Yi long Kung Fu Shaolin monks with a dragon leg whip terrorist attack KO opponents

about Shaolin Kung Fu

Shaolin Kung Fu also called Shaolin Wushu is among the oldest institutionalized style of Chinese martial arts. Shaolin kung fu originated and was developed in the Buddhist Shaolin templein Henan province, China. During the 1500 years of its development, Shaolin kung fu, with its rich content, became one of the largest schools of kung fu. The name Shaolin is also used as a brand for the so-called external styles of kung fu. Many styles in southern and northern China use the name Shaolin.


Shaolin kung fu training

There are many of different schools of Shaolin kung fu with different approaches. Even at Shaolin temple as the birthplace, training schedule has varied from era to era, and it also varies from lineage to lineage among the monks. Besides, different persons have different priorities and so different exercises and different timings. There is no single defined schedule. However, the main streamline of daily activities in Shaolin temple is well defined. Since the ancient times to the date, daily life of the monks at Shaolin temple have included to study and practice Chan Buddhism, to study and practice kung fu, and doing the temple affairs, like cleaning the temple, working at the farms, guarding the area, etc. The typical daily training schedule is:

5:00 am: rising from bed,

5:15-5:30: sitting Qigong,

5:35-6:30: morning kung fu practice: warm-up and basic skills.

6:40-7:40: morning Buddhist lessons,

7:45-8:30: morning meal,

9:00-11:30: doing temple affairs, like working at farms, chopping wood, commercial affairs; elder and kid monks attend Buddhist classes.

11:30-12:30: lunch,

12:40-14:00: noon rest time,

14:00-17:00: afternoon kung fu practice: martial exercises and combat skills.

17:10-18:40: evening Buddhist lessons,

18:50-19:30: dinner,

21:00-23:00: 1 hour of night kung fu practice: reviewing and every kind of exercise.

23:10: going to bed.

At the morning training session, basic skills are practiced. Morning training begins with empty stomach, by warming up, which includes loosening up the body via rotating the joints and then by stamina training via endurance exercises such as various kinds of running, jumping, push-ups, etc., for 15–30 minutes. Then childish skills (flexibility and balance) are practiced for about a half hour. Flexibility training is done via stretching exercises, and balance training is done via keeping the body balanced in different childish skills postures for a while. Usually, morning training takes 1 hour, but monks may train themselves by doing more basic exercises and other exercises such as practicing combat drills and routines, etc.

Afternoon training session usually begins at about 14:00-14:30, and may even begin at 15:00 at hot summer days. At this session, mostly the combat skills are practiced. These are usually practiced for 1–2 hours. In between, they may have a few 15-20-minute rest times, and may do other kinds of exercises at this session, which make the session to last for 2–3 hours.