Shaolin Do?



I have a friend that is about to start in an art called Shaolin-Do. I have a few concerns because I am afraid that he is being lead into the completely wrong direction. At this place they wear Karate Gi's and use Japanese terms. Which I thought would be fine if it was a Kempo place. However, it is supposed to be a pure Shaolin Kung Fu place. I was somewhat confused so I asked if I could take one of their free classes. I must say that I was not impressed at all. I am wondering if anybody has had any experience in dealing with this place. I asked my sensei about the place and he said that he wouldn't reccommend it, and to tell my friend to go elsewhere. Any thoughts. You can check out their website at
Yes, they are DEFINATELY not a legitimate form of Shao-lin. They try to trace their lineage back through some monk who was afflicted with a disease which covered all of him (including his face) with long hair.

I have had a few students over the years who have attended classes in this bizarre art (some schools boast that they teach literally DOZENS of forms.....). What they learned was absolutely worthless.

I won't say it's kenpo because I have much respect for kenpo people.

It's simply a rip-off.

However - I have my kung-fu students wear karate-style uniforms as they are much more rugged, durable, and practical than the mainstream "kung-fu uniforms..."

Those were my thoughts exactly. I however being a Karate man in no way shape or form claim to know a lot about Shaolin Kung Fu that is why I went here for help. Thank You.
I believe it's been discussed here before but unfortunately the search function is down! I believe we have a member who studies it.
I would be interested in talking to him. Do you know who he is.
Shaolin -do is as fraud as it gets, go to any board or forum and the answer will be the same, there grandmaster is a guy covered with hair on his face, as I was told it was taken out of a 70's ginness book of world records, and that they use it as a picture of the master, weird...

No good school, with no good teachers with no good , grandmasters, = Shaolin- do

Shaolin-Do teaches, last I heard, over a hundred forms. Given that I am working hard, after 16 years, to be halfway decent at the few I know, I find it almost impossible (well, okay, not almost) to believe that a "grandmaster" (the first neon sign of a bad school) claims to have "mastered" (second neon sign) over a hundred... No way in H-E-double hockey sticks that a person has the time to stay current in that many forms.

I saw a brown belt class of SD back in 1991 in Colorado Springs. Pitiful. I won't go into further detail (unless somebody asks really nicely), but suffice it to say that if that is how their senior students train and fight, I really want to be jumped by about 30 or them... Might even work up a sweat.

Um, ouch...

You guys really got kind of personal on this, huh? While I don't presume to state that Shaolin-Do is necessarily worthy of respect as a martial art, its practitioners, though deluded and conned, are still people...

Might be a little friendlier in the future... If I went off on how some of the folks that are respected around this place (Wally Jay, Georgie Dillman, etc.), I would get flamed and banned.

Funny stuff, though... Especially the biscuit one.


Mod Note: This post refers to several posts that were tossed due to crossing the line. - Kaith
Originally posted by Yiliquan1
Um, ouch...

You guys really got kind of personal on this, huh? While I don't presume to state that Shaolin-Do is necessarily worthy of respect as a martial art, its practitioners, though deluded and conned, are still people...

Might be a little friendlier in the future... If I went off on how some of the folks that are respected around this place (Wally Jay, Georgie Dillman, etc.), I would get flamed and banned.

Funny stuff, though... Especially the biscuit one.


Apologies, you make a solid point.
Actually, the grandmaster of Shaolin-do, Sin The', claims to know over *900* forms. There is a list floating around somewhere of the entire systems that were supposedly handed down through his teacher.
At one point a few years back, he was teaching seven star praying mantis forms at seminars.
He also claims his yang tai chi forms are from the Shaolin temple, but they are actually some kind of form that wasn't created until the 50's. Not sure on the specifics, it's not really my area. That stuff is only the beginning. He's been discussed to death on many forums and esp on rec.martialarts. Do a search on

Stay away at all costs.
Moderator Note:
We have removed the offending posts from this thread...

Please review this forums rules.

While we can take a few lighthearted chuckles, several of the comments made crossed the line into personal attacks on individuals who can not defend themselves here.

Moderator Note:
Complaints on the moderation of this thread have been moved to the support forum.

Please restrict comments here to factual information concerning the history and validity of this art.

Thank you.
In Austin, Tx, the Shaolin Do guys have the strangest style, a couple of the forms are very nice, old school Hung Gar, but most look like something made up by a beginner, after watching a couple of demos. They opened a school next door to where I worked, so I got to watch them train (in the back parking lot). The "moves" are like the style they claim, but the "movement" is not. It is like they never saw ANY of the fundamental training for most of the styles they claim. All the internal styles I saw were bad, with the BaGua being the worst. Much of the weapons work also lacks an understanding of the fundamental principals, but there is an occasional gem (I saw a nice N Shaolin spear form, once)
On the plus side, they had some guys in great shape, and they sparred pretty hard. They were very friendly, even after they knew I was unlikely to sign one of the "plans" they kept offering me.

In short, if you just want to train, they do go at it with gusto. If you want CMA, you should probably look elsewhere. As with ANY place these days, BE CAREFULL WHAT YOU SIGN UP FOR, some of those contracts looked a little shady.
I started out studying at one of these schools, under masters David and Sharon Soard, in Denver CO. They were under the same grandmaster and teach the same system as the people at the site but actually downplay their relationship with these people for the obvious reasons. I had never heard of the GM knowing 900+ forms claim until recently when I read it off another forum.

I started going a little over 5 months ago, brand new to the martial arts, they seemed good enough to me, though I didn't know what I was really looking for. Someone who knew a little better had warned me against contracts, and they offered a month to month payment system which suited me just fine. The only bad thing I noticed right off the bat was that the classes were packed, we barely had enough room to stretch, let alone spar.

I started studying 3-4 times a week there around august 20th.

Received my Yellow belt September 7th

My Blue belt October 5th

My Green Belt November 23rd.

I continued studing until just before christmas, and was about 2 weeks away from "earning" my brown belt.

I would have been a brown belt after 5 whole months of training.
When I was testing from yellow to blue, I was really only there to offer moral support to a friend, I was nowhere near being ready to test. . We were supposed to have learned 10 new "Lohan Short forms" which are a set of 30 short forms of 4-5 moves each that link together. I blanked out after the first two, bowed out and stood to the side expecting to fail the test and go back to training as a yellow belt. This was fully 1/4 of the new material I was being tested over.

I passed the test.

Did I mention there was a $45 testing fee not including $5 for a patch for my uniform?

On the plus side, the school works it's students out quite hard, and will whip you into shape. We also sparred regularly, and the black belt students occasionally sparred full contact. The techniques I learned, at least through the green belt level (after which the training consists almost entirely of long forms) were fairly practical for the most part. I don't view my training there as a waste of time so much as a stepping stone into the real world of Martial Arts. At least I wasn't walking away after signing a 2 year contract.

On the plus side, I began to notice how much bad publicity the schools had been getting over the internet and toured around the other MA schools in the area. It wasn't until then that I began to realize that some of the bad mouthing going on over the internet was right. I still don't think the techniques I learned were bad, (though I might still be a little ignorant on the subject) but the school was 100% more concerned with getting my money than with teaching me Kung Fu.

Sorry about the long *** post, but I thought some people here might want to hear a first hand account.
Well done it was a good post. I now have some respect for Shaolin-Do just not a whole lot.
I competed against a practioner of shaolin-do at a tournament in Las Vegas. It was in balck belt forms division. I and the rest of the competetors were wondering if he was doing karate or kung fu when he was performing his form. I used to do Tang Soo Do before I began my kung fu trainning. His form looked very simular to the forms I used to do as a green gelt in TSD. It definately had a karate feel to it. I would have never thought it was a kung fu form.
He was a nice person and put alot of spirit into his form so I have nothing bad to say about the person.

My story is about the same as Antares. I trained SD for about 6 months, with much the same results. While I was getting a lot of material (and spending lots of $ for test fees, sparring gear and weapons), I wasn't getting much of a basic foundation or too many applications for the material we learned. SD folks were always pushing "extra" seminars on the weekends for this form or that form, but I could hardly see how ANYONE could want and or need MORE material...?? At blue belt I had learned 22 short forms, 19 one step/ street techniques, 3 long open hand forms, 1 weapon form, 25 self defense techniques... blah blah blah.... I quickly went to the net to find out more information about the style, and began to question the practice (thanks to this and several other community sites :p). I began to search out some other schools here in Austin, and after taking a couple of free classes from them, I was convinced that I was going to switch styles. I switched to 7*PM under Sifu Jeff Hughes here in Austin, which has been a extremely positive experience for me. I have to say that SD wasn't a waste of time. I definitely got in shape, and learned HOW to learn KF, if not KF itself. I certainly couldn't have made it in my 7* classes w/o the 6 months I had in, before beginning :D . The fact is, however, that SD uses lots of marketing to 'sell' their art (very successfully I might add), when I submit that the art should be able to 'sell' itself. Contracts are enforced because their churn is HIGH, as the pace is enough to chase away a lot of people from the art. Ah well, my first higher lesson in MA seems to be one borrowed from common sense "A fool and his money are soon parted". :) ;) :D
I train in shaolin-do now, though I've trained briefly in other styles as well. Been in since just after Jan. of 2000. I've never paid my instructor a dime for teaching (he does it 'cause he loves it), but I have had to pay the testing fees. I don't find this unreasonable, as the head man of the style flies in to give us the test from CA (I'm in KY). My understanding is that each "lower" (non-brown) belt REQUIRES 3 months between each test period. When you hit the three brown belts it's a requirement that you wait (at least) 6 months between each test. I've been at it 3+ years and will be going for my black in a few months. I've tested for my next belt every time I've been allowed to do so.
I think the serious shaolin-do teachers see the belts before black as a "patience test", and the black-belts all say the "real" training begins at black. Thus far I'd have to classify SD as "kung-fu's greatest hits". It's like you get a bit of info about an "external" kung-fu style with each belt, but never enough time to master it (assuming you want to press on when allowed to do so). White Crane, a shaolin bird style, tiger, one mantis form, tiger,the 30 "short forms" are derivative of tan tui, at least one new weapon each belt (I'm learning my 3rd staff form now)...the amount of material is daunting.

Training will vary WIDELY from school to school, as I've already seen. To be honest, the only REQUIREMENT to advance from belt to belt is a test in which you perform the proper forms when requested and a brief sparring session. In practice, each teacher is expected to teach application, conditioning drills and special exercises, general style history, gradually increase the level of sparring...just a WHOLE lot more. But, for the teacher trying to make a living at it I can imagine the temptation to placate the students through advancement would be pretty high as it would be such an easy path to follow....and that would certainly lead to watering things down.

Regarding later training, black belts are slowly encouraged to find their own preferred path of training, and most seem to focus on a particular style the falls under the umbrella of shaolin-do. In fact, to be a shaolin-do "master" one will have complete knowledge of one "large" and one "small" style. My instructor is looking long and hard at our style's version of "black tiger"...which I have heard has 14 forms and hsing-i...which has 6 or 8, forgive me for not remembering that specific, as I can not even imagine reaching that point.

On a semi-personal note, I almost never mention my style online at any other forum these days. Why join in the discussion here? I sincerely appreciate the moderator's attempts to reign in the non-pertinent attacks. There's plenty to attack SD on factually without making things so personal. :) So, thanks again for making the "climate" more tolerable, and if there's anything anyone wants to ask me I promise I'll re-check this thread every so often and do my very best to get an answer.