Category Archives: chinese martial arts

The Shaolin Secret To Health And Longevity

At the Shaolin Temple we’re required to study sutras and books written by our spiritual ancestors. Many of these teachings are focused on how to increase health and longevity.

“Your body is a treasured gift from heaven and earth. It’s your job to take care of it and nourish it through the practice of Shaolin Qigong. If you make an effort you will definitely see effects: your body will become stronger, you will be free of disease, you will lengthen your lifespan, and enjoy your life.”

Today, scientists are also studying health and longevity. Latest research shows that those who age the slowest have the best organ function and are the least likely to die. This demonstrates how important our internal organs are. Aerobic exercise has been shown to prevent memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Weight training stops our muscles from shrinking as we get older. But what about our internal organs? Because we can’t see them, we tend to only think of them when something goes wrong. But it’s the internal organs that govern the body.

Shaolin Qigong is the only exercise I know that stretches and exercises the internal organs. Kung Fu doesn’t do this, yoga doesn’t do this, and meditation doesn’t do this.The 8 Treasures Qigong is 8 of the most effective movements that the founder of Zen, Bodhidharma (Damo) taught to his disciples. These deceptively simple movements keep our body internally strong which is the key to keeping our mind strong and living well into old age.

I will be 43 this year and I still train as hard as I did when I was 14 because I practice Qigong and do the Instant Health Massage. If you’re a martial artist, MMA fighter, boxer, runner or you simply love to work out, you’ll find that Qigong increases your stamina, power and strength. Qigong optimizes your mind and body.

All you need to do is keep a regular practice of at least three times a week. And finish with the Instant Health Massage. The Instant Health Massage acts as a natural battery charger for our body and increases the effectiveness of our Qigong practice.

“You must temporarily put aside work that is not important and make time for Qigong. Taking care of your life is the most important job you have as a human being.”

Click here for the complete package which includes everything you need to learn The 8 Treasures Shaolin Qigong. 

Your 8 Week Shaolin Kung Fu Workout

When I began training at the Shaolin Temple the focus was on simplicity. This is the best way to approach Shaolin. The traditional Shaolin Temple punches, kicks and forms are specifically designed to change your muscles and tendons.

 Whether you’re training at the Shaolin Temple or training with my kung fu workout book and DVD in your home: day by day you transform your mind and body into a martial artist’s mind and body. But don’t think these exercises are just for beginners. I, along with most Shaolin monks and senior students still do these drills on a daily basis to fine tune my body and keep it working at its optimal. Here’s how you can do it.

Your Shaolin Kung Fu Training Plan

  1. Set a goal. Use four weeks to learn everything in my book. Within these 4 weeks you will know the movements and be able to follow my Shaolin Workout DVD. Then use the next four weeks to push yourself.
  2. Direct your focus. Take the focus off your problems and your limitations and focus on your goal. When you focus on your goal your problem will be smaller.
  3.  Run. At the Shaolin Temple we always begin our training with a run. Run for 10 – 30 minutes to warm your body then come home and follow my DVD.
  4. Learn a little, train a little. Make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly. Don’t use too much power as you want your mind and body to have memory.  When you can do the movement properly move on to the next exercise.
    Here’s an example: 10 push ups. 20 – 30 Traditional punches. Body Movement to relax the shoulders. Repeat x 5
    Squats x 20. Straight Kick. Squats x 20. Cross Kick etc. Move through the five fundamental kicks.

Click here to order your entire package which includes everything you need to get started on your Shaolin Journey today. And don’t forget to let me know how you get on in the comments below.

 

 

5 Tips for Mastering Your Shaolin Forms

yellow mt4-00007Shaolin 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:

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.kung fu-00286
  1. 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.
  1.  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)

Create The Life You Want: 4 Easy Steps From The Shaolin Temple Of Zen

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I’ve just come back from teaching the Shaolin Summer Camp in China. My sisters were there to help with the cooking, my three year old daughter and my wife were there, and my students – for that time – were also part of my family.By creating a safe family environment, it took away all feeling of competition. This is really important. Especially if you want to win. The great basketball coach, John Wooden, never talked about winning. he talked about his players being the best they could be, both off and on the pitch.

P1010899Once my students were there, they had no choice. Too much choice makes us unhappy. It’s been proven by scientists. This is why Buddhist disciples and monks take precepts. Having too much choice makes the mind busy and then it doesn’t focus on the things that are important.

We started every day with a run up the mountain. Some students said they couldn’t do it but I told them they could. By the end of 4 weeks, no one questioned running up the mountain. They ran and their stamina had increased dramatically.

We trained in traditional Shaolin forms, Qigong, fighting, and stamina. No one can be good at all of these exercises but when the body is training three times a day, it’s good to vary the workouts. But the real training was the training of the mind. I hope that what everyone brought home with them was the greatest Shaolin teaching of all.

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If you really want to do something you can. You can create the life you want. 

It just takes 4 easy steps:

1) Give yourself the right environment – that doesn’t mean you have to move your body but move your mind so it’s in the right place.

2) Give yourself no choice – you’ve made your choice, stick to it.

3) Compete Only Against Yourself – Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on challenging yourself.

4) Don’t think about winning – think about being the best you can be.

With this focus, whatever the outcome, you’ve already won!

 

Shifu Yan Lei teaches a graded Shaolin path ro kung fu and Qigong. Click here to find out more about his books, DVD and downloads.