Shao Lin means “Little Forest” and “Kung Fu” means practice over time. This martial art was developed in the temples of the Shao Lin monks to protect their peace from ruthless invaders seeking to pillage and plunder their villages. Shao Lin monks lived a holy life of nonviolence but when they were attacked by bandits prior to learning martial arts, they often met death. They took up the practice of martial arts as a way to preserve and protect their culture of peace. Even the deepest philosophies on peace regard the use of violence as necessary to protect oneself from those seeking to commit harm to oneself and loved ones.
Bodhi Darhma also known as Da Mo, is the founder of the Shao Lin Kung Fu system. He brought the martial arts to Shao Lin Temple along with Chen Buddhism from his home in India an estimated 1,500 years ago. The forms and exercises he brought to the Chinese from India where the basis of the Indian martial art from Kerala, Kalaripayattu. Bodhi Dharma was an Indian Buddhist monk and Kalaripayattu master. The Shao Lin Temple or “Little Forest Temple” took Da Mo’s lessons and created their own unique system of personal development. The warriors that the Shao Lin temple created became very well known in China and worldwide. Many other schools of martial arts were developed after Shao Lin Temples popularized the practice and lesson curriculum be becoming extraordinarily talented. Martial arts are always evolving. Shao Lin was an evolution from the Kalari system in India. The training regimen of the Immortal Kung Fu Shao Lin Quan has the best forms Grandmaster Kwok was passed down from disciples in the Shao Lin Monasteries. People spent their entire lives learning and developing their kung fu knowledge to help evolve their kung fu practice to provide students with the best training systems for life and death confrontations. Some forms have not changed for hundreds and even thousands of years because they have stood the test of time. There is no need to reinvent the wheel so to speak, and change these forms. Shao Lin trains one to have sturdy stances, speed, agility, athletic ability, strength and flexibility.
Shao Lin Kung Fu is an External Kung Fu system that focuses on building muscle strength, flexibility, agility, and relaxation all while moving through vigorous postures. Also known as Long Fist or Chang Quan, our Northern Style Shao Lin emphasizes challenging low stances and large movements for development of the Shao Lin body. The Shao Lin system is key in developing any martial artists timing and when added to an internal Kung Fu curriculum such as Tai Ji Quan, Xing Yi Quan or Ba Gua Zhang, the benefits are paramount. The timing of execution of a movement determines if the move will have the ultimate power possible utilizing full body mass. Our family lineage stance work from the internal martial arts carry over into our Shao Lin to teach the practitioner efficiency of motion and stability through all stance changes. Shao Lin is perfect for new martial arts practitioners because it’s movements are simple and easier to understand than the internal forms. Before learning any Shao Lin form, it is recommended that you first learn the 8 Basic Stance Exercises. By understanding the External, one can greater understand the difference of the Internal, this dichotomy gives greater perception of the dynamics differentiating the two methods of body movement and usage in martial arts, enhancing the practitioners ability with both methods.
Shao Lin’s Chi Gong is a Hard Gong known as Yi Gun Jin or Muscle Tendon Changing method. It teaches how to direct energy to muscles in the form of isometric exercises for maximum endurance & strength. Da Mo taught this Yi Gun Jin hard gong and a soft gong known as Bone Marrow Brain Washing Qi Gong. THe Bone Marrow Gong teaches esoteric internal energy cultivation used in internal arts built from a foundation of Yogic Pranayama breathing, visualization of chakras and projecting energy through the palms into various points on the body for self healing.
The Kwok lineage Shao Lin curriculum includes the following forms; Shu Er Shi Fa, Lian Bu, Gong Li, Tan Tui, Duen Da, Hua Chuan and Chin Na. In addition to the hand forms, various weapons forms are taught and at minimum, the four primary weapons of Broad Sword, Double Edge Sword, Long Staff and Spear are required before being able to qualify for a certificate of completion.