The Origins of Kung Fu

It is a common misconception that Kung Fu started in the Shaolin Temple, however it did not. The Chinese martial arts were developed long before the Temple was built, in the third century.

A Chinese Physician, Hwa Tor, was using excercises based on animal movements to improve the physical health of his patients a long time beforehand. However, the Temple did become a centre for the development of martial arts in China, and it remained so for over a thousand years; until it was dissolved by the Ching Dynasty Emperor, in the eighteenth century.

In the year 527 AD, a monk known as Dat Mo, or Bodhidharma, arrived at the Shaolin Temple. It is believed that he found his Chinese disciples too weak in body and mind to practice the intensive meditation required for his path to enlightenment. To rectify this, Dat Mo devised excercises combining external movement, and internal breathing, to strengthen the "Body-Mind" of his disciples, enabling them to persue his spiritual path with more vigour.