Is there such a thing as Shaolin kung fu?

Discussion in 'Kung Fu' started by franksv, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. franksv

    franksv Valued Member


    I met a guy,who also practices kf.Iam a student of hsing-I and while I don't know the ins and outs of its history,I know its a kung fu style.In my conversation with this fellow,he claimed to practice shaolin kf.I asked him what style and he said that shaolin kf is the only way he ever heard his style reffered to.I am not doubting this guy,but I was under the impression that shaolin is not a style in itself,but a temple where many styles where/are practiced.

    I found this link,that lists the kf styles od shaolin,but none are called shaolin kf.Maybe he was taught one of them,but never knew the real name of what he was being taught.

    I already asked this guy what school he went to and he said it has been closed for a few years.The material he has is some foundational stuff,stances,blocks,strikes and kicks.He was also taught a shaolin basic form,a shaolin combat form and a shaolin sword form.

    This fellow expressed an interest in maybe getting together and hitting some pads with me.I am just wondering what he is practicing.Anyone have kf history/knowledge and maybe shed some light on this?

  2. Yohan

    Yohan In the Spirit of Yohan Supporter

    Generic Shaolin Kung Fu is generally indicitave of a McDojo in my experience. There are Shaolin styles. Saying you practice Shaolin Kung Fu is like saying "I practice Japanese Martial Arts."
  3. Jik Bo Kuen

    Jik Bo Kuen New Member

    I'm with Yohan, its usually a dodgy sign.
  4. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    As he is a real nice guy,I was not going to use the "m" word,but I had similar thoughts.I also don't spend much time on the history aspect of kf,so I was not all that quick to draw a conclusion.For all I knew it may have been legit.Either way,I think I am going to hook up and train a bit with him,I am curious.
  5. JaiReef

    JaiReef Valued Member

    I would kinda agree, but kinda disagree also

    according to popular history,

    Shaolin Kung fu was a collection of arts brought to the temples by travellers, and seemingly rogue types, as the temples were a safe haven.

    The Monks collected all this knowledge, and all the finer points were honed into a teaching method.

    disciples were then encouraged to adapt and change what they had learnt to match their own needs ect..

    The "five family" variations that people talk of (Hung, Lau, Mok, Chou ect..)appear to be exactley that, amongst a world of other styles of course.

    If you go to a Shaolin temple today, you will see / learn a current (ish) variation of what is now, but popular belief states that Hung Gar is most common now in China.

    depending on which Shaolin temple you go to, probably determines a lot of minor differences.

    The school he went to "Could" have been a school set up by someone back from learning in China some time, and they could have been at a generic shaolin temple, who knows :)
  6. TheMightyMcClaw

    TheMightyMcClaw Dashing Space Pirate

    Tell us what you find. I've found sometimes people will just say "Shaolin Kung Fu" when teaching a more specific style because "Shaolin" is a flashy name that catches people's attention. I've met people who did Wing Chun, Chow Gar, etc. under the name of "Shaolin Kung Fu."
    Also, I THINK it's sometimes used to refer to Lohan Arhat boxing. I learned a form which was never given a more specific name than "Shaolin quan", and the Lohan Arhat forms I've seen later looked very, very similar to it.
  7. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    To be honest,I have only been doing hsing-I for 2 years(I have way more exp with boxing and taekwondo,which niether I train anymore).Aside from what I read here,I doubt I will be able to identify what kf style he is doing.I am going to hook up with him and if I think its practical,maybe we will trade some stuff(that is if he is also good with that).I will report back when this happens,but I can't see that happening for a few weeks with my scheldule.
  8. Joe_

    Joe_ New Member

    Isn't Long Fist (Chángquán) sometimes referred to as Northern Shaolin?
  9. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    If this is true,you may have hit the nail on the head.He did state his style is a/the(?) longfist style.
  10. 19thlohan

    19thlohan Beast and the Broadsword

    Shaolin can be a system by itself. Today most people refer to it as Bei Shaolin or Bak Sil Lum to separate it from the many off shoots that also use the shaolin name but originally there were no other Shaolin styles so the prefix was unnecessary. Some lineages still call it simply Shaolin. There are several variations of the style becuase different lines preserved and modified the style there own way but still consider it to be pure Shaolin. Systems claiming to be Just Shaolin should be of a northern long fist flavor.
  11. Shen Yin

    Shen Yin Sanda/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

    Is there such a thing as Shaolin Kung Fu? Not anymore, really. It’s mostly just a label, not much else. Once the actual training regimens of Shaolin died off, along with what documentation may have been, so did the fighting abilities themselves.

    There may still be schools who maintain the practices, but they’re very far and few between.
  12. PlumDragon

    PlumDragon "I am your evil stimulus"

    It is likely that he simply hasnt inquired much beyond the basic name fo the style--and really, if the training is good then the name of the style should make NO difference whatsoever.

    With that said, there are legitimate schools of study that teach "Shaolin Kung Fu" as a blanket term. With more digging, inquiring with the sifu, etc, you will find that they are likely teaching one or more of a variety of styles/substyles and sets, ranging from Nothern Long Fist, Tan Tui, one of a few lineages of 5 animal kung fu, lohan quan, iron skills, marrow washing (18 elder stuff), Lost Track (Mi Zhong), etc etc...

    "Shaolin Kung Fu" does not scream McDojo. You should learn more about their curriculum before making any hasty judgements because of what a few people on an internet forum say.

    EDIT: What part of the country are you in? Does his school have a website?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2006
  13. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I agree,with the state of ma these days its easy to discount someones heritage.There is a lot of bs out there.I guess the only way I am going to find out is to train with the guy.

    Being not so well versed in kf history and labels,I wanted to see if there was any chance of validy in what I was told.And there is,so I am going to hook up with this guy and see what its all about.

    He has not come right out and asked for any hsing-I,but he did state he has always wanted to pick up the style.He said this after I told him my background and that i was a novice.He has many more years of kf then I do,so maybe he feels it won't be a problem for him to self correct.Either way,its always a good thing to know more folks in kf that you can call friends,even if your not exchanging material.Who knows where this will lead.

    I do really like hsing-I,but one thing I do miss is the longer forms that I used to practice in my old style.This may end up being a good blend for both of us,if it gets to that level.
  14. PlumDragon

    PlumDragon "I am your evil stimulus"

    And thats what its all about!! Regardless of his skill, style, or attitude, if you go in there with the goal to learn, you will always come away from that sort of situation with something new to think about.

    Who wouldnt?? Xing yi rocks! ;)

    Bahhhh...You just need a longer driveway =)
  15. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    No web site,he said his school has been closed for a few years now.In a e-mail he stated that its the same style as Qu Zheng Yuan does and teaches.I have no idea who this person is.

    We are in Chicago,but I am not sure where the school was.All things I ll learn in time.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2006
  16. JaiReef

    JaiReef Valued Member

  17. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

  18. JaiReef

    JaiReef Valued Member

  19. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    Thanks Jaireef,this info is very helpful.I wonder if my friend has this dvd.
  20. JaiReef

    JaiReef Valued Member

    Last edited: Aug 1, 2006

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