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Ten Shaolin Laws

The Ten Shaolin Laws are non-religious, and transcend all cultures and races, i.e. people of any culture and race would agree that they promote values that are worthy and desirable. Laws, in the Shaolin tradition, are not meant to be punitive or restrictive, but as practical means to help followers achieve set aims and objectives; in this case to help them attain the best possible results in practising Shaolin Kungfu for combat efficiency, joyful living, mind expansion, and spiritual fulfilment.

There is no legal binding on the Ten Shaolin Laws; one cannot be prosecuted in a law court if he breaks these laws. The binding is moral. But they are not forced upon the follower; the follower accepts them because he chooses to, because he believes they are helpful to him in his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual cultivation. If he breaks the laws, despite sufficient warnings, he may be asked to leave the Shaolin training, not as a punishment, but because the training is not suitable for him.

1. Required to respect the master, honour the Moral Way and love fellow disciples as brothers and sisters.

2. Required to train the Shaolin arts diligently, and as a pre-requisite, to be physically and mentally healthy.

3. Required to be filial to parents, be respectful to the elderly, and protective of the young.

4. Required to uphold righteousness, and to be both wise and courageous.

5. Forbidden to be ungrateful and unscrupulous, ignoring the Laws of man and heaven.

6. Forbidden to rape, molest, do evil, steal, rob, abduct or cheat.

7. Forbidden to associate with wicked people; forbidden to do any sorts of wickedness.

8. Forbidden to abuse power, be it official or physical; forbidden to oppress the good and bully the kind.

9. Obliged to be humane, compassionate and spread love, and to realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people.

10. Obliged to be chivalrous and generous, to nurture talents and pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples.

We in Shaolin Wahnam are very proud of our lineage which can be traced back directly to the two southern Shaolin Temples, as illustrated in the chart above.

Not many people realize that there were two southern Shaolin Temples, one in the City of Quanzhou, and the other on the Nine-Lotus Mountain, both located in Fujian Province of South China.

During the Ming Dynasty (14th to 17th century) a Ming emperor built a southern Shaolin Temple in the City of Quanzhou in Fujian Province as an imperial temple to replace the northern Shaolin Temple in Henan Province. This temple was burnt by the Qing Army around 1850s led by the crown prince Yong Cheng with the help of Lama kungfu experts from Tibet.

The Venerable Chee Seen escaped and built a secret southern Shaolin Temple on the Nine-Lotus Mountain, also in Fujian Province. This temple was also soon burnt by the Qing Army, this time led by Pak Mei who was a classmate of Chee Seen in the southern Shaolin Temple in Quanzhou.

The northern Shaolin Temple on Song Shan or Song Mountain in Henan Province remained throughout the Qing Dynasty. In fact, the Chinese characters, "Shao Lin Si" which means "Shaolin Temple" at the Main Gate of the Temple were written by the Qing Emperor, Qian Long. This temple was burnt only in 1928, 17 years after the fall of the Qing Dynasty, by rival Chinese warlords. Its burning was by cannon fire and had nothing to do with kungfu.

Our Grandmaster, Sifu Wong Kiew Kit, learned from four sifus, or teachers. Grandmaster Wong's first sifu was Sifu Lai Chin Wah, more widely known by his honorable nick-name as Uncle Righteousness. His second sifu was Sifu Chee Kim Thong, regarded as the living treasure of the People's Republic of China during his time. Grandmaster Wong's third sifu was Sifu Ho Fatt Nam, the third generation successor from the southern Shaolin Temple at Quanzhou. His fourth sifu was Sifu Choe Hoong Choy, the patriarch of Choe Family Wing Choon.

It was no co-incidence that all Grandmaster Wong's sifus were patriarchs of their respective styles because Grrandmaster Wong sought for the best available teachers. Our school, Wahnam, is named after Sifu Lai Chin Wah and Sifu Ho Fatt Nam as much of our instructional material came from them.

Uncle Righteousness - Sigung Lai Chin Wah

Sigung Ho Fatt Nam - 3rd generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit - 4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery

Happy 5th and 6th generation practitioners from around the world!