View Full Version : 18 seeking guidance

01-20-2001, 03:40 AM
I’m 18 seeking some sort of honest information on how to and where to begin to study Shaolin Kung Fu. Ok, I know there are many forms/paths of Shaolin Kung Fu and each path will lead you to a better life, but, my question is, which “style” should I focus on the most to best fit my life and/or my goals.
Here is a little bit about me. I am currently in college, and my free time is spent working at Best Buy (minium hours) and working out at home (all of course if I am not studying). I do practice meditation, probably in its most primitive state. However, it is some sort of relaxation to my mind and body. I studied Tae Kwon Do for many years, but found it more of a sport than anything, don’t get me wrong, I did learn a lot. I also study Chinese on the side, but I have just started that; so, I am still short of understanding the language.
My goals? Well, I just wish to achieve and learn the most I can from this life. Not much to my goals eh? But after all I have been asked to be guided :) Any help or info will be appreciated :)
-Thank you -“1st post”

01-20-2001, 05:08 AM
What makes your task difficult is that you wish to study Shaolin kung fu. What sucks is, that it is hard to come by. So I offer these tips.

-Go to as many schools as you can, and compare.
Dont enroll, and make more than one visit if necessary.

-The Real schools will not try to impress you, they will go about there buisiness as usual. Anyone throwing you a sales pitch is probably not lagit.

-Shaolin schools make up approximately 1% of kung fu schools in the U.S., and that is a generous estimate. The reason for this is back in the 70's when bruce influeced the US MA community, karate schools switched there signs to read Kung fu, and this has since evolved into people taking seminars on kung fu (limited info) and professing
to be legitimate instructors, their are also many other ways the Shaolin rep has been tarnished and misrepresented.

This is a tricky buisiness, just look at some of the threads on this board.
I can go on but I'll spare you.

good luck

01-20-2001, 05:09 PM
I'd say just look for a good kungfu/wushu school and ignore the Shaolin name. So many schools use the name Shaolin for advertising you'll have an awefull lot of garbage to sift through if you just look at the name Shaolin. Make a list of what you want in a school and start from there. There's plenty of good non-shaolin martial arts out there.

01-23-2001, 08:36 AM
I'd say for now and more importantly WHILE YOUR STILL YOUNG. Build up your overall attributes.

Such as flexibility, strength(but not bulky muscle) lean, wind, ect. ect. And at least try to get a good base if nothing else. Work your way up to Minimum of 5 min horse stance. Most newbies are like jelly and have no base. You'll have a headstart.

So even while your looking and havn't found a school, you can still prepare your body for your teacher to mold you. Because your body will be more prepared you will absorb quicker, easier and you'll avoid more injuries.

Many Chinese styles are right hand dominant. Especially w/ weapons. I would definately stress pushing your flexibility to its limits and beyond. If I only new when I was younger how much more flex. I would desire now through all parts and ranges of my body, i would have trained differently. Even if you are flexible, you can always be more flexible.

Always strive for perfection and maximum ability.


01-25-2001, 01:33 PM
If "Shaolin" kung fu is what you want, Mengshi, just keep poking around and trying.

Like me, you WILL eventually find what you're looking for - though it may take you a few years and several changes of mindset.

Black Jack
01-25-2001, 11:34 PM
Go beyond any label and find a school that stresses the attributes you are looking for in a ma.

If you are looking for a school that stresses practical and realistic self defense training than make sure your school is focused in that direction or any other direction you wish to go to.

If I was you I would skip the "Shaolin" buzzword and find a specific system within that nucleus that fits your bodyframe, mindset and training goals but remeber the teacher and his experiance in self defense should be the most important thing if you are looking to apply what you learn in a violent confrontation.


02-03-2001, 04:51 AM
Since you live in Atlanta and so do I, what kind of style of Kung FU are you looking for? I currently am at Hop Gar Kung FU which is on Chamblee-Tucker Road. You can find some stuff on www.accessatanta.com. (http://www.accessatanta.com.) Good luck in your search


02-04-2001, 06:32 AM
Thank you all for your input and thoughts. I will take these all into mind. :)

02-08-2001, 10:26 PM
Hi there. Wanting to make the most of one's life is about as realistic as it gets. More focus comes with experience, but what you express is a good foundation for anything. That means you have options. Being young is one of them.
I would tend to agree with some of the other folks that you should realize that labels can be more advertising than anything else. Even if what is offered is genuine, you need to be open to possibilities of the given art in terms of what you need to express, physically, emotionally and spiritually. You go and see, and ask yourself, do I want to do that? You look at the other students. Is there fellowship? Is there discipline? Is there joy and respect?
You are open to experimentation now, and I would suggest that. Surf the Web. I like the Google search engine myself. Just type in a category and mow thru.
There are many arts that have many similarities, just different packaging. The packaging has been determined by personal inclination, by differing body types and abilities of the Masters who created these wonderful systems for human development. Look, experience, but don't commit unless you're sure it's what you want, and that the Master has a commitment to you as well, at least for your wellbeing.
Oh, while I am also partial to Shaolin-based ways, I would suggest you check out Hwarang Do. Dr. Joo Bang Lee, has an impressive website. It is an older Korean martial art that seems quite solid.
Best of luck to you.

Shaolin Temple
02-09-2001, 04:39 AM
Where did you hear that Chinese kung fu is mostly right handed. That is just plain absurd and rubbish.

Before you go ahead and say stupid things like that, get your facts right.

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

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).

The point is, martial arts in China is not limited. There are many different styles and many different, moves involved. Some require both hands and some, none.

Do yourself a favour and read some more.

02-10-2001, 11:23 PM
1st of all you need to relax!

Don't call people stupid, you don't know me as I don't know you. For someone who claims to be all about SL temple and all for it...you don't act like it.

I was trying to help the boy! If you would get your head out of you A$$ long enough to read that you'd know.

What I said was:

( "Many Chinese styles are right hand dominant. Especially w/ weapons. I would definately stress pushing your flexibility to its limits and beyond. If I only new when I was younger how much more flex. I would desire now through all parts and ranges of my body, i would have trained differently. Even if you are flexible, you can always be more flexible.)

Answer me this, ARE NOT THE WEAPONS MOSTLY RIGHT HAND DOMINANT??????? At least when it come to
the single handed weapons.

God your attitude is incredible, Where was I offensive in the least????? To anyone???

Also, don't lecture about kung fu. When did i even use the words?

To answer your question: No i'm not kidding, building up your flexibility to prepare your body is my advice and i'm sticking to it.

It is because I understand Chinese m.a. that I stress flexibility so much. You should know that most people are right had dominant. My Sifus have all told me that in China people are almost always taught to use Gims and Daos for example w/ their right hands even though they may be left handed. It is a cultural thing. It isn't that a person or sifu can't use the left hand. Of course not, everyone is different and to each his own. Show me a famous master using his/her Gim with thier left hand?

I've seen too many americans(Who are by the way, a vast majority right handed) who are VERY TIGHT IN THE SHOULDER joints and are unable to do certain movements with weapons. NOT that they can't do it, they just need to make adjustments.

"Shaolin Temple"= You know what is weird? I used to silently support you. I would see you get into debates on this forum supporting SL and thought to myself...here is a hero for a good cause. A cause i see as helping to spread Chinese martial arts in the US.

After having been to the Temple myself training and meeting some really nice people...you stain it's memory for me. With people like you at SL who have no sense of self control, I don't blame the SL haters.

You do your self a favor and get some valum.

BTW, I can't find one thing you said to help Mengshi or to further this forum in a friendly or helpful way. NOT VERY SHAOLIN OF YOU.

Shaolin Temple
02-11-2001, 12:34 AM
First of Subitai...I didn't call you stupid. I said that before you go ahead and say something stupid...

The point is, yes traditionally some arts are right hand dominated by however, alot of styles in Shaolin and even outside branches emphasis the use of left-hand as a dominant move to counteract the opponents attack...which is usually right sided attack.

Ngok ka for instance in China and Malaysia...my brother-in-law studied in both these places...his sifu is the guy who recently just passed away in Malaysia...ngok ka used to have the right hand out first as a stance but attacked with left for it is surprising and unexpected. Hsing yi is similar to.

In weapon sets...Southern Shaolin was also famous for the weapon that Japanese now call the sai. In China back then, that was a secretive weapon for catching and breaking weapons with the intent of dim mak at the same time. This weapon emphasis the left hand for its attacks are extremely penetrating as the opponent when attacking may have a brief moment of openess.

Subitai, I once again apologise for the offence and please understand that my offensive comment is in no way representative of SL.

The so-called lecture on kung fu is not directed at you...it was for someone else on the page.

I agree flexibilty is crucial to kung fu and so is strength and sturdiness. One has to behave like water and flow into every corners allowed but stand firm like a mountain as well. Thus I never denied flexibilty as being important.

As for Mengshi, sorry for not answering your question. The truth is, no matter what style you do, the student determines the effectiveness and benefits of the art. The instructor is also the crucial element here. It is hard to point out a Shaolin art and say that style is for you. The best is to talk to different instructors and get their views on the art and see how extensive they "understand" of the style. To many times, I have seen schools that claim to be Shaolin when they emphasis kill...not tolerance...huh???

Anyways, to those that I have offended such as Subitai and anyone else...accept my apologis

[This message was edited by Shaolin Temple on 02-11-01 at 04:00 PM.]

02-11-2001, 08:15 AM
Now that is SL!!

Well said, you cited some examples and contributed

I bow to your thoughtfull words.