Shaolin martial arts are symbolized by Chinese Kung Fu, one of the most important martial art forms, which was originated in the Shaolin Temple in Mt. Songshan, Henan Province as part of Buddhist culture. The purpose of combining Buddhist ideology with Kung Fu is to enable the monks to learn Buddhist ideology along with the skills of Kung Fu for building their body for athletics and self defense. Authentic shaolin masters train their students with the skills of this martial art in shaolin temples to improve not only their physical health but mental health also.
Reasons of popularity
In past few years Chinese Shaolin Kung Fu has earned the popularity of one of the greatest martial arts due to its quick, forceful and rapid movements. Rapidity, forceful action and energy are the main things required to learn this martial art. In the history of China it has developed various philosophies and techniques along with various great masters to develop spiritual growth not only in youngsters but in adults also. The cultural tradition involved in this form of martial art actually helped in deepening the knowledge about Chinese traditions and for that reason Chinese students love to learn this wonderful martial art.
Main schools of Shaolin Kung Fu
Songshan mountain Shaolin, Guangdong, Fu Jian, Hu Bei Shaolin and Sichuan are the five major schools where training for Shaolin martial arts is provided. Initially they started as small Shaolin art schools. Shaolin has a rich and colorful martial art culture which includes various types of boxing and other combat skills along with various medicines and health keeping activities like chikung and kungfu etc.
Weapons used in Shaolin kung fu
Various types of Shaolin weapons are used in the training of this martial art like Qi Mei staff, Shao Huo Staff, Yun Yang stick, Liu He stick, Monkey staf, Da Mo staff and Pai stick etc. twenty seven types of spears including Yang style spear, Luo style spear and Six-he spear etc. are also used in this martial art form along with Mei Hu Broadsword, Shaolin single Broadsword, Qian Kun, Gun Tang, tiger head hook, nine sections whip and Seven star sword, etc. Moreover 72 types of other techniques including pressing points, locking joints, Hard Qi Gong, iron sand palm and soft Chi Gong etc. are also used to learn this type of martial art.
History of Shaolin
The history of Shaolin starts since almost 1500 years back when its first temple was developed at the foot of mountain Songshan in Henan Province of China. It was supposed to be established by an Indian monk who went to China for spreading Buddhism. The temple was closed after sometime and reopened by a Buddhist, Ta Mo, after two years as a Shaolin student. Initially most of the monks fell asleep or face various physical problems during the training and meditation sessions. Later on about fifty postures were introduced in this art form to keep the monks awake which are now used as initial lessons for Shaolin Kung Fu. Introduction of several modern techniques in this martial art form has popularized it throughout the world in spite of its weak start.
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Content and forms in shaolin kung fu
External kung fu, internal Gong fu, Qi gong, light kung fu, hard kung fu etc. are some of the main contents and forms of this form of martial arts. All of these art forms are different from each other as light kung fu is different from internal Gong fu. The former focuses mainly on jumps whereas later focuses on strengthening your body. The students are taught to use their hands, weapons and both for their defense in Shaolin Kung fu training. Spear, straight sword, performance infighting and combat fighting along with others are some of the forms used in this training. The trainees are allowed to proceed to the next step after mastering the skills of first level. The trainers keep an eye on the progressive training of their students so that they can proceed successfully to the advanced level of training within the stipulated time frame.
Thus Shaolin martial arts are known to train their students not only for their physical strength but for their spiritual development also.