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Study the Chinese martial arts in Yangshuo and learn all levels of traditional shaolin martial arts from disciples of the famous northern Songshan mountain temple protection monks. Our school offers training to everyone, regardless of your levels of experience from ages 8 and up. Learn the basics or gain more knowledge in Shaolin Kung Fu. No matter what your reasons are, you are welcome to Yangshuo Shaolin Kungfu School.
Here you will find a sample of what Shaolin Kung Fu training is like. Each participant will come to us at different skill levels and will achieve more with strong dedication to our program. Our training program is similar to that other Chinese martial arts like Wing Chun, Tai Chi, Mantis, Bagua, Zingyi, and others. Below you will find what you can expect to experience depending on the amount of time you dedicate to mastering the art of Shaolin.
Shaolin Kung Fu was born in China at the foot of SongShan mountain. With 1500 years history Shaolin is the center of martial arts for both China and the world. Shaolin practitioners develop speed, strength, dexterity and endurance. Externally the arts strengthen your tendons, bones and muscles.
Internally Kung Fu promotes organ health and strengthens the flow of Qi through the meridians. Shaolin arts develop your spirit and physical body, giving a mental and physical edge to athletes of any sport and those from all walks of life
A popular version recounts the story of a monk from India called Bodhidarma (the Chinese call him Da Mo) who arrived in China during the Wei Dynasty. After meeting the emperor of the time, he sat in a cave near the Shaolin temple for 9 years practicing Chan (called Zen in Japan) meditation.
He invented kung Fu to protect him from wild animals, and later taught it to the monks in the temple so that their bodies would be strong enough to sustain long meditation. The Shaolin temple has a stone to prove it with the imprint of Da Mos body.
Another account says that the monks invented the story above, but developed Kung Fu themselves. Some of the lower ranking monks already knew martial arts before entering the temple.
They improved their Wushu skills when they helped the King of Qin to become Emperor of China; as a result, they were awarded military status. They developed an army of monk soldiers, becoming great Wushu warriors during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
A third legend states that Wushu was simply invented to fight against animals. When men were hunting for food, they studied the animals and, by copying their movements, created Wushu. The weapon styles come from the first wars. Originally, men created them to have weapons for war, and then used them in martial arts.
Finally, another theory is that while traveling to beg for food, the monks learned martial arts from families around China. They then came back to Shaolin and synthesized them. Following the destruction of the Shaolin temple, most of the monks fled, and started teaching and spreading Shaolin Quan all over China.
The official version of Shaolin martial arts is that a time came in China when martial arts were forbidden, and anybody engaged in martial arts was executed. The best of martial arts practitioners went to practice where they would be safe. Temples were not disturbed by the Government and thus, became safe havens.
One of those places was the Shaolin temple. Shaolin took the best of Chinese martial arts and blended it to create Shaolin martial arts. Monks and the temple disciples who left the temple spread the Shaolin martial arts to the whole of China. Like all the great legends, it is difficult to pinpoint the real origin of Chinese martial arts. But Shaolin is the cradle of Chinas martial arts. It is also called the home and heart of Chinese Wushu.
An excellent description of the Shaolin style can be found in old training manuals: in Shaolin forms, advance is like lightning. Retreat is like the wind. The head moves like the waves. The body looks as steady as a mountain. The body flows like a flying dragon. The hands move like shooting stars. All movements spring from the human mind and nature. Attacks are hard and strong but not excessive; they can bend like the reed in the wind, changing from one type of attack to another.
Soft punches are like breezes delicately caressing willow twigs; hard blows are like lightning and thunderstorms. The attacks contain feints and surprising strikes combined to react to your enemies defense. In the Shaolin style, defense is like a gentle girl, soft but not weak. Attacks are tiger-like, violent and appropriate.
Below is a demonstration of Wu Bu Quan, the 5 basic steps of Shaolin. Each of those movements is used in nearly all Chinese martial arts. In traditional martial art each movement of the routines, whatever they are, can be used for defensive or offensive purposes. Examples are Wu Bu Quan, then Shaolin seven stars and Liu He Quan.
The movements depend on whether you are learning competition/performance or traditional forms. There are no practical application studies (or very little) in competition. Traditional forms are very practical: the movements are effective for defense and attack. Competition forms are different: their main purpose is to be aesthetically beautiful. Nowadays in China most teachers are of the competition forms.
Kung Fu or Gong Fu or Gung Fu (, Pinyin: Gng Fu) is a Chinese term often used by speakers of the English language to refer to Chinese martial arts. Its original meaning is somewhat different, referring to one's expertise in any skill, not necessarily martial. The Chinese literal equivalent of "Chinese martial art" would be zhnggu wsh.
In its original meaning, Kung Fu can refer to any skill. Gng Fu () is a compound of two words, combining (Gng) meaning "achievement" or "merit", and (F) which translates into "man", so that a literal rendering would be "human achievement". Its connotation is that of an accomplishment arrived at by great effort. In Mandarin, when two "first tone" words such as Gng and F are combined, the second word often takes a neutral tone, in this case forming GngFu.
Originally, to practice Kung Fu did not just mean to practice Chinese martial arts. Instead, it referred to the process of one's training - the strengthening of the body and the mind, the learning and the perfection of one's skills - rather than to what was being trained. It refers to excellence achieved through long practice in any endeavor.
You can say that a person's Kung Fu is good in cooking, or that someone has Kung Fu in calligraphy; saying that a person possesses Kung Fu in an area implies skill in that area, which they have worked hard to develop. Someone with "bad Kung Fu" simply has not put enough time and effort into training, or seems to lack the motivation to do so. Kung Fu is also a name used for the elaborate Fujian tea ceremony (Kung-Fu Cha).
The term Kung Fu was not popularly used in the sense of "Chinese martial art" until the 20th century, thus the word would be seldom found in any ancient texts. The term was first known to have been reported by the French Jesuit missionary Jean Joseph Marie Amiot, in the 18th century.
The term was uncommon in the mainstream English language until the late 1960s, when it became popular due to Hong Kong films, Bruce Lee, and later the television series Kung Fu. Before the 1960s Kung Fu was referred to primarily as "Chinese boxing".
In contemporary hacker culture the fu has been generalized to a suffix, implying that the thing suffixed involves great skill or effort. For example, one may talk of "script-Fu" to refer to complicated scripting. It is unknown whether this was consciously based on the original, broader meaning of the term or whether it was a simple wordplay on the less general Western notion of "Kung Fu".
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art that is primarily practiced for its health benefits, including a means for dealing with tension and stress. Among the martial arts, there are two basic types: the hard martial arts and the soft martial arts. The latter are also called internal arts. Examples of the soft martial arts are Ba Gua and Tai Chi. Tai Chi emphasizes complete relaxation, and is essentially a form of meditation, or what has been called "meditation in motion."
Unlike the hard martial arts, Tai Chi is characterized by soft, slow, flowing movements that emphasize force, rather than brute strength. Though it is soft, slow, and flowing, the movements have power and martial application, and are regarded by many as the highest form of martial arts.
How Tai Ji started is also an unresolved legend - it depends on what you want to believe! According to one story, Tai Ji came from Wudang Mountain, and was created by a Taoist named Zhang Sanfeng, who applied the principles of Taoist philosophy. According to another story, Tai Ji was developed in a village inhabited by the Chen family, (in particular Chen Wang Ting, who was a general in the imperial army). The Chen family was expert at Shaolin cannon boxing (Pao Chui) and, in this version of the story; Tai Ji is just a softer form of Shaolin influenced by Wudang thought (soft overcoming hard).
Tai Ji is the most famous Chinese martial art of the internal styles. It consists of fluid movements; the whole body moves in a circular pattern. Competition Tai Ji is the most popular form at home, in China and abroad the gracefulness of the movements fascinates most people.
Traditional Tai Ji does not have those graceful movements; during the whole form the practitioner is totally centered on the Qi (energy) inside the body.
The movements are very much internal. The two worlds of competition and traditional Tai Ji do not mix. Competition Tai Ji and not traditional Tai Ji, contain lots of details to make it more beautiful to look at, but have nothing to do with the qi or health or martial arts.
Even nowadays more and more Tai Ji is created as some Chinese martial artists want to leave their imprints on Chinese martial arts. The fact is that there is only one Qi, and the differences between internal martial arts are superficial.
What is interesting is that nowadays some people emphasize the internal forms over the external. In reality, most of the greatest Tai Ji masters were originally experts in an external martial art.
The Chen family were expert in Shaolin cannon boxing, Pao Chui; Wu Yu Xiang, Sun Lu Tang and Yang Lu Chan were expert in Shaolin Hong Quan (Shaolin red fist). Even Hun Yuan Tai Ji nowadays is inspired by Shaolin Pao Chui.
How to progress; this is how Chinese martial arts should be learned. By cross training, of course you can always come to prefer one style. It is sad, though, when some people denigrate one style over another. Very often this comes from misconception and misinformation. What matters most when choosing a martial arts style is: does that martial art suit you? How hard are you willing to practice? How knowledgeable is your teacher?
Yang style Tai Ji: Yang style is usually seen as gentle and graceful (only competition Tai Ji is gentle and graceful!), with slow movements, which are easy to learn and promote good health. Yang style is suitable for almost all ages and physical conditions. It was created by Yang Lu-Chan, who learned Tai Ji at Chen village. Most people know the modern version, a shortened form of 24 movements. If you practice the older traditional Yang style, you will discover a more powerful form of Tai Ji (laoliulu).
Chen style Tai Ji: Chen style is more powerful (in appearance), using a lot of Fa Jing (explosive power) and low stances. Chen style is more difficult (in a physical way) and physically demanding. There is much more emphasis on power. It is the oldest style of Tai Ji.
The art of Tai Chi has no end to its depth. It demands a great deal of commitment to go through a lifetime of practice to perfect it. We must understand the difficulty ahead so that we can prepare and improve ourselves though everyday life.
Master Fan Hengshuai is the school principal and head coach. He is a favorite disciple of Master Liu Baoshan who is the 8th generation direct of Shaolin Kung-Fu and one of China's top ten famous Shao lin Kung Fu contemporary Master.
Fan Hengshuai (Jason) is the 10th generation successor of traditional Shaolin Kung-Fu. He went to Shaolin Ta Gou Wushu School which is the biggest one in the world to study Kung-Fu in 1998. July of 2003 he graduated from Shaolin
Ta Gou Wushu School, and then taught in the "Shaolin Kung-Fu International Trainees Service Center" of the school. June of 2005 he resigned and came to Yangshuo and set up the school here.
Joe is a nutrition fanatic and passionate martial artist. He is a qualified healing Dao instructor. After training at multiple Kung-Fu schools across china the lack in nutrition from the school meals are what Joe set out to rectify here at Yangshuo Shaolin, providing a diet to support intensive training and optimal health. Joseph was bought up in Somerset, England and speaks fluent Mandarin.
Master Fan founded Yangshuo Shaolin in 2005 here in Yangshuo. The purpose to give students the ability to learn Kung Fu in English in one of the most beautiful settings in the world. We operate Shaolin Kung Fu (Gong Fu) school in Yangshuo China.
Students who sincerely wish to learn the Chinese martial arts are invited to come to southern (Yang Shuo) China and learn all levels of traditional shaolin martial arts from disciples of the famous northern Songshan Mountain temple protection monks.
Male and female from the ages of 8 and up are welcome to train. Yangshuo Shaolin offers training in the following; Shaolin Kung Fu, Shaolin traditional forms, the Shaolin weapon forms, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, Tai Chi weapon forms, Xing YiQuan and San Da (Chinese kick boxing).
If you prepare yourself physically your training will be easier. Exercises that you could do before arriving; stretching (15 minutes a day), jogging 3 - 4 times a week (30 minutes per time) will be useful.
"The Guilin scenery is the most beautiful under heaven, but Yangshuo possible be called better than Guilin Scenery. Yangshuo has become the world mutual recognition the Chinese travelling famous country. Today west street is precisely the Yangshuo China and the west culture exchange center is the Chinese biggest foreign language angle.
It is a small touristy county and city surrounded by many karst mountains and beautiful scenery near Guilin, Guangxi. Yangshuo county is 1 1/2 hrs away from Guilin city. It has incredible karst scenery and a parade of Chinese package tourists who can be spotted wearing baseball caps and following a tour leader who carries a flag.
However, it isn't your typical Chinese town. Yangshuo has a reputation as a foreigners' village in Southern China. This town feels like one of the stops on the travelers' trail, with lots of the same people you'd expect in Katmandu, Sihanoukville, or Dali. It does not have a big China-city feel to it. It is more like a vacation town, with wonderful restaurants and shops.
Many travellers use Yangshuo as a base and spend their time exploring the karst scenery and rivers, or checking out the many caves and local temples. Renting a bike and taking off into the countryside, with or without a guide, is one popular strategy. There is also a whole community of rock climbers enjoying the cliffs and mountains.
Others just take it easy in the many cafes and bars. While this certainly isn't the whole story, the town is in some ways a break from the rest of hectic and bustling China. For this reason, it is very popular with foreigners who work in China.
Yangshuo is a small place; the town can easily be covered on foot. There is an electric minibus network consisting five routes covering most parts of town. 1 CNY per ride. The main tourist area is laid out roughly like a ladder. The two main tourist streets run more-or-less parallel up from the river and end at one of the town's larger streets.
There are assorted smaller streets (rungs) crossing between the two larger streets. The street (ladder vertical) on the left seen from the River is West Street ( Xijie) and is the older more established tourist street, the real center of things. The other long tourist street is Diecuilu ( ).
There's a small creek that runs down the center of the "ladder", some of the prettiest bars and restaurants in town are on balconies near it. The street there is called Guiha Lu. It has recently undergone heavy rebuilding and now has many new shops, bars and restaurants. Toward the river end, it curves to intersect Diecielu.
At the "foot of the ladder" by the river is an open area with a large number of vendors hawking all sorts of tourist stuff, both from shops and from handcarts. There are also a number of rather nice riverside hotels.
Across the "top of the ladder" is a major street (Pantao Lu) with many hotels. The town's main bus station is at the corner where that main street meets Die Cui Lu. The intersection has a large open area that becomes very busy at night, with dozens of restaurants and hundreds of diners. Do not expect English menus or non-Chinese dishes.
There are a number of banks located in town. On West Street there is the Bank of China, Agricultural Bank and ICBC. On Pantao Lu there are a few others, including the China Postal Bank and another near the fresh food markets.
Be aware that not all banks have ATMs, and not all ATMs will handle foreign card transactions. The post office is on Pantao Lu, opposite the top end of West Street. It's open from 08:00 until 21:00.
Chinese paintings of the local Karst scenery.
Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts are common. There has never been a real Hard Rock Cafe (part of the chain) in Yangshuo, though at least two now defunct places used the name.)
Postcards and picture books of the area, in stores or hawked by older women on the street.
Silver and embroidery pieces by local minorities.
Small pieces, such as embroidered Zhuang minority love balls, are also available. You should also bargain on these, of course. Prices for large pieces are high, but some pieces may be worth them.
T-shirts (Chinese characters with different slogans, such as "I have no money", or "Foreigner coming" on the front and "Foreigner going" on the back.
Yangshuo is a great place to eat. There are dishes from all over the world and just about any region in China. You can eat cheaply in the markets with the locals or you can try comfort food in one of the many cafes in town.
A local specialty, something most Chinese tourists try. Beware: If you buy fish, the price displayed on the menu may be the price per 500g. A largish fish may cost you well over 100 CNY. Also, the local cuisine can be spicy but you can request keeping the chilies out if you don't like your food hot.
Yangshuo produces very sweet and juicy grapefruit or pomelos (sha tian you), which can be bought everywhere for 1 - 2 CNY. Ask the vendor to choose one with a small top and cut it up for you.
It seems almost every restaurant in Yangshuo offers burgers, shepherd's pie and a Western breakfast. Most of the staff in these places speaks reasonable English, a few excellent. In general, the standard of the food is quite high.
However, there is much menu copying and some places serve rather bizarre impressions of Western dishes as prepared by Chinese chefs without the original recipe. In particular, be prepared for odd looking and tasting bread and copies of western cakes and deserts.
Also, in these places the standard of the Chinese food is generally hit or miss, since Western food is their specialty. Note that it will be much more expensive than eating in China usually is. Many of these offers free Internet access, but they generally only have one machine so you may have to wait a bit.
Bamboo rafting: Rafting along the Yulong river is particularly popular in summer, but travelers should take care not to go rafting if the water is brown and turbulent. In 2005 there was a fatality during high floods.
Exploring caves: There are an abundance of caves riddling the limestone hills. Guided tours are available. More serious cavers should talk to the staff at the various climbing shops (listed above) for information about possible cave climbs.
Swimming in the Li Jiang River: During the summer the water and air temperature is good for swimming.
Yangdi - Xingping: This walk is a far more peaceful way to enjoy the Li river and mountain scenery than a loud noisy boat down the river. It takes you along the pebbly shores of the river, through many small villages, fields and bamboo forests.
Pashmina scarves (Cashmere by a different name).
Pottery, bronze, stone carvings, bracelets, and knickknacks of all sorts.
Scroll paintings, fans and embroidered cloths.
Silk products: ties, kimonos, scarves, dresses.
There is a huge amount of touristy stuff available. Much of this stuff is lovely, really very tempting. However, quite a bit of it is fake and nearly all of it is available all over China and cheaper outside of Yangshuo.
Yangshuo has no airport. The nearest airport is in Guilin (airport code KWL) serviced by a number of domestic and international carriers, with several daily flights from Beijing and Shanghai.
As yet, there are no direct buses from the airport to Yangshuo. There is an airport bus you can take 20 CNY, makes 3 stops - get off at the second stop near the train station for buses to Yangshou but beware of touts who will meet you and charge greatly inflated ticket prices, upwards of 30 CNY.
You can also get off at the last stop in Guilin and then take a bus or boat to Yangshuo. Be aware that like most bus services in China, the bus won't leave the airport until full so you may be faced with a wait.
If you book your accommodation ahead of time, most hotels in Yangshuo can arrange for a car pick you up from Guilin Airport and take you to Yangshuo for around 300 CNY.
If you take a taxi from Guilin Airport to Yangshou, you can take the expressway. This will cost you 30 CNY extra for the tolls but reduces the ride from 2 to 1 hour.
One of the best routes to take to Yangshuo if you wish to head there directly is to fly to Hong Kong, cross the border to Shenzhen, then take a flight from there to Guilin. Both China Southern Airlines and Shenzhen Airways serve this route.
Flying directly from Hong Kong to Guilin can be quite a bit more expensive as the route is considered an international sector and international taxes apply. Either way, the flight takes about 50 minutes.
There are frequent minibuses and express buses to Yangshuo from Guilin All buses terminate at the bus terminal in Yangshuo. Minibuses depart from the square in front of the Guilin railway station (14 CNY, buy tickets on the bus once it is underway. Invariably touts will try to sell you a more expensive ticket before the bus departs, even coming onto the bus. The best approach is simply to ignore them).
The journey takes between one and one-and-a-half hours as buses stop along the way. Express buses (15 CNY, buy tickets from counter inside terminal) depart every half hour from the Guilin bus terminal off Zhongshan Zhong Lu and take just an hour. In Yangshuo, wait for minibuses at the exit of the bus terminal at Die Cui Lu.
The first bus to depart will be at the head of the queue. Express buses depart half hourly starting at 07:00 a.m. from their allotted bay inside the terminal. Buy tickets from the glass counter. Scam Alert: On the bus from Guilin, unscrupulous hawkers frequently stop the bus before the center of town (near the service station) urging you to get off while claiming this is Yangshuo and the bus will continue to another place.
The bus conductor will often be complicit in the scam and even tell you that you've arrived at the bus station. The tout's goal is to get you to pay them to take you to the centre of town and to their hotel. Note: Buses from Guangdong really don't go to the bus station; they just let you off in town, a ten-minute walk from the main tourist area following the signs to West Street.
Overnight sleeper buses run direct to Yangshuo from Shenzhen on the Hong Kong border, from Zhuhai on the Macau border, and from Guangzhou. This cost around 100 - 250 CNY depending on which station in Shenzhen you want to depart from and how new of a bus you want to travel on. The buses from the border in Shenzhen are the most expensive.
There are also boats that travel down the Li River from Guilin, slower and more expensive (more than 400 CNY) than buses, but a very scenic journey. You may be able to travel for about 100 CNY by joining a tour group. You will pass by what is considered some of China's most famous scenic views, including a mountain view that can be seen on all 20 CNY bills.
In the winter time, which is the dry season, the boats often only travel starting halfway down the Li River from Guilin. A tour company will inform you of this. It is still worth taking the journey. You will then travel part of the way by bus or private taxi, then join the boat where the water is deep enough (this may vary).
Yangshuo is not served by train and the nearest railway station is in Guilin. An overnight train from Shenzhen (on the Hong Kong border) goes direct to Guilin. Some hotels will arrange pick up from the train station. Minibuses to Yangshuo conveniently depart from the square in front of Guilin railway station.