Knowledge, People

Abbot Ji Sin Sim See

Numerous arts refer to the last abbot of the Southern Shaolin Monastery. Under his leadership, this great centre of martial arts experienced its last days, so that all southern styles descended from Shaolin can somehow be traced back to him. Unfortunately, we know little of his life and have to infer much logically or rely on stories and legends.

Rough life story

It is very likely that Ji Sin Sim See was born in the first half of the seventeenth century. He studied and taught at the South Shaolin Monastery and eventually became an abbot there, so he must have been a Buddhist cleric, since he could not have held a clerical post as a Lay disciple.

We also know that Ji Sin Sim See did not take Lukh ah Choi’s education into his own hands because he considered himself too old. Combined with the inferences that he probably did not suffer any deprivation due to his position, had good medical care and had ideal conditions for good health due to his sporting lifestyle, I assume a high, attained age.

When the Shaolin monastery was destroyed, the abbot fled to Hoi Tong monastery together with the other survivors. Lukh ah Choi is not mentioned with them in the usual records, but we know that he arrived in Hoi Tong with the abbot. So he must have been there. From there Ji Sin Sim See sent his youngest disciple to find Hung Hee Gung to learn from him. It is likely that Ji Sin Sim See died in Hoi Tong.

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