Category Archives: HIT training

A Complete Guide To Shaolin Kung Fu

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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.

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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.

All of the DVDs and downloads are available at

Train like a Shaolin Monk this summer in China 

A Shaolin Disciple’s Daily Workout, Diet, and Meditation

yellow mt4-00029What’s your daily workout like?

My training day starts with either a 10 or 12k jog or interval running, sprinting 800 meters then resting for 800 meters and doing this 4 times or varying my runs like I show in my youtube video. I then do circuit training, the same as on my DVDs though I mix the punches and kicks together. It’s important to sweat when you’re training. Only this is true training. In the afternoon I do bag work, and pad work if there’s someone at the temple to hold pads. I finish off with Iron Shirt Qigong and combine Iron Shirt conditioning with the Instant Health Massage using a metal brush so that I cleanse my bones.

Qigong Massage

Can the average person hack Shaolin training?

Shaolin is for everybody. Of course the average person doesn’t have 4 hours a day to train but a lot can be accomplished in one hour five days a week. This is enough to be healthy and fit. If you’re not close to a school and train from my DVDs then all you need to do is define your goal and make a program. The best DVDs for fitness are the Bootcamp and Circuit Training DVDs but you need a level of fitness before you can embark on them. Like all things, take one step at a time. Most people have no desire to do hard Qigong but they  have a desire to have more energy and increase their longevity so they do Eight Treasures.

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 You’ll talk about the Shaolin Monk’s diet in another post, but how important is diet to you?

The more you do Shaolin martial arts, the more you tune into your body and the harder it is to eat badly. If you’re craving unhealthy food, don’t worry about it, start working out the Shaolin way and the cravings will go away of their own accord. Before I train I eat a lot of noodle and vegetable with some meat then a banana, which is a great thing to eat before training as it helps to keep sugar levels up. We don’t use ovens in China but something new I’ve discovered in the West is roasted sweet potato. Very healthy and a better carbohydrate than potato. I eat fruit and nuts through out the day. I tend to cook two days food in advance so when I come home and I’m hungry my food is already prepared.


How focused are you on Buddhism and Zen meditation?

I’m a simple person. I feel that many Western people read too many books and this makes their mind complicated. My master gave me one sutra, The Hui Neng Sutra and he told me not to sit in meditation but to make training my meditation. Zen is about experience, not knowledge. When people do kung fu or Qigong forms, they get a taste of this Zen experience and then there are no questions. The important thing is not to look outside, but work with where you are and what you have here and now. There’s no need to go to the temple, the temple is right here and now. But you need to be still to find it.

Shifu Yan Lei teaches Shaolin Qigong ( available as a book, DVD and download)

Also available on the apple store and amazon as a kindle.(USA only, UK to follow in 2015).

Shifu Yan Lei teaches Shaolin Kung Fu available as a download and DVD.