Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu is not a creation of one person, but an accumulation of works by millions of people. Shaolin kung fu is the pearl of Chinese wisdom, which was handed down by numerous generations of China's top martial artists. Shaolin kung fu has a vast content and numerous forms.
Here are some important aspects of Kung fu: internal kung fu, external kung fu, hard kung fu, light kung fu and qi gong. The internal kung fu mainly focuses on practicing the strength of one's body; the light kung fu focuses on agility; qi gong includes the practise and maintenance of qi. Shaolin Kung fu includes hand-to-hand defence as well as the use of weapons. There are forms: staff, spear, broadsword, straight sword, various other weapons, combat, equipments, performance sparring, sparring with weapons, etc.
All kung fu forms and weapons forms that have been created by monks or lay-man monks from the temple and all kung fu that came to the temple from outside is referred to as Shaolin kung fu.
Shaolin boxing is hard, strong, fast and according to the Chinese is "filled with softness inside." It also is plain and practical with every action, both attack and defense as well as in pose. As the old saying goes: practise in a place where only a cow can lie; such is shaolin boxing, you're not limited by the place and its size.
The shaolin style embodies a word -- hard. It is practiced with both attack and defense, but mostly attack. The form is not only beautiful, but also practical. The steps are flexible. Shaolin teaches you actions forward, actions of retreat, reaction and to punch directly in front of you. On body and fist, it is required that the arm is not too straight and to keep all the forward and backward motion natural. The foot technique must be stable and flexible, the eye technique requires staring at the opponent's eyes and for the breathing, the Qi should be "down to your dan tian'" before the Qi is released. "The action is as fast as a flash, a spin- like a turning wheel, a stance like pine and jump like a fly."
Shaolin boxing is divided into two schools, Southern, which emphasizes fists, and Northern, which emphasizes legs. There are many styles also within both Southern and Northern Shaolin.
Shaolin Combat Technique
Shaolin combat technique is divided into ancient techniques, which means traditional combat and modern which is divided into San Da and actual combat. The ancient techniques include shan zhen yi shen ba, hu bu ba, you long fei bu, dan feng chao yang, shi zhi luan ba, ye di tou tao, hei hu tao xin, lao hou ban zhi, jin si cha fa, ying men tie shan zi, bo bu pao and so on.
Shaolin boxing nowadays features these kind of movements; boxing and Buddhism as a system, combination of spirit and movement, aggressive attack together with violent strikes and proceed or retreat with parts of the body. Generally speaking, Shaolin forms are short and the routine of the movements are mostly linear. The requirements of Shaolin actions and stances are as follows: straight head and follow the movements of the body (with extremities), eyes focused on a point, use great awareness, open chest and straighten back, and for the knees, hips and toes they are all pointed slightly inside to protect the groin. The shoulders should be relaxed, and the arms slightly curved when attacking.
Make sure that when you are attacking you don't forget to defend yourself and use decisive, strong, swift defense in event of another's attack. Keep your balance at all times, be flexible when moving and stable when stationary. The footwork should be low when proceeding with attack, and high when retreating to coordinate the entire body. All movements should be fast.
Features of Shaolin Kung Fu
Short but precise.
Box in a line.
Roll in and out.
Integration of mind and behavior.
Bending but actually not and straight but actually not.
Rise high in a tight form and drop in a spreading way.
Rise to move with an intention of advance and drop to move with an intention of retreat.
Integration of Buddhism and boxing.
Focus on defense.
Combination of attacking and defending.
Simple and practical.
Vigorous and strong.
Numerous acts shrinking back.