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.
Kick off 2015 with these actionable training tips that will reset your martial art’s focus and help you live your best martial art’s ever.
Make A Goalless Goal Shaolin Training doesn’t underestimate a person’s strength of body and mind. The masters knew how much we could achieve and they wouldn’t let us get away with anything less. The first goal young disciples have when they come to the Shaolin Temple is “Never Give Up“. Once that statement is made, it’s like sitting on a plane and knowing the destination is Beijing. We don’t need to think anymore about where we’re heading. Our mind is no longer caught up thinking maybe I should head to Chicago or London instead. There’s no way we can get off the plane, so we let go and focus on the journey. The goalless goal is away of simplifying our life.
Just Do It Forget willpower, it runs out. That’s why it’s important to train at least 4 times a week and if possible at the same time. Training like this changes the neural pathways in the brain and makes training a habit rather than something you have to make yourself do. Do you need to make yourself brush your teeth in the morning?
Sharpen Your Knife Shaolin Training encompasses the fitness of a fighter coupled with the internal training of a Zen master. You’re not training in Shaolin if you don’t train both Qigong and Kung Fu. If you do another martial art, you still need to train in both of these in order to balance your body and prolong your martial art’s life. A professional cook must sharpen her knife in order for it to be functional. Qigong is the sharpening of the knife. Kung Fu is the knife being used.
High Intensity Training High Intensity Training has been used by Shaolin Martial Artists for hundreds of years. Research has shown that high intensity training is a more effective workout than longer moderate workouts. Not only that but high intensity training is the only way to keep your metabolism high for several hours afterwards which means you keep burning calories. Moderate exercise doesn’t do this.
Get Bored In order to perfect your martial art you need to repeat the same movement thousands and thousands of times. Don’t allow pride to get in your way. Practice the movements that challenge you and you find the hardest. You have to work hard, often, and consistently in order to see results.
Stretch Dynamically Why are Shaolin monks so flexible? Because we do two types of stretching: static and dynamic. The Shaolin dynamic stretching we do are the five basic kicks, and the five stances from Shaolin Workout 1. This opens the hips and warms up the leg muscles. When our muscles are warm we then statically stretch our legs. A flexible body is a relaxed body, centered and more in tune with itself. Flexibility improves posture, makes training easier and helps the Qi to flow around the body.
Be A Disciple Of The Bodhidharma The Bodhidharma gave us a roadmap with clear instructions as to how use martial arts as a meditation. Each person who learns from me, either in person or with my DVDs and downloads is a student of the Bodhidharma. In the West we tend to over complicate things. My master never allowed me to do this. Coming from a Zen Temple meant I wasn’t allowed to ask my master many questions because if he gave me answers then they would be his answers and this would cloud my direct experience. Keep your training simple. Combine Qigong with Kung Fu. Focus on your breath and your movement. Don’t over complicate. Don’t judge yourself or others. Just do it. This means you a disciple of the Bodhidharma. This means you are training in Zen.
High Intensity Training (HIT) is the best way to torch fat, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism. Research has shown that it reduces our appetite and continues to help us lose weight after our training session. But what does this mean for the martial artist? And should we change the way we train? When my muscles were tested by scientists. There were rated highly in both short intensity and long endurance stamina. This is because a martial artist needs both. We’re not training purely for exercise or to lose weight, we’re training to hone our skills. Want powerful kicks or punches? Work on stamina first then flexibility then speed then power. Don’t underestimate how important stamina is for the martial artist. Without stamina, no skill.
Build Stamina & Skill In 6 Easy Steps
Start your training session with a run. This is your long endurance stamina.
After your run, begin your HIT training. This is your short intensity training. I teach HIT training in my Shaolin Circuit Training DVDs . You can do HIT training with a bag, pads, or sparring with a partner.
Challenge the large muscles in your upper and lower body. This is the key to successful HIT training. (if you’re doing bag/ pad training you need to combine exercises from my Circuit Training DVDs).
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone. It’s the only way to improve fitness and not hit a martial art’s plateau
Alternate. Do HIT training 3 – 4 times a week, or every other day of your regular martial art’s training.
Shaolin HIT Training is one of the challenges on our pathway to Zen. We can be as peaceful and spacious when we’re out of breath as when we’re sitting still. Try it and see