Recommended Readings:

Shaolin Kung Fu (National Geographic, March 2011)

A great article which illustrates the morals and true teachings of the martial arts, verses many of the conflicting objectives that affect a large portion of schools today.


Kung Fu: History, Philosophy and Technique (Chow, Spangler)

This is an excellent book for those students embarking on their journey of additional knowledge on this topic. This book covers the development of martial arts in China from the earliest recordings, to the emergence of Shaolin into the North American culture.  An overview of different Shaolin styles and their origins are discussed (including Praying Mantis of course).  There are also some explanations of introductory Chin-na techniques, and principles of ancient Kung exercises.


Shaolin Grandmasters’ Text: History, Philosophy, and Gung Fu of Shaolin Ch’an

This is a must read book for anyone craving a detailed exploration into the history and philosophy of the Shaolin Order.  This book has been written by the Shaolin Order in an effort to educate the general population and correct any myths about who they are and what they are all about.  A wide range of topics are covered, and I feel they have been done so in a detailed and unbiased manner.  History of Shaolin, Buddhism, life inside the temple, the styles practiced, Chi and inner power, and integrating principles into today’s world are just a sample of the topics that are covered.


Tao Te Ching (Lao Tsu)

Is a text of 81 short chapters written by a man named Lao Tsu around 600-500 BC.  It is believed to be the second most translated book in the world.  Many different variations of the book are available due to publications by different translators.  Often an introduction and/or notes section will be included to supplement the original chapters.  The Tao Te Ching is often referenced by books about Shaolin Kung Fu because its teachings have had such a tremendous impact to the development of religions and philosophies which influence Shaolin thinking.


Living the Martial Way (Forrest E. Morgan)

As the title suggests, this book discusses in detail the many aspects of traditional warriorship and teaches the reader how to apply these concepts in today’s world.  Some of the specific topics covered included how to improve your skills by training like a warrior, developing a warrior mindset, understand a warrior’s ethics and honor, and how to use these concepts to help live a more fulfilling and enriched life.  This book is well written and is an excellent read for anyone regardless of the style of martial art you study, if any.


Recommended Videos:



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