Shaolin Kung Fu
Shaolin Kung Fu is an art created in the isolated regions of the mountains, in a place called Shaolin Monastery. Read on to see what Shaolin Kung Fu is, and if you might like to train in it.
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Shaolin Kung FuShaolin Monastery, 2006
Shaolin Kung Fu is a type of martial arts, and some people actually consider it the true Kung Fu! This type of Kung Fu comes from China, in particular Shaolin Temple or Shaolin Monastery, which is in the region of Song Mountain. When the founders of this martial art lived in the deep forests of those high mountains, the monks created ‘a set of body-building exercises by learning the postures of flying, jumping and running from birds, beasts and fish.’ Slowly and gradually, these exercises developed into a kind of boxing, through a lot of practice and improving, until they eventually named the result ‘Shaolin boxing’. The Shaolin martial art includes many things, such as boxing, some sort of stick art, spear art(probably throwing spears would be a start), sword art(hyah!) and many others. It seems like a good type of martial art to do, as it has a wide diverse range of different things, whether you are trying it out for the martial art for you, or a hard-core fighter who’d like a taste of everything martial art-related. Shaolin boxing is strong and quite powerful, a mix of attack plus defense, making it useful for fights in real life. Stick art(which is probably some type of hitting sticks thing) can not only defeat the enemy(according to www.travelchinaguide.com) but can ‘achieve victory, but also improve health and promote longevity.’ The spear is also regarded as one of the kings of ancient weapons, and there are many spear arts, such as the Shaolin spear, Yezhan spear, Lanmen spear, and many more other types of spear art. But, for some reason, there are many different types of Shaolin Kung Fu, so it seems that Shaolin Kung Fu may just be a category name-holder or just a name for many different types of martial arts, which claim to have originated from Shaolin Temple.
Shaolin Kung Fu is hard to find when it comes to the true rules, as there are so many different versions! The rules I will finally explain here will be general Kung Fu(or Gong-fu) rules. According to www.russbo.com, ”Gung Fu requires if the practitioner a strict code of mental and physical discipline, unparalleled by Western pursuits.It is only as a whole concept that Gung Fu can be discussed, and this entails more than fighting.” To be ‘adept’ at Gung Fu/Kung Fu, you must understand and follow the way of the Tao(which, by the way, is a type of Chinese religion called Taoism.) Some more very poetic words from www.russbo.com - ‘One cannot pay to learn this art; it is only acquired bye the desire to learn, the will to discipline one’s self,and devotion to practice.’(I would add more, but it’s hard to type, plus russbo.com has text that cannot be highlighted, you can’t really plagerise. Go on and you’ll see what I mean.) Anyway, let’s get to some other rules. There is an obscure one, saying that the practitioner must be able to fight against all impossible odds and situations. Other rules include keeping an open mind, training hard to keep mind and body coordinated, and they would have to learn their way through the student stage. They would be taught the first basic fist sets(presumably punching and the like), and these would get more and more complex, while the students ’simultaneously learnt the way of Taoism.’ When they completed the student stage, then they would ascend to the position of disciple. Upon ascending, they would be taught the more higher secrets of the arts, and they would learn to become familiar with all sorts of weapons. They would learn to be able to synchronize their movements with their breathing, learn to become ‘mindless’ in meditating, and ‘harness their ch’i. All the things you would need to complete being a disciple are so very complex, and not all can be truly described here. If you want to, search Kung Fu for yourself, if you are interested in learning the true ways of Kung Fu. Otherwise, this is just a peek into Kung Fu, a stroke of the folds.(i’m getting as poetic as Russbo.com now.)For China, Shaolin Kung Fu(or just Kung Fu in general) is one of the many martial arts they have, as well as Wushu and other martial arts, They go back a long way, although most of their past is shrouded in mystery. According tohttp://www.shaolinkungfu.co.nz, “The Shaolin school of martial arts has a history dating back to about 520 AD when the legendary monk Ta Mo… arrived at the Shaolin Temple of Sung Shan in Honan province northern China. Ta Mo organized the monks at the monastery to carry out solitary meditation, but became frustrated when the monks frequently fell asleep.” (Oh really? they must have been a bit of a lazybones if they could fall asleep just meditating). Ta Mo had to think up a exercise regime to make sure they stayed awake, plus help their stamina, and ‘mental capabilities’. Basically the exercise regime turned into Kung Fu…. well, I already told you about the rest. Anyway, Kung Fu is a important ’sport’ of China, because it is one of the martial arts created in China(and I don’t think any country can make martial arts like they do), and it has amazing skills you wouldn’t be able to learn, or discover for that matter, without Kung Fu. It’s so important(and interesting) that they even have philosophies about it, Like this one from http://www.kungfu.org.nz/, “When practising Chinese Kung Fu, the movement should be liquid and flowing. The techniques should be beautiful and rhythmic, the student full of vitality and radiating power, body and spirit must be one entity, power must be focused and breathing must continue without interruption. Appearances can be deceptive: although some movements may look weak, they are in fact strong…” And so on and so forth. you can even learn healing as one of the skills of Kung Fu! this includes acupuncture, massage, among other things, so even a Kung Fu disciple/student might learn to be able to heal the ’sick or injured’! In conclusion, Kung Fu is important to China, for many things other than the obvious.
Wanna read more? Here’s the websites I got the info from: