This is complete rubbish and unfortunately it is Shaolin Temple that seems to be spreading it around. If you see any of the travelling monk shows or watch any of the Shaolin documentaries that have been produced in the last couple of years, you will see this myth being pushed very strongly. The modern animal styles that are coming out of temple are not classical styles. They are full of acrobatics and generally running around and pretending to be an animal, but with very little real functionality (except marketing).
Martial arts evolve, and the current commonly practiced Shaolin animal styles are valid in context, but to pretend that all of the martial arts that we see in Shaolin today were developed by Da Mo is ridiculous. If nothing else, Da Mo (Bodhidharma) lived more than a thousand years before the first Shaolin Animal form was built. This myth discredits the countless Masters who made outstanding contributions to Shaolin Gong Fu over the 1,500+ years of Shaolin’s history. Watch video in link below
video link : http://wp.me/p8HeNU-d0
The animal styles are more correctly known as the Imitative Styles (Xing Quan) and are a unique feature of Classical Chinese martial arts. Masters developed these styles as a way of exploring the nature of human consciousness by exploring the different ‘minds’ that the animals represent. The animal is an archetype that the practitioner can explore to understand the changeability of the human mind.
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