View Full Version : Shaolin monk question

Ground Dragon
06-12-2001, 05:47 AM
For Gene and anyone else with experience with the shaolin monks that have come to the U.S. :
How much material do they generally know, for example number of forms, and do they concentrate on one style or system?
And also, do Shi Yan Ming, Shi Guolin, and the two monks in Texas know the same material or is some of it the same?
Just curious.

06-12-2001, 05:57 AM
Numbers of forms would be good. If they even tell people(doubt anyone even asked about it while they were training though).

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06-12-2001, 06:14 PM
well as far as i can tell, all the monks have the same basics and most of the same traditional forms. things like shaohong chuan,dahong chuan,lohan chaun,dalohan chaun,tongbi chaun,wubu chaun,chua yuan chaun,mei wa chaun,pau chuan,and the alot of the staff and sword forms. i know this isn't the list of them all, but i have seen some of these from all the monks here in the US. i've been told that most of the monks know about 60-80 forms each, but they usually concentrate on something. these monks have all spent 10+ and 15+ years at shaolin, so to have this many forms is feasable.....but i would guess that they only have about 20 that they play consistenlty, and this 20 probably changes over time.....you get tired of playing some form so you replace it with another.
the great thing is that they all teach the same basics, which is the key to shaolin, the forms mean nothing if you don't have the true basics. like my teacher says, " you might know 100 forms but if you don't have the basics then it isn't shaolin".
....this is just my opinion on the forms and such from the monks, i offer up my side of the story.
respect to all,
kungfu**** (dieter wagner)

06-12-2001, 06:53 PM
Yeah I believe you could collect that many forms living at Shaolin for like 20 years. Hey are there any videos on Shaolin Temples basic exercises? I heard Gene once say that after he returned from Shaolin that these exercises where so good that Sifu Wing Lam switched to these in his classes. I'd like to see them and maybe incorperate a few into our basics. Shaolin is great!

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06-12-2001, 06:54 PM
Kungfu**** described it pretty well. I might add that there can be significant variation to the interpretations of the forms between the monks.

I have trained the same forms (like shaohong dahong & lohan) under different masters and it's almost like learning a whole new form. Everyone puts their own spin on it, emphasizing their personl strength. for instance, my master Shi Decheng does dahong with extremely low stances because he has great legs and stance work. He coils so much energy in his legs that gives him maximum pounce, and closes the gap before you even think he is in range. Shi Guolin is a very big man, so he doesn't crouch as well (he can hit low stances but it's not his forte given his body size.) He focuses on the stomps - since he is so big, his stomps would just crush your footbones into powder. Both methods are completely valid.

I might add that when I do something a different way, like Decheng's way when taking a lesson from Guolin, they always smile and say "different - doesn't matter - I do this way" or something to that effect. They are more focused on the basic principles then the movements of the set.

Gene Ching
Asst. Publisher
Kungfu Qigong Magazine & www.KUNGFUmagazine.com (http://www.KUNGFUmagazine.com)

06-13-2001, 04:24 PM
I agree totally, different doesn't matter. In fact my Sifu tells us that is the way the old Shaolin and Taoists used to play. You would learn the form and then play in it as a framework. Each person bringing himself fully to the exercise. Playing very slow (Tai chi like), medium and so fast that it all falls apart. That's where you really start to learn.

Ground Dragon
06-13-2001, 06:27 PM
Is there more of one particular style? Such as a lot of praying mantis material, or a lot of monkey, or whatever. Or is it just a grouping of different sets?

How much of the internal styles do the monks know and practice?

06-19-2001, 05:23 PM
I have trained with four different monks and have seen enogh demos/competitions to recognize the differences too.
I know at Shaolin in the 70's and 80's disciples would train under many different Masters. Furthermore the different Masters may have not practiced the same or even gotten along or knew each other.
I have seen great variation in Da Hong Quan, Da Luo Han Quan, and less in Shou Hong and Shou Luo Han.
Sometimes the same form will be called a different name by different masters.
This doesn't bother me though.
You can see someone's Chi in their form, as well as their Jing and Shen. I look for sharp, powerful grace and swiftness more than technique differences.

more chi, train harder!

06-19-2001, 05:45 PM
This is true. I also look for the energy(qi, jing, shen) in a form. I think in the CMAs people get too cught up in names(chinese) and in having the true "form or style". I have seen people in the same school with the same master perform sets from slightly different to completely different. It's not wrong as long as it does not violate basic principles of the system everyone has their own flavor of movement.

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