The 10 Shaolin Laws It is very commonly said amongst those who practise genuine Kung Fu that the greater aim of their achievement is not superior fighting but moral cultivation. A good indication of the moral cultivation as taught in the Shaolin tradition is found in the Ten Shaolin Laws. The Ten Shaolin Laws are non-religious, and transcend all cultures and races, i.e. people of any culture and race would agree that they promote values that are worthy and desirable. Laws, in the Shaolin tradition, are not meant to be punitive or restrictive, but as practical means to help followers achieve set aims and objectives; in this case to help them attain the best possible results in practising Shaolin Kung Fu for combat efficiency, joyful living, mind expansion, and spiritual fulfilment. The 10 Shaolin Laws 1. Required to respect the master, honour the Moral Way and love fellow disciples as brothers and sisters. 2. Required to train the Shaolin arts diligently, and as a pre-requisite, to be physically and mentally healthy. 3. Required to be filial to parents, be respectful to the elderly, and protective of the young. 4. Required to uphold righteousness, and to be both wise and courageous. 5. Forbidden to be ungrateful and unscrupulous, ignoring the Laws of man and heaven. 6. Forbidden to rape, molest, do evil, steal, rob, abduct or cheat. 7. Forbidden to associate with wicked people; forbidden to do any sorts of wickedness. 8. Forbidden to abuse power, be it official or physical; forbidden to oppress the good and bully the kind. 9. Obliged to be humane, compassionate and spread love, and to realize everlasting peace and happiness for all people. 10. Obliged to be chivalrous and generous, to nurture talents and pass on the Shaolin arts to deserving disciples.
There is no legal biding on the Ten Shaolin Laws; one cannot be prosecuted in a law court if he breaks these laws. The binding is moral. But they are not forced upon the follower; the follower accepts them because he chooses to, because he believes they are helpful to him in his physical, emotional, mental and spiritual cultivation. If he breaks the laws, despite sufficient warnings, he may be asked to leave the Shaolin training, not as a punishment, but because the training is not suitable for him.