In the region of the Song Mountain, Dengfeng City in the Henan province lays the Shaolin Temple. Claimed to be the birthplace of karate the temple is also known as ‘the number one temple under heaven’ and it is here where students, monks and practitioners of various styles of karate gather to practise Kungfu and Buddhism. The Shaolin monks have already been practising and refining their Kung Fu more than 1,500 years, originally stemming from an Indian monk called Dharma who taught the monks various methods to increase their health, as well as stop them from sleeping while meditating. Those initial types of exercise have already been developed and single handily transformed the Shaolin Temple, and created one of the best/ oldest martial art systems in the world.
Bodhidaharma (Dharma) was a buddhist monk from South India who travelled for the Shaolin Monastery. He meditated near the temple, facing a wall for nine years. He left behind an iron chest containing two books “Marrow Cleansing Classic” and “Muscle Tendon Change Classic” called Yi Jin Jing. The 2nd book was utilized through the Shaolin Monks to develop their bodies and skill.
You can find thousands of Kung Fu styles in the world associated to Shaolin Kung Fu but many common traditional forms (Tao Lu) taught in the temple are Xiao Hong Quan, Da Hong Quan, Tong Bei Quan and Yin Shou Gun to name a few. Forms such as Wu Bu Quan and Lian Huan Quan happen to be developed for the West to learn the basics of the traditional forms. You will find a set of 72 Shaolin Arts Training Methods within the temple that may produce extraordinary skills and abilities. Some of these methods are ‘Iron body’ also known as ‘steel jacket’ ‘pressure point’ and ‘nerve manipulation’ even ‘jumping’.
One Shaolin form Xiao hong quan (mandarin pronunciation) is known under various translations as; small ‘Hong’ fist, small ‘red’ fist and small ‘flooding’ fist, and in its original form is more than one thousand years of age. It is probably the most traditional and oldest forms presently taught at the temple and round the world as a result of popularity and spread of Shaolin Kung Fu. The name ‘Hong’ originates from Hongwu part of the Hong clan, this is the title of the reign from the first emperor from the Ming Dynasty. Xiao hong quan contains approximately 64 steps there are external and internal versions for many techniques. The most wonderful element of learning xiao hong quan is it embodies all the key reason why martial artists practise tao lu (forms) by letting the person express themselves from the movements, embracing ‘active meditation’.
Shaolin Kung Fu is not just a martial art, it is really not something you practise two hours every week. Its not for fighting, it’s for peace. Shaolin Kung fu is really a life long commitment, a lifestyle. Kung fu can be transferred into any activity from making a cupful of tea to the majority of famously wearing your jacket. It may be practised by every age young and old alike.
The present Shaolin abbot Shi Yong Xin has chose to embrace present day culture and promote Shaolin. The official first branch throughout the uk was the Shaolin Temple UK set up by Shifu Shi Yanzi who consistently teach today endorsed from the abbot himself. Similar Shaolin schools have already been create all over the world to help preserve and expand the program/ Buddhist influence.
Qi Gong is a form of Kung Fu Training for health, karate and awakening to ones true nature. Chi (pronounced chee and also spelled qi) can be your internal energy. Life giving energy within your body, mind and spirit. Everyone and all things have Chi. Chi is the life force seen in all living things and when you die, your chi is not there. It cantake a bwjcbu of study to know and develop Chi. It is possible to boost your chi flow through breathing exercises and simple movements. With more Chi you are able to live a far more balanced healthy life from the natural flow of your energy. Good health and strong, balanced Chi are almost one and the same. Even though your Chi is found in your entire body your dantian is the greatest home to your Chi. Your dantien is merely below your navel and several inches in toward your spine.
Without Chi there is absolutely no life, there is absolutely no Kung Fu. ‘Gong’ is that of achievement or results. The term Qi Gong is actually a system of ‘energy cultivation’ inside your body. This is exactly what makes some impressive Shaolin feats possible.
Shaolin Kung Fu could be practised anywhere. Wu Shu (translation ‘martial arts’) shoes have been developed especially for strenuous workout sessions and it’s advised for Shaolin Kungfu practitioners to put on the proper shoes to train in. Wearing the incorrect shoes can restrict movement, damage your joints and support bad technique. Robes are worn by Monks and Disciples, although it’s perfectly fine for students to wear robes using their teacher consent to get in touch towards the Shaolin lifestyle. Lightweight satin trousers and t-shirts should also be worn for unrestricted movement, specifically made for strenuous and flexible techniques. Some students wear Chinese Buddhist pendants for protection or beads on the left wrist.
Shaolin Kung Fu (or indeed, most Kung Fu styles), is very cost effective when it comes to equipment required. For the outlay as low as £30-£40, you can enjoy all the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, shed weight and feel happy mentally. Most other equipment will most likely be provided by your school, with the exception of perhaps things such as the traditional Kung Fu Swords for practising forms, but these would just be required while you progress from the ranks!