronically. To most monks, they're there to learn wushu and dream of a life where it makes them rich and famous.

Monks all train super hard, way harder than you'll ever train probably. It's not unusual to find them in the gym working on their form until late at night, then falling asleep there, and waking up early to repeat it. They go to extremes.

But that doesn't make them spiritual or wise. It makes them strong physically and mentally. There's a difference. They will be stronger than you, in terms of their body conditioning and their mental resolve. You won't be able to catch up with them no matter how hard you train, because they've been doing it their entire lives.

My point is, go because you want to learn kung-fu and get fairly good at it in a short period of time. Go because you want to enrich yourself in another culture. Go because you want to make new friends who all share the same interest. Go because this is such a unique experience that will give you an amazing story to tell. But don't go if you expect it to teach you how to be a good person, how to be wise, and how to see the world in the most beneficial way. That's just not something you'll get there, for the most part.

Hope that helps.


In his entertaining book "American Shaolin", David Polly describes studying at the Shaolin temple. So yes, it's possible, but the book also mentions, as @Steve Weigand says, that not a few monks were there to try to catch a break to become famous and escape poverty.

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