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The Monkey King (also Sun Wu Kong) is the hero of Journey to the West, one of China's Four Great Novels and written by Wu Cheng'em in the 16th century. This character is as well known in China as Mickey Mouse is in the US.

Hatched from a stone egg, Monkey was a high-spirited, egotistical and mischievous character right from the beginning. He soon became King of the Apes, but wanted more. To find the secrets of immortality, he studied with a Daoist sage and learned the secrets of Cloud-Flying and the Seventy-Two Transformations.

Needing a weapon, Monkey tricked the Dragon King and took the Magic Wishing Staff which weighed 13,000 pounds but could expand to any size or shrink to the size of a needle. It became his favorite weapon for bludgeoning demons and other adversaries and when he wasn't using it, he would shrink it to the size of a needle and store it in his ear.

With his ego, incredible skills and powerful weapon, Monkey stirred up so much trouble that reports of his tricks reached the Jade-Emperor, Ruler of Heaven. To keep the peace, Monkey was invited to Heaven and given a job. As Keeper of the Heavenly Stables, he had a title but no pay. Nonetheless, he was happy for about a day until he discovered that his new post was so lowly that even horse manure ranked higher than him.

Insulted and angry, Monkey ran amok through heaven and even threatened the Jade-Emperor until he was given the new title of "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven". Not satisfied for long, his irrepressible naughtiness soon had Monkey creating havoc in heaven and managing to insult almost everyone there. He finally left in disgust claiming the Heaven was not good enough for him.

The Jade-Emperor finally had enough of Monkey's terrible behavior and sent his unstoppable heavenly army to destroy Monkey. Unfortunately, Monkey was immortal, indestructible and an incredible fighter. The soldiers of Heaven were forced to slink off in defeat. The Jade-Emperor had to call on Buddha for help. Buddha tricked Monkey and trapped him under a mountain where he spent the next 500 years reflecting on his bad behavior.

Now somewhat more humble, Monkey was released by Guan-Yin, the Goddess of Compassion and Caring in exchange for agreeing to accompany and become a disciple of a Buddhist Monk (Xuan Zang who took the name Tripitaka) on a dangerous and long journey to India to retrieve some important scriptures. Guan-Yin tricked Monkey into wearing a gold head-band that helped the monk keep him under control when his ego got out of hand.

During the journey, Sun Wu Kong now used his trickery and incredible fighting skills for a good purpose, learned to keep his temper under better control and gained some humility while helping the monk fulfill his quest. He was rewarded with the title "Buddha Victorious Against Disaster" and finally made peace with Heaven.

Sun Wu Kong improved himself by having more self-control, more humility and a good purpose in addition to his incredible martial arts skills.

At Jing Ying Institute, we want to help you be your best and gain incredible skills, but we also want you to learn self-control, be humble and to dedicate yourself to good purpose.