Temple Blog Shaolin Temple Chengdu Lingkai Temple

Shaolin Temple Chengdu resides in Lingkai Temple

The announcement of the merging of the Shaolin Temple in Yunnan with the Shaolin Temple in Chengdu, China, was auspicious news this year, 2023. But, this may lead to questions, primarily,

“Which is the real Shaolin Temple, Songshan, Yunnan, or Chengdu?”

The answer to that particular question is “yes.” But I will try to explain it further.

The Shaolin Temple

 When people say “The Shaolin Temple,” they may think of the one depicted in countless Kung Fu films or television shows, such as Kung Fu. The Temple they are referencing is the Shaolin Monastery in the Songshan mountains. The Shaolin Monastery is considered the first Temple dedicated to Shaolin practice and the birthplace of Kung Fu. In 2008 the Venerable Shi Yongxin, Abbott of the Shaolin Temple in Songshan, tasked a group of Shaolin monks to move into the Temple in Yunnan. These monks were to help restore it and supervise Shaolin Kung Fu teaching in Southern China. With the success of the monk’s work in Yunnan, the Temple in Yunnan is merging with the Temple in Chengdu to continue the mission of restoring Shaolin Temples and supervising Shaolin training. The history and relationships of these temples and the work of the monks and warrior monks make them the “real” Shaolin temples.

real vs fake shaolin schools

Despite the success of the Shaolin Temple, there are often people who use the reputation of the Shaolin Temple to create inauthentic or false Shaolin schools for their own gain. In the process, this hurts the Shaolin Temple and Shaolin Kung Fu and people with a genuine desire to study Shaolin Kung Fu. Because there are no licensing boards or certification requirements to open a school or teach Kung Fu, especially in the West, this often needs clarification among potential students. No restrictions or laws prevent someone with a selfish agenda from opening a Kung Fu school, regardless of their experience. Worse still, someone could easily attach the name “Shaolin” to their school to capitalize on the Monastery’s history, fame, and reputation. In other words, someone can open a school without much Kung Fu experience, add the name “Shaolin,” and profit off innocent people searching for authentic Shaolin Kung Fu.
The instructor may need more quality training in Shaolin Quan, set foot in a Shaolin Temple, or have the blessing and direction of the Abbott of the Shaolin Monastery. This creates a few issues. First, by using the Shaolin name or trying to make false connections to the Shaolin temple or the Shaolin lineage, people will associate these schools with the actual Shaolin temple. As a result, the Shaolin Temple will have a reputation among people who need help understanding the situations and relationships of Kung Fu school. Second, Shaolin Quan’s reputation is also negatively affected. As poorly trained instructors or instructors without training, open schools use the “Shaolin” name and claim lineage to the Temple. The poor training and demonstration of skill automatically become associated with the actual Shaolin Quan. As a result, Shaolin Kung Fu has its reputation damaged, and Kung Fu becomes increasingly diluted.

Shaolin Temple Yunnan Apprenticeship Program

Students of the Shaolin Yunnan Apprenticeship program are members of a true Shaolin Temple. And are part of the long Shaolin tradition. As apprentices, the teachings of Shifu Shi Yanjun follow 35 generations of Shaolin Warrior Monk tradition and history. We are part of the true Shaolin Temple by embarking on this training.

Written by Michael Baker, 35th Generation Apprentice Shaolin Warrior Monk & 18th Generation Apprentice Traditional Heritage of Meihua Quan of Shifu Shi Yanjun

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Shifu Shi Yanjun

Michael Baker
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