Kung Fu Shaolin Monks Philosophy Helpful In Times
Of Adversity

Kung fu Shaolin monks practised Chinese martial arts not just for philosophy or self defence (self defense), but as a way of life intended to benefit them on a physical, mental and spiritual level. In times of hardship, such as the financial crisis that we are facing now, this knowledge helps us cope with our modern fast paced lives that lead to stress and anxiety.

The legend of the Shaolin temple and its Shaolin martial monks was first born around the year 540 AD, when the Indian monk Bodhidarma travelled to China to see the emperor.

Bodhidarma introduced to the Shaolin monks eighteen movements derived from traditional Indian Yoga. This was designed to increase their physical and mental strength as well as the flow of Chi energy. It was these eighteen movements that would become kung fu (KF) as we know it today, after being perfected and expanded for nearly 1,500 years.

When we look at the story of Shaolin, we see the benefits that KF was originally intended to give us. The Shaolin monks began practicing KF not just for self defence (self defense), but as a way of life intended to benefit them on a physical, mental and spiritual level.

KF has been constantly perfected and built upon over the centuries, creating the vast array of styles and variations that we know today. The style of KF that we learn at Golden Lion is called Hung Kuen, which is a style based upon the original Southern style of Shaolin Kung fu.

Although KF has changed over time and often become more focused on the ‘martial’ side of things, the core messages and philosophy remain the same as what Bodhidarma taught the Shaolin monks nearly 1,500 years ago.

Kung fu incorporates not only Buddhist philosophy, but also the philosophy of Taoism (pronounced ‘Daoism’). The teachings of the founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu and his manuscript the ‘Tao Te Ching’ have been incorporated into the teachings of KF, teaching us how to live in harmony with nature and within ourselves.

Over the centuries, Shaolin monks incorporated many different animal styles into their KF, many of which are taught at Golden Lion. The animal styles became so numerous that the virtues of all animal styles had to be summed up, hence the five animals of kung fu. These are:

the Tiger --- representing power and ferocity,

the Crane --- representing speed and fluidity,

the Snake --- representing speed and accuracy,

the Leopard --- teaching us to use our heads and to think in our fighting and

the Dragon --- representing the mastery of all styles, thus making them one.

We see that through mastering the different animal styles we achieve a balance in our training. A balance between power and speed, between soft and hard, between ferocity and calmness. This balance is carried forth into our daily lives, helping us to create a perfect harmony between ourselves and others in our lives.

Kung fu training is designed to not only help us with our self defence (self defense), but to build our fitness, focus, discipline and confidence. At the Golden Lion Academy, the philosophy behind KF is the ground on which the Golden Lion Academy stands.

Through our KF training, we are taught the eight wisdoms of KF: respect, loyalty, tolerance, perseverance, patience, dignity, humility and honour.

These wisdoms help us not only in our training, but also help us to be successful in everything that we do in life.

It is important to keep up our KF training so we can continue to benefit in our daily lives. Our modern, fast paced lives can often cause us stress and anxiety - especially in times of hardship such as the financial crisis that we are facing now.

Kung fu doesn’t just help us with our physical fitness, but it can act as an emotional vent to relieve us of stress and help us to maintain good mental health.

When Bodhidarma introduced KF to the Shaolin monks, it was to build their mental and physical strength to prevent them from falling asleep during meditation.

Today, these benefits still apply in our hectic lifestyles. The benefits of our training at the Golden Lion Academy are numerous, and will help us to become better people and to achieve what we want out of life.

If you would like to attend regular classes, please call us on our central telephone number 9796-1066 for class times and fees or email us through our contact-us form.

Contribution by James Klaic, Berwick KF student.

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© Copyright Richard Tsui-Po 1971-2014. All Rights Reserved.
Golden Lion Kung Fu Dim Mak Pressure Points. Phone: 9796 1066
BERWICK: 29 Intrepid Street, Berwick 3806.
ROWVILLE: 2 Laser Drive, Rowville 3178
MURRUMBEENA: 98 Murrumbeena Road, Murrumbeena 3163.
Melbourne, Australia.

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