From my own belief as well as what was found in the trace of history, the Eight Treasures Fist was created by the Abbot of the Southern Shaolin Temple, whose name was Zhi Shan (or Gee Sin).
It happened during the Qing Dynasty when the newly established Government took fear from the high standing status of the Shaolin Temple, they executed a war against the monks and destroyed everything that was…
As the Shaolin Temple is imagined through many Kungfu movie, most likely in the knowledge of a typical moviegoer it is the Shaolin Temple located on Five Peaks Mountain, Songshan, Henan Province.
Nevertheless, did you know that during the Yuan Dynasty the abbot of this Shaolin Temple, Fo Yu, also built five other Shaolin Temples in five different provinces : He Lin, Lou Yang, Xi An, Tai Yuan and Ji Xian.
Not long after his works were done, he was given permission to build more and he was said to have built more than ten temples. Unfortunately, to this day, none of them has been found or the trace of evidence to their existence has been buried in the mountains. All. Except the one in Fo Jian Quan Zhou, that was built around 874-879 BC.
Historic records reveals certain incidents happened to this Shaolin Temple multiple times.
First it was gutted by fire twice, fortunately during the late Ming Dynasty in approx ~ 1435, it was repaired and enlarged. Since that period, the Temple developed very quickly.
When the Ming Dynasty came to its end and the Qing took over, Shaolin Temple gave shelter to of the many people across the country, who wanted to escape the society system that they had to live in.
Because of how Shaolin Temple’s teaching, it earned trust and faith from the suffering people at that time. Thus the aforementioned Abbot, Zhi Shan (or or Gee Sin) had a strong status in society and he knew many important people. The abbot also had very high level martial arts skills and knew many different styles.
This Southern Shaolin Temple became the place where many martial arts gathered to protest or fought against the Qing Gov’t as they took an oath of “Rebel against Qing and reinstate Ming”. As people believed on Shaolin Temple could help them to defend against the new Gov’t, thus it led to the apocalypse of the Southern Shaolin Temple itself.
Ma Hing Er, one of the monks within the Temple betrayed them to the Qing military.
When the swords were drawn, a large and well armed army was sent to attack the temple at midnight. Ma Hing Er set fire to the temple, creating the chaos battle internally and externally.
Eventually, unable to defend and protect what meant most to them, all the monks began to fall one after another. However, Five monks who were very highly skilled in Martial Arts were able to escape.
They knew they were the only hope for the life of Shaolin’s teaching and wisdom, therefore they had to take the choice to leave the fight. These five Elders were Mew Hing, Ng Mui, Bak Mei, Fung Doe Duk and the Abbot, Zhi Shan.
The ancestors of Southern Shaolin Temple were the true legends as they maintained the most respectable martial arts and wisdom for us, the descendants who still fight the same fight to protect what are good of life.
Mew Hing taught the arts of 18 Lohan Palms System.
Bak Mei, also known in the U.S as Pai Mei, continued to teach the powerful arts of Shaolin Fists
Fung Doe Duk settled in Mountain Daoist Temple where he gained a wealth of knowledge about ancient internal arts and self-preservation (Qigong). He created the powerful internal system of kungfu called White Tiger.
As for grandmaster Ng Mui, she took shelted in Foushan mountain near a small village. The moment she witnessed a fight between a white crane and a snake, it became the birth of the new Softened White Crane martial arts.
Ng Mui taught this arts to a young girl in the village, who was in trouble with a group of gang. She learned very quickly and Ng Mui decided to give permission to the young girl to name the martial arts after her, Yip Wing Chun.
According to history, before Southern Shaolin Temple was attacked, Abbot Zhi Shan created Eight Treasures Fist by taking three treasures from heaven, The Sun, the Moon and the Stars, and three treasures from man, Jing, Qi and Shen to combined them with self-defense and Hard Qigong.
This martial arts is strong, pure power and deadly.
However, with his wisdom of internal arts, Zhi Shan separated the techniques into both Yin and Yang training. At the beginning, Eight Treasures Fist was developed in South Shaolin and it was not permitted to teach to anyone else outside the Yong Chun Room ( The Yong Chun Room was a special Hall where high level monks used to train their skills )
I do not know how this arts was introduced to my old master and how he learned it, but it was not taught to the public until many years later when Hu Hui Gan (who studied from Abbot Zhi Shan) traveled west into the country side to Fo Jian Xi Chan Temple and started to teach Eight Treasures Fist to the public.
Now you have gained another history knowledge of one of the very legendary martial arts that is left by the Ancestors of Shaolin. I do not write the method of training this Hard Qigong here due to several reasons, first and most importantly is because you may damage your Qi. You could find the instruction elsewhere but again, it’s not safe to practice unless you have a trustworthy teacher to study with!