Shaolin Kungfu Experiences
Shaolin Kung Fu (pinyin: Shàolín gōngfu), also called Shaolin Wushu (Shàolín wǔshù), is among the oldest institutionalized styles of Chinese martial arts. Known in Chinese as Shaolinquan ( pinyin:Shàolínquán) or Shaolin wugong (pinyin: Shàolín wǔgōng), it originated and was developed in theBuddhist Shaolin temple in Henan province, China. During the 1500 years of its development, Shaolin kung fu became one of the largest schools of kung fu. The name Shaolin is also used as a brand for the so-called external styles of kung fu. Many styles in southern and northern China use the name Shaolin.
3-49 days' Kungfu Experiences in Shaolin Temple Bodhi Academy Kungfu School
Introduction of Shaolin Temple Bodhi Academy Kungfu School
Shaolin Temple Bodhi Academy in Dengfeng City is a institution of researching and practicing Shaolin Kongfu and a place of collecting Kongfu as well as understanding Mahayana.It is famous for the reserch of Yijinjing,Dalijingangzhang and Zhuangyanputixinjing.
In STBA(shortened form of Shaolin Temple Bodhi Academy) which Shi Yanwu,one of the Shaolin eighteen arhats served as the Director, ShaolinKombat Monks teach Wushu enthusiasts Shaolin traditional Kungfu. STBA use militarization training and closed-off management. We also teach academic subjects from elementary school to high school.
Introduction of Shaolin Temle Bodhi Academy Director--Master Shi Yanwu
Master Shi Yanwu whose martial arts grade is six,styled himself Chan Master of Songshan Mountain, one of the Shaolin eighteen arhats and from Yongjia Zhejiang province is a representative of Shaolin Kungfu.He started practicing Shaolin Kungfu in Shaolin Temple since he was very young and was converted to Buddhism.
Master Shi Yanwu is the 34th generation successor of Shaolin Kungfu Caodongzong sect.
He had undertaken the general coach of Shaolin Temple Kombat Monks troupe,the director of Shaolin Temple South and North Martial Art Academy and the director of Shaolin Temple Kungfu training center.
Master Shi Yanwu is good at Shaolin traditional Kongfu and free combat and makes an intensive study of Qi Gong,Chinese Medicine and natural environment.
In 1989 he won the championship of 52KG in National free combat competition and the championship of 56 KG in 1993.
In 2000 he won the championship of Shaolin boxing and Shaolin cudgel in National Martial Art competition.
In 2006 he got the gold medal prize of boxing and cudgel in the second International traditional Martial Art competition.
To develope Shaolin Martial Art Shi Yanwu traveled trough China, Europe and Asia.He was honored with the title of advance worker by Dengfeng government and reported by the TV station,newspaper,magzine and internet many times .
Shaolin temple has two main legacies:
Chan (禅), which refers to Chan Buddhism, the religion of Shaolin, and Quan (拳), which refers to the martial arts of Shaolin. In Shaolin, these are not separate disciplines and monks have always pursued the philosophy of the unification of Chan and Quan (禅拳合一; chan quan he yi). In a deeper point of view, Quan is considered part of Chan. As late Shaolin monk Suxi said in the last moments of his life, "Shaolin is Chan, not Quan."
On the Quan (martial) side, the contents are abundant. A usual classification of contents are:
Basic skills (基本功; jīběn gōng): These include stamina, flexibility, and balance, which improve the body abilities in doing martial maneuvers. In Shaolin kung fu, flexibility and balance skills are known as "childish skills" (童子功; tóngzǐ gōng), which have been classified into 18 postures.
Power skills (气功; qìgōng): These include:
Qigong meditation: Qigong meditation itself has two types, internal (内; nèi), which is stationary meditation, and external (外; wài), which is dynamic meditation methods like Shaolin four-part exercise (si duan gong), eight-section brocade (八段锦; bā duàn jǐn), Shaolin muscle-changing scripture (易筋经; yì jīn jīng), and others.
The 72 arts: These Include 36 soft and 36 hard exercises, which are known as soft and hard qigong.
Combat skills (拳法; quánfǎ) skills: These include various barehanded, weapon, and barehanded vs. weapon routines (styles) and their combat (散打; sàndǎ) methods.
Training (which is subject to change according to the clients'request,etc)
There are many of different schools of Shaolin kung fu with different approaches. Even at the Shaolin temple, considered as its birthplace, training schedules have varied from era to era, and it also varies from lineage to lineage among the monks. Besides, different practitioners have different priorities and so they have different exercises and different timings.
There is no single defined schedule. However, the main streamline of daily activities in Shaolin temple is well defined. Since the ancient times, daily life of the monks at Shaolin temple has included studying and practicing Chan Buddhism, studying and practicing kung fu, and engaging in temple affairs, such as cleaning the temple, working on the farms, guarding the area, etc. The typical daily training schedule is:
5:00: Rising from bed
5:15–5:30: Sitting qigong
5:30–7:30: Morning run and kung fu practice
7:30-8:30: Morning meal
9:00–11:30: Performing temple tasks, like working at farms, chopping wood, and tending to commercial affairs; monks who are elders or children attend Buddhist classes
12:30–5:00: Afternoon kung fu practice: martial exercises and combat skills
5:10–6:40: Evening Buddhist lessons
9:00–10:00: Personal Time
10:00: Going to bed
At the morning training session, basic skills are practiced. Morning training begins with empty stomach, by warming up, which includes loosening up the body via rotating the joints and then by stamina training via endurance exercises such as various kinds of running, jumping, push-ups, etc., for 15–30 minutes.
Then the "child skills" such as flexibility and balance are practiced for about a half-hour. Flexibility training is done via stretching exercises, and balance training is done via keeping the body balanced in different childish skills postures for a while. Usually, morning training takes 1 hour, but monks may train themselves by doing more basic exercises and other exercises such as practicing combat drills and routines, etc.
Afternoon training session usually begins at about 2:00-2:30, and may even begin at 3:00 at hot summer days. At this session, mostly the combat skills are practiced. These are usually practiced for 1–2 hours. In between, they may have a few 15-20-minute rest times, and may do other kinds of exercises at this session, which make the session to last for 2–3 hours.
Like the usual system of Chinese martial arts, Shaolin combat methods are taught via forms (套路; tàolù). Some forms, like Small Hongquan, have just one section, and some, like Big Hongquan, have 3 or maybe more smaller parts, which every part can be considered a form itself.
Some forms that are technically closely related are coupled together and are considered of the same style (sub-style is a better choice for the word), like Small and Big Hongquan, which altogether make the Shaolin Hongquan style; or Small and Big Paoquan, which make Shaolin Paoquan, Small and Big Tongbiquan, which make Shaolin Tongbiquan, Qi Xing and Chang Hu Xin Yi Men Quan, etc. There are some styles with one form, like Taizu Changquan, and styles that have been expanded into 5, 10, 13, 18, or even more forms.
For example, Luohan 18 hands, which was originally one form, was expanded into 18 forms until the late Ming dynasty; Luohanquan, which originally just had small and big forms, has been expanded into a system of 18 forms called 18 Luohanquan; Shaolin big Hongquan nowadays has 13 forms; etc. Indeed, these styles are not complete or stand-alone, this is just a classification of different forms of Shaolin kung fu based on their technical contents.
Shaolin kung fu has more than hundreds of extant styles. There is recorded documentation of more than a thousand extant forms, which makes Shaolin the biggest school of martial art in the world. In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Shaolin monks chose 100 of the best styles of Shaolin kung fu.
Then they shortlisted the 18 most famous of them. However, every lineage of Shaolin monks have always chosen their own styles. Every style teaches unique methods for fighting (散打; san da) and keeping health via one or a few forms. To learn a complete system, Shaolin monks master a number of styles and weapons.
The most famous styles of Shaolin kung fu are:
List of known styles
Arhat's 18 hands (罗汉十八手; luóhàn shíbā shǒu): known as the oldest style.
Flood style (洪拳; hóngquán): with the small form (小洪拳; xiǎo hóngquán) known as the son of the styles, and the big form (大洪拳; dà hóngquán) known as the mother of the styles,
Explosive style (炮拳; pàoquán): known as the king of the styles,
Through-the-Arms style (通臂拳; tōngbìquán),
7-star & Long Guard the Heart and Mind Gate style (七星 & 长护心意门拳; qī xīng & cháng hù xīn yì mén quán),
Plum Blossom style (梅花拳; méihuāquán),
Facing&Bright Sun style (朝&昭 阳拳; cháo & zhāo yáng quán),
Arhat style (罗汉拳; luóhànquán): known as the most representative style,
Vajrapani style (金刚拳; jīn'gāngquán),
Emperor's Long-range style (太祖长拳; tàizǔ chángquán): known as the most graceful style,
Guard the Home, aka Special, style (看家拳; kānjiāquán),
Chain Hands and Short-range combat (连手短打; lián shǒu duǎn dǎ),
5 Combinations style (五合拳; wǔhéquán),
6-Match style (六合拳; liùhéquán),
Soft style (柔拳; róuquán),
Mind (心意拳; xīnyìquán) aka Confusing Path style (迷踪拳; mízōngquán),
Imitative styles (象形拳; xiàngxíngquán) (including Dragon, Tiger, Leopard, Eagle, Monkey, Mantis, etc.),
Drunken style (醉拳; zuìquán),
and many other styles, such as the southern shaolin styles, that traces their roots back to the southern shaolin temple in the fukien province, such as Hung Ga andWing chun.
Internal and external kung fu
Huang Zongxi described martial arts in terms of Shaolin or "external" arts versus Wudang or internal arts in 1669. It has been since then that Shaolin has been popularly synonymous for what are considered the external Chinese martial arts, regardless of whether or not the particular style in question has any connection to the Shaolin Monastery.
Some say that there is no differentiation between the so-called internal and external systems of the Chinese martial arts, while other well-known teachers hold the opinion that they are different.
For example, the Taijiquan teacher Wu Jianquan:
Those who practice Shaolinquan leap about with strength and force; people not proficient at this kind of training soon lose their breath and are exhausted. Taijiquan is unlike this. Strive for quiescence of body, mind and intention.
Students in Shaolin Temple Bodhi Academy Kungfu School
About Shaolin Temple
Shaolin temple established
In 495 AD, Shaolin temple was built in the Song mountain, Henan province. The first monk who preached Buddhism there was the Indian monk named Buddhabhadra (佛陀跋陀罗; Fótuóbátuóluó), simply called Batuo (跋陀) by the Chinese. There are historical records that Batuo's first Chinese disciples, Huiguang (慧光) and Sengchou (僧稠), both had exceptional martial skills. For example, Sengchou's skill with the tin staff is even documented in the Chinese Buddhist canon.
After Buddhabadra, another Indian or Tamil monk, Bodhidarma (菩提达摩; Pútídámó), simply called Damo (达摩) by the Chinese, came to Shaolin in 527 AD. His Chinese disciple, Huike (慧可), was also a highly trained martial arts expert. There are implications that these first three Chinese Shaolin monks, Huiguang, Sengchou, and Huike, may have been military men before entering the monastic life.
Some popular stories consider Bodhidharma as the founder of Shaolin kung fu.
The idea of Bodhidharma influencing Shaolin boxing is based on a qigong manual written during the 17th century. This is when a Taoist with the pen name "Purple Coagulation Man of the Way" wrote the Sinews Changing Classic in 1624, but claimed to have discovered it. The first of two prefaces of the manual traces this qigong style's succession from Bodhidharman to the Chinese general Li Jing via "a chain of Buddhist saints and martial heroes."
The work itself is full of anachronistic mistakes and even includes a popular character from Chinese fiction, the "Qiuran Ke" ("Bushy Bearded Hero)" (虬髯客), as a lineage master. Literati as far back as the Qing Dynasty have taken note of these mistakes. The scholar Ling Tinkang (1757–1809) described the author as an 'ignorant village master'." Like other stories of Shaolin, this story has, after all, some basis in reality. Bodhidharma was the founder of Dhyana (Chinese: 禅; pinyin: chán; Japanese: zen) Buddhism.