From DWNEWS.COM and Sohu Blog, summarized and translated by CDT:
An Chinese old saying reads, “Shaolin Kongfu defeats the world.” This sentence perhaps needs to be changed. As host of the Olympic Games, Beijing will successfully add “Martial Arts” into its “Ad Hoc” program, hoping to demonstrate Chinese Wushu’s (martial arts’) spirit in a profound way. Many Wushu masters hope that Shaolin Temple in Henan Province will win. But Shaolin refused to take part in the Olympics for the reason that Kongfu is an example of traditional culture and a non-competitive sport. Chinese bloggers doubted and criticized Shaolin’s excuses.
Shaolin Temple replied that they will not send participants to the competition, but will support at a spiritual level. The Shaolin Temple “Henan Shaolin Temple Industrial Development Ltd.” general manager Qian Daliang said, “Shaolin Wushu contains a Zen essence, so Wushu and Zen are unified. It is impossible to quantify. The Shaolin monks are unlikely to attend the Olympics competition.”
Once Qian’s statement was made, Chinese bloggers immediately detonated their anger at excessive commercialization and their long-term discontent with the Shaolin Temple. Internet postings about Shaolin mocked the temple.
Here is a post by blogger Xin Qiu (translated by CDT):
Reading this story, I could not help but ask, “Shaolin, why do you refuse the Olympics?”
First, China has worked for many years in order to realize its dream of having Wushu enter the Olympics. Why did a number of Wushu masters make such efforts? The reason is to develop the spirit of Chinese culture. As a hero of martial arts, Shaolin did not cooperate, but rejected the Olympics. Of course, the competition will continue without Shaolin’s participation. However, it will be a shame to lack Shaolin. To some extent Shaolin represents Chinese martial arts.
Second, it is said that Chinese Wushu is not quantifiable, and Shaolin martial arts is not sports. I wonder whether the Shaolin martial arts counts as a real sport or not? From the ancient times till now, when Chinese mentioned athletics, the first thing that comes to mind is martial arts. As the originator of martial arts, Shaolin Kongfu, had been seen as a patriotic figure, having fought against the previous invasion, saved the Tang emperor, and defeated Japanese soldiers. How heroic in the past! Why does Shaolin behave like a timid turtle now? About quantification and rules, this is not the issue. Take the simplest example, who counted 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, 1500,5000,1 meters and the marathon before they become competitions? The common running races can be developed to so many levels. Why have the martial arts always stayed at the national competition level? That is sad. Also look at the development of wrestling, boxing, judo, taekwondo and etc, then look at the status of Wushu, Shaolin Temple masters, won’t you feel ashamed ?
Third, Shaolin Temple may say, “We are all monks. As monks, we have our faith.” I think these must be shameless monks. Are today’s monks as antiquated as they were in the past? They don’t attend events like the Olympics, but are interested in organizing disciples for world tours, and makig lots of money. Shaolin Temple has opened companies, and developed online games, started tourism, earned a lot of money! Shaolin passed down intangible assets of their ancestors and embarked on the track of a market economy. The Shaolin abbot Shi Yongxin is super good at making money: promoting cars, villas and even mobile phones. Talk about religious beliefs, aren’t religious athletes participating in the Olympics? Aren’t some foreign athletes Catholic? Muslim? Or Buddhist? Besides, Wushu in the Olympics is not a formal competition, rather a performance. It does not need to be aggressive. How does it violate the Buddhist doctrines?
Anyway, that the Shaolin Temple refuses to participate in the Olympic Games is not reasonable at all. The biggest beneficiary would be the Shaolin Temple, once Wushu gets promoted. Shaolin is supposed to support the spreading of the spirit of Chinese culture. But unfortunately it ended like this. I have to say that Shaolin Temple has changed its flavor. It has been stained with the smell of money.
Read also Xinhua Blog(Chinese): Shaolin Fears Loss and Rejects Entry Olympics
Minsi Blog(Chinese): Shaolin Finally Did Something Right