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Thread: Why does Shaolin have martial arts and martial art practitioners?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Default Why does Shaolin have martial arts and martial art practitioners?

    Isn't Shaolin a place that promotes peace over brutality?

    Then why does Shaolin have a WHOLE COLLECTION of martial arts? And why do they teach it to their monks?

    It seems to really go against the whole idea of Buddhism, which doesn't make sense why they would do that...


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    Senior Member Radken's Avatar
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    Self-defense and to prevent falling asleep while meditating.

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    Senior Member Tom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radken View Post
    to prevent falling asleep while meditating.
    Haha! This one is funny.

    But then the Chinese monks have a saying: To do is not to do, to not do is to do.

    If we apply that to this situation, it'll be: To sleep is not to sleep, to not sleep is to sleep.

    Haha!

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    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Self-defense as well as building up and strengthening their bodies.
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

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    Senior Member odbayarb2000's Avatar
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    According to legend, Damo found out that all Shao Lin Monks were lazy and weak because of their lesser body movements and so he initiated series of exercising , involving body movements which will solve their weak conditions. Tradition carried on and transformed into new one, fighting monk.
    "Big Hero Linghu kills frogs with the Dugu Nine Swords!


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    Senior Member PJ's Avatar
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    Here's my 2 cents.

    Buddhism views the world as contradictory and ironic. Thus their motto - "To be is not to be; to not be is to be." IMO, if you can live in harmony amid all the contradictions (because there is no contradiction), then you have reached a high stage in enlightenment cultivation.

    The clash between kindness and the violence in martial arts represents such a bipolar nature.
    TC to Ken: "You need to watch the ending of ROCH 83."

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    Senior Member flamer's Avatar
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    Purpose is to strengthen one's self and eradicate demons. (evil do-ers)

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    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    There's also the paradoxical concept of "fighting to keep the peace." One school of thought believes that a certain amount of force is necessary to subdue those who cannot be peacefully persuaded to lay down their arms. Not everybody believes that this doctrine works (no less an eminence than Albert Einstein observed that people could not "simultaneously prepare for and prevent war.").

    After a certain point, Shaolin was so embedded in wulin affairs that it could not extricate itself, and could only cope by being a bastion of martial arts itself, hopefully to promote the benign use of martial arts. Again, this was the ideal, but in practice, it did not always work out well.

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    Senior Member wuyuejin's Avatar
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    In reality, from around the 8th century on, Shaolin temple with its famous Chan philosophy of Sudden Enlightenment which accepts the possibility of a butcher attaining buddhahood instantly became a final destination for quite a few criminals and rebels to take refuge. When those martial arts users went into the temple they brought with themselves fighting techniques of the outside world thus enriching Shaolin martial arts.
    日暮乡关何处是?烟波江上使人愁。

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    Quote Originally Posted by wuyuejin View Post
    In reality, from around the 8th century on, Shaolin temple with its famous Chan philosophy of Sudden Enlightenment which accepts the possibility of a butcher attaining buddhahood instantly became a final destination for quite a few criminals and rebels to take refuge. When those martial arts users went into the temple they brought with themselves fighting techniques of the outside world thus enriching Shaolin martial arts.

    There were also alot of retired generals early on, even before Tamo's arrival, that passed on their martial knowledge to keep bandits from sacking the Temple.

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