The establishment of the Hong Kong Shaolin Wushu Culture Centre is initiated by the Hong Kong Culture Association Charitable Foundation (HKCACF). Since 2001, HKCACF has featured a number of big Shaolin programmes for which an increasing awareness and appreciation of Chinese art and culture has been seen especially among the younger generation. Professor Cha Jing-yong (查良鏞教授), Honorary President of HKCACF was invited by Songshan Shaolin Temple to officiate a plaque unveiling ceremony for Professor Cha’s inscription message “少林祕笈 國之瑰寶”.
In 2002, in collaboration with the Songshan Shaolin Temple, a team of 38 young people visited Songshan Shaolin in Henan for two weeks. Professor Cha named the team“The First Shaolin Team”. The visit enabled participants to have a vivid personal experience of Shaolin martial arts and a deeper understanding of the Shaolin culture. Since then, a number of Shaolin activities were co-organized with the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the HKSAR. It included the “1500 years history of Shaolin Culture Exhibition”, large scale performances held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, training courses and camps in the 18 Districts on martial arts and Yi Jin Jing. The series of events attracted hundreds and thousands participants.
In view of the popularity and wide public interest of Shaolin martial arts and culture, HKCACF realizes the need to establish a permanent site for its further potential development. In August 2004, the HKSAR Government granted a piece of land to convert the former Tai O Public School, the former Tai O Fish Marketing Organization office and its adjacent former District Office into a Shaolin training centre. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust donated HK$18.94 million for its first stage construction costs.
The Centre is officially in service in mid July 2006. It is equipped with hostel service to accommodate a total of 64 trainees plus other facilities including an open training ground, activity hall, a canteen, and ancillary facilities. In addition, ten family guests houses with private washrooms, and a tea house will also be in service in March 2007.
The Shaolin Centre is a non-profit making organization which aims to educate young people of Hong Kong and the public at large through the provision of training traditional martial arts and its philosophy, thereby help build a healthy mind and body, and at the same time to promote the Shaolin culture and its Zen philosophy so as to create a more balance and harmonious society.