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Shaolin Martial Arts Books

The Shaolin Martial Arts are legendary for their variety and their lineage. Unlike many of the systems and schools which have some, often incomplete, documentation of the forms and lineage, the Shaolin temple has records that date back centuries and books that explain the requirements for movement. The stone courtyard in the practice hall at Song Shan bears the footprints of more than 500 years of students. It’s cobblestones are uneven and worn in ways that would not happen if it was only from people walking. If only the stones could tell stories.

We have selected a few items that may be useful in study and practice. These selections are not endorsements or recommendations. They are intended to provide students with as much information as possible to encourage them to learn.

Shaolin Temple: The Hall of 500 Buddhas

In the Hall 500 Buddhas at Song Shan, there are literally figures of 500 different representations of Buddha – some laughing, some crying, some sitting, some standing, some frowning, some thoughtful. They are all different and yet, they are all the same. This is much like the arts themselves. Many different arts make up the Shaolin tradition. They have different names and different heritage and different practice methods. Yet they are all Shaolin.

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