Shaolin Kung Fu (少林拳 Shàolín quán) or Shaolin Fist evolved into one of the most dynamic and legendary styles of martial arts in the world, featuring smooth-flowing movements, acrobatics, and a variety of stances. Shaolin monks also studied the motions of animals such as the tiger, crane, and snake, which they incorporated into fighting styles. The art of shaolin consists not only of manipulating limbs and body, but eyes and mind as well.
The shaolin temple was formed in 6th century China, with the name shaolin (meaning young forest) referring to the new trees planted at the temple's inception. A Buddhist monk from India named Bodhidharma (or Ta Mo, in Chinese) entered the temple and found the scholarly monks lacking in physical strength. Ta Mo began to teach the monks moving exercises to build strength and stimulate the flow of chi, or life energy. This served as the basis for the creation of shaolin Kung Fu.
- Shaolin Kung Fu at Wikipedia.