Shaolin Forms teach the many muscle groups in our body to work together. They are the only exercise I’ve come across where every muscle is engaged and you’re simultaneously building flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, and power. These ancient forms teach us how to move in our modern life, whether that’s carrying our groceries home or climbing the stairs to the subway. Everything becomes part of our training: total mind-body wellness
Here’s My Top 5 Tips for Mastering Your Forms:
- Learn the 5 Fundamental Stances and 5 Basic Kicks – Every Shaolin form, whether it’s Qigong or Kung Fu is made up of Five Fundamental Stances and Five Fundamental Kicks. Master these stances and kicks first before you move onto practicing Shaolin Forms.
- Give It Meaning – Make sure that your breathing, movement, and even your eyes work together. Make your stance have meaning so that people can see you have a strong foundation.
- Have Good Flexibility – Most people are familiar with the impressive quick fluid forms of the Shaolin Monks in performance. This is due to their flexibility. When you do the form, you don’t want it to be stiff, you want it to be fluid. Never skip the stretching part of your workout.
- Use Your Heart – Use your heart to practice each movement so that your form has soul inside. If your mind shifts and you keep thinking of other things, gently bring it back. You need to be right here and now when you practice.
- Slow It Down then Pace It Down- It’s a good idea to practice kung fu forms as slow as we practice Qigong so we can get the feel for the movements and get the form exactly correct. Try varying the pace each time you practice and see how if feels. The more you’ve mastered the form, the quicker you can practice.
Shifu teaches the 5 Fundamental Stances in his book Instant Health: The Shaolin Qigong Workout For Longevity
He teaches the 5 Fundamental Stances and the 5 Fundamental Kicks in his DVD and download, Shaolin Workout 1 and his book Instant Fitness: The Shaolin Kung Fu Workout. (released in October)