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Thread: Shaolin: a house of Buddhism, a house of martial arts, and a house of...medicine?

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Default Shaolin: a house of Buddhism, a house of martial arts, and a house of...medicine?

    Shaolin is well known for being a school of Chinese Buddhism and a school of Chinese martial arts, but was it also known as a "school" of Chinese medicine as well?

    It seemed that the Shaolin Temple always had its share of medical experts. Although Shaolin produced no extraordinary physicians such as DGSD's Dr. Sit, ROCH's Indian Divine Monk, or Dr. Wu Ching Lau of Butterfly Valley from HSDS (and his student, Cheung Mo Gei), hardly a Jin Yong story went by without at least some peripheral reference to Shaolin's healers. In DGSD, Kiu Fung's adoptive father Kiu 3 Wai was cured of the sickness that was killing him by medicine that was brought by a Shaolin monk (I'm guessing Yeun Fu, who went on to become Kiu Fung's martial arts teacher). In LOCH, Wong Yung answered Luk Sing Fung's question about how she could identify 9 Flower Jade Dew Pills by lying that a Shaolin monk had given the pills to her when she was a little girl. In HSDS, when Cheung 3 Fung was out of answers on what to do about Cheung Mo Gei's Yeun Ming Divine Palms injury (this was before he encountered Seung Yu Chun and learned about Dr. Wu), he thought that although Shaolin was unwilling to share its portion of the 9 Yeung Jen Ging, perhaps Chief Abbot Hung Wan's medical knowledge could help Cheung Mo Gei.

    Was Shaolin in fact known in gong wu as a center of healing as well as a certain of Buddhist learning and martial arts?

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    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Martial arts and medical knowledge go hand in hand as injuries were common. Every school, sect or clan had good medical expertise.

    That's almost a direct translation of something Jin Yong wrote in HSDS, the battle of Brightness Peak.
    "Anything you can't say NO to is your MASTER, and you are its SLAVE."

    "I disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candide
    Martial arts and medical knowledge go hand in hand as injuries were common. Every school, sect or clan had good medical expertise.
    Some were considered better than others though, right? I think Shaolin was known for being especially adept in the medical arts.

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    Senior Member Candide's Avatar
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    Yeah, usually the more powerful a school is (meaning they're often challenged by others), the better they are at medicine.
    "Anything you can't say NO to is your MASTER, and you are its SLAVE."

    "I disapprove of what I say, but I will defend to the death my right to say it."

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    So it seems down to Wong Fei Hung's time, his place still provided a place for medicine and practicing martial arts.

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