10 Shocking Data that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired "Kung Fu Panda"

In the world of martial arts, the monastery of Shaolin has become a true world icon. It appears in both the Kung Fu Panda films, spreading Buddhist philosophy in the West, and those of Bruce Lee. It is true that Shaolin is becoming something integrated into the global culture but almost nobody knows much about it .

10 Very fascinating facts about the Shaolin monastery

1- It is not the only order of the warrior monks

 10 Shocking Data that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
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Although most people think otherwise, Shaolin was neither the first nor the only monastery in the world. that fighter monks came out. Centuries earlier there were already Chinese Buddhist monasteries that stored weapons and practiced martial arts.

The monastery was built to be a peaceful center of learning. The world has many religious orders with a tradition of martial arts such as the Sohei or the Sadhus.

2- I help found an imperial dynasty

 10 Shocking facts that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
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When the Emperor of China died, Wang Shichong took his place and built a tower and a military camp in the Shaolin area. So that the monks did not rebel against him, he sent an army to Shaolin but the monks swore allegiance to his rival Li Yuan who would later establish the Tang dynasty. The role of Shaolin in winning the war ensured that the dynasty held them in high esteem.

3- Shaolin werewolf

 10 Shocking facts that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
Listverse [19659006] There is a legend that tells that a man named Tai Djing was nicknamed the langren (werewolf) of Shaolin.

He suffered from hypertrichosis and was famous for his body covered with hair and his skill for martial arts His family was quite superstitious and they confused him with the devil. They left him but, fortunately, the Shaolin monks took pity on the boy and took care of him. When he was older, he decided to master all martial arts. As it is a legend, we do not know if it really was a person or imagination.

4- Shaolin against Japanese pirates

 10 Shocking Data that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
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] When the Shaolin monks developed their combat skills, they were recruited to fight for China. One of the greatest threats to the country came from the seas, from the ferocious Wokou, the dwarf pirates of Japan . After many attacks, 120 elite warrior monks were recruited and charged with ending the pirate threat.

5- Shaolin and Star Wars

 10 Shocking Data that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that
Lucasfilm

The Jedi Knights of Star Wars are clearly inspired by the Shaolin monks . The concept "force" of the film can be compared to the concept of "chi" and the fighting style of the Jedi's lightsaber is very similar to the acrobatic techniques used by the monks when they held their sticks.

6- It started with an Indian

 10 Shocking Data that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
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The Shaolin Monastery is very much associated with Chinese culture and you will be surprised to learn that its founder it was not Chinese.

The founder, known as Batuo or Buddhabhadra, was a Buddhist monk from India . Under the leadership of Batuo, the monks followed the school of Hinayana Buddhism. The path in this school was very difficult to follow so it was replaced by Chan Buddhism that the monks have continued to this day.

7- Kung Fu does not come from Shaolin

 10 Shocking Data that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
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Although in China they think that all the martial arts arose from the Shaolin, this is false. The monks participated in some battles but did not develop a unique form of fighting. The earliest records of the Shaolin date from the 14th century while the history of Kung Fu dates back to long before the foundation of the monastery .

8- The sinister and mythical origin of tea

 10 Shocking facts that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
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The most beloved drink in China has a legend, which states that centuries after founding the Shaolin Temple, a monk stayed in a cave close meditating for nine years with his back to the cold wall without food or water and with his eyes open.

When he wanted to repeat the feat, he discovered that he fell asleep in the middle of his meditation . His lack of discipline annoyed him and he cut his eyelids so he could not succumb to sleep. A plant grew from the soil where the eyelids fell . Its leaves helped it to stay awake and thus the tea arrived to the world.

9- The Shaolin god

 10 Shocking facts that you probably did not know about the Shaolin monastery that inspired
Sujit Kumar / CC BY-SA 3.0

Shaolin monks venerate a "holy" patron named Bodhisattva Vajrapani . Like other saints, he has some rare legends, such as the story that tells how he saved a young monk from the thugs by giving him only one meat dish.

10- El Jieba

Those who have seen Kung Fu movies with Shaolin monks have noticed that they are depicted with nine points on the forehead . This is known as the Jieba, a sacred mark that the teacher puts to the monk to indicate that he has completed his training. Each point means one of the fundamental rules of conduct that every monk must follow.

This mark is made during a long ceremony. When he was at the climax, 9 incense sticks were placed on the top of the head and the incenses were allowed to burn until the skin did too . Currently the Chinese government only allows it to certain people.

You probably did not know any of these ten aspects that we have mentioned, although you have heard about the term Shaolin, martial arts and Buddhism.

Do you know more information? curious about martial arts? Did you have another concept of these monks?

Share with all your friends so they can discover more about this subject!

Source: Listverse
Cover image: Xian-photos / shutterstock

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