The history of Kung Fu is particularly complicated and full of contradiction, depending on the written material studied it is argued whether “Shaolin” Kung Fu even exists as its own style!
Within the Purbeck Academy of Shaolin Kung Fu we teach an established syllabus of techniques with extremely relevant and practical self-defence applications. The need for a distinct history is therefore unimportant at the beginning stages. I will however give a brief idea to the history, which I like, to belief to be true surrounding our styles heritage.
A monk named Da Mo returned from India with martial arts skills developed over many years, these were shared with the monks of the Shaolin monastery. These monks developed these skills from a practical perspective (a necessity at the time) utilising the study of animals fighting and experiences gleaned from other stylists. This formed the foundation of Kung Fu, however Kung Fu is a huge term if you are trying to identify specific techniques, there are many systems within Kung Fu each of which could be considered to have a life time of learning entwined within it.
So the question isn’t really what style is best it is more what suits you and what works practically.
My development and the ethos of what I teach stems from practical usage – “it if its in the syllabus its because it works”!