What is Shaolin Kung Fu?
Shaolin Kung Fu began in the Northern Wei Dynasty, originating from Songshan Shaolin Temple 1500 years ago and is one of the oldest and most established of the martial arts. Kung Fu is a way of life, the art of living one’s life, to be disciplined in cultivating a skill over a long period of time and to be in harmony with nature. This art form embodies the wisdom of Buddhism and Zen and is taught by Shaolin Monks with thousands of years of teachings.
There are a limited number of masters who know the authentic traditional Shaolin techniques. These unique and spiritual techniques are usually taught from a very young age. Shaolin training is a mentally challenging process allowing oneself to discover the limits of their body. The idea is that as the student simultaneously develops mentally and physically through mediation and dedicated training, they will find their inner balance. Discovering this balance is essential in the Shaolin journey.
Shaolin techniques draw on the behavior patterns of both humans and animals. The different animal styles include Dragon, Tiger, Snake, Crane, and Monkey, with Drunken Fist representing a human style. These styles have been perfected for centuries, being passed down from master to student.
Kung Fu encompasses numerous meditations and martial arts, including Shaolin, Tai-Chi, Chin Na, Sanda and Qi Gong. The goal is the union of mind, body and spirit. In Shaolin, forms pave the way for strong and stable movements. The flow and posture of movements within a form is often the defining factor on whether it is considered ‘good’ or ‘bad’, emphasizing the importance of union between mind and body for with a turbulent mind comes to a disrupted flow, and why much time and emphasis is put on meditation and perfecting the basics.