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Escape the noisy city and hide yourself away in a village at the foot of the mountain of Changping, Beijing. Experience the essence of Shaolin Kung Fu while pursuing your inner peace through Zen meditation, and inspire your innate wisdom through the study of ancient Chinese philosophy. Understand what it takes to elevate your mind and body to a place where you will achieve mental purification and an enhanced quality of life!
Accommodation will be in a shared room with 2 - 4 persons with a shared toilet and shower in a beautiful traditional courtyard (Siheyuan).
17:30 Meet at Nanshao Subway Station and transfer to Xiangtang Village
18:00 Meet and greet
19:30 Orientation and Zen seminar 1: The Vippassana meditation, the three dharma seals, and the four noble truths
Unrestricted by space, Shaolin Kung Fu footwork is not restricted by space. When the body, mind, and qi are united, the whole body will become highly coordinated. Hence, punches will become natural and powerful. The most important part of Kung Fu training is building a good foundation and this comes from the good flow of qi. Therefore, the practice of Kung Fu is the cultivation of qi, and this arises from the heart and mind, thus, the cultivation of qi is also the cultivation of heart and mind.
Zen martial arts practice accentuates the absence of desire, ultimate stillness which gives rise to motion, and through motion one reflects upon oneself (body, mind, and qi), so as to keep body, mind, and qi integrated. Thus, it is necessary to achieve a pure heart and a clear conscience. A serious Kung Fu practitioner must be vegetarian. Understanding the importance of adhering to a healthy diet, together with exercises will help open up all apertures, encourage good metabolism. The body becomes relaxed and natural.
According to traditional Shaolin Kung Fu principles, Kung Fu training is also the training of the mind. If the mind is not focused, it will adversely affect quality of ones training. When the mind is at peace and the heart concentrates, the body will be relaxed, and your breathing will be smooth, training will achieve better results. Training is about perseverance, dedication, and diligence. Behold the spirit of constant effort brings success. Haste makes waste and dedication brings success.
Shaolin Wugulun style Kung Fu is the orthodox Shaolin martial arts. It consists of practical fighting techniques created in the last thousand years by warrior monks of Shaolin Temple through actual combat. Through generations of refinement and extraction, Shaolin Martial Arts grew into a system of martial arts, which integrates Zen practice and practical combat. The unique training method has also turned this system into a brilliant health maintenance, and convalescence tool.
Kung Fu emphasizes on power, forges the coordination of the whole body through the integration of heart, mind, and qi, the synchronization of hands and feet, as well as swiftness and the agility of the body without brute force. One must seek lightness, agility, adhesion, and rotation in practice; start from elementary to complex, from complex to simple, and ultimately return to the core values and true principles.
Xin Yi Ba is the highest level of the secret skills of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu and is of considerable interest to many people. Xin Yi Ba is also known as Chu Jue Tou. It was developed by Shaolin monks using Kung Fu movements while farming. The exact date of the founding of Xin Yi Ba cannot be traced because of the number of disasters which befell the Shaolin Temple, resulting in the loss and destruction of many valuable historical manuscripts.
The study of Xin Yi Ba is to practice, fortify ones qi and ones outer strength with the purpose of manipulating that qi to nourish ones internal organs and to enrich the muscles of the body. Then, one can move the qi out of the body as well - and, in some situations, protect the body from being injured. Learning to control ones qi also helps to create a calm mind, prevent illness, and strengthen ones body.
The Three Sections (Ming San Jie) - the body has three main sections: hands to shoulders (upper section), chest to waist (middle section), and hips to feet (root section). The relationship between the three sections has its own unique function. For example, when a movement is performed from one of the three sections, the other two sections must be in harmony in order to generate the power from the movement performed. This means any movements must be supported by the power generated from the whole body. This explains how important it is for practitioners to understand the Three Sections.
The Four Extremity Sensations (Qi Si Shao) - According to the original Kung Fu theory, all parts of the body are connected to the central nervous system. For example, the hair is assumed to be the ending of the blood, the nails are the ending of the ligaments, the teeth are the ending of the bones, and the tongue is the ending of the muscles. While practicing, it is possible to experience sensations such as the hair lifting the scalp, the nails trying to penetrate the bones, the teeth biting through steel, and the tongue trying to push the teeth out of place. These sensations are symptoms of the internal power that is being generated. As the qi rises from the Dantian (lower abdomen), an involuntary sound is produced with each movement. All parts of the body are set into motion and the internal power can be expressed to maximum effectiveness.
Guarding the Five Elements (Bi Wu Xing) - The Chinese ancestors used the theory of the five elements to explain the relationship between the five major organs of the body. They believed that the world consists of five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, which should all exist in balance and harmony with each other. In later years, ancient Kung Fu practitioners used the theory of the five elements in Kung Fu training as well. For example, the hand is linked to the heart, which represents the element of fire, and the nose is linked to the lung, which represents the element of metal. Fire is capable of melting metal, thus the nose can be damaged easily by the hand. The five major organs are like five entrances of the body, one has to guard ones own entrances and restrain ones opponent from attacking them.
The Three Voids (San Kong) - The Emptiness of the heart (Xin Kong) enables one to purify the heart and calm the mind, which makes one thought-free, and fearless. The Emptiness of the body (Shen Kong) enables one to release any tightness in the body so that one can move fluently and smoothly. The Emptiness of the eyes (Mu Kong) enables one to consider everybody and everything as hidden from view so that one can assume superiority and thus show no fear when facing an enemy.
Importance of theories - when practicing Kung Fu, it is very important to understand the theory behind each method. Only by understanding what every part of the body is used for in each movement will one's practice be effective and efficient. The theories explained above are only some of the requirements of the practice of Xin Yi Ba. There are many more which cannot be put into words but must be experienced personally through training.
Liu He means the combination of six sections of the body, of which three are external and three internal. When these six sections are combined, one can develop limitless power within the body. Most people distinguish between external and internal martial arts and think that they are separate. However, they are not. Both the internal and the external elements have to be practiced together. The hardest combination is that of the heart (Xin) and what is known as intent/mind (Yi).
Training feet and hands, knees and elbows, and waist and shoulders in traditional Shaolin movements, one learns how to incorporate the three sections of the body, and through constant practice, learns how to set them in motion as a seamless whole. The most important aspect of internal training is one's mind and intention. One's intention must be combined with the qi and focused on each movement. Qi Gong is the art of breathing and although many theories relating to Qi Gong are similar, the methods of practice are different.
The immune system is consequently made stronger and more resistant to viruses and illness, and the body can generate more internal energy. This is how some people who practice Qi Gong have been able to cure sickness on their own when conventional medicine has failed.
These forms enable one to manipulate the qi and produce more physical power in fighting movements. Only when the mind is purified and combined with intent can one control their qi to the fullest extent, allowing it to flow smoothly through all the nerves. To achieve this power, ones heart, intent, energy, and power must be well combined.
Arrogance or a vain display of skill is against the rules and conduct of Shaolin Kung Fu. Don't be a show-off as there are many people more skilled then you are.
Discipline is one of the pillars of our traditional training.
Do not teach others until you know enough. Remember, Shaolin Kung Fu is a vast subject the study of which can take an entire lifetime.
No meat products are permitted in the school. Students must follow the Buddhist way and become vegetarians, eat no spicy food, drink no alcohol and not smoke.
Regardless of how much money or power someone has, authentic Shaolin Kung Fu cannot be bought; it requires time and effort.
Self-motivation is important. Students should listen to the Shifu and follow his advice. Students must learn how to practice on their own without the Shifu being present.
Students must respect and uphold the traditional Shaolin culture.
Students must respect and never harm their teacher and elders. They must also be kind and friendly to fellow students and treat them as brothers and sisters.
Students must not steal or commit any crimes.
Students must obey instructors and learn and practice what they are taught.
Students must train hard and with concentration. Traditional Shaolin Kung Fu is for health and self-defence. Only with hard and constant practice will you achieve success.
Students must never harm or use their skill against the innocent and helpless. Senior students cannot push around the beginners.
Private lessons with a qualified Chinese teacher can be arranged at 100 CNY per hour. After about 20 hours of private classes, you can then begin to study by yourself and practice with other Chinese students at the academy.
Physical preparation is not strictly required for this course. However, it will be helpful, as you will get used to the training schedule quicker. Generally speaking, the training is not as physically intense as the training in the Wushu schools, but it is difficult at times as it requires a lot of concentration, the training is mentally challenging. The only advice would be to first "empty yourself".
Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu Academy is located within Changpin district near Beijing in a prosperous rural village with all amenities. The Great Wall of China is visible on the jagged ridges of nearby mountain ranges, and ancient temples are within strolling distance. The school itself is housed within a traditional Beijing-style courtyard with red wooden pillars, sloping slate rooftops, and the murmurs of birdsong. The setting is ideal for the study of martial arts. The school is just close enough to the modern / international world for convenience, but far enough away to act as an authentic, first class retreat.
The academy only provides vegetarian food. In traditional Shaolin culture, the vegetarian diet that the students eat at Wugulun Kung Fu Academy is believed to cleanse the body from impurities in the blood, while making the qi tranquil, and helping to create a peaceful state of mind.
Shaolin Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple. Shaolin Kung Fu and a vegetarian diet have always been part of its culture. Traditional Kung Fu training is about saving and storing energy for every organ. We eat in order to get energy. Energy in natural food comes from the sun, the air, the water, and the earth. By going directly to the earth for their food, vegetarians receive the purest, best-quality energy straight from its source, not already processed by another being, such as an animal.
It is believed that this energy, of a finer quality, can be used for a higher purpose like Kung Fu and meditation. During the Ming Dynasty, the Manchurians were trying to seize China by force while the imperial government of the Ming Dynasty was corrupt and incompetent. At that time, scholars who were trying to save the country wrote books expounding theories on how this could be done. They also advocated the practice of martial arts.
When the Manchu's finally invaded China, many people with high ideals and integrity did not want to be slaves under a new regime so they fled to the mountains and lived in seclusion. Some entered into a religious life. They focused on martial arts intensively in order to acquire the fighting skills to regain their country. Many of them already had good Kung Fu skills and brought together their collective knowledge of various local styles of Kung Fu to create a refined form.
As time went on, Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu constantly improved and developed. Another important factor in Shaolin Kung Fu reaching such a high level of skill and importance is the vegetarianism of the Shaolin monks, who were all Buddhist and followed Buddhas teachings of eating no meat. The monks saw vegetarianism as a means of reaching a high level of training. In addition, being a vegetarian can aid the practitioner in achieving a higher level of endurance while training and fighting.
For example, animals like horses and buffalos are vegetarian, their main diet consists of grass and they have a tremendous amount of stamina while running, even when encumbered with heavy things. On the other hand, tigers and leopards, with their diet of meat only are only able to maintain short periods of power. From a scientific point of view, when an animal is killed, it is known that in their state of shock, an animal undergoes a process, by which its cells alter and create poisons in the flesh.
Buddhists believe that these poisons represent anger and fear, and remain trapped inside the animals flesh. When people eat this meat, the poisons and impurities enter their body, and people can easily get sick, angry, and depressed. When the mind and the body are in this unbalanced state, people cannot continue training on a regular basis. For traditional Shaolin culture, therefore, vegetarianism is not only important for religious beliefs, it is important for maintaining a healthy body as well.
Vegetarianism is a necessary foundation for attaining a high level of Kung Fu skills. Without a healthy body, ones Kung Fu cannot improve. In addition, vegetarianism helps to cleanse the body from impurities in the blood, while making the qi tranquil and helping to create a peaceful state of mind. Morality, ethics, and honor are other related issues. A Kung Fu practitioner spends his life studying something that in a split second, without a second thought, could be used to harm or kill someone. This ability has to be controlled.
The answer is the cultivation of a caring heart for all living creatures. A first basic principle should be to refuse to kill and eat animals. The anger that is brought out by combat training must be balanced out with a conscious effort to treat all people with compassion, understanding, and tolerance. Such principles of caring help create a balanced and healthy mind in which there is no threat that a Kung Fu practitioner will consider criminal wrongdoing.
As this level of conscience develops and expands, it helps to diminish negative feelings and behavior such as greed, anger, violence, and criminal acts of all kinds. This in turn allows the conscience of the Kung Fu practitioners to rise higher, and for them to eventually reach a state of enlightenment. An enlightened being has total awareness of his or her own self, body, and surrounding environment.
Enlightened Kung Fu practitioners are aware of fear and danger before ever seeing or knowing the source of those feelings and their reactions to danger, whether in training or in real combat, are much faster. This is essential for mastering high-level Kung Fu skills and vegetarianism is a vital element in reaching this state of total and complete awareness.
It is a concern for many people that vegetarian food does not supply enough nutrition to the body. This is, in fact, not the case. When eating a balanced vegetarian diet, the body will receive ample nutrition for vitality and health. Master Shi Dejian and his disciples are living proof of this. Vegetarianism is essential for those who are serious about mastering the highest levels of Kung Fu.
When you arrive at Beijing International Airport, take a subway (airport express) to Dongzhimen.
Transfer to subway line 13 to Xiergi.
Transfer subway line to Changping, and take subway to Nanshao Station.
Exit at B2 where you can catch a bus (No. 59 or 870) to Xiangtang Village.
"I have had an amazing training at Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu Academy Beijing. Everyone is so kind, really supportive, and patient as you learn. They offer so many different opportunities and I had an amazing time with them. I've now signed up for a 16-week course and hope to continue training with them whilst I stay in China."
Shaolin Wugulun website, edited
"I have trained two times at the Shaolin Wugulun Kung fu Academy, once was in August 2013, the recent time is in August 2014. Each times, I really loved my stay, first because the academy it is not a big touristical venue, and I realized that is a real chance to get to authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, an incredible opportunity to train with Shifu Xingxi, the disciple of Master Shi Dejian. Master adapts the training on your skills, and your will to progress.The training is different from what you may expect, no cardio training, no sit up, no push up. But still, I was sweating like mad! And at the end, I feel like my whole body had work a lot better without suffering so much like before. All the staff members are super friendly, they make me feel like at home, behaving with me like an old friend. For all that reasons, I believe, I will go back to train at the Wugulun academy, for the third time."
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"Kung Fu is my passion. I have not spared time and effort trying to find real Kung Fu. I have trained in many modern martial schools but, time and time again, I was disappointed. I came to discover that most martial arts training were a little different to ordinary sports. They were missing something: the essence of Kung Fu!What is the essence of Kung Fu? It is the awareness of the way the body and its internal organs work together. It is knowing how to build, develop and understand one's internal energy, Qi. All these steps are essential for one to attain real skill and power in Kung Fu movements and, no less important, to achieve physical and spiritual well-being. Many people think that the real Shaolin Kung Fu is what they see in the performances. I, too, thought so before!However, many monks living at Shaolin Temple today just have partial knowledge of traditional Shaolin Kung Fu. We mostly see modern wushu with most of the Kung Fu forms altered to look nice, fast, and spectacular. Wushu is not about fighting, it is all about show. Fortunately, through persistent efforts for many years and personal research carried out at Shaolin Temple, I have found a real master who teaches the true meaning of Kung Fu.It is a real honour and formidable experience to learn from the great Master Dejian and his disciples. They teach their unique brand of authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, Cha'n Buddhism and Chinese Traditional Medicine. I now want to help those fellow martial art enthusiasts looking for the all too rare real Shaolin Kung Fu."
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"I first got involved with Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu a few years ago when Naomi Lee, the school's coordinator and also my good friend, introduced me to this style of Kung Fu. I had met her in 2002 in the Shaolin village in Dengfeng, Henan Province, where I had gone to study.A few years later she showed me some video clips on YouTube and also the website of the Kung Fu school, the Shaolin Wugulun Kung Fu Academy, where she worked. Looking at the clips and the website, the first thing I noticed was the different stances and way of defending. I have been practicing Shaolin Kung Fu for about 12 years but this was really different from what I knew.I told Naomi that if I went to China, I would go to this school because of the traditional style taught there. I prefer the traditional style to the wushu look-a-like Shaolin Kung Fu that you see in most Kung Fu schools in and around Dengfeng. I wanted to learn the true essence of Shaolin Kung Fu in its more original state. It was very odd to start all over again after twelve years of experience doing another form.During my stay in Dengfeng in 2002 we used to wake up early in the morning and go running up the mountain for half an hour and then start stretching and doing basics movements for about two hours. At the Wugulun Academy, they start with standing in different stances and breathing exercises for at least one hour. I have been told that the reason for this is that, according to the Wugulun teaching, the morning is the best time to receive and store Qi energy.Heavy running in the morning is a waste of the energy we have got from the whole nights sleep and people can feel exhausted for this reason. Some light jogging is, however, acceptable. It was pretty strange for us to train like this because usually we run around a lot, do a lot of stretching, push ups, fast movements - hard training that makes you tired. This was completely different!There were more slow movements, no focus on stretching or muscle training and no endurance training. The way they moved was hard to follow - it took almost a week for us to get the same feeling. Also they walked very lightly but firmly on their feet and were able to move around very quickly. Some forms (taolu) are not fast but very powerful. You can notice it by the way they breathe while doing a form.Although I knew all the stances, I had to learn them in this style. It is possible that some people, if they have been training for a long time in the more usual Kung Fu forms, will find this form strange and maybe uncomfortable. I didnt mind because I didnt have any expectation of what would happen so I emptied my mind and let it all come to me.To be honest, in the beginning it did take a few days for me to feel comfortable with the Wugulun Kung Fu movements. Now it feels almost second nature. For the short period that I stayed, I learned a lot - but that doesnt mean I know a lot! I had a great time while I was there. The lessons were great and the people were all very kind and fun to hang out with even after the training."
Shaolin Wugulun website, edited
"My stay at the temple was a true life changing experience! It was not only about the Kung Fu, neither the beauty of the environment and the temple. I got to explore my physical borders and stretch my mental and sentimental borders.This has made me feel extremely revitalized after a very challenging phase in my life. Now I have discovered new ways of thinking, feeling and exercising. It is a complete re-boot for the mind, the body, and the soul. I thank the temple and Naomi for making this happens."
Shaolin Wugulun website, edited