Shaolin Kung Fu was created over 1500 years ago at the Song Shan Shaolin Temple in Henan, China. Shaolin Kung Fu was created initially as a form of exercise for meditating monks to give them energy and help them stay awake during long periods of meditation, and as a way for the monks to protect themselves from marauding bandits and dangerous animals. From these exercises blossomed a system of self-defense that has survived the ages and spread across the world.
About Kung Fu and Wushu
Kung Fu has become the term most Westerners associate with the Chinese fighting arts. However, this is sort of a misnomer. In Chinese, Kung Fu (or Gung Fu) is a term defined as the mastery of an art. Kung can be defined as accomplishment and Fu can be defined as effort. In this sense Kung Fu means the accomplishment of a difficult task through highly concentrated effort. It can be said then that one can achieve Kung Fu in anything, for example, a student who gets an "A" in his math course can be said to have achieved Kung Fu in math. An athlete who wins a title or a gold medal could be said to have achieved Kung Fu in their respective discipline.
The Chinese term for martial arts is Wu Shu. Wu can be defined as militaristic or military and Shu can be defined as technique. However, in the minds of most Westerners and traditional Kung Fu practitioners, Wushu is thought of as the derived system of kung fu developed by the Chinese government which includes flashy techniques that have no real martial application. This is referred to as Modern Wushu. This is also very far from the truth. The techniques that are found in Modern Wushu have their roots in and are based on traditional Wushu techniques. So there are, therefore, real martial applications for the movements found in modern wushu. In modern wushu competition one is judged as athletes in the Olympic sports of gymnastics or skating. The athlete is awarded points based on the correct application of the speed, form, power, execution, and degree of difficulty of kicks or techniques contained within the form the athlete is performing.
The correct definition for the Chinese Martial Arts then is Wushu. The correct term for the contrived version of martial techniques developed by the Chinese government is defined as Modern Wushu.
What You Will Learn
Students at the ISWCATX learn traditional Shaolin Kung Fu, Weapons, Modern Wushu forms and self defense applications of the Song Shan Shaolin Temple.
Benefits of Shaolin Kung Fu
As a system of self defense and exercise Shaolin Kung Fu is unparalled. Other benefits include increased flexibility, stamina, focus, determination, better health, self confidence, self discipline, and stress reduction.