This movie is dubbed in English with well choreographed kung-fu fight scenes. To understand this movie, you must understand the history of the Shaolin Temple, which is not explained any where in this movie except a comment made by the father (a Lord) of the main character (played by David Chiang). If you haven't watched other Shaolin movies, you probably won't understand the point that the father was making at the end. The period in this movie is during the transition from the Ming to the Qing Dynasties. The Qing Dynasty are from the north and they invaded the Ming in the south and won. So, China was ruled by the Qing at this point of the movie. The Qing does not like the Shaolin Temples that were spread across China and was once well respected by the Ming Dynasty. The newly Qing, suspecting that the Shaolin Temples were organizing rebellious plans against the Qing to bring back the Ming, they often sent spies into the temples. Suspecting that the Qing Emperor was sending spies, the Shaolin temples often made it extremely difficult for new comers to enter into the organization. Some Shaolin graduates or supporters did not live in Shaolin temples and were part of wealthy families/clans.
In this movie, the Qing emperor identified one of his lords' son (Wai Fung played by David Chiang) to be well groomed to be a spy as he is highly skilled in kung-fu that he should be able to get into one of the main Shaolin clans to spy and find out what they plan to do to rebel against the Qing Dynasty. This particular clan has a daughter who is home-schooled by teachers brought in from outside the family. Wai Fung, spy for the emperor, infiltrates as a teacher. The father of the clan suspecting that the emperor might send spies orders that the new comer be killed to prevent him from leaving and reporting back to the emperor. The daughter falls in love with this teacher and decides to save his life by telling her father that she had an affair with her teacher, is pregnant, and wants to marry him. The father agreed on the condition that he never leaves the mansion. If he tries to leave, he would be killed. Of course Wai Fung wants to leave in order to report back to the emperor what he learns of the Shaolin clan and to save his father, who was threatened by the emperor to be be-headed if the son doesn't report back within a year. To defeat his wife's father, he had to learn the Mantis kung-fu. Upon returning, his own father reveals that he's not a supporter of the Qing Dynasty and he, himself, wants to see the return of the Ming Dynasty because the Qing Dynasty is bad for the country and should not be the ruler of China. He is not happy that his son helped the Qing, which confused the heck out of his son being that his father served as a lord to the new Qing. Go watch the movie being that you now have context of what's going on in this historic period. FYI, the Qing Dynasty nearly wiped out the Shaolin temples as many of them were burnt to the ground historically (not in this movie).