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Home Shaolin Kung Fu, is a traditional Martial Art which contrary to popular belief is not only just for Self-Defense or for the strong and flexible, but for everyone of all ages and sizes to practice and benefit from. It is 'A Way Of Life' that is meant for the complete Physical, Mental & Spiritual development of an Individual. Most of us know of Shaolin Kung Fu, or have been inspired to learn Shaolin Kung Fu, from the movies like 'The Shaolin Temple', ' 36 Chambers of Shaolin Temple' or 'Shaolin Temple Strikes Back' and carry in their hearts the undying desire to train at the Shaolin Temple and learn Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu. This 'Shaolin Dream...' of passionate Shaolin fans is what we at Shaolin Temple India, with the blessings and support of the Abbot Of the Shaolin Temple China, our Grand Masters and under the Vision and able Guidance of Shifu Shi Yan Du (Master Kanishka Sharma) wish to fulfill, right here in India through various Training Programs conducted at all our Wushu Guans (Training Centers). In addition to the Training Programs, Shaolin Temple India has also been regularly conducting Shaolin Kung-Fu seminars and Self Defense Training Programs at various educational institutions all around India.
What is Shaolin Kungfu?
Shaolin Kungfu is the style of kungfu (or martial art) originally developed in the Shaolin Monastery in China. It has a history of about 1500 years and has since derived into various schools such as Lohan, Praying Mantis, Chaquan, Hoong Ka, Wing Choon, Choy-Li-Fatt and many others.
What benefits can one get from practising Shaolin Kungfu?
There are many benefits, and they may be generalized into five categories: self-defence, health, vitality, mind expansion and spiritual development.
In what ways can practising Shaolin Kungfu lead to mind expansion and spiritual development?
Mind expansion and spiritual cultivation were actually the original aim of Bodhidharma when he first taught the Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Sinew Metamorphosis at the Shaolin Monastery. Later these two sets of exercises developed into Shaolin Kungfu and Shaolin Chi Kung. Practising Shaolin Kungfu can lead to mind expansion and spiritual development because the training of mind and spirit is an integral part of its practice. This is attained through meditation or Zen. When you practise genuine Shaolin Kungfu, you also practise chi kung and Zen. In Chinese culture, "mind" and "spirit" are similar, although there may be differences in emphasis and connotation.
Is Bodhidharma the founder of Shaolin Kungfu and Shaolin Chi Kung?
No, but Shaolin disciples gratefully honoured him as the First Patriarch because it was through his initiative in teaching the Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Sinew Metamorphosis that Shaolin Kungfu and Shaolin Chi Kung developed. Before him there was no kungfu or chi kung training at the Shaolin Monastery. But kungfu and chi kung were already highly developed in China. Generals of the Zhou and Han Dynasties, and Taoist masters before the arrival of Bodhidharma in China in 527 BCE were respectively great kungfu and chi kung masters. There was no founder for Shaolin Kungfu -- in the sense that Wang Lang was the founder of Shaolin Praying Mantis Kungfu, and Yim Wing Choon the founder of Wing Choon Kungfu; the very rich and extensive Shaolin kungfu and chi kung repertoire was the collective contribution of many, many masters through the ages. Bodhidharma the great is also the First Patriarch of Zen Buddhism.
Is Shaolin Kungfu religious?
No, Shaolin Kungfu is non-religious. Throughout history, Shaolin masters have come from various religious background, including Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian, Christian and Muslim. There also have been masters who have claimed to profess no religion.
What advice would you give so that I can get the most from my Shaolin kungfu training?
The following five-step approach is very helpful for those who wish to get the most from their training:
- Have a sound understanding of the scope and depth of Shaolin Kungfu.
- Define your aims and objectives for your training.
- Seek a good master or at least a competent instructor.
- Practise consistently and conscientiously.
- Regularly assess your progress, or otherwise, against your set aims and objectives.
Very briefly how would you define the scope of Shaolin Kungfu?
For convenience, Shaolin Kungfu may be divided into four dimensions:
Hence, to get the best benefits you should know at least something of every dimension. If you know only kungfu form, for example, at the best you can derive only a portion of the potential benefits Shaolin Kungfu can offer.
Can you give an idea of the depth of Shaolin Kungfu?
It is no exaggeration to say that its depth is unfathomable. We may examine its depth from various angles. One way is to consider each of its four dimensions. Regarding form, all the techniques found in other martial arts like Taijiquan, Karate, Taekwondo, Jujitsu, Judo, Aikido, Western Boxing and Siamese Boxing can be found in Shaolin Kungfu. Shaolin kungfu force is incredible -- its kungfu application is not just for combat but also to enrich our daily living. Shaolin philosophy opens up vistas of wisdom ranging from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the infinite galaxies. Another way to examine its depth is from the perspective of personal development. Shaolin Kungfu offers a comprehensive programme to develop a person in all his/her physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. At the physical level, Shaolin Kungfu enables the exponent to have radiant health and vitality; at the spiritual level, it leads him to the greatest attainment anyone can ever achieved, i.e. spiritual fulfilment. For someone used to only a partial knowledge of Shaolin Kungfu, such as some kungfu patterns and sets, he or she may find it hard to believe its depth as mentioned above. A basic tenet of the Shaolin teaching, which is an echo of the Buddha's teaching, is as follows: do not accept any teaching based on faith alone, nor on the reputation of the master, but assess the teaching to the best of your understanding and experience. The aim of this webpage is to disseminate genuine Shaolin teaching as taught by traditional Shaolin masters.