shaolin temple

Read the conclusion to this fascinating journey of martial arts discovery that led from Okinawa to China and ended up at Nine Lotus Temple and Nine Dragons Temple!

On our research trip to China, we visited the remote Nine Lotus Temple, located in a rugged region of the Putien district. Just getting to the base of the mountain on which the temple sits required an hour-and-a-half bus ride from the nearest town. Then came an arduous climb with an elevation gain of 4,000-plus feet. Along the way, the route was surrounded by steep cliffs and ravines that cascaded thousands of feet down to the lowlands.

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Continuing their account of their martial arts research trip to Asia, the authors land in southern China and find that two facilities are vying for the name Southern Shaolin Temple.

The Northern Shaolin Temple in Henan province has received a lot of attention in recent years. In fact, it's now a tourist attraction. But the folklore of the martial arts of southern China points to a Southern Shaolin Temple. Until recently, it was thought to exist only in legend.

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Get ready for a short martial arts history lesson that encompasses China, Okinawa, the Southern Shaolin Temple and, just possibly, the style of self-defense you practice!

In the latter part of the 19th century, when the Ming revolutionaries were still active and many secret societies had been formed, an Okinawan named Kanryo Higashionna (1853-1915) arrived in Fuzhou. He eventually found a martial arts teacher named Ryuryuko (Chinese: Xie Zhongxiang, 1852-1930), who taught at his house and claimed to have studied at a temple in the Fujian mountains. After spending a number of years in China, Higashionna returned to Okinawa and founded the naha-te tradition.

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Embark on a search for the Southern Shaolin Temple and find out how the self-defense art practiced there went on to influence the development of Okinawan karate.

Shaolin Temple is regarded as the birthplace of many Asian martial arts, but how did it influence the development of modern karate?

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