Shaolin Monastery

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少林寺 - Shaolin Temple (or Monastery)

Founded : circa 497 AD (Northern Wei Dynasty) Location : Song (嵩) mountains, province of He Nan (河南). Characteristics: Buddhist philosophy, associated with external skills, fists, cudgels and sabres. The Indian monk Bodhidharma was supposed to have introduced martial arts to sleepy monks. Legends include "Wooden Men Alley" 木人巷. Supposed to have assisted future emperor Tang Tai Zong and received Imperial charters. Featured in numerous martial arts novels as the timeless superpower in the pugilistic realms. Have numerous branches established by secular students.