The only collaboration between film director Lau Kar-leung and actor Jet Li, Martial Arts of Shaolin has Li playing Lin Zhi-ming, a young man training to become one of the best fighters in the Northern Shaolin school. Orphaned as a child, he was raised by the Shaolin Temple but has a tendency to break the rules, such as teaching his skills to the local children. One day, he learns that two of them will be performing a dance at the celebration for magistrate He Suo — the very same tyrant who killed Zhi-ming’s family. He asks them to let him perform instead. At the same time, Si-ma Yan (Huang Qiuyan) — the niece of the master of Southern Shaolin — decides that this is the time that she too should finally avenge her family and murder He Suo.
The secret ankle band that Zhi-ming has is shared by Si-ma Yan, meaning that they are fated to be together. However, he is honor bound to the Shaolin and even after being caught by his master, he agrees to serve a punishment as he went against his school. This means that he can never be with her, but again, duty to the Shaolin is above all else.
This is actually the third film in a series that includes Shaolin Temple and Kids from Shaolin. You don’t need to see those movies to understand this, as it can stand all by itself. Actually, it’s pretty close to the original film’s plot.