Kung Fu Traditions

Kung Fu Tradition

Chinese Kung Fu is a complex discipline with a long history.  More than just a means of combat Kung Fu has history, traditions, philosophy, ethos and its own culture. It has roots that extend back into the distant past and connect us with a long lineage of dedicated masters. Hence it gives us an identityContinue reading “Kung Fu Traditions”>>

Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 6: Strengthening Internal Organs

Sum Chien – strength is no barrier

If Sum Chien is performed with the right breathing methods the internal organs are greatly strengthened both in terms of their ability to perform their function and their ability to resist damage.  In this sense it may well be considered a form of iron shirt chi kung, although this name is more usually used toContinue reading “Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 6: Strengthening Internal Organs”>>

Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 5: Internal Power

Meditation Thailand

Martial Arts Master Iain Armstrong releasing springy internal power into a lethal throat crushing technique. There was a period, beginning at the close of the 1990s, when I was writing a column for ‘Combat’ magazine and Master Tan took me around Singapore’s most prominent kung fu groups to interview their Masters.  He would translate sinceContinue reading “Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 5: Internal Power”>>

Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 4: Body Mechanics

Sum Chien – strength is no barrier

Twisting the elbows in while performing ‘holding the tree branches’: one of the key techniques in Sum Chien training. Relaxing and sinking into a stance keeps all of the joints intact.  This is essential for the efficient transmission of strength. The stance is relatively short, with the front foot only one foot’s length further forwardsContinue reading “Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 4: Body Mechanics”>>

Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 3: Posture

Kung fu training – perfect posture

A straight spine is one of the key elements in Chinese Kung Fu training. Female Martial Arts Instructor Marion Hofer training at Nam Yang’s Shaolin training camp, Thailand. A straight spine works like a straight axle around which the torso can pivot.  More to the point, when the spine is straightened, the energy centres thatContinue reading “Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 3: Posture”>>

Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 2: Stance

Qigong, Internal Kung Fu and Meditation Program.

The Shaolin Kung Fu ‘walking horse stance’. This technique is ‘double dragons going out to sea’: one of the key Kung Fu training techniques in the Sum Chien pattern. Our art is often described as a very simple one.  I tend to the opinion that kung fu training is simple on the surface but complexContinue reading “Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 2: Stance”>>

Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien (Three Wars) – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 1

This short, superficially simple routine is the core training exercise of not only Southern Shaolin kung fu but also many styles of karate.  It must be one of the most widely practised yet least understood martial arts exercises and is still shrouded in mystery.  Here I describe how, over the last three decades, the mysteryContinue reading “Kung Fu Training: Sum Chien (Three Wars) – The Heart of Shaolin, Part 1″>>