Not All Martial Arts are Created Equal
Shaolin-Do is the original blend of hard and soft arts, developing internal and external strength simultaneously. It doesn’t rely on body rigidity to develop power like Karate, but instead generates forces from natural body mechanics and circular movements.
What is kung fu
Kung Fu is a generic term for Chinese Martial Arts. Students gain the benefits of:
– Simple, practical solutions for self defense
– Great physical shape
– Increased flexibility
– An energized and motivated feeling
Read more about our school’s grandmasters and the ancestral art of Kung Fu
The Shaolin Temple was a Buddhist temple originally built sometime between 386 and 534 A.D., but most agree that it was completed around 495 A.D. At its peak, the Shaolin Temple was one of the largest monasteries in all of China. A red brick wall enclosed rows of large halls and pagodas, as well as many smaller buildings. There were training halls, meditation halls, shrines, libraries, dormitories, and kitchens, as well as other buildings used for everyday life.The Shaolin Temples were the equivalent of universities for the martial arts. Masters were professors, each of them a specialist in a particular area of training. Temples were known for a particular style, just like medical schools of today. Monks at each temple still practiced the forms from the other temples, but they specialized in the style for which their particular temple was known.
Over the course of time, an untold amount of martial knowledge was housed at the Shaolin temples. In order to better systemize this material, the techniques, motions and fighting applications of major systems were housed within eighteen forms; medium sized systems were housed within twelve forms; and smaller systems were housed within six or fewer forms.
What is a Form?
Don’t worry if at first this doesn’t make sense. You will love learning this art more with each passing month and year. It will never grow dull, only more exciting and challenging. If you are looking for a path that will last a lifetime, Shaolin-Do is it!. When you’re eighty years old, you will still have brand new material to learn and challenge you. As an added bonus, you will learn an effective method of self-defense, get in the best shape of your life and maintain flexibility throughout your life.
A Martial Art
The Orange County adult Kung Fu & Tai Chi program uses the curriculum derived from the last Shaolin Temple in Fukien province. It is the perfect combination of form and application, strength and flexibility, linear and circular movement, power and grace. Beginners start with a simple warm-up exercise, self-defense practice, non-contact sparring (not the first week) and Northern Shaolin Temple empty hand forms. Each class will keep you aerobic for 20-30 minutes and then allow time to learn and practice the fascinating and beautiful forms that have made Shaolin the most famous martial art in the world.As you advance in rank you learn a new animal form and weapon for each belt. Prior to black belt level, each student will learn how to defend themselves at long-range, short-range, from the ground, with weapons and against multiple attackers.
A Higher Purpose
There are hundreds of traditional Shaolin Temple empty-hand and weapon forms taught out to the students of Shaolin-Do. This insures that each student will remain excited, challenged, and involved for a lifetime. Shaolin-Do is about more than just fighting, it is about adopting the best of what Chinese martial art tradition has to offer and mixing it into our hectic “Western” lives to create a powerful combination. Because when all is said and done, once you’ve learned to fight, you had better have another reason to study martial arts if you want it to continue to be a part of your life-long path of health, fitness, and success training.
In the Shaolin temple there were only four recognized levels; student, disciple, master, and grandmaster. Our Great Grandmaster, Ie Chang Ming, introduced the use of colored belts to divide the material between student and disciple into five levels (White, yellow, blue, green, and brown) One form from a new animal and weapon system is taught at each level above white. Keep in mind that for a student to pass into the next rank, he/she must perform all the material for their present and all previous levels. Black belt degrees one through four are considered beginners, while fifth degree is called associate master. Once a person reaches sixth degree they are considered full masters. The rank of ninth degree is considered a Grandmaster, but the position of tenth degree is held by only one person; the highest of the Grandmasters. While there can be many 9th degrees (there were often ten in a temple), there can be only one 10th degree. This person is given the awesome responsibility of assuring the continuation of Shaolin, in its purest form.