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
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you don’t have a Shaolin teacher near you my Shaolin Warrior Programs give you instant access to the authentic teachings you would learn if you entered the Shaolin Temple. In order to learn Shaolin Kung Fu, you need to respect yourself and respect your teachings. Train regularly, five- six times a week and clearly define your goal. Why are you training? Do you want to learn Shaolin as a martial art? Or do you want a fast track to fitness?
My original goal was to test my skills. I was a very angry 15 year old who was always getting into fights. My Master – who is now the Shaolin Abbot – was fed up of coming to the police station to get me out of jail so he sent me to a very well known Zen master.
In the Cultural Revolution when Mao was destroying all the temples, this master risked his life to stay in the temple. For many years he lived in this destroyed temple and when Buddhism was allowed to flourish again he started to re-build the temple. Every morning he would sit in meditation and chant and I would train. He asked me to sit with him but I had no patience to sit. After a few weeks of trying to get me to sit he told me to make training my meditation.
When I came back to the Shaolin Temple, my training was no longer a way of being able to learn new fighting techniques so that I could conquer other people but it became my meditation.
Shaolin transformed my life, and it’s my goal to help as many people transform their lives. I’m very happy that thousands of students all over the world now train with my DVDs and books.
In this post I give a quick overview of each Kung Fu Program program, what benefit they will give you and some suggested training programs.
If you want to learn Shaolin as a martial artist then you need to start with Shaolin Workout 1, 2, and 3. If you’re not so bothered about Shaolin martial arts but you want exceptional stamina then train with Shaolin Bootcamp and Shaolin Circuit Training.
Shaolin Workout 1 is exactly the same as if you were stepping into a class at the Shaolin Temple. Don’t expect to keep up and understand everything. As you keep studying with the DVD, you will slowly see improvements and gain an understanding. Once you’ve mastered the five fundamental kicks and the five fundamental stances, even if you still can’t keep up, you’re ready to move onto Shaolin Workout 2.
One of the reasons for moving up quickly is so that your body doesn’t reach its plateau, in order for your body to keep improving, you need to keep surprising it and keep finding the edge of your training. Alternate between Workout 1 and Workout 2.
If you’re only interested in fighting techniques and not traditional Shaolin then skip Workout 1 and 2 and go straight to Workout 3, where you learn fighting kicks and fighting punches and combinations.
As a martial artist continue to come back to these three DVDs, and now to improve your strength and stamina and challenge your body even more, add in Shaolin Bootcamp 1 and 2. These DVDs use your own body for strength training and are more challenging in terms of stamina.
You can alternate the days so now you have a complete 5-day workout:
Monday: Workout 1
Tuesday: Workout 2
Wednesday: Workout 3
Thursday: Bootcamp 1
Friday: Bootcamp 1
Saturday: Self-train without the DVDs perfecting your techniques.
If you’re a fighter or you want to work more on your stamina and modern fighting techniques then alternate between the Circuit Training DVDs and the Bootcamp DVDs. Circuit Training Volume 1 focuses on punches and Circuit Training Volume 2 focuses on kicks.
It’s good to do each of the Circuit Training DVDs twice a week:
Monday: Circuit Training 1
Tuesday: Circuit Training 2
Wednesday: Bootcamp 1 or 2
Thursday: Circuit Training 1
Friday: Circuit Training 2
Saturday: Bootcamp 2
With the Bootcamp DVDs, correct form is not as important as pushing your strength and stamina. If you’re working with all 7 of the DVDs then work out a program that fits with your goals.
I have two other kung fu DVDs, these are more specialist DVDs specifically for martial artists, Fighting Punches and Kicks Volume 1 is exactly what the title says Kung Fu Ch’an and Fighting Punches and Kicks Volume 2 teaches takedowns so you need a partner to practice with, Kung Fu Ch’an demonstrates how kung fu can be a direct gateway to the teachings of Ch’an Buddhism or Zen, this is not a teaching DVD as such.
You can share your training experiences with other students by joining this Facebook page.
Shaolin Warriors alongside the majority of Chinese people see food as medicine and eat in accordance with traditional Chinese Medicine. Foods have Yin and Yang qualities and we alter what we eat in accordance with how our health is that day. For example, if we have a cold then we’ll make chicken soup with dried red plums, Goji berries and ginger, an excellent tonic soup.
Inside the Shaolin Temple we eat vegetarian food but outside the temple, the fighting monks are allowed to eat meat if they feel their body needs it. Some people believe that all Buddhists are vegetarian but the historical Buddha was not a vegetarian. He begged for his food and accepted whatever was given to him. There is a strong philosophy of compassion in Buddhism which has led many Buddhists to become vegetarians. However in this article I’m not going to go into the ethics of being a vegetarian. I’m just going to give you an insight into a Shaolin Warrior’s daily diet.
Natural Food Shaolin Warrior’s focus on eating foods in their natural state. We don’t eat energy bars or cereal, we don’t drink coca cola, protein shakes, alcohol, or water with ice. We eat a diet which is rich in fruit, vegetables, and good quality protein. For carbohydrate we eat white rice, steamed buns or noodles. We drink water at room temperature, and lots of green tea. For snacks we eat nuts and fruits.
Carbohydrate – The Difference Between East & West Before I came to the West I’d never seen brown rice before. I, along with the majority of Chinese people don’t like the taste of it so it’s not something we eat. There seems to be a backlash against refined carbohydrates or even carbohydrates in general in the West. But anyone who trains hard needs to eat carbohydrates. ( I eat about three times the amount of carbohydrate the average person eats because I train so much.)White rice is a source of dietary fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system, it contains vitamin B1 and is low in fat.
Daily Food Our daily food is stir fried vegetables and protein with carbohydrate, the most common protein being lamb, chicken, pork or tofu (now that I’m in the West I eat turkey and Quorn which is a good source of lean protein). Lamb is usually grass fed which is better than grain fed, it’s Yang and is good to eat if people are low in energy. We rarely eat beef. We eat protein with every meal because it helps us to sustain energy during our training. For our evening meal we don’t eat any carbohydrate unless we’re going to train that evening.
Timing Is Important In this picture, we’re having breakfast at the Shaolin Summer Camp. Shaolin Warriors believe that the time they eat is as important as what they eat. We eat our heaviest food at breakfast because we need this energy for training, a slightly lighter lunch then less food in the evening. Studies have shown that eating breakfast aids weight loss. Eating within an hour of exercise burns a little more fat and helps to promote leanness. Eating before exercise enhances performance and increases the amount of calories burnt.
Chinese food – excluding Chinese food in Western restaurants which is usually not authentic Chinese – combines food in such a way that not only is it packed with nutrition but it’s also an immune booster.
5 Vegetable Immune Booster A good example of this, and a dish to eat in the evening is five vegetable stir fry with ginger. Take five vegetables, preferably five different colours, cut them thinly then stir fry them with ginger, garlic and chili. I suggest that one of your vegetables is red pepper which has a high vitamin C content, and shitake mushroom which enhances immunity . Ginger aids digestion, chili contains capsicum which has anti-bacterial qualities and garlic is one of the most powerful healing foods that you can include in your daily diet to boost immunity. This simple dish not only tastes great but helps to prevent cancer, the common cold, gives you your five a day, and cannot make you fat.
Although our diet is Chinese, you don’t need to start eating Chinese food to change your diet to healthy, you just need to make sure that you’re eating fresh fruit and vegetables with good quality protein and carbohydrate. Food in its natural state has all the nutritional benefits you need. Avoid processed food. Live simply and keep your diet simple. That way your mind and body will be in balance.