Master Wu Gulun (The 1st Generation Master)
Wu Gulun was one of the great masters of Shaolin Kung Fu in recent times. Born in 1831, he entered the Shaolin Temple when he was five years old and was given the Buddhist name of Ji Qing and was taught by master Zhan Mo.
At the beginning of the Qing dynasty the practice of Kung Fu was illegal, but the monks in Shaolin Temple continued to practice in secret. In the final years of the dynasty, a general named Ling Qing, who admired the Shaolin form of Kung Fu, ordered the monks to demonstrate their skills, a dangerous situation which resulted in a government enquiry. Many monks fled the temple, some returned to secular life. Wu Gulun, Zhan Mo and a few other monks left the Shaolin temple but retreated to a smaller temple called Shi Guo Si where Zhan Mo taught Wu Gulun the art of Xing Yi Ba.
Wu Gulun trained in many other Shaolin Kung Fu skills including Qing Gong (the ability to make your body feel weightless) and Qi Gong (breath control). He developed Xin Yi Ba to the highest level and is regarded as the First Generation Master of this form of Kung Fu.
Master Wu Shanlin (The 2nd Generation Master)
Wu Shanlin was the second son of Wu Gulun and began his training under his father at a young age. He devoted his time and efforts to Chan Buddhism, Kung Fu, and traditional Chinese medicine. He mastered many high level skills of Shaolin Kung Fu and reached the peak of Shaolin training.
Much of the knowledge of the original Shaolin Kung Fu was lost in the fire of 1928 when many precious documents were destroyed so Wu Shanlin was invited to return to the temple in an effort to restore its original culture and heritage. Over the course of three years, he taught the basics of Shaolin Kung Fu to monks in the Temple. Most people who now claim to be the successors of Shaolin Kung Fu received some of their knowledge from Wu Shanlin. He became the Second Generation Master in the lineage.
After three years, Wu Shanlin retired from the Temple. However, he returned on one occasion in the 1960s when the general secretary of China’s martial arts association, Li Tian Ji, came to Shaolin Temple to do research on top traditional Shaolin skills. Li Tian Ji invited Wu Shanlin back to demonstrate Xing Yi Ba. Despite being in his late eighties, he amazed everybody with his skill.
Before he died, Wu Shanlin entrusted his closest disciple, Zhang Qinghe (Buddhist name Xing Xin) with the task of carrying on the teaching of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu.
Master Zhang Qinghe (The 3rd Generation Master)
Zhang Qinghe, a disciple of Wu Shanlin, he was nine years old when his parents died. He was very poor and forced to beg on the streets. However, he was fortunate as a young man to meet a famous monk from Shaolin Temple by the name of Chun Qian. Chun Qian, a disciple of Ji Huan, was an accomplished Kung Fu and medicine expert, and was also the Buddhist doctor at the Temple.
Because of the bad behavior of one of the monks, Chun Qian left the Shaolin temple and moved to a branch temple called Jing Gang Si. Master Chun Qian took Zhang Qinghe as his son and taught him all his knowledge about Shaolin Kung Fu and medicine. He recommended that Zhang Qinghe study with Wu Shanlin. On meeting Wu Shanlin, Zhang Qinghe knew he had found the right master and continued to train very hard under his guidance. He was thus trained by two great masters and became the Third Generation Master of Xin Yi Ba.
In obedience to his master’s commands, he kept a low profile, living like a hermit and devoting his whole life to preserve the real teachings of Kung Fu and medicine. He was well known in his hometown for his good character and for the work he did to help others. He developed his own system of medicine that was often able to cure illnesses that conventional medicine could not.
In 1992, Zhang Qinghe returned to Shaolin Temple to work with the famous Master Shi Dechan as a doctor in the Temple. He also tried to reintroduce traditional Kung Fu to the Temple. However, he failed in this task, and because he couldn’t agree with the behavior of the monks, he left the temple again in 1995.
Before he died in 2004, Master Zhang Qinghe taught the secrets of real Shaolin Kung Fu and medicine to Shi Dejian. He also instructed Shi Dejian to become a monk at the Shaolin Temple. In this way, the wishes of Master Wu Gulun to return traditional Shaolin culture to Shaolin Temple were fulfilled.
Master Shi Dejian (The 4th Generation Master)
Shi Dejian started to learn Kung Fu when he was very young. He first studied the Taizu form of Kung Fu in his hometown with a master named Guan Yapo. Later, with Chen Jinsu, he studied the art of Longxin Bagua, which targets the vital points of the human body and has healing properties.Chen Jinsu, who had been a Buddhist nun in Yufo Si in Shanghai from an early age, was the Eleventh Generation Master of Longxin Baguazhang. In the 1930s, Chen Jinsu used to challenge people to fight so that she could test her Kung Fu skills -- but no one was able to beat her. Chen Jinsu liked Shi Dejian’s moral character and passed on all her skills to him.
Before coming to Shaolin, Shi Dejian learned Tai Chi and Xinyi with Quan Guangxin, and the Chen-style Tai Chi with Chen Zhaopi.
In 1989, Shi Dejian came to Shaolin to further his Kung Fu training. He first studied with Yang Guiwu and Qiao Heibao and then met Zhang Qinghe, the Third Generation Master of the traditional Shaolin Kung Fu of the Wu Gulun lineage. In order to try to restore the original Kung Fu culture to Shaolin Temple, Shi Dejian became an official Buddhist monk under Shi Suxi in 1990. He simultaneously continued to study hard with his master Zhang Qinghe and finally became the Fourth Generation Master of Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu lineage.
Master Shi Dejian is living in the stunningly beautiful San Huang Zhai Monastery on Mt. Shaoshi, one of the peaks of the Song Mountain range, It was a small temple that was associated with Shaolin temple in the past. through many years of Master Dejian’s effort, San Huang Zhai Monastery is spreading out it’s unprecedented prosperity.