Shaolin Kung Fu
What is Shaolin Kung Fu?
Shaolin Kung Fu is the style of martial art first developed at the Shaolin Monastery in China. Shaolin Kung Fu is an exceptional art of self defence. It trains us to be mentally focused, and enables us to expand our mind. At its highest level, Shaolin Kung Fu leads to spiritual fulfilment.
The Shaolin school is the single martial art group that has produced the largest number of army generals in Chinese history. Great generals like Yuan Zhong, Yue Fei and Chi Ji Guang, on whom the whole empire depended at their respective times, were Shaolin Kung Fu masters.
A Shaolin disciple, for example, is trained to be courteous and considerate, brave and righteous, assess problems and situations with calmness and clarity, and attend to duties with zest and loyalty. While the philosophy of many martial arts mainly focuses on how to be stoic and hurt the opponent, Shaolin philosophy teaches gentleness and a love for life. The twin pillars of Shaolin philosophy are compassion and wisdom.
All martial arts may be analyzed through the four aspects of form, force, application and philosophy. Form is the visible aspect; it refers to all the Kung Fu patterns and sets. Force is the invisible aspect. Force or "gong", refers to how powerfully, accurately and fast you execute techniques in combat. It may be classified into external and internal, and into basic and specialized. For example, appropriate breathing methods to enhance energy level and flow, is internal and basic force training; while developing Iron Palm to achieve a powerful strike, is external and specialized. Application is the functional aspect. An ability to defend ourselves is certainly an invaluable asset. Kung Fu application has to be learned and practiced. The philosophical aspect includes all the written and unwritten records of the histories, traditions, principles, methods, techniques and philosophy of Kung Fu. Some of the material is amazingly profound, and concerns man and the cosmos, sometimes preceding modern science and wisdom.
Shaolin Kung Fu Fundamental Program
The basic program is taught according to traditional Shaolin methods and the training focuses on improving health and vitality. This program is composed of basic Shaolin stances, fundamental Shaolin patterns, linking patterns to constitute a set, breathing co-ordination, fluidity of movements, relevant Shaolin Chi Kung, One-Finger Zen, Shaolin force training methods, standing meditation, Shaolin patterns for combat, the four categories of attacks and defence, specific techniques against common attacks and timing and spacing for attack and defence in partner sparring sequence training.
Shaolin Kung Fu Specialization Program
Once this basic program is complete, a kung fu student specialises in one of the Shaolin animal's sets. These sets include tiger-crane, dragon-tiger, dragon, monkey and five animals. One can also choose from another style such as Praying Mantis, Wing Choon, Hoong Ka, Northern Shaolin, Shaolin Seventy Two Chin-Na techniques and Wuzu, etc. The student is taught special forms and exercises so that he or she can concentrate on just one style to reach master level. Some specialized internal arts are also learned, includin iron palm, iron shirt, cosmos palm, tiger claw and golden bell, etc. Similarly a weapons specialization is also learned. Weapons include the staff, saber, sword, spear, kwan tao and the crescent-moon spade