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What is Shaolin Kung Fu?

Shaolin Kungfu is the style of kungfu (or martial art) originally developed in the Shaolin Monastery in China. It has a history of about 1500 years and has since derived into various schools such as Lohan, Praying Mantis, Chaquan, Hoong Ka, Wing Choon, Choy-Li-Fatt and many others.

What benefits can one get from practising Shaolin Kung Fu?                  

There are many benefits, and they may be generalized into five categories: self-defence, health, vitality, mind expansion and spiritual development..

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In what ways can Shaolin Kung Fu lead to mind expansion and spiritual development?

Mind expansion and spiritual cultivation were actually the original aim of Bodhidharma when he first taught the Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Sinew Metamorphosis at the Shaolin Monastery. Later these two sets of exercises developed into Shaolin Kungfu and Shaolin Chi Kung. Practising Shaolin Kungfu can lead to mind expansion and spiritual development because the training of mind and spirit is an integral part of its practice. This is attained through meditation or Zen. When you practise genuine Shaolin Kungfu, you also practise chi kung and Zen.

Is Bodhidarma the founder of Shaolin Kung Fu and Shaolin Chi Kung?

No, but Shaolin disciples gratefully honoured him as the First Patriarch because it was through his initiative in teaching the Eighteen Lohan Hands and the Sinew Metamorphosis that Shaolin Kungfu and Shaolin Chi Kung developed. Before him there was no kungfu or chi kung training at the Shaolin Monastery. But kungfu and chi kung were already highly developed in China. Generals of the Zhou and Han Dynasties, and Taoist masters before the arrival of Bodhidharma in China in 527 BCE were respectively great kungfu and chi kung masters. There was no founder for Shaolin Kungfu -- in the sense that Wang Lang was the founder of Shaolin Praying Mantis Kungfu, and Yim Wing Choon the founder of Wing Choon Kungfu; the very rich and extensive Shaolin kungfu and chi kung repertoire was the collective contribution of many, many masters through the ages.

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Very briefly how would you define the scope of Shaolin Kung Fu?

For convenience, Shaolin Kungfu may be divided into four dimensions:
1. Form.
2. Force.
3. Application.
4. Philosophy.

Hence, to get the best benefits you should know at least something of every dimension. If you know only kungfu form, for example, at the best you can derive only a portion of the potential benefits Shaolin Kungfu can offer.

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Can you give an idea of the depth of Shaolin Kung Fu?

We may examine its depth from various angles. One way is to consider each of its four dimensions. Regarding form, the repetoire of techniques in Shaolin Kungfu is enormous. Shaolin kungfu force is incredible -- its kungfu application is not just for combat but also to enrich our daily living. Shaolin philosophy opens up vistas of wisdom ranging from the smallest sub-atomic particles to the infinite galaxies. Another way to examine its depth is from the perspective of personal development. Shaolin Kungfu offers a comprehensive programme to develop a person in all their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. For example, at the physical level, Shaolin Kungfu enables the exponent to have radiant health and vitality; mentally, the they will experience clarity and freshness.

A basic tenet of the Shaolin teaching is as follows: do not accept any teaching based on faith alone, nor on the reputation of the master, but assess the teaching to the best of your understanding and experience.