Shaolin Inc: The Commercialization Of Kung Fu Religion

YT description: Shaolin martial arts with a long and famous Chinese top. In modern times, though martial arts is no longer so focused as the kings. But the position of the missing Forest always remain strong. In this series, we will be watching the process of training of Shaolin disciple, give their national talent gave concerts all over the world. The stars like Jet Li, Donnie Yen, Zhao … well trained from the oven such training.

Title: Shaolin Documentary Film | Shaolin Secrets – Quintessence martial arts (YT link) Uploaded by X-Motivation.

Shaolin Inc: The Commercialization Of Kung Fu Religion – (2008) 5 stars

Run time: 44 minutes. I did not think I would like this documentary when I first started watching it. It isn’t so much about corrupting the traditional elements of Shaolin Kung Fu as it is about watering down the religious aspects. However, Shaolin Buddhism already has great contradictions built into it. The mastery of fighting skills and using deadly weapons is entirely torn down by the edict that one must never use them in actual combat. The warrior monks of Shaolin spend half their day training to fight and the other half praying or meditating. A warrior monk showing off his skills is like a robust peacock strutting its feathers; while the rest of the time that same monk has his eyes lowered and walks about humbly and with the ideals of peace and harmony foremost in his mind.

It is no wonder that some Shaolin abbots have chosen to follow different paths. The art itself is fluid, even as the thoughts and movements of its practitioners are. As the presentation alludes to, Shaolin has to find a way to adapt before its philosophies become outdated and irrelevant. Again, my reservations emerge, as to the reasoning behind these sweeping changes. The fighting and religious meld is turning capitalistic, that is, it is chasing after dollars. It has become a very showy and exciting gimmick, but nevertheless it is a gimmick. The art did not survive as long as it has because it was trendy, but because it was a true reaching into the soul of man.

There are conformists, there are purists, and there are those who take chances and upset apple carts. In this case, I feel a segment of the Shaolin doctrine must remain close to its roots, while another segment must move forward to keep up with the times. As long as the art is not lost, this second segment can be full of splendor and wonder. If it begins to become more like a circus of trained monkeys, I would hope these entrepreneurial abbots have the wherewithal to comprehend what is taking place and withdraw so this ancient philosophy will not become a gaudy spectacle. That last thing we should want to see is a Shaolin monk robbed of his mysticism and power.


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