Shaolin Martial Arts Schools Forced to Take “Red Road”


Martial arts students are used to handing over – and taking – hits, but they’ve in no way suffered a blow like the one brought with the aid of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s crackdown on Buddhism. Buddhist symbols were stripped from the Shaolin Temple martial arts schools, the arena-famous domestic of Chinese martial arts.

Located in Dengfeng city, in imperative China’s Henan Province, the Shaolin Monastery is known around the sector and is the ancestral domestic of Chinese Buddhism. The area where the founder of Chinese Buddhism lived and propagated his teachings is referred to as the “Number One Temple Under Heaven.” Numerous martial arts colleges had been set up below the call of the Shaolin Monastery, inheriting Buddhist thought, and wearing ahead the conventional Shaolin tradition and the spirit of Chinese martial arts.

In July 2018, Dengfeng metropolis’s United Front Work Department, Education and Sports Bureau, and Ethnic and Religious Affairs Bureau together issued a report entitled Implementation Plan for Carrying Out Special Governance Work for the Separation of Education and Religion at Schools Throughout the City. The record stipulates: 1.) Setting up Buddhist shrines at faculties is against the law. 2.) School instructors and college students are prohibited from sporting religious attire or carrying spiritual symbols. 3.) Sensitive phrases with spiritual connotations (such as “Buddhism,” “Ancestral Temple,” “Arhat,” and “Bodhidharma”) have to be removed from the names of colleges. Four.) Each faculty and martial arts college ought to set up a dedicated administrative frame and assign employees to publish every day information regularly as a way to reveal the school.

The report prompt a campaign to crack down on non secular symbols on college campuses during Dengfeng metropolis. Due to the strong Buddhist connotations they convey, Shaolin martial arts faculties have been a high goal.

On October 31, four provincial government officials arrived at Shaolin Temple Monk Disciple Kung Fu Academy to behavior an inspection. Upon for the reason that the college’s coaches and college students were wearing yellow-colored monk gown uniforms, the officers ordered them to trade out of them immediately.

During the inspection, government officers took pics of a Buddha statue within the school’s Buddhist shrine, and a Bodhidharma statue outside the shrine.

Afterward, the college headmaster was compelled to take drastic steps to avoid the academy being close down. He eliminated the Bodhidharma and the Buddha statues, hung traditional Chinese artwork on the partitions, and modified the faculty uniforms for extra than 1,000 instructors and students. The monetary burden of replacing the uniforms almost beaten the faculty.

More than simply bodily modifications have been required. In the past, the college’s students followed Buddhist subculture by using addressing the headmaster as “superb master,” but now they’re only allowed to name him “major.” Since the phrases “Monk Disciple” in the college’s name have Buddhist connotations, the faculty changed its name to “Shaolin Literary and Martial Arts School.”

One of the academy’s managers told Biter Winter, “The Education and Sports Bureau demanded to trade the school’s call and uniforms inside one month. Every Monday, we should enhance the country wide flag. Afterward, we ought to send pix [of the flag-raising ceremony] to the Bureau via Wednesday. If they aren’t despatched in time, the faculty’s qualifications could be revoked. Martial arts schools must take the ‘crimson road.’ This is a political motion.”

Around the identical time, another college in Dengfeng underwent an unannounced inspection. The government ordered that the students of Shaolin Temple Monk Literary and Martial Arts School be prohibited from wearing monk robes, shaving their heads, and addressing their coaches as “fantastic master.” The faculty turned into forbidden to position up plaques, art work, snap shots or Buddha statues that include the Chinese characters for “monk,” “temple,” “Buddhist,” “Buddha,” and so forth. Since the faculty’s call contained the phrase “monk,” the college changed into compelled to exchange its call to “Zhongyue Shaolin Literary and Martial Arts School.”

A 0.33 school, placed at the mountain at the back of Shaolin Temple, changed into ordered by using to remove its Buddhist apparel, statues, and plaques. The Shaolin Temple Monk Martial Arts Academy’s college and personnel have been prohibited from sporting Buddhist prayer beads, bead bracelets, and different non secular add-ons, and banned from taking institution pix at the same time as sporting monk robes. The college’s call turned into modified to “Shaolin Martial Arts Mount Song School.” The slogan at the school’s wall, “Namo Amitābhāya,” (“Homage to Infinite Light”) became changed with “Love the Party, Love the Country, Love the School.” Under orders from the authorities, the school raised the countrywide flag, and “crimson” slogans including “Don’t neglect your preliminary goal; keep in mind your venture” and the “Core Socialist Values” had been published on the college’s front.

Religious symbols have additionally been eliminated from ten different schools, together with Shaolin Temple Bodhi Academy, Dengfeng City Shaolin Temple Arhat Academy, Shaolin Temple Tagou Martial Arts School, and Shaolin Temple Martial Arts Research Institute.