The Barbados China Friendship Association has described itself as being “proud to be a major sponsor” of a delegation of Shaolin Monks visiting Barbados from the People Republic of China.
The Shaolin Temple monks from Dengeng village, ZhengZHou city in Henan province in China will be performing in Barbados on Saturday at the gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex.
The Shaolin Temple was founded in the fifth century. The monastery has long been famous for its association with Chinese martial arts and particularly with Shaolin Kung Fu, and it is the best known Mahayana Buddhist monastery to the Western world.
In early martial history, the first Shaolin Monastery abbot was Batuo (also called Fotuo or Buddhabhadra), a martial arts and spiritual master who came to China from India in 464 AD to spread Buddhist teachings. A nick name was the burnt faced monk.
The venerable monk Bodhidharma went from India to China to spread Buddhism. In 527 CE, he settled in the Northern Shaolin monastery in Henan province, and inspired the development of Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong.
Bodhidharma is traditionally said by Buddhists to have meditated at the temple and then taught the monks to strengthen their bodies with the use of Qigong. The most popular Qigong exercise set attributed to Bodhidharma was the Sinews Changing Classic.
The Shaolin monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. Perhaps the best-known story of the destruction of the Southern Shaolin Temple in Fujian province by the Qing government in 1641 for their support of the previous Ming government and supposed anti-Qing activities. This effectively destroyed the temple’s fighting force. However, this destruction helped spread Shaolin martial arts through China by means of the five fugitive monks.
“As the chairman of the Barbados China Friendship Association and a practicing martial artist, I had the pleasure to spend some time in China in which I took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Northern Shaolin Temple on several occasions and train at Shaolin Temple,” said Qaasen Sealy.
“While at the temple, I was happy to see in the furthermost part of the temple, a mural painting (early 19th century) depicting the integration of African, Indian and Chinese monks practicing Kung Fu together.”