In the region of the Song Mountain, Dengfeng City in the Henan province lays the Shaolin Temple. Claimed to be the birthplace of martial arts the temple is also referred to as ‘the number 1 temple under heaven’ in fact it is here where students, monks and practitioners of varied varieties of martial arts gather to practise Shaolin Kung Fu and Buddhism. The Shaolin monks have been practising and refining their Kung Fu for more than 1,500 years, originally stemming from an Indian monk called Dharma who taught the monks various ways to increase their health, and to stop them from drifting off to sleep while meditating. Those initial kinds of exercise have been developed and single handily transformed the Shaolin Temple, and created one of the greatest/ oldest martial art systems in the world.

Bodhidaharma (Dharma) had been a buddhist monk from South India who travelled for the Shaolin Monastery. He meditated nearby the temple, facing a wall for nine years. He left out an iron chest containing two books “Marrow Cleansing Classic” and “Muscle Tendon Change Classic” known as Yi Jin Jing. The 2nd book was utilized through the Shaolin Monks to develop their health and skill.

There are thousands of Kung Fu styles on earth associated to Shaolin Kung Fu but most common traditional forms (Tao Lu) taught inside 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 have been produced for the West to learn the basics in the traditional forms. There is a set of 72 Shaolin Arts Training Methods in the temple that can produce extraordinary skills and abilities. A few 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 famous 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 one of the most traditional and oldest forms presently taught in the temple and round the world because of the popularity and spread of Shaolin Kung Fu. The name ‘Hong’ originates from Hongwu part of the Hong clan, it was the title of the reign of the first emperor from the Ming Dynasty. Xiao hong quan contains approximately 64 steps and there are external and internal versions for many techniques. The most wonderful element of learning xiao hong quan is it embodies all the reason why martial artists practise tao lu (forms) by permitting the individual express themselves through the movements, embracing ‘active meditation’.

Shaolin Kung Fu is not only a martial art, it is far from something you practise a couple of hours every week. Its not for fighting, it’s for peace. Shaolin Kung fu is a life long commitment, a way of life. Kung fu may be transferred into any activity from making a cup of tea to many famously putting on your jacket. It could be practised by any age old and young alike.

The current Shaolin abbot Shi Yong Xin has decided to embrace modern day culture and promote Shaolin. The state first branch in the united kingdom was the Shaolin Temple UK setup by Shifu Shi Yanzi who continues to teach today endorsed by the abbot himself. Similar Shaolin schools have already been create around the globe to aid preserve and expand the device/ Buddhist influence.

Qi Gong is a kind of Kung Fu Training for health, martial arts training and awakening to ones true nature. Chi (pronounced chee as well as spelled qi) is the internal energy. Life giving energy within the body, mind and spirit. Everyone and everything has Chi. Chi is definitely the life force found in all living things so when you die, your chi is not there. It cantake a bwjcbu of study to understand and develop Chi. You can improve your chi flow through breathing exercises and simple movements. With increased Chi you can live a more balanced healthy life through the natural flow of the energy. Good health and robust, balanced Chi are almost one and also the same. Although your Chi is found in your entire body your dantian is the best home to your Chi. Your dantien is simply below your navel and several inches in toward your spine.

Without Chi there is absolutely no life, there is no Kung Fu. ‘Gong’ is achievement or results. The phrase Qi Gong is really a system of ‘energy cultivation’ within your body. This is what makes some impressive Shaolin feats possible.

Shaolin Kung Fu may be practised anywhere. Wu Shu (translation ‘martial arts’) shoes have already been developed particularly for strenuous workout sessions and it’s advised for Kung Fu practitioners to wear the right shoes to teach 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 put on robes with their teacher consent to get in touch for the Shaolin way of life. Lightweight satin trousers and t-shirts should also be worn for unrestricted movement, specifically designed for strenuous and versatile 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 quite affordable with regards to equipment required. For the outlay as low as £30-£40, you will enjoy all the advantages of a healthy lifestyle, lose weight and feel good mentally. Many other equipment will likely be provided by your school, excluding perhaps things such as the standard Kung Fu Swords for practising forms, however these would simply be required as you progress with the ranks!