Kung Fu is the original martial art born in the Songshan Mountain Shaolin Temple. The Buddhist cultural roots stem from Yin Yang and the Five Elements Theory, which evolved as a way to support Buddhist synergistic (body and mind) practice. Although most people practice martial arts to learn fighting skills, the Shaolin monks mainly focus on cultivating Chan practice and manifesting the spirit of traditional Chinese culture.
In Shaolin martial arts we analyse and practice certain seemingly opposing attributes such as Attack/Defend, Motion/Stillness, Advance/Retreat, Fast/Slow, Hard/Soft, Empty/Full, Rising/Sinking, and countless others. All of these contrasting pairs have certain distinguishing requirements! Attack/Defend requires particular, practically learned methodologies, Motion/Stillness is integrated in the sense that one cannot be without the other; Fast/Slow must alternate clearly, and Advance/Retreat requires proper distance and contemplation. These pairs continuously merge and morph into each other– they are part of an overarching pattern comprising a complete Form, which takes weeks to learn and years to Master.
“Forms” are the most important means for transmission of the martial art. Each form in Shaolin Kung Fu has distinctive qualities; there are single-person forms and multi-person forms. For example these forms can be short, fast, long, slow, hard, or soft. Although each form has its own features, each individual movement has distinguishing and strict requirements. In addition, the rhythm of the form must be clear and all of the connecting movements continuous, not hesitating. The rhythm must be fluid and possess Spirit as well as structure. Even if the movement is fast, the rhythm cannot be messy.
Shaolin Kung fu is equally as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Some of the reasons to begin training have changed in the modern world but, in essence, it remains an established and irrevocable method of self-improvement! By practicing Kung Fu you can help yourself improve your memory, fitness, flexibility, and co-ordination, as well as strengthening your mind to gain confidence and remain peaceful, calm, reflexive. You will develop significant self-defence techniques, combat ability, and become acutely aware of your surroundings. During your stay at our school we will begin by teaching you Shaolin basics (punches, kicks, stances), basic applications (disarming opponents) and Five-Step (an encompassing basic form). After mastering these principles, you will learn a powerful fist form and staff form! When you become more advanced you have options– learn a wide variety of fist and weapon forms, as well as traditional Shaolin forms and animal forms. You will also be taught advanced applications and practice what you have learned in simulated combat surroundings.
This program is designed to invigorate and inspire those of you who have never had martial arts experience before, while also allowing experienced students to fully explore their talents and aspirations in a challenging, demanding environment developed by a Shaolin Master.