Shaolin Temple Kungfu Tour - Tour to the Mekka of Martial Arts
Shaolin KungFu, only one of several types of kung fu wushu, or "hard-won achievement" (kungfu) "martial arts" (wushu), is, in turn, only one among many such martial arts that claim association with Shaolin Temple, the now famous Chan ("Zen", in Japanese) Buddhist temple located near the city of Zhengzhou, in China's Henan Province. The temple, which was founded in the 5th century CE, became famous in fact due to its association with the martial arts, in particular, with the strain of martial arts that was referred to as "external" (Shaolin) martial arts (as opposed to "internal" (wudang) martial arts.
Kung Fu martial arts became famous worldwide (shown everywhere that syndicated US TV shows were broadcast), after the US television series of the same name, starring the US actor, David Carradine, was launched. The TV series was set in the US' Old West, a place characterized by the most un-subtle displays of power (think of a free-for-all bar fight in a typical western movie), while David Carradine, in the role of the Shaolin monk, Kwai Chang Caine, was the epitome of a polite, unassuming (read: subtle) figure who, as a master of kung fu, was also capable of amazing, mind over matter power displays, but resorted to this only when there was no alternative (there is perhaps a large measure of truth in portraying the Old West in the US as the "Wild West").
The style of Buddhism developed here centers on martial arts training and Zen meditation. The Zen way of meditation practiced by many Japanese originated here, as did certain styles of martial arts in East Asian countries. It is thought that the teachers at the temple have a big influence on both Buddhism and the martial arts in Korea and Japan, but they didn’t have as big an influence in China where there were many other religions and philosophies and martial arts styles.