The Shaolin Monastery is recognized as the originating site of the Shaolin Kung Fu. Shaolin Kung Fu was refers specifically to a martial art system developed within the Shaolin Monastery of the SongShan Mountain. It was established within the Buddhist culture and rooted deeply in the spiritual nature of Buddhism. It also reflects fully the inner wisdom of Chan Buddhism. The traditional cultural system in manifested through the martial arts demonstrations by the monks from the Shaolin monastery. The system has three characteristics, a complete fighting system, the sole heir of the unique Buddhist culture and the seeker and preserver of the indomitable Shaolin spirit. As a result, Shaolin Kung Fu is considered one of the top Chinese martial art styles because of its long history. It is a fully developed training program with historical records handed down within the Shaolin Monastery. There are 708 Shaolin Kung Fu sets in existence, out of which 552 sets are designed for fist methods and various weapons. The remaining 156 sets cover 72 secret techniques and training methods for grappling, free fighting, joint locking, attacking acupuncture points, and Qigong.
The physical manifestation of Shaolin Kung Fu centers on its possible use in combat. Each set contains a series of movements which are based on the human anatomy and natural movements of the body. The movements within each set emphasize the mixing of action and response, balancing of Yin and Yang energies, combining soft and hard movements, and exhibiting one’s spirit of vitality in the postures. Among the movements' principles, the most important one is the ‘The Six Coordinations.’ They are: the coordination of one’s hands with the feet, one’s knees with the elbows, one’s shoulders with the hips, one’s mind with the intent, one’s intent with Qi, and one’s Qi with the physical strength. Training involves one’ state of mind, and one’s whole body covering the hands, eyes, body, footwork, and knowledge in martial applications so that all parts will act as one naturally and effortlessly.