The Secrets of Shaolin Temple

Five hundred years ago, three Chinese temples were known for their martial arts.

The Shaolin Temple was the most famous. The monks there practiced a special form of Kung Fu.


Shaolin’s leader, Tianyuan, trained the hardest. He was strong, patient, and wise.

All the other monks loved to practice with him. He made sure to teach each opponent a new skill.

Everyone in Shaolin knew he was the best.


One day, the head of the Chinese army visited Shaolin. He spoke to Tianyuan.

“Pirates are attacking China,” the general said. “I want you to lead the three temples into battle against them!”


Tianyuan agreed. “We will train here,” he said.

Brave men from the other temples traveled to Shaolin.

However, some of the monks were jealous.


“Why should the Shaolin get all the glory?” Zhi Lin said. “Our temple is just as good as Shaolin.”

The other monks agreed. “We should be leading the army,” one said.


Zhi Lin convinced eight men to challenge Tianyuan. One day, they surrounded him in the courtyard of the Shaolin Temple.

“If there is any warrior here who is more suited to lead us,” Tianyuan said, “I will gladly bow to him.”


Three men attacked Tianyuan at once. The great monk was ready.

With his quick hands, Tianyuan knocked out three men.

“You must be patient.” Tianyuan said. “Let your opponent come to you.”


The next three monks tried to run at Tianyuan from different angles. Tianyuan was too fast. He jumped high into the air. The three monks ran into each other.

“You must know where your friends are at all times, as well as your enemies!” he said.


“Get him!” Zhi Lin yelled. Two strong monks stepped forward.

Tianyuan caught their fists in his hands. He held them so tightly they couldn’t move.

“Strength is as much in the mind as in the body.” He pushed. The monks went flying.


Great swords hung from the temple walls. Zhi Lin ran to take them down. He passed them to the other monks.

“Get up!” Zhi Lin yelled. “He’s just one man! Attack!”


The monks attacked from eight sides.

Tianyuan acted quickly. He grabbed a long pole from the door of the temple. He swept it in a wide circle.

All the monks fell to the ground. “One good plan is better than eight bad ones,” Tianyuan said.


Tianyuan held out his hand to Zhi Lin.

“You are not my enemy,” Tianyuan said. “If you let me, I will teach you the true art of Kung Fu and the secrets of Shaolin Temple. We can defend our land together.”


The three temples trained for ten days and ten nights.

With Tianyuan’s guidance, the soldiers learned to be patient, strong, and wise.


The pirates attacked on the 11th day. They were ruthless, but no match for the monks.

The monks easily defeated the pirates. The pirates sailed away and never returned.


After the battle the monks returned to the temple. The monks bowed before Tianyuan.

“We should not have doubted you,” Zhi Lin said. “You are a true Kung Fu Master.”


Tianyuan trained the monks for many more years.

Together they became the most feared warriors in all of China.


Out of all the monks in China, what makes Tianyuan special?

How are the monks able to defeat the pirates so easily?

What lesson does Zhi Lin learn in the story?


FAZ Reading Level Detail

Lexile Score 480
Word Count 535

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