I WANT TO GO TO CHINA!!!

wushu

A beautiful demonstraion of wushu, but wushu is different from traditional Shaolin Kungfu. Picture taken from https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1030651/wushu-disappointed-but-not-completely-surprised-by-tokyo-2020-failure.



Question

I want to go to China!!!

Also, would studying Shaolin Kung-Fu be easier or more enjoyable if it is learnt in the country it originated from? I have always had a dream of learning in the Shaolin Temple amongst the monks. Would my not being Chinese shatter my dream?


Answer

Practising genuine Shaolin Kungfu — in China, the United Kingdom, Sudan or anywhere in the world — is never easy. First, finding a genuine Shaolin master who is willing to teach you is very difficult. The actual practice itself is very hard work. But the rewards are tremendous. A saying in Chinese (Cantonese) reads as follows:

hok tak sil lam chen miu fatt hou pei tim seak pin kam juin

It means:

Being successfully trained in the genuine Shaolin arts, Is better than having the magic touch to change stones to gold.

Most people would think the expression an exaggeration. Personally I can vouch for the truth of this expression. If you appreciate that genuine Shaolin training actualize your full potential — in all your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual dimensions — you may appreciate that it is better than becoming fabulously wealthy.

I think it is more difficult and less enjoyable to learn genuine Shaolin Kungfu in China. It is very difficult to find genuine Shaolin masters even in China, and even if you can find one he is not likely to teach you, especially when you are unfamiliar with traditional master-student relationship, and think that learning from a master is doing him a favour, or that it is his duty to teach any Tom, Dick and Harry if they desire to learn.

If you had the unbelievable luck to learn from a genuine Shaolin master in China, you would find your learning less enjoyable than, say, in the United Kingdom. For example, you would not drive to his apartment, say “Hi, good morning,” then have tea served by him, before starting your morning training.

Instead you would have to track half a mile to his humble shed, prostrate before him in a customary way, rush to a nearby stream to bring back two pots of water which you would carry using your tiger-claws, boil the water and serve him tea, then practise your Horse-Riding Stance with the two pots on your thighs, while he slowly sips tea and admires the sky, perhaps with a cane in his hand, ready to whack you if the pots fall.

But you won't get such treatment at the Shaolin Temple today. Traditional Shaolin Kungfu is not taught in the Temple nowadays. But you can register yourself with any of the numerous schools around the Temple. These schools also do not teach traditional Shaolin Kungfu, but they teach wushu, a modernized form of kungfu promoted as sport. The instructors often wear monks' robes.

As the Shaolin Temple today does not teach Shaolin Kungfu, whether your being non-Chinese is a hindrance, becomes an irrelevant question. But in the past, although the Shaolin Temple was, and still is, Buddhist, one's race and religion did not make any difference.

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