The Origin of Kung Fu

Bodhidharma-Kung-Fu

The origin of Kung Fu started with Bodhidharma (pronounced “bo-dee-dar-ma”), an Indian monk who arrived in Shaolin, China during the 5th century. Bodhidharma meditated for 9 years in a cave at the top of Mount Songshan, next to the Shaolin monk monastery. After becoming enlightened, Bodhidharma descended back down to the monastery to teach his fellow monks what he had learned and encouraged physical activity through calisthenics as a way of training the body and mind. It is a 5 kilometer trek of stairs from the bottom to the top of Mount Songshan and Shaolin monks use this staircase as part of their physical and mental training, going up and down the stairs in various movements (e.g. walking, crouching, laying down etc.)

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