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Battle for the Soul of Kung Fu

In the town of Yanshi, in the foothills of the Song Mountains, lays the Shaolin Temple, where kung fu is assumed to have been first taught. It was here that the popular myth from the fifth century began. In this temple Indian mystics were said to have taught monks a series of movements adapted from animals for self-defense which were later modified for warfare. It is here that martial arts was created.

Some scholars dismiss this legend however, no matter the truth this temple’s soul is steeped with the tradition of kung fu. In today’s age the area has become a sort of a tourist attraction, mostly for Chinese people on holiday.

Currently, there is a great debate going on against the commercialism of the temple versus restoring it to its former glory and traditions. This national geographic article contrasts the debate over the Shaolin temple in the appropriately titled article "Battle for the Soul of Kung Fu."

The full article can be found at: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/shaolin-kung-fu/gwin-text

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