Despite the announcement that Wushu, known in the West as kung
fu, would be showcased alongside the Beijing Olympics, Shaolin
Temple, China's most renowned home of martial arts, has said its
monks will not be taking part.
Shaolin Temple itself would not send people to take part in the
2008 Beijing Olympic Wushu competition, Orient Today quoted Qian
Daliang, general manager of the Henan Shaolin Temple Development
Co. Ltd, as saying.
"Chinese wushu belong to competitive sports, whereas Shaolin
wushu belongs to traditional martial arts. The two have different
natures, standards and connotations," said Qian.
"Performance in Chinese martial arts can be quantified but
Shaolin wushu can not be measured in that way as it contains
Buddhist elements and showcases a harmonious combination of
Buddhism and kung fu," Qian said.
"In ancient times, people practiced Shaolin wushu to resist
outsiders, not for competitive purposes.
"Shaolin Wushu, as a cultural heritage, cannot be equal to
competitive sports. They are two completely different concepts.
They are all monks at Shaolin Temple, we cannot send them to take
part in competitions."
Chinese Olympic Committee Vice-Chairman Zhang Faqiang confirmed
earlier this week that wushu will be featured at the 2008 Beijing
Zhang was quoted as saying that it will neither be a medal sport
nor a mere demonstration.
Qian said the Shaolin Temple would support the event "in a
cultural and spiritual way" and they would definitely send martial
art monks to the opening ceremony of the Olympics if they receive
The 1,500-year-old Shaolin Temple in Dengfeng City, in central
China's Henan Province, is also China's most renowned home of Zen
(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2007)