KUNG FU

kuniggety

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Same with Lohan. Lohan is a catch all term. Northern, Southern, qigong, set names, etc... I don't think there's an actual "Lohan Quan" per se. I think it's more of "Hey ,whadda we call this? It needs a cool name people with remember!!" type thing... :) :O

There is a Lohan/Arhat Chuan but not many places teach the complete system. I think originally there were 10 forms or so but 5 of them were taught at Jing Mo. I only learned the first form... it's similar to Bak Sil Lum but a little more "springy". At least in the one form I learned.
 

Martial D

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Hey,

I have just signed up to the forum.

A good few months back I started to take a real interest in Shaolin Kung Fu. Every day since then I have been exercising in relation to this subject. Every day I do leg stretches, stance work, punch drills, and kicks, etc.

I have started to learn my first "form", which is "Wu Bu Quan". I will master this form before I move on to others, but my main question is what forms would you suggest that I learn?

Although I am a beginner I am putting a lot of time into kicks also and can do some pretty good front kicks, crescent kicks, cross kicks, jump kicks etc and am working on the tornado kick which is coming together quite well for the time I've been practicing it.

I'm curious to learn more forms relating to Wushu or Shaolin Kung Fu but it is hard to know which forms to go with next. I would like to move on to forms that contain more advanced kicking techniques down the line.
I have to chime in here to agree with what most everyone has already said. You may think you are getting a leg up or a head start by attempting to teach yourself from videos, but the reverse is actually true. It's much harder to unlearn all the bad habits and incorrect biomechanics you are inevitably installing into yourself than it is to learn from a blank slate. Stop before it's too late.
 

Midnight-shadow

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Hey,

I have just signed up to the forum.

A good few months back I started to take a real interest in Shaolin Kung Fu. Every day since then I have been exercising in relation to this subject. Every day I do leg stretches, stance work, punch drills, and kicks, etc.

I have started to learn my first "form", which is "Wu Bu Quan". I will master this form before I move on to others, but my main question is what forms would you suggest that I learn?

Although I am a beginner I am putting a lot of time into kicks also and can do some pretty good front kicks, crescent kicks, cross kicks, jump kicks etc and am working on the tornado kick which is coming together quite well for the time I've been practicing it.

I'm curious to learn more forms relating to Wushu or Shaolin Kung Fu but it is hard to know which forms to go with next. I would like to move on to forms that contain more advanced kicking techniques down the line.

As others have said, you would be better off finding a school to go to rather than trying to learn from videos on your own. The thing about forms is that there is a lot more to them than meets the eye and there is a huge difference between being able to do the movements, and learning the form. A monkey can copy the basic movements, but it takes a lot of work and study to learn a form.

For example, let's look at the form you are learning "Wu Bu Quan". It's the basic Northern Shaolin Stance form and is usually the first one taught to beginners of the style. The question is do you know why it is the first form they learn? Do you know what the purpose of the form is? If all you see are a series of movements then you are just learning a dance, rather than a form that translates to combat. These are things you cannot learn just by watching a youtube tutorial.
 

Reedone816

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Be careful of schools using that say they teach "Wushu". They are most likely schools that have turned real fighting into dance.
Isn't wushu school divided into two curriculums, taulu (dance) and sanshou (fighting)?
At least that is what common here when the school use the word wushu in its name, it means competitive/sport wushu in form and in sanda competition.

Sent from my Lenovo A7010a48 using Tapatalk
 

Knapf

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Isn't wushu school divided into two curriculums, taulu (dance) and sanshou (fighting)?
Doesn't matter if they teach fighting cause if the basics are already made up of too much dance,they

At least that is what common here when the school use the word wushu in its name, it means competitive/sport wushu in form and in sanda competition.
Doesn't matter if they have sanda matches,if the basics are made up of too much dance, they may have trouble beating opponents from other schools who teach real fighting. When they have interschool sanda I mean
 

Reedone816

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Well, it might be.
I was in wushu school back in the 90's, and after the first belt student have their primary training divided, if they like to dance they choose taulu, if they like to fight they choose sanshou.
The one that choose sanshou have extra class that is full contact sparring weekly.
Back to what you said, it made sense also because we won more sanda matches, one of the best in the city, while our taulu is just so so...

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Reedone816

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Well, it might be.
I was in wushu school back in the 90's, and after the first belt student have their primary training divided, if they like to dance they choose taulu, if they like to fight they choose sanshou.
The one that choose sanshou have extra class that is full contact sparring weekly.
Back to what you said, it made sense also because we won more sanda matches, one of the best in the city, while our taulu is just so so...

Sent from my Lenovo A7010a48 using Tapatalk
 

Knapf

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Same with Lohan. Lohan is a catch all term. Northern, Southern, qigong, set names, etc... I don't think there's an actual "Lohan Quan" per se. I think it's more of "Hey ,whadda we call this? It needs a cool name people with remember!!" type thing... :) :O
Lindsay Lohan
 

clfsean

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There is a Lohan/Arhat Chuan but not many places teach the complete system. I think originally there were 10 forms or so but 5 of them were taught at Jing Mo. I only learned the first form... it's similar to Bak Sil Lum but a little more "springy". At least in the one form I learned.

Right, one of the Northern Lohan named systems. I have a good friend who is a Sifu under one of WJM's senior students. He has Lohan sets from them, but that Lohan is different than Village Lohan, is different from Songshan Lohan, is different from Southern Lohan, etc... That's all I'm saying.
 
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zany90

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Wow guys lots of replies here. I've just checked back, going to read through all of these now...

I did notice however that a lot of people are saying that proper training cannot be done without an instructor, trust me, I do know this. And I do intend on taking it to that level. But until I can I would still like to be learning. The reason for not having an instructor at present is because of finances partly but mostly due to lack of availability in Kung Fu training in my area and the region in general. That is why during my break from university I intend to travel quite a distance to train with a 34th generation shaolin monk that I have already been in contact with ;) trust me, I am taking it seriously.

I can easily find MMA or Taekwondo or those kinds of things in my area, and I think I will take taekwondo classes, but Kung Fu is meaningful for me in a much deeper way as I have just overcome a serious breakdown and period of 3 year agoraphobia and depression, its internal work as well as external.

Really I just wanted to know the main forms taught so that I could have a look until training becomes available to me.
 
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zany90

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I don't understand the "don't learn the form yet, it might not be the same as the school you learn from" attitude. So what? Then I can learn something more when I get there? Surely... I would never ever join a martial arts school or train with a master and claim to know ANYTHING let alone claim to know kung fu already. I will be training with a genuine shaolin monk who has moved to the south of my country within the year, and it is his videos I am learning from. All I really wanted to know is what are the main forms taught when people say "Shaolin Kung Fu'
 

kuniggety

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Right, one of the Northern Lohan named systems. I have a good friend who is a Sifu under one of WJM's senior students. He has Lohan sets from them, but that Lohan is different than Village Lohan, is different from Songshan Lohan, is different from Southern Lohan, etc... That's all I'm saying.

Concur. I think the one Lohan form I know came from WJM too.

All I really wanted to know is what are the main forms taught when people say "Shaolin Kung Fu'

That's difficult to answer because it can either refer directly to the forms that are currently taught at Songshan temple or any of the myriad of systems that were taught before and around both the temples in Northern China and Southern China. Saying "Shaolin" is actually a huge family of systems and not one specific system.
 
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zany90

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That's difficult to answer because it can either refer directly to the forms that are currently taught at Songshan temple or any of the myriad of systems that were taught before and around both the temples in Northern China and Southern China. Saying "Shaolin" is actually a huge family of systems and not one specific system.

OK... In that case my interest lies in the forms that are taught at the Shaolin Temple in the Henan Province of China?
 

Midnight-shadow

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Wow guys lots of replies here. I've just checked back, going to read through all of these now...

I did notice however that a lot of people are saying that proper training cannot be done without an instructor, trust me, I do know this. And I do intend on taking it to that level. But until I can I would still like to be learning. The reason for not having an instructor at present is because of finances partly but mostly due to lack of availability in Kung Fu training in my area and the region in general. That is why during my break from university I intend to travel quite a distance to train with a 34th generation shaolin monk that I have already been in contact with ;) trust me, I am taking it seriously.

I can easily find MMA or Taekwondo or those kinds of things in my area, and I think I will take taekwondo classes, but Kung Fu is meaningful for me in a much deeper way as I have just overcome a serious breakdown and period of 3 year agoraphobia and depression, its internal work as well as external.

Really I just wanted to know the main forms taught so that I could have a look until training becomes available to me.

If you are already in contact with a Shaolin Monk teacher then why not ask him how you should prepare for the training? They will know much better than us. The main problem with learning a form by yourself is that you can develop bad habits, and it's a lot easier (not to mention quicker) to go in knowing nothing and learning the form from scratch, than trying to break the bad habits you have picked up on your own. Also as Kuniggety said, "Shaolin" is more of a blanket term than an actual style. Just look on youtube for "wu bu quan" and you'll immediately find 5 different variations on the form, all claiming to be authentic Shaolin. Every temple and every school in China that teaches Shaolin Kung Fu has their own interpretation of the forms, plus a lot of them branch into other styles that aren't strictly Shaolin-esk. For example, I was looking at travelling to China to train and the school I was looking at did not only Lohan 18, but also Wudang, a version of Mantis and a version of Wing Chun.

If you can't get into contact with the Shaolin Monk then I would suggest focusing on general body conditioning and flexibility. As you are probably aware of by now, the stance form is one of the most physically demanding to do well, which is why the Shaolin monk novices spend a great deal of time doing body conditioning.
 

Flying Crane

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Wow guys lots of replies here. I've just checked back, going to read through all of these now...

I did notice however that a lot of people are saying that proper training cannot be done without an instructor, trust me, I do know this. And I do intend on taking it to that level. But until I can I would still like to be learning. The reason for not having an instructor at present is because of finances partly but mostly due to lack of availability in Kung Fu training in my area and the region in general. That is why during my break from university I intend to travel quite a distance to train with a 34th generation shaolin monk that I have already been in contact with ;) trust me, I am taking it seriously.

I can easily find MMA or Taekwondo or those kinds of things in my area, and I think I will take taekwondo classes, but Kung Fu is meaningful for me in a much deeper way as I have just overcome a serious breakdown and period of 3 year agoraphobia and depression, its internal work as well as external.

Really I just wanted to know the main forms taught so that I could have a look until training becomes available to me.
If you do this, then likely you will develop bad habits that will make it more difficult to learn properly, when you find a good teacher. It isn't just mimicking movement; that movement needs to be correct, and there are a lot of subtleties in the picture that make all the difference. You will not get it right, I can guarantee you that.

As for a 34th generation shaolin monk, most likely he is teaching the Modern Wushu discussed above, and not the traditional fighting. Those guys are great athletes, but don't do traditional fighting methods. The Chinese government took control of the Shaolin temple, it is now a tourist attraction and income venture, and they teach modern Wushu. That is the government mandated program coming out of the temple. Sorry if I am raining on your parade, but you deserve to know the truth.
 

Flying Crane

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To add a bit to my previous post... Kung fu systems, and all well-designed martial systems, operate on a certain foundation. For example, there are certain theories and principles of how power is generated, and the optimal biomechanics needed to generate power based on that theory. This can manifest differently from one system to another, even if the underlying theory is similar.

So if you practice the form without understanding the foundation and theory upon which it is built, you are getting very little benefit from it. If you end up practicing several different forms from different systems, without knowing the foundations upon which they are built, it is worse. And if you sort of understand a theory, but not well, and try to practice several forms from different sources that are meant to be done with different foundations, but you are trying to do them all the same way it becomes a genuine mess.

And understand that forms are not a product. The purpose of doing a form is not to "perform" the form. It isn't to do it as an end goal. The forms are a training tool, they drill the various techniques and theories and strategies that the system is built with, and help you develop skill. That makes a huge difference in how to do them properly, as opposed to just "performing" them.

So, collecting forms outside of the context of proper instruction really is not a good idea, even tho it is easy to convince yourself that you are making progress. you mimick the movement and then on a shallow level it is sort of right, but at the same time everything about it is all wrong.
 

Xue Sheng

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Wow guys lots of replies here. I've just checked back, going to read through all of these now...

I did notice however that a lot of people are saying that proper training cannot be done without an instructor, trust me, I do know this. And I do intend on taking it to that level. But until I can I would still like to be learning. The reason for not having an instructor at present is because of finances partly but mostly due to lack of availability in Kung Fu training in my area and the region in general. That is why during my break from university I intend to travel quite a distance to train with a 34th generation shaolin monk that I have already been in contact with ;) trust me, I am taking it seriously.

I can easily find MMA or Taekwondo or those kinds of things in my area, and I think I will take taekwondo classes, but Kung Fu is meaningful for me in a much deeper way as I have just overcome a serious breakdown and period of 3 year agoraphobia and depression, its internal work as well as external.

Really I just wanted to know the main forms taught so that I could have a look until training becomes available to me.

Would that 34th generation shaolin monk be Shi Yan Ming?
 

Xue Sheng

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If you do this, then likely you will develop bad habits that will make it more difficult to learn properly, when you find a good teacher. It isn't just mimicking movement; that movement needs to be correct, and there are a lot of subtleties in the picture that make all the difference. You will not get it right, I can guarantee you that.

As for a 34th generation shaolin monk, most likely he is teaching the Modern Wushu discussed above, and not the traditional fighting. Those guys are great athletes, but don't do traditional fighting methods. The Chinese government took control of the Shaolin temple, it is now a tourist attraction and income venture, and they teach modern Wushu. That is the government mandated program coming out of the temple. Sorry if I am raining on your parade, but you deserve to know the truth.

Yes their "Traditaional forms" are all Modern Wushu, but they also tend to teach non-traditional Sanshou. And not all 34th generation shaolin monk are in China. I would be VERY leery of any training in China without a lot of research (medical, food, return policy, travel, etc.) and at least knowing enough of the language to survive.
 

VPT

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The traditional core Shaolin curriculum is as follows:

(Wubu quan)
Lianhuan quan
Xiao hong quan
Tongbei quan
Da hong quan
Zhao/chaoyang quan

After this it's much like a buffet, pick what you like. Finally it culminates in Xinyiba.

The ugly truth is that the best way to learn authentic, real Shaolin boxing is outside the temple. Many former older generation teachers who received the old teachings have left the temple and now teach outside it. The temple now has only the acrobatics and bastardised versions of the old forms and principles and applications behind them. It's kind of sad, but on the other hand you don't need to shave your head to learn the good stuff!
 

WhisperingButterfly

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To add a bit to my previous post... Kung fu systems, and all well-designed martial systems, operate on a certain foundation. For example, there are certain theories and principles of how power is generated, and the optimal biomechanics needed to generate power based on that theory. This can manifest differently from one system to another, even if the underlying theory is similar.

So if you practice the form without understanding the foundation and theory upon which it is built, you are getting very little benefit from it. If you end up practicing several different forms from different systems, without knowing the foundations upon which they are built, it is worse. And if you sort of understand a theory, but not well, and try to practice several forms from different sources that are meant to be done with different foundations, but you are trying to do them all the same way it becomes a genuine mess.

And understand that forms are not a product. The purpose of doing a form is not to "perform" the form. It isn't to do it as an end goal. The forms are a training tool, they drill the various techniques and theories and strategies that the system is built with, and help you develop skill. That makes a huge difference in how to do them properly, as opposed to just "performing" them.

So, collecting forms outside of the context of proper instruction really is not a good idea, even tho it is easy to convince yourself that you are making progress. you mimick the movement and then on a shallow level it is sort of right, but at the same time everything about it is all wrong.
Thank you so much for this post! I can see that I will be spending way too much time here!
 
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