This short piece by Adrian Chan-Wyles is worth reading: "Why the Shaolin Temple was Burned in 1928." I agree with everything he says, but I would add that toward the end of the Qing Dynasty there was a powerful movement to suppress religion. It was pitched as the movement to replace temples with schools. That intensified throughout the 20th century until the 1980s when things started to open up. He also has a page of Shaolin Temple photos taken by Japanese tourists from before 1928. This is the coolest picture.
Weakness with a Twist: A blog about internal martial arts, theatricality and Daoist ritual emptiness
Watch the Video: A Cultural History of Tai Chi
Buy the Book: Possible Origins, A Cultural History of Chinese Martial Arts, Theater and Religion, By Scott Park Phillips. Amazon Kindle ($9.99), Paperback ($18.95)
Chicago April 27-May 1st. (This is a post-graduate bodywork course, but the 27th is a full day on Daoism and is still open, email if you want to attend.)
Israel May 3-15th
Paris May 16-26th
International Daoist Studies Conference, Paris: May 17-20 (Will have panels on Martial Arts and Theater and this is going to rock!)
Martial Arts Studies Conference, Cardiff, Wales: July 11-13th.
Portland July 28-30th
San Francisco Sept