instructor: monk Xingsen, from Shaolin temple
Shaolin Buddhahood style (罗汉拳: luohan quan):
– ‘combat strategy’: this style teaches tactics of camouflaging and avoidance. Shaolin monks are Buddhists and Buddhahood is their way. in Shaolin kung fu, “Zen Buddhism and martial art unite (禅拳合一)”. in the Buddhahood style, moves are hidden behind the Buddhists’ Amituofo! (阿弥陀佛) salutation and other holy images of the enlightened Buddhists (the luohans in Chinese, the Arhats in Sanskrit). Amituofo is the prayer for infinite life, infinite light, and infinite wisdom, to credit respect and prohibit violence. it is to avoid direct confrontation and violence. in a confrontation, ‘peace is better than victory, retreating is the first tactic, avoid rather than oppose, deflect rather than block, block rather than hurt, hurt rather than wound, wound rather than kill, because life is precious, and a life lost is lost forever.’ this is both a virtue and a defensive/offensive camouflage. the “beauty tactic (美人计)” is about camouflaging with inoffensive, friendly means in order to avoid direct confrontation. for defense, “golden cicada sheds its shell (金蝉脱壳),” change the appearance of your moves to something that does not attract opponent’s attention, and for offense, “hide the knife behind a smile (笑里藏刀),” hide your offensive moves behind inoffensive masks. these involve low stances, turns, and other covering moves to keep the offensive and defensive moves hidden to the last moment, and also fully controlled moves to stop, avoid, or control the opponent rather than hitting or hurting him directly. these are the main tactics of Shaolin Buddhahood style.
– ‘history’: Shaolin monks developed luohan quan as the earliest style based on the luohan 18 hands in the earlier eras of Shaolin temple. at the beginning of the Song dynasty in the 960s AD, this style was first officially recorded into the ‘Shaolin kung fu manual’ by chief monk Fuju (福居). ever since, it has been considered as the purest and most representative style of Shaolin kung fu.
Shaolin kung fu tutorial:
– training: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB9EB410ECABF43C8
– styles: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8F75C68BF1246C2B
– weapons: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE48D537F756421A2