Shaolin launches web store

shăo lín sì, Shaolin Temple

Ordering your favourite kung fu paraphernalia is as easy as high-kicking a pressure point now that those canny monks at the Shaolin monastery in China have opened their website.

Martial arts enthusiasts can snap up a pair of Shaolin slippers or a kung fu handbook with the merest click of a mouse after the monastery, birthplace of the elegant fighting code, decided to expand its already thriving merchandise empire by going online.

The Shaolin Temple, built in AD495 in Dongfeng, is the birthplace of kung fu, but the online operation is the latest example of financial stealth by the marketing warriors.

In the online store you can buy kung fu tea or T-shirts, chopsticks and bowls for those delicate balancing movements, while the manual giving you the lowdown on the five fighting styles of the Shaolin warrior - Tiger, Leopard, Snake, Dragon and Crane.

“The Shaolin temple is the cradle of kung fu, which brings with it the great responsibility of promoting kung fu,” said Mr Shi.

He’s doing quite a job. There are more than a million students of Shaolin kung fu around the world. Since it built its first centre of Shaolin culture in Berlin in 2001, the Shaolin Temple has established more than 10 centres and branches worldwide.

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