Shaolin kung fu training

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basic exercises (warm up, endurance, stretching, and balance training), from the very beginning to the most advanced level achieved by high monks of Shaolin temple

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1 Shaolin kung fu training from beginning to the highest level of Shaolin temple monks Shaolin () kung fu ()/wushu () contents are: 1. basic skills (: ji ben kung): stamina and flexibility&balance (: tong zi kung);1 2. power skills (: qi kung): a. internal (: nei) and external (: wai) Qi kung meditation for energy control;2 b. the 72 secret skills (: qi shi er kung), the legendary exercises of Shaolin monks;3 3. combat (: san da) skills: barehanded, weapon, and barehanded vs weapon styles (: tao lu).1 Shaolin kung fu training schedule depends on the lineage, master, the trainee, and has varied from era to era. the typical schedule recorded in Shaolin temple texts is: monks train every day and every year, except for one or a couple of days a week to rest and do the chores. they get up before sunrise. then do Qi kung meditation for a half hour. they also do external Qi kung later every day. Qi kung is better done at sunrises, early afternoons, or before sleep. after morning Qi kung, they usually do basic training, before breakfast, by a quarter to a half hour of warm-up and a half hour on Tong Zi kung. routines and their combat methods are usually trained in afternoons or other sessions for an hour or so. every monk also practices a few ones of the 72 skills, at any time, day or night; practicing each skill takes a few minutes but some of them take up to a half hour every day. in general, Shaolin kung fu exercises can be done at any time, all in one session or different sessions. also, Shaolin temple believes that kung fu is trained wherever a bull lies down, they mean Shaolin kung fu can be trained at any place. they also believe that after 100 days of training skills emerge, and after 3 years initial mastery is attained, but complete mastery takes decades. 1 Shaolin kung fu (instructionals) (at YouTube.com): hundreds of full video tutorials by Shaolin temple inheritors. 2 books: Yang Jwing-Mings Qigong for Health and Martial Arts, Qigong Meditation: Embryonic Breathing, Qigong Meditation: Small Circulation, and his other Qi kung books. 3 books: Training Methods of 72 Arts of Shaolin and 72 Consummate Arts Secrets of the Shaolin Temple. 2 1. Shaolin ji ben kung (basic training)4 a. Warm-up makes stretching and other exercises much easier and more efficient, and prevents injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Shaolin monks loosen up the 9 main joints and the relevant minor joints, like finger joints, before stretching and in beginning of any training session. pictures show the typical loosen-up method for every joint. repeat each one several times, for example, 9 times to the clockwise and 9 times to the counterclockwise direction: arms: legs: trunk: at the end, loosen up whole body and shake all extremities. 4 Shaolin monks basic training tutorials (at YouTube.com). rotate knees around rotate hips around rotate ankles around rotate upper body around the waist rotate head around the neck twist shoulders around the back rotate arms around the shoulders rotate hands around the wrists rotate forearms around the elbows 3 b. Endurance exercises develop stamina and sometimes are considered a part of warm-up. repeat each exercise for a while. begin endurance training lightly at the first minutes, then make it as quick as possible gradually. there are various endurance exercises; do a few exercises every day: run: jog; run and twist upper body from side to side; sprint forward; sprint backward; run sideways; switch direction: legs get close to and far from each other alternatively like a scissor; legs cross each other; legs cross each other with feet alternate to front and rear; raise knees high alternatively: run and raise knees; raise knee and punch with opposite hand; jump: jump high; run and jump high; jump and raise both knees high; roll: forward; backward; pushup: lie prone with hands on ground near the shoulders with straight body to push up by straightening the arms; squat: walk forward; leap forward; leap to sides; walk and slap kicks alternatively: slap feet soles in behind near the hips with opposite palm; slap outside of feet in behind near the hips; slap feet soles in front of chest with opposite palm; slap insteps in front of chest; flying kicks and many other exercises. c. Tong Zi Kung literally means childish skills and is the set of flexibility and balance skills. Tong Zi kung is recommended to be trained since childhood, however, it can be mastered at any age, young or old. if one masters Tong Zi kung, being as soft as cotton and as light as a swallow, they will feel like being given a second childhood. various variants of Tong Zi kung postures have emerged in the course of the centuries. however, the sayings go that Tong Zi kung has 18 postures. in this section, 18 (start & 8 flexibility & 8 balance & end) main postures and their most usual variants are shown. Shaolin flexibility postures are mastered via stretching exercises. a complete set of Shaolin stretching exercises is described below. Shaolin balance postures need calmness and perseverance. to learn some of them one is better to use supports at the beginning levels, like the help of their hands, lean to a wall, etc. in Tong Zi kung balance training, assume a few of these postures for a while, like for 36, 72, 108, or more breaths every day. 4 Stretching exercises begin lightly with holding the position, then a few, like 3~5, light stretching pulses to wake up the muscles, then hold the position and stretch continuously in position for 9 deep lower-abdominal breaths or so; then relax for some seconds to begin the next exercise. this way, each exercise takes 1 minute or so. do all the exercises every training day until achieving the mastering level, at which you can assume the Tong Zi kung flexibility postures with ease. this may take 3 years of training. in that level of skill, you can abandon ordinary stretching exercises and, instead, do Shaolin Tong Zi kung in meditative (video at YouTube.com) or combative (video at YouTube.com) routines. this is a complete set of typical exercises: for posture 1: both hands fixed on wall in behind, squat down to stretch. for posture 2: feet apart, arc backward, try to land both palms on the floor at behind. for posture 3: feet apart, lean forward, try to pass your head and shoulders through your legs. for posture 4: stand, turn both toes inward as far as possible, bend down. for posture 5: stand, turn both toes outward as far as possible, sit down. for posture 6: sit down or stand up, try to hook your feet behind your neck, do with both legs. for posture 7: one leg squats, other leg straight in front on heel with toes upward, hands clasp and drag toes of the straight leg to you, bend forward and press your head to the leg; switch legs. at advanced level, you can assume front clasping Buddhas foot as a prerequisite for posture 7. try front split, legs straight; switch legs. at advanced level, you can assume posture 7 itself. for posture 8: one leg squats, other leg straight to side on heel with toes upward, hands clasp and drag toes of the straight leg to you, bend sideward and press your ear to the leg; switch legs. at advanced level, you can assume side clasping Buddhas foot as a prerequisite for posture 8. try side split, legs straight. at advanced level, you can assume posture 8 itself. basic stretching kicks: forward kick, sideward kick, inward crescent kick, outward crescent kick. begin all with feet near together, palms to sides, both legs straight while kicking, kick at the head level, take a half step with each kick, then kick with the other leg, repeat each kick 9 times or so with each leg. forward sideward inward outward 5 Shaolin Tong Zi kung (flexibility & balance) postures:5 Starting posture: : qi shi, Salute! Flexibility postures (to be as soft as cotton): 5 Shaolin monks Tong Zi kung tutorials (at YouTube.com). 1 lazy monk praises Buddha : lan seng bai fo 1, advanced single-arm variant Buddhist child shows the way : fo tong zhi lu 4 sun and moon : ri yue 2, advanced variant on-chest hide flower under the leaf : ye di cang hua 2, advanced variant on-knees 2, on-head variant 2 arc backward : xia yao 5 golden tortoise : jin gui 5, single-leg variant cross the river on a reed stem : yi wei du jiang 3 head through the legs 3, simpler variant golden rooster pecks at rice : jin ji shi mi 6 advanced combination of split and 2 green dragon clasps its tail : qing long bao wei 7 front skyward step : chao tian deng 7, prerequisite variant front clasp Buddhas foot : bao fo jiao single/double leg 7, prerequisite variant front split : shu cha 7, lying variant front split and clasp Buddhas foot : die cha bao fo jiao 8, lying variant side split and clasp Buddhas foot : die cha bao fo jiao 8 side skyward step : chao tian deng 8, prerequisite variant side clasp Buddhas foot : bao fo jiao 8, prerequisite variant side split : heng cha 6 golden rooster stands on one leg : jin ji du li 6, lying variant 6, prerequisite variant green dragon coils in the nest : qing long pan wo single/double leg 7 Balance postures (to be as light