Hi and welcome to the Shaolin History page! History for me has always been something that you were forced to learn in school. It is only in later years that I have learned to appreciate an old saying, I now like to quote;
"appreciate and learn from the past,
plan and dream for the future and
live in the here & now!"
And this is so very true. So, after years of studying and training Shaolin Kung Fu without any knowledge of Shaolin I searched for the history of my style; only to find . . . not much. This began something that I thought I would never do, research Shaolin History. This page is the result of that decision. Life is full of surprises
In no way is this account perfect. It is said that the victors write history, well it is actually written by people who can write, and in China, this was a slim minority. Chinese history also has the added challenge that successive dynasties liked to 're-write' aspects of history to suit them. This is also common in Western and other societies. Finally, each new dynasty removed much of the previous dynasty, to the point of China's capitol city regularly moving location (Xian, Nanjing, Beijing. . .) The current capitol is Beijing (translated - Northern Capitol ) formerly also known as Peking. This all to say that the information on this page is the best available without consideration of Politics or self justification.
Since the first appearance of this WEB page in 1996, we have received many comments and much additional information from all over the world, including China and Shaolin. When source material was quoted, and could be verified, further research was done before any changes were initiated. Three corroborating independent sources were the ideal circumstance.
Since the year 2000 ( when we started recording requests ), some 1700+ people have asked permission to use the information in part, or in whole, for one reason or another including Doctorate Thesis, University Studies, information for books, background for publications, computer games and other historical texts. In addition to this many have simply 'borrowed' information from this page, some even using it verbatim with a different author quoted. Some have even made changes to 'suit' their particular styles history. It is interesting to note that the Encyclopedia Britannica, Travel China Guide, Go China, About China and many other non Chinese WEB site.
This page does not seek to establish anything other than a record of Shaolin History as best as possible and within the context, Shaolin Kung Fu. If you have any information that relates to Shaolin, its philosophies, history, beliefs, principals, events and/or it's Kung Fu, please write to us. Include the source of your material; quoting page number when referring to books and WEB site addresses when referring to WEB pages, etc (Wikipedia is not considered a safe source). Should your input be used, you will be credited in the Bibliography.