Discover The Ancient Art of Shaolin Kung Fu

       By: Yoshi Kundagawa
Posted: 2007-02-27 08:38:14
The first time I saw Shaolin Kung fu techniques was while watching a martial arts movie. I loved the style of martial arts so much, that I watched the second movie and fell totally in love. There was something so riveting about watching the punches, kicks and jumps. Even though it was Hong Kong Hollywood, it looked so much more real than most martial arts you see. I've watched a lot of martial arts movies in my day. In fact, they're actually my favorite type of movie. Recently I saw Jet Li in Fearless. Though his style in that movie was wing chun.Why is kung fu my favorite form of martial art? Probably because of the exotic origin. It's a style practiced by monks. You wouldn't think monks would know a fighting style, especially when they stand for peace and nonviolence but they do practice it every day, for the entirety of their lives. It's like their way of finding enlightenment and it's a viable combat art. Most kung fu you see in movies or during shows, or exhibitions are stylized sport martial arts. But not the shaolin. There are historical references of it being used in defensive battle as far back as 728 B.C. Normally, when you see a martial artist, it's usually big muscles, lots of noise, a show, right? Not this one. This art trains practitioners with the purpose of nature. I'm sure you've heard references to it in the movies, where someone engaged in kung fu took a tiger stance or that of the crane.Each one of these has a purpose behind it attached to the meanings of the animals, not to mention that the types of Shaolin have really cool names like 'Jiao long nu kong', which means the /coiling dragon growls in wrath', or 'Qian jintui' the 'leg weighing one thousand jins'. compare that to boxing. Jab. Cross. How dull!You can't help but admire the training and dedication, the grace, and fluidity of movement that accompanies this martial art. Out of all of the ones I've read, seen or done research on, I keep coming back to this one. Warrior monks even won battles and were honored using these techniques. It boggles my mind when I think of it. Weapon use, boxing, spins, kicks - all of it at lightening fast speeds and almost inhuman precision. I find myself sitting on the edge of my seat waiting eagerly for the next bad guy to come along or the next move in the exhibition.It's amazing how they can do all those moves - flying through various forms, blocks, kicks, jumps, punches - and then stop give their bow and not even be breathing hard. They don't just use any weapon, either. A popular one is the long spear. I've held one before. They aren't light and they're long. To use one takes a lot of skill, and they make it seem so easy.It doesn't matter what form or practice of Shaolin Kung fu techniques are being used, I love it!Yoshi Kundagawa is a freelance journalist. He covers the mixed martial arts industry. For a free report on Shaolin Kung Fu visit his blog.
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