Su Kong T’ai Djin
(1849 – 1928)
Known throughout China as “the Hairy Master”, Grandmaster Su Kong T’ai Djin was a martial artist of extraordinary ability. He was born with a rare condition causing him to be covered with hair from head to toe. Believing him to be a demon, his parents abandoned him as a baby in a forest near the Southern Shaolin Temple. A passing Shaolin discovered him there, and he was taken back to the temple and raised by the monks.
From childhood on, Grandmaster Su pursued his martial education with a rare diligence, leading the Fujian masters to stray from the traditional method of teaching with his instruction; normally students were assigned to a single master to learn one specific branch of the Shaolin art. Instead, Grandmaster Su studied with the full range of Masters at the Southern Shaolin Temple, so that by the time he was appointed Grandmaster he had learned and mastered the whole of the Shaolin repertoire! This was an unparalleled historical achievement which would eventually lead to the survival of the art as we know it today.