View Full Version : Is southern shaolin a style in and of itself?

01-16-2001, 08:53 PM
I know that many styles are considered southen shaolin styles. However, I know of schools that advertise teaching southern shaolin. So is there also a specific style called southern shaolin? Thanks for any information that you could give me on this topic.

fiercest tiger
01-16-2001, 10:00 PM
wushu has a routine called nam kuen, i dont like wushu. many southern arts also have some northern styles in it.

ots hard enough to find a proper shaolin kung fu school let alone southern or northern shaolin. :eek:



01-16-2001, 10:41 PM
I believe Northern Shaolin can refer to any style from the Northern temple, and Southern Shaolin is any style that comes from the Southern temple. I think there's a style called Northern Shaolin created outside the temple by combining northern shaolin styles. It can all get kind of confusing.

Shaolin Master
01-17-2001, 12:21 AM
There are a few Southern arts that recognizes themselves as southern shaolin
Hung Gar is one that comes to mind immediately, just ask Wong Kiew Kit

But there are two arts that are directly representative of Southern Shaolin

Fujian Shaolin Quan - Recognised by the Chinese Research uinstitutes
Fujian Lohan Quan [a particular one] - Directly from Venerable Hui Ching of the Fujian Shaolin Tradition.


Shi Chan Long

01-17-2001, 09:53 PM
Thanks,ShaolinMaster. What is the difference between those two stlyes?

01-19-2001, 06:15 AM
it depends on how you view "style."

for lack of a will to write much right now (sorry, it's late for me), i'll say that no, it's not a style as people normally think of it, but a "house" under which styles were developed, as well as independant forms. these styles and forms were created with some similar traits and philosophies in mind.

trying to conform it all too much to rational organization is probably impossible, so don't worry yourself too much with it.

Shaolin Master
01-21-2001, 06:14 AM
Apparently, the PRC ascertained that in the south there were shaolin - sister (not necessarily same name) temples that taught their own martial arts. Students specialised in different things but most typical monks studied the general curriculum. It is this general curriculum that is now thought to be Shaolin Quan of the south. It consists of very few forms but lots of fundamentals and excercises.

In addition in other temples the Fujian records maintain that a type of Lohan Quan was practised. These records do not mention 'Shaolin' as a key word rather martial arts in the buddhist temples (naming a few) of fujian province. Thus the PRC did not recognise them as such.

Though nowadays, it is correct to ascertain the martial arts shaolin to be more of a grouping of many different arts as mentioned rather than anyone in specific.

The differences amongst the two well that would take an essay if we get in depth, though on a superficial they share similar foundations and power generation. Lohan a little more complex in its inner theorems as well as techniques including many ranges long, medium and short.


Shi Chan Long

01-21-2001, 05:43 PM
Thanks again, ShaolinMaster. I really appreciate your insight on this topic. I like to thank everyone else who replied to this topic, also. Peace.

Shaolin Temple
02-08-2001, 06:47 AM
The north is famous for its kicks. The south for its punches.

Many true Southern Shaolin techniques emphasize the importance of stance and it is from stance and the ability to be solid that the power of the punches are recognised.

A small history first...

What does 'Kung Fu' mean?
Like many other terms used in connection with the
Martial Arts today, the term 'Kung fu' is often mis-applied. Translated literally, kung fu means 'excellence through hard work' or 'skilled achievement'. Therefore one could be said to display 'kung fu' at cooking or at computer programming.

There is nothing inherently martial about the term, but in the 1950s, the Hong Kong film industry started using the two characters 'Kung Fu' for their martial arts action movies and the phrase has been closely associated with Chinese Martial Arts ever since - particularly in the West.

Professionals refer to the practice of Chinese martial arts as 'Wu Kung' or 'Wu Shu' which connote the specific martial (Wu) development of skill (Kung) or art (Shu).

What's the difference between Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and Karate/Judo/Taekwondo?

Chinese martial arts were formalised over two thousand years ago, and were developed primarily by Buddhist and Taoist monks. Thus, the Chinese are universally acknowledged to have have the oldest, best-proven systems - almost all other legitimate systems will acknowledge the debt they owe to the Chinese systems, which spread throughout Asia. Methods such as Karate, Judo or Taekwondo were developed hundreds of years after the formalisation of the Chinese systems, and as such, owed much of their development to Chinese martial arts systems - Karate, as first taught by Southern Chinese monks and practised on Okinawa, was originally called 'Tang Te' which translates as 'Chinese Hand'. The characters were later changed to 'Kara Te' ('Empty Hand') during a period of strong Japanese nationalism.

What are Traditional Chinese Martial Arts?

In Chinese culture, there are the so-called 'five excellences.' These are: Calligraphy, Poetry,
Painting, Music and Martial Arts. The objective in mastering any of these arts is to achieve a state
of calmness and equilibrium which the Chinese refer to as 'enlightenment'.

Mastery of any of the excellences would grant this state of peace and balance; traditional martial arts grant further benefits as well - health, fitness and the ability to defend one's self or others.

In trying to understand these arts, it is important to realise that in China, they were developed primarily by Buddhist and Taoist monks whose goal was to prolong their lives. The key for these aesthetes was to enrich themselves spiritually - self-defence was of secondary concern. However, when monks were sent out from the temples to gather alms, the harsh reality of having to defend themselves arose and the techniques that they had developed and practised purely for health reasons had to be adapted to deal with the threats of the outside world.

The systems that these holy men developed spread throughout China and across Asia, some being
adapted for purely combative use, some strictly for health development, some for theatrical
performance while others retained the essence of the original arts - to prolong and enrich the life of the practitioner, with the added benefit of providing an effective system of self-defence, should the need arise.

What's the difference between Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and Kick-boxing?

Kick-boxing is a sport. It's all about scoring points in competition 'fighting' where there are a clear set of rules, gloves, pads and a referee to control things. Traditional Shaolin training is not concerned with competitions of this nature. The techniques as taught are given to deal with real life situations where there are no rules and no referee to step in and save your life! Traditional techniques were developed to save lives under the most extreme circumstances - no really conclusive test is possible between students of traditional Shaolin, unless they choose to get involved in a all-out, real fight since Shaolin techniques are inherently dangerous and do not lend themselves to control measures.

One Shaolin Master recently wrote: "Shaolin in its orthodox form, is not a game to be played for the
entertainment of an audience or the whims of sports-minded exponents. Although there have been
competitions between Shaolin experts, none of these have proven satisfactory to orthodox

So at the end of the day...North versus South...as Sifu and Abbott would say...there is no permanence.
The more Shaolin there are, the better.