Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kungfu was originated in ancient times that can be traced back to around 1500 years ago. In the Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589), the original Shaolin temple was established by the emperor Xiao Wendi for Indian monk Ba Tuo, who came to spread Buddhism in China.
Many cultural treasures in the Shaolin temple bear witness to the origin of Shaolin Kungfu, especially the kungfu frescoes, which are telling the true picture of Shaolin monks training kungfu. Shaolin Kungfu has preserved more than 700 complete forms that came down the ages.
Features of Shaolin Kungfu
Shaolin Kungfu is famous for its cultivation of both Chan Buddhism (Chinese Zen) and kungfu. It’s a peculiar kungfu system with a rich practical experience of the Shaolin warrior monks and historical evolution behind.
Its main features can be summarized as follows:
1. Box in a line, small space can suffice a form’s practice.
2. Bending but actually not and straight but actually not.
3. Roll in and roll out.
4. Integration of mind and body.
5. Unity of internal and external harmony. Internal harmony concerns heart and will, will and qi, qi and force. External harmony concerns hands and feet, shoulders and hips, elbows and knees.
6. Combination of hard and soft, fast and slow.
7. Reasonable attacking and defending, proper advancing and retreating.
8. More focus on defense.
9. Emphasis of kicks. 30% fist, 70% kicks.
10. Various practical moves.
Chan in Shaolin Kungfu
It is Buddhism Chan that makes Shaolin Kungfu appear as a miraculous martial art and different from other martial arts, whichis a symbol of wisdom and power. The radical idea of Chan awareness is to awaken the true self explicitly, to experience the core of everything and indifferent to its form.
Chan was created by Master Pu Ti Da Mo. Legend says he went to the back mountain of Shaolin Temple, and had been facing the wall and meditating for as long as nine years. During that period, his soul could wander out of body, which was the highest level of Chan.
Training the heart is in the first place of Shaolin kungfu. Chan focuses on the role of the heart in kungfu. When you are immersed in Chan and Shaolin Kungfu, the aim of learning kungfu is no longer the goal in itself, but is used as a means of awakening. Shaolin Kungfu moves can also show the idea of Chan, for example, the names “Luo Han” and “Jin Gang”, are symbols of transcendental wisdom and strength. Shaolin Kungfu is also a health care kungfu, keeping Chan in mind, you can let the mind lead the will, let the will lead qi, and let qi circulate through the body, thus reach the balance of yin and yang.
By practicing kungfu, you will feel the depth of Buddhist teachings, the truth of wisdom and the real nature of human beings and the cosmos.
Benefits of Training Shaolin Kungfu
- Improve one’s constitution and flexibility; increase the adaptability to a new environment.
- Cultivate one’s mind, get more motivation in life.
- Anti-aging; prevent and cure chronic diseases, and prolong one’s life.
From the experiences of the students who had learned kungfu here, we can tell that kungfu not only make their mind and body stronger, but psychologically prepare them for all the new experiences.
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