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All peoples have their martial arts, and these are usually very ancient; our school in particular is 2000 years old, and throughout its history there have been 87 Grand Masters who have transmitted the teaching orally from master to disciple, which has avoided the disappearance of the Tradition.

The first mentions of the abilities of Chinese pugilism come from the legend of the Yellow Emperor Huang Ti, who fought a fleshy monster called Ch’ih Yu 4,000 years ago. In the sixth century B.C., in the Chou Dynasty, Sun Zi (the oldest book on the art of war known in China) was written. The book refers to able fighters, and says “…to prepare oneself for hand to hand combat, and combat with weapons, to be certain to defend oneself from an attacker, be it man or beast.”. This book and another of the period of the warring states were printed between 1122 and 221 B.C., when China wasn’t a vast empire, but a group of populations which combated each other with their armies of nobles. During this dynasty, a military sport called “yiao” (fight) was practiced along with the crossbow and chariot driving.

The first dynasty which united all China was the Han, which began in the year 220 B.C.,, and concluded the feudal period of the noble warriors. The Han unified the three kingdoms which existed at the time: Chin in the north, Chuen in the south, and Chung Yua in the center.

One could say that Shaolin had its principal locus of development in the Shaolin Monastery situated in Song Shan (Ho a Chang) mountain, in the province of Honan in the north of China. The monastery was founded in the year 475 A.C. After the Han dynasty, China found itself once again divided.

In the year 525 D.C., Bodhidarma (the term derives from the Sanskrit Dhyana), known in China as Ta Mo, and known in Japan as Daruma arrived from India. He professed a different form of Buddhism. Bodhidarma, the patriarch (the 28th Buddha), exposed his new philosophic concept called Chan Buddhism in China (Chan = meditation).

Chan Buddhism breaks all the paradigms of the Buddhist teaching, because, contrary to traditional Buddhism, it is an forceful intuitive self-penetration; a system of impact which defends that to reach illumination one needn’t believe in God, as man, to know the great mysteries of the universe, must journey from within himself to the universe; not the universe to man.

Such that, for man to know God, he must begin with self-knowledge. Illumination, for Chan Buddhism, is acquired via right thought, right action, and in general a right expression in one’s existence. This is more a Taoist exposition than classic Buddhism. This concept displeased the emperor of the south of China; therefore, Bodhidarma headed north where he was well-received, and lodged in the Shaolin Monastery. He headed to a cave 1,300 feet high, where he remained for approximately nine years in meditation facing a wall “hearing the sound of the ants”. At the time, the Shaolin Tsu Monastery was headed by the Mahayana Buddhist sect (which means “the great vehicle”). The province of Ho Nan was divided between the Meridional Liang Dynasty and the Septentrional Wei Kingdom.

Bodhidarma was a Hindu prince; third son of the Indian king Shuganda; and member of the feared warrior caste Ksatria. Upon leaving India he was accompanied by two bodyguards who had become his disciples, and were under orders from his father to guard his life. These two men knew a folkloric art of Hindu self-defense (which still exists) called Karapaito, and they taught movements of this art to Bodhidarma. In the monastery, when he had completed his long meditative exercise, he practiced these breathing and strengthening exercises. These movements began to be imitated by the Shaolin monks, by which they learned to dominate the fatigue which they felt after their lengthy meditations.

In those times, China was passing through difficult times, characterized by political instability. Food was scarce and the monks, malnourished, would fall asleep exhausted during their meditative practice. Worse yet, they were attacked by bandits who were plentiful during that period.

When the Shaolins would heed the calls of the peasants whose populace was being destroyed, their people robbed and killed, the monks were attacked and allowed themselves to be beaten fulfilling their vows of non-violence. But Bodhidarma advised them to “convert each finger into and arrow, each arm into a sword, and each leg into a garrot”. He taught them eighteen exercises of pugilism, to increase their strength, concentrate the Tchi, and withstand assailants. These movements were based on meditation and a series of harmonious movements of nature. These movements are called the 18 hands of Lo Han (Shin-Pa Lo Han Sho) or “weaving silk”. These were the 500 disciples of Buddha who had achieved nirvana and return to earth as Buddha's. These movements permit control of respiration, and sinking the Tchi in the Inferior Tan Tien, as in this manner one is much more stable than one whose lungs are filled with stagnant air. The Tchi concentrated below, and fresh air in the lungs makes the fighter firm as a mountain.

Within a short time, the monks were recognized not only for their great wisdom, but for their fighting strength and skill, which allowed them to effectively clan the monastery area of bandits. Bodhidarma thus united Dhyana mediation with physical exercise, placing them on the same plane of importance. And although Ta Mo was not a martial artist in the strict sense, he is the inspiration of Shaolin and the martial arts which later arose in imitation.

His fighting technique recognizes two categories of fight, depending upon whether or not one is armed. Some people

Some people think that the history and existence of the patriarch Bodhidarma is a myth, and search for the origin of the martial arts in other sources; but the carvings in the Shaolin Monastery walls prove not only his existence, but also his life and teachings.

Within the monastery, 18 classic schools were formed, from which emerged 360 styles. The monk had to spend two years in each, so that after 36 years he graduated as Master, having been trained as: lawyer, engineer, doctor, military, and priest. At that time he had to submit to a series of tests to be allowed to leave the monastery.

These were called the “test of the four chambers”. The first of these chambers submitted the monk to a test of concentration. It was called the “lucky – sad” room, and there the masters told the aspirant first a funny story and then a tragic one. If the slightest hint of emotion was noted, he failed the test.

Then came the “room of strength”, where the candidates had to lift a 90 kilo stone, shoot an arrow from an immense and heavy bow, and carry two baskets with 180 kilos each. After this room was the feared “dark chamber” where the hearing and senses of the aspirant were acutely tested. He was to remain seated in the dark in absolute silence while a knife or lance was thrown directly at him. The novice had to hear the arm arrive, and block or avoid it. Then an immense trunk, mounted on wheels, rolled crazily through the room; and, unless the candidate could jump over it in the dark, he would die crushed.

Finally, there was the “chamber of vengeance”. There ten armed senior monks awaited him. The candidate was given a chair or a club, with which he was obliged to defend himself without wounding any of them. If he was able to do this, he was allowed to rest and meditate before the final test: he passed through a long corridor near the entrance to the temple, and at its end, after having defended himself from 108 wooden dummies that move in coordination with his steps on the paving stones, the monk had to pass through a door which opened via a trip mechanism which was underneath a scalding hot cauldron: such that to open the door he had to embrace the cauldron and lift it. On its sides The cauldron had in high relief a dragon on the left and a tiger on the right. Thus, when the monk lifted the cauldron, these figures were branded on his forearms, which were, so to speak, his diploma. This diploma varied from temple to temple it passed for a next runner prolonged to the entrance of the Temple, in some it was a pair of dragons, in others cranes, serpents, or leopards. This harsh test demonstrated to the other monks and the candidate himself that he was above pain and fear. The masters of the monastery, upon leaving the temple, headed toward varying locales; to remote villages where they established their monasteries. Thus they dispersed throughout China, maintaining for many years the integrity of the empire; the the extent that the Shaolins began to be used as guardians of the empire; a work for which they were rewarded with terrains to continue their labor and disseminating Shaolin.

On the flip side, some monks weren't able to complete the tests to reach mastery, and so many of these escaped the temple and formed their own schools to teach the people. As these monks hadn't achieved the required development, they created schools which are not comparable to that achieved by Shaolin.

These masters and their schools gave birth to what is known as Kung-Fu Wu Shu, which means ¨well learned martial arts¨. But the techniques of Shaolin were very distinct from the martial arts done by the people, as those of Shaolin are the fruit of an internal development, and the others arise from the struggle for survival.

This great difference was visible in the tournaments which occurred regularly in the towns, in which a monk was allowed to participate, and left the other competitors slack-jawed.

Many myths were woven about these warrior monks : that they walked on water, flew through the air, and could remain for long time periods under water without breathing ; as their discipline brought them incredible strength, and through the control of Tchi, they could endure great trials. One could strike any part of their body with an iron bar and leave no wounds, or lift tremendous weights ; it is even told that they could jump on a swallow's nest without harming the small bird. One of the ¨myths¨ was that the monks could fly, this may have been due to an out-of-body experience, otherwise known as and astral projection.

The myth was so strong, that in China it was said, ¨No one knows and no one can do anything, except for God and the Shaolin Monks.¨ .

The rigorous Shaolin training consisted of hours of striking tablets and bags of rice with fists. They would climb posts using only their wrists and knees for leverage, and balance themselves so for many minutes. This gave them such strength that with a scissor hand block, they could smash of the bones of the hand of an adversary. They toughened their hands by sinking them in buckets of hot sand, and sharpened their speed by striking moving sacks filled with racks and horsehair.

In the year 470, the emperor Wu Ti (there were five emperors at the time), in his anti-Buddhist policy, decided to destroy the Shaolin temples. The teaching was therefore fragmented among the disciples, and transmitted bit by bit by the masters. It is told that after the persecutions to which the monks were subjected under this government and later dynasties, only five Shaolin masters remained, the so-called Five Immortals ; they reconstructed the art. The monastery was later rebuilt by the kings of the Suei dynasty (589-618), although it is uncertain that they practiced Shaolin within.

During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), most of the Chinese youth knew Kung Fu Wu Shu, and the amount of Shaolin practitioners increased greatly as well. This is considered the Dynasty of the Golden Age of Shaolin. In this era the great deeds of the fighter monks such as Chih Tsao, Hui Yang, and Tlan Tsung of Hunan Temple are known.

In the year 675, a new crisis occurred in which the Emperor Li Chi Ming lost almost complete control of the empire. During that time, many guerrillas arose. One of the guerrilla leaders at the time, Wang Shih Chung, wanting to create a separatist regime, kidnapped the son of the emperor of China and demanded a great sum for his safe return. But the prince threw his seal to some peasants from his imprisonment. They collected this sign and brought it to the monks who identified it ; thus, knowing that the kidnapper was a cruel man who terrorized the region, they decided to rescue the prince. Twelve monks headed toward the site indicated by the peasants. They divided themselves in two groups : six who would go to the rescue, and six who would bring the getaway horses. After a long battle, the Shaolins successfully rescued the young man, and one of them, Tan Tsung, remained behind wanting to catch the guerrilla chieftan. Doing so, he has to chase the man to a brothel, where in the dark he fought him and was able to capture Wang. Meanwhile, the bandits chased the monks, but the emperor's troops arrived on the scene and cleaned up the remaining bandits.

In gratitude, the emperor conferred upon the Shaolin monastery the title ¨first monastery under heaven¨ and offered all the monks the post of general in his army. Only one Shaolin accepted, with the condition that he could continue with his mystic discipline and teach it to his men.

From that time, the Chinese Army was renowned for its discipline and strength. The other monks didn't accept the post ; they were given instead a the Imperial Mantle ; a beautiful red cloak with gold embroidered checks. From that point the Shaolin monks could act as official representatives of the emperor in his absence.

After this, when the feudal lords saw the dragon and the tiger and the imperial mantle, they could do nothing but give praise to the Shaolins who had become a means to keep the peace of the country.

Shaolin maintained itself until the 9th century as a school. Then, at that time, it changed to become a religion called Chang. The Fa Men Chuan (which was only one of the 360 schools) was opposed to this, and left the monastery. They maintained that Chang Buddhism, as a religion would impede the method of internal development as had been established until then. The development ought to be without any trace of religion of any sort.

Of the schools which remained in the monastery, many disappeared.

After their departure from the monastery, the Fa Men Chuan school continued a very different training from that of the line of Chang (known in Japan as Zen), although some of the beliefs are applicable to that of Fa Men Chuan.

This occurrence also provoked the separation of the discipline in the schools to the north (Pek) and the south (Ta) of the great river Yang Tze which flow across Central China.

Both schools had concepts of ¨hard¨ or external, and ¨strong¨ or internal, combat. The ¨hard¨ method sought control of breath, training of the bones and muscles, and strengthening of fists and feet. Their ability to advance and retreat in a fraction of a second was as important as the ¨union of the hard and the soft¨. Among these schools belong the Shaolin Chuan-Fa or Shaolin Fist, the Hung Gar Chuan, and the Tong Long.

For its part, the ¨soft¨ schools emphasized the exercised of the Tchi, the training of bones and muscles, and the submission of the offensive using immobility; defeating the adversary in the moment of his attack. To these schools belong the Pa Kua, the Hsing-Ji, and the Tai Chi Chuang Fan.

Each school emphasized more strongly one of the aspects than the other. The northern schools – Septentrionals - sought a technical-scientific-philosophic training; they wanted to strengthen and attacked and defended preferentially with their feet. The Meridional – Southern - school emphasized a mystic, religious teaching ; using subtlety, the strength of the attacker to defeat him, and used their hands in strikes and blocks.

During the Song Dynasty (1127-1279) the most skilled Shaolins in the history of China existed. Open classes of martial arts were presented to any interested person ; exhibits attracted great multitudes. There were tournaments and large schools. Then, during the Chin Dynasty, hunted military men began to take refuge in the monastery to avoid capture, and thus received monks habits. With time, China was invaded by foreigners, and the government passed into their hands. The Shaolin monasteries then became centers where nationalist groups met to plot against the emperor.

At the time Kublai Khan sought the Golden Throne of China, a wealthy young man named Chueh Yuan or Yen became a Shaolin priest. He revised the 18 ancient methods, and augmented them, including 72 movements, but he sought something more. He found himself in Kansu Province where near the east coast he saw an old ambulatory seller attacked by a large man. When this man attempted to strike the weak individual, he was knocked unconscious with the touch of two fingers of the old man´s hand against the leg extended toward him. Yen became friends with the old man, who, while he didn't teach him his art, introduced him to Pai Yu-Feng, incomparable in fight. Yen, Pai, and the old man went to Shaolin temple and consolidated the eighteen movements of Bodhidarma and the 72 of Yen in 170 moves grouped into five schools which were the basis for all Kung Fu Wu Shu.

These styles are based on five animals : the dragon, tiger, leopard, serpent and crane. These represent five essences : spirit, strength, bone, Tchi and tendon, and to achieve perfection in martial arts these styles had to be efficiently fused. These five names of the five principal divisions of Chinese Pugilism of the the Shaolin Temple received the names of the five monks who, according to tradition, were the first to develop them : Hung, Lau, Li, Monk. This division is known as Fist of the Five Animals.

The Dragon :

It represents the cultivation of the spirit, with the Tchi concentrated in the Lower Tan Tien, so that the conscience dominates the body and the body in this way can rest lightly and freshly on the legs and shoulders. Thus one can perform the movements with agility and great grace. The five centers ; the heart, the two palms, and the feet are ready in constant response. The boxing of the dragon is meditation in movement. It is considered that when done while maintaining a higher degree of attention, it can adjust the functions of control of the central nervous system.

The Tiger :

It emphasizes the training of the bones and strengthening them ; and movements at short range like clawing. The Tchi circulates through the body whilst the body is raised and lowered in a horse stance, with the spinal column perpendicular to the ground, and the arms loose. This exercise rectifies deformations of the body, augments the capacity of the core muscles, the legs, shoulders, and back, as well as favoring the growth of the bones.

The Leopard:

It was chosen for the strength of its posterior paws, and its powerful leaps were used to symbolize the necessary strength in the lower body. To act like a leopard demands speed and power, augmenting one's strength and ability.

The serpent:

It is related to the Tchi, for the importance of the rhythmic respiration in its cultivation . The example is the viper, whose body is invaded by Tchi and allows it, although soft to the touch, to extract the necessary strength from all its length, wrapping itself mortally around the enemy. Its movements are flexible and violent. They stimulate principally the respiration, and help to breath deeply, augmenting the vital capacity of the lungs, activating the circulation of the blood, and improving the cardiovascular system.

The Crane or Stork:

It was taken as a symbol the tendon, and its great wings in agitation were the model for strikes at long reach with fists, and the speed of the hands resembling a bird's beak striking. It develops stability, agility, and strengthening of the tendons, practicing self contemplation and control, with the mind tranquil yet alert, which improves the function of the systems of the human organism.

Various additional styles of Kung-Fu, based on movements of different animals, appeared later. The style of the Praying Mantis, for example, was inspired by a battle witnessed in the the 17th century by the Kung-Fu master Won Long, between a mantis and a grasshopper. A Tibetan Lama is considered the founder of the White Crane style, which reproduces the form in which this animal defended itself in a fight against a monkey. Monkey Style, for its part, was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by Kou Sze.

He was an expert of Kung Fu who was imprisoned for murder after having killed an assailant in self-defense. Kou Sze observed a band of monkeys from his window and began to imitate their movements, teaching what he had learned upon leaving prison.

In the 16th century the traditional systems of fighting were already highly elaborated, densely stylized, and one needed to memorize hundreds or thousands of rigid movements. As a result, the ancient martial arts were burdensome and too complex. A woman named Yim Wing Chung changed all this and founded in the process the first of the modern schools of Kung-fu. She studied the art with a Shaolin monk called M´g Mui, and arrived at the Some of the systems required 100 forms ; Shaolin requires 34.

Yim Wing Chung reduced this to three, and created one of the most subtle ¨soft¨ schools, concentrating on converting each attack into a counterattack. One of the best skills was to fight with a blindfold, ready for each attack, and using the strength of the blow to roll, turn, and project the antagonist.

In the 17th century in the year 1620, after the end of the Ming Dynasty (which was ended by the Shaolin warriors), the Shaolins continued their resistance against the Manchu invasion and that of other foreign countries. In the year 1690 A.C. the south of China was invaded by Japanese pirates, forty monks armed only with staffs, expelled the Japanese from Chinese territory. Then, in approximately the year 1720, they did the same with a Mongol invasion to the north of China. The Manchu invasion dispersed many inhabitants, including many who dwelled in the monasteries which propagated the Shaolin methods throughout China, as well as to the exterior. This movement of masters produced in Korea various styles of Kung-Fu Wu Shu, classified as Tae Kwan Do (open hand fight), which imitated the circular and feline movements of Kung-Fu ; in Thailand, Thai booking with its high kicks, and in Burmai, the ferocious Bando.

On the island of Okinawa, due to a prohibition on weapons imposed by the Nipponese Conquerors, the islanders and their priests recurred to Karate in the 17th century, and to the use of clubs to protect themselves. In Japan, the Bushi, or Samurai, began to practice boxing and projections with empty hands, among them, Ju-Jitsu.

In the year 1735, the emperor prohibited the practice of martial arts, and meetings of more than two people.

At that time, the master Won-Po was at the helm of our system, and, to avoid the disappearance of the art, he divided it in two. Thus, the philosophic and martial practices took separate routes; and when the student reached a certain level, he was sent to another master where he was taught the internal work. To avoid being discovered teaching the art he took his students to the mountains to practice there ; thus the Fa Men Chuan maintained its existence.

The master Won Po died in 1755, leaving his daughter Li Ming Shing as the grand master of the system, who was later known as Golden Fist. Li Ming Shing married a man who opposed the practice of Shaolin, and who pursued its practitioners. Fortunately, he was unaware that his wife was the grand master of the system.

The Si-Jo Li Ming Shing had two sons to whom she taught Shaolin without their father's knowledge; but they were not destined to be the successors. The Si Jo died at the age of sixty four, leaving her servant Fen Weng as her successor, who assumed the position at the age of twenty eight years of age. The new Si Jo began to be hunted; therefore he was obliged to flee, and wherever he went, he taught what he knew.

Whilst so engaged, Fen Weng met a young lady ; her name was Su Ning Tsu, and she became his wife, winning great acclaim for her agility as a warrior. In his thirties, Fen Weng left his wife encharged with the running of the school in his absence ; while he headed in search of his master of internal development. Fifteen years later, he returned, but found that the emotional conditions between them had changed. Resigned, the master Weng took habits in a Taoist monastery, and there, Su Ning Tsu arrived eventually, after having suffered the death of her family, to be again the disciple of the Master. She died at the age of 84 years. For his part, Fen Weng died at the age of 112 years.

In China, occurred what is known is the Opium Wars¨, a time in which Japanese and Hindu pirates brought their shipments of opium to transport to the West. This was not to the liking of the emperor of China, who prohibited the use of his ports to traffic opium. The Brittish, who used this substance heavily, invaded China, and force its inhabitants to consume it, thus degenerating the Chinese people. The emperor, well guarded in the Forbidden City, didn't give this much importance, but the Shaolins who opposed this began a campaign against the foreign activity, for which they were persecuted all the more. It was then that Fen Weng decided that the practice of Fa Men Chuang had to end in China. At the time he had seven Si Tai Gungs, upon whom he called to close their schools, relocate their students, and head to the monastery. Of those seven Si Tai Gungs, only five heeded the call and began the meditative preparation for the resurgence of Fa Men Chuan in another time and place. The two remaining Si Tai Gungs disagreed with the termination of Shaolin in China and didn't heed the call of the master, continuing with the revolution against the foreigners. One of those Si Tai Gungs was Han Shang Ten, a great master of martial arts, who, for his part, formed a group called the I Wor Kwen (Harmonious fist of Justice). The other was Bong Ming, who, more than a fighter, was a warrior monk, and founded the I Wor-Moon. Each one went to a region of China. These groups were formed separately, without the used of the techniques of Fa Men Chuan ; but, using their names to identify their provenance. The I Wor Moon group had continued a mystic work, contrary to the I Wor Kwen, which was dedicated to the martial practice. For this reason, when this group is mentioned presently in China it is spoken of as guerrilla fighters.

These two groups of Shaolin renegades joined ranks and increased their numbers ; and, together with the Pa Kua Chang and the I Ching Hi, formed what is known as the Triad, and later, the organization of the White Lotus. Thus began a series of rebellions which culminated in July 1900 with the seige of Peking, when they held it for fifty five days. Of the Triad emerged nine groups, which eventually formed what is presently the Chinese mafia.

The English sent veteran mercenaries to the war in Chinese ( ?) to terminate the Boxers fighting hand to hand with those Chines of pitiful appearance who, in the end, defeated the army sent by the English. The Germans and Russians did the same, and were defeated. They therefore decided to attack the Boxers with and international army with firearms, and defeated the rebels.

But in 1911, the Chinese troops were able to expel the foreigners, creating the Republic of China, with Sun Yat Sen as leader. The I Wor Moon had disappeared in the decade of the 1940s, but the I Wor Kwen, by 1938, had continued as an organization and received young Japanese, who began to train, and in 1946 he was named grand master. The youth called himself Doshin So, he was born in 1911 in Japan, raised in Manchuria, and received the name Michiomi Nakano. The founder of Shorinji Kempo was active in Japanese societies for twenty years. He became a disciple of the taoist monk Chín Ryo, who was associated with a society called Zaijari, a variant of the Triad, and after some time, he arrived at the I Wor Kwen. In Japan he formed what was known there as Shorinji Kempo ¨Path of the Shaolin Temple Fist¨ ; but, this is not traditional Shaolin, but a Chinese boxing derived by Hang Shang Ten. At the age of 40 years, Doshin So created in Japan the seat of his new school, which became a temple of Buddhist studies, and a place of martial arts. His doctrine was registered as the sect of Kongo Zen of Buddhism, presently the largest martial arts organization in the world, larger than Karate, Tae Kwan Do, and Judo together. It has over 800 training salons, an dis directed by the daughter of Doshin So.

While this occurred outside the monastery, a young man from another school came to the monastery to learn from Fen Weng, who at the time was 93 years old. The master saw in this youth a series of qualities, and trained him to be his successor. This youth was the Master Wey Ley Cheng. He assumed the succession of the system at the age of 32 years, being the last Chinese grand master. The master Wey Ley traveled through all of Asia as a taoist monk, but at 77 years of age, he retired from China, to the Isle of Kyoto, Japan, where his cousin had married a Japanese man. He taught her sons Fa Men Chuang.

From Wey Ley Cheng we learned that Shaolin is not a material temple as in ancient times ; rather, the temple is the body of each of its practitioners, who, with it, with the Law of the fist reach the dominion of the fourth principle : ¨The knowledge of violence while living non-violence, bring peace.¨ Wey Ley Cheng made Shaolin what it is today : a practice without dogma, for which it is not a religion, and where our heart, and the ¨here and now¨ are the most important. Through him we learned that web ring God to realization in our being.

Sokuto Ito and Mitsuhiro Ito, the two children, completed their training when Wey Ley Cheng was 99 years old. The Ito brothers both reached the same level ; Sokuto was the eldest, and so Mitsuhiro more free, was the one who traveled often. The succession to system depends on locating the disciple who is destined to be the future successor. Mitsuhiro Ito was an agricultural engineer, and traveled to America in 1960 to help in the cultivation of rice. With the backing of the Japanese government, he made a contract in Colombia. Whilst there, he met Mariano E. Rivera, who lived in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and at the time practiced Okinawa Kempo, a system which left him empty.

In one of many trips of Mariano, he was able to arrange for a Colombian to communicate with Master Ito, who resided in Colombia. In 1967, Mariano visited Mitsuhiro Ito and was accepted as his disciple. Thus, Mitsuhiro Ito acquired the highest rank in the world in Shaolin Tsu Kempo, the grey sash. After many years of practice, Mariano E. Rivera acquired the black sash, and then the rank of Si Tai Gung and successor, and was ratified as such by the World Federation in Taipei, China (ROC).

In 1976, the Master Ito left Mariano Rivera in charge of the system, and retired to live in Japan. The Si Tai Gung Mariano Rivera developed Shaolin in Puerto Rico, then in Mexico, Colombia, and other countries, seeking to form masters who would continue his labor in America, which is apparently the place the masters had chosen upon their retreat in the Taoist monastery. America is where Fa Men Chuang is being reborn as a more dynamic system, which very rapidly develops conscience and physical dominion.

Presently, Shaolin is a method of life which doesn't believe in an individual god, but a universal one ; where there is neither possession nor belief in idols. It is a method of self-cultivation through intense work and action, living the ¨here and now¨… with no hurry… in silence… alert, vigilant, and in direct contact with the energy surrounding us. Both the mental/astral aspect (internal Shaolin), as well as the external Shaolin have great importance in the detachment of the self, to enter reality, being one with the universe.

 

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SiSuk Wanda Marí Rivera Rivera :: SiSuk Mariano Rivera Torres