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19

Short answer: Yes, they teach foreigners. No, it wouldn't be possible for an outsider to become a monk there. You can, however become a disciple under a monk. And you can become a sifu of your own school while being a disciple of a monk. At the Shaolin Temple at Songshan in Dengfeng, Henan, monks routinely take on foreigners for training. Usually the junior ...


8

When I went to train at Shaolin temple (Songshan mountain), I was with a group of English speakers. Our monk grew up in the temple and had moved to the U.S. to teach there, so he understood English. Most of the monks who never left the temple do not understand English. We were trained by several junior monks. They didn't understand English. But as it turned ...


6

There is good kung-fu and bad kung-fu. The same is true with all martial arts. You can spot the difference when you have enough experience. I disagree that kung-fu in general is messy or sloppy. If you're seeing unfocused strikes and movement that seems like it's weak and uncoordinated, then you're probably watching poorly done kung-fu. And there is a lot of ...


5

You can approach a Shaolin School, but it is highly unlikely that they will teach you in exchange for services. The Shaolin Temple in China is essentially a business. They make a large profit from the money they get from students and have plenty of them. Smaller Shaolin Schools are also businesses. You also mention temples in Japan. I assume by this ...


4

I think Thai boxers, Taekwondo fighters, Capoeiristas, and Savate fighters - all of which specialize in kicking - would disagree with the Shaolin kung-fu instructor on this as a general tactic. They have no problem kicking an opponent who is free to move around. Which is why you really have to nail down the underlying principle behind the statement first ...


4

Adding to Huw's answer (that these major temples are a lot like businesses now and probably will not accept alternatives for payment in exchange for teachings, though there may be some exceptions for those in monkhood) - it is worth noting that many schools, at least around the U.S. and with Chinese and Japanese martial arts, will offer flexible rates ...


4

To answer some of the points raised in the original post: Was the Southern Shaolin Temple real and if so which location is valid? I do not have an exact date, but from our oral history, it was destroyed by the Ching army, so that puts it in the range of about 400yrs! There's also a theory that there was a bunch of smaller, scattered temples instead of one ...


4

The history regarding the Shaolin temple is very muddy due to the fact that when the temple was being destroyed, so were many of its records and etc. As for research being Chinese only, you do have to remember that many of these far east countries (China, Japan, Korea) have all been fairly closed up until the 1900's. I mean there are barely any records of ...


3

When Dave's answer says "It's a metaphor", then I guess he mean something like this. When you're a beginner, learning, a teacher might try to teach you to change your posture slightly, to stand straighter, to better balance your head on your spine, and your spine on your hips, and so on. When they do that they might say to you something like, "Imagine that ...


2

Not AT the Temple, but actually it is possible to become a ‘layman warrior monk’, which is the same title as a warrior monk who has left the Temple to teach, become a business person, or attempt to be in movie (most commonly, they CAN of course do other things as well). It is however very rare and usually takes extreme dedication and over a lot of time. You ...


2

According to my Sifu, the kung fu performed by Shaolin monks in the modern day is largely flashy wu-shu stuff. While it looks really cool for the tourists, it has little to no actual combat application. Don't go looking over seas, look for a school close to home that teaches real kung fu. Heung Gar, white eyebrow, chow gar, ship pal ki, wing chun and ...


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 ...


1

Yes, see "American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China" by Matthew Polly - an interesting read.


1

The Wikipedia page on the Southern Shaolin Monastery puts it beautifully: "The Southern Shaolin Monastery is the name of a Buddhist monastery whose existence and location are both disputed. By tradition it is considered the source of all southern Chinese martial arts. ... The following account is based on legend or folklore, with little, if any, documentary ...


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