I've been taking Shaolin Do for a little over a year. I've also studied TKD. I got into because I wanted to get back into a martial art. I moved from Ireland a few years ago and had studied TKD there and really enjoyed it. I searched for a style for about 2 months before settling on this one. I'd looked at other TKd schools in my area and a lot of them were basically day care centers for kids and that wasn't something I wanted. I wanted something with plenty of material to keep me interested and damn does it have that.
To answer an earlier post about no one understanding anything but the surface effects of a form, I think thats purely a teacher thing. We'll spend classes going over one miniscule technique and break it down until we figure out how many different ways it can be applied. Sometimes it's not obvious stuff but when you unlock the techniques they're pretty devastating. There's multiple techniques that focus on shattering joints, hitting nerve areas, splitting muscles and to be honest I'm still a ways from black belt which to be honest is still considered beginner (in the temple there were really only 4 levels: novice, apprentice, master grandmaster (or something like that) The belt rankings are a relatively new creation and really more designed as an indication of where you are. I'd love to know the history of belt rankings in any style, my feeling is that back in the origins of any ancient style such as kung fu, karate etc etc belt rankings didn't exist.
Lets be honest about this regardless of what style, where it is, what it's history is it will only ever as good as the martial artist learning it and the teacher teaching it. There are any number of "reputable" schools or styles that will take your money and happily give you a black belt. The higher level It's up to the individual to take the time to properly learn a style. Dont take shortcuts, so many people go through the process of getting to black belt then give up because they figure they know it all. From what I've seen when you get to black belt thats when it starts getting really good so pick a style for life not just for the few years to black belt.
Anyway to wrap up this long rambling post, whether you believe it or not is up to you but this is actually a pretty nice style. It's not bullshido. As with anything find a good school and a solid teacher and you should be fine.