In 2010 UNESCO added Shaolin Temple and its Pagoda Forest onto the World Heritage List. They are situated in Henan Province in Central China, which has been home to three-quarters of all the Chinese dynasties since Chinese Civilisation began over 4000 years ago. Henan is steeped in history and antiquities, including the legendary Shaolin Temple.
The first record of a Temple on Mount Song dates to 476AD. Its martial history began when an Indian Prince monk came to the Shaolin Order, he impressed the monks with exercises that fortified his physique for great feats of enlightenment (meditation). To this day warriors still practise in the Temple and its grounds in this aim, and the Temple's influence has shaped martial arts tradition in nearly all countries.