In the center of China, on the "Yellow River", is the cradle of Chinese culture. Even today the wealth of finds from prehistoric and imperial periods is overwhelming. It was around 500 AD at the foot of the Songshan Mountains when the Shaolin Monastery was founded.
According to legend, the Indian monk Bodhidharma, who introduced Chan (Zen) Buddhism in China, meditated there for many years and taught the monks the "Eighteen Lo-Han exercises" to promote their physical and mental strength.
However, the origin of Chinese martial arts has not yet been clearly proven. What is certain, however, is that martial arts have accompanied Chinese culture for a very long time. Because "Wushu" in the original sense means "the art of war" and thus, in a broader sense, also actual fighting methods. Evidence suggests that generals and mercenaries retired long before Bodhidharma’s arrival at Shaolin Monastery. It is therefore not surprising that the proven fighting methods of the generals were used to protect the monastery in turbulent times.