Shaolin Kungfu is a kind of martial arts practiced by monks under the special Buddhist culture of the Songshan Shaolin Temle in Dengfeng City, Henan Province Taking martial art skills and actions as the performance form and Buddhism belief and Zen wisdom as the cultural meaning, the Shaolin Kungfu has a complete technical and theoretical system.
The Shaolin Temple, built in the Nineteenth year of Taihe Period during the Northern Wei Dynasty (495), is a cultural space for the development of the Shaolin Kungfu. The Shaolin Kungfu, which is originally practiced by the Buddhist monks whose duties were to protect the temple, has been gradually developed into an art of perfect technology, abundant meanings and high reputation in the whole world after more than 1500 years of development. According to martial art books registered by the Shaolin Temple, there are several hundred sorts of routines of Shaolin Kungfu practiced by monks of generations, among which, several dozen are the representative of boxing routines that have been handed down. In addition, there are 72 stunts and Kungfu of special sorts like capture, wrestle, discharging bone, point percussion and Qigong. Altogether 255 routines of boxing art, weapon and mutual practice are still practiced today.
The Zen wisdom of Buddhism has endowed the Shaolin Kungfu with profound cultural connotations. The Buddhist commandment has evolved into the commandment of Kungfu practicing, displayed by the Kungfu morals of the practicers. This evolvement has endowed the Shaolin Kungfu with such characteristics as abstention, modesty and reservation, as well as taking regard to the inner strength, terseness and to winning by striking only after the enemy has struck.
The Shaolin Kungfu is an outstanding representative of the Chinese Wushu culture, and is the most representative performance form of the Shaolin culture.