Shaolin Kung fu Techniques and Training in China

Shaolin Kung fu Forms List and Classification

Shaolin kung fu is a comprehensive martical arts, it’s hard to classified in simple way. The common classification is by the traning forms: Bare hand forms and Weapon froms. Most of the bare hand forms are Quang shu (fists and plam forms). For weapons, there are 3 big type: long, short and soft weapon. The stick, spear, pork, cane and broadsword with handle are long weapons. Straightsword, double hooks and dagger are short weapons. The 9 section whip, 2 section stick and soft whip are soft weapons. All these weapon have their own techniques and can training in pair sparring.

One upon, there are lots of shaolin temples seted in China, and there have been a southern shaolin temple in Putian, Guangzhou. By the location, the main shaolin kung fu also classified in Northern shaolin kung fu and Southern shaolin kung fu.

From the type of the training mathods, there are 6 main types: internal & external, hard & soft, qi kung and qing kung. Internal kung fu and Qi kung practice to hold the Qi(Chi, essential energy) in body, contral breath and blood circulation. External kung fu and Hard kung fu are practicing the strength and force of a special part of body, like Tietou gong(iron head) and Yi zhi chan (1 fingers chan). Qing kung is training to jump higher and farther. Soft kung is training the softness and twist angleof joints, neck and waist.
Shaolin Kung Fu Forms and Skills List


The shaolin kung fu have so many forms, and no one can master all. And most kung fu forms have special ask for personal body condition, also need different time and method to practice. For example, if you like one type of fist or weapon in particular you can choose one to learn.

Shaolin Kung Fu Techniques & Training Mothods

Techniques for Shaolin kung fu depend on the style in which you are interested. Some styles are better suited to big physical size, strength and ability than others. King kong hammers and Tiger fist fit strong and big guy, whlie some short weapon will great for girls training freely.

There are four major shaolin kung fu techniques: kicking (踢), hitting (打), wrestling (摔) and grabbing (拿). A complete system will necessary include all four types of applications but each style will differ in their training focus. For example, most Northern styles are said to emphasize kicking, Southern styles have a reputation for their intricate hand techniques, there is short words of “Southern fists, northern legs“(南拳北腿). Shuai jiao practitioners train predominately in full-body close-range techniques, and Eagle claw fighters are noted for their Chin na expertise. There are varioues forms to choose, so how to begin?

Training shaolin kung fu step by step

For the shaolin kung fu learning and training, fist thing you should do basic technique trainings to get your body in preparation. And the Ji ben gong include: flexibility(softness), strength, endurance, balance, speed and power.  And then, you should learn the shaolin kung fu conception, understand the natural ideas about Chinese kung fu. These shaolin kung fu tutorial will help you to get the ture meaning of kung fu.

When you have prepared you body, raised you mind, and now you can choose one kung fu form to get further training. Here is a detail list of all shaolin kung fu:

Shaolin Kung Fu Forms and Skills List Details

The basic shaolin kung fu training  instructional

(shaolin kung fu fundamental training)

These exercises were created thousands of years ago so why do Shaolin Monks still study them? Because they’re the only movements where every muscle is engaged and you’re simultaneously building flexibility, strength, endurance, balance, and power in one fully integrated unit. They then teach you how to move in your modern life, whether that’s carrying your groceries home or climbing the stairs to the subway. Everything becomes part of your training: total mind-body wellness.

Flexibility & Stretching: stretching your legs, do the splits and waist can training your soft ness so that your can do more difficult movements. Shaolin Monks stretch the whole body from the neck down and include dynamic stretching as well as static.

Stamina Training: shaolin stamina training consists of short bursts of intense exercise. Research has shown that it’s one of the most effective ways to build fitness levels and lose weight. Frog jumps, Cossack jumps, duck walks, step ups, squats, squat jumps, sprints, toe jumps (don’t bend the knees at all), one legged jumps.

Stances Training: stances are commonly found in each style of Shaolin kung fu. The horse stance is a common stance used to develop thigh strength, endurance and patience. Known as zhan zhuang, or stance training, this position provides a foundation for training in learning intermediate and advanced kung fu moves. Stand with your feet farther than hip distance apart. Bend your elbows close to your sides, with hands fisted and facing upward in front of you. Sink down into a squatting position until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor; hold the position for as long as you can, for 2 to 5 minutes.

Kicks Training: these kicks are one of the reasons Shaolin Monks are so flexible. Don’t underestimate them. They open the hips at the same time as stretching the leg.  And they are a great warm up for fighting kicks and bag work.

Punch & Strike: while not recommended for the beginners, this traditional Shaolin technique can make a lasting improvement to the strength and power of your strikes. Traditionally used as a black belt test for students graduating from the Shaolin Monastery’s fighting curriculum, this exercise involves wearing a blindfold and breaking boards as you perform your Shaolin forms and techniques.

For some people want training at home, they can learn basic traning from videos.

Shaolin Kung Fu Fundamental Training Vidoe

Shaolin Kung Fu Fundamental Training

Learn Shaolin Chan Kung Fu & Train Your Mind Up

Combinations is ancient forms come from nature. They awaken the body, helping us to let go of our small self and experience a connection with the very fabric of the Universe. Shaolin kung fu is based upon peace-keeping and self-defense. In Shaolin kung fu, the way of the tiger is primary and based upon an ancient Chinese proverb:

When two tigers fight, one is killed and the other is severely hurt.

Tiger blows are swift and dangerous.

Self-discipline and conservation of motion characterize Shaolin kung fu techniques. Kicks are direct, punches swift, movements are in large, circular, swiping motions, like a cat. Shaolin kung fu strikes go for the most vulnerable body areas — throat, knees and eyes.

When you learn the Basic knowledge of Shaolin Kung Fu ( Shaolin Kung Fu customs; fundamental kicks, steps and sweeps, punches, palms, hand shapes ); rudimentary movements of Shaolin fist, staff and broadsword, then you can go further about the weapons and sanda for real combat use.

Learn Shaolin Chan Kung Fu & Train Your Mind Up

Shaolin Kung Fu Taolu Training

Taolu, refers to the set routine (form) practice component of kung fu. Taolu routines comprise of a continuously connected set of pre-determined techniques, choreographed according to certain principles and philosophies which incorporate techniques and stylistic principles of attack and defense. These include hand techniques, leg techniques, jumps, sweeps, stances & footwork, seizing, throwing & wrestling, balances etc.

The taolu practicing is great way for kung fu training. Traditionally, Taolu routines were originally compiled to preserve the techniques and tactics of a particular lineage or system, and would “imprint” a tactical order into practitioners. Taolu routines include individual routines and group routines, as well as partner/duel routines with 2 or more practitioners involved. They have a rich and diverse content utilizing a wide variety of techniques and includes both bare-handed routines and those performed with weapons. Now the shaolin forms have 708 taolus, 552 for fist and weapon forms, 156 shaolin secret skills. Of course there are some very special training mothods.

Special shaolin kung fu training exercises

Shaolin kung fu training mothods

You may see some strange shaolin monks’ training mothods in the Tv or Movies: they cut water in big pot, they hold to tip bottom wooden barrels running quickly without a moment rest, they standing on the top of piles with one foot or moving around,…these Hanging handstand, Xiao wu kung (little kung fu), Zhan zhuang gong (piles top standing) are not  just in movies, it’s ture mothos the monks use to enhance their physical fitness.

Shaolin qigong training: there is an old Shaolin trick to increase jumping height would be to dig a small hole and jump just using the calf (not bending the knees). When that was achieved, the hole would be dug slightly deeper, then deeper still. I’ve seen my masters jump to absolutely incredible heights, having according to them practiced this as children.

Shaolin iron body training: the shaolin monks use their bare hands to strifry the iron sand, over and over again, then their hands will be very tought and strong, can cut a metal band easily.

Shaolin Quang Forms ( Fist Forms) Training

Shaolin quang are strong and powerful, both use hard force and soft skills, all movse are useful for combat fighting. When they combating, the stances of attacking or defensing are flexible and agile.

Shaolin Da Hong Quan (Big hong fist) is a representative form in Shaolin  and is one of the most important parts of Shaolin training.It knocks down any opponent unexpected tricky moves,and is therefore regarded as distillation in Chinese Shaolin martial arts.

Shaolin Xiao Hong Chuan (samll hong fist) is one of the basic shaolin forms in Chinese Shaolin martial arts. The movement is simple and plain but attack and protection are very exact and precise. The position is small  and requires sudden and quick strength with a secret force, as well as coupling hardness with softness and the compulsory form.


Shaolin animal style kung fu: Monkey fist, tiget fist, dragon fist, crane fist and snak fist.

You may have heard the “5 animals kung fu forms“, they are not only named with animals but also played like animals. As we know, the chinses people admire nature, they try to find principles from the nature. The ancestors learn from animals, plants, water and other elements to understand the nature in special ways. When we see the five animals kung fu forms, you will find most kung fu forms are based on the characteristics and attack methods of more than a dozen different animals, including the snake, the tiger, the monkey, the dragon and the cobra. People imitate animals to practice the body for healthy. You may see more about it, you can get funny froms from <Kung Fu Panda>


Shaolin Weapon Form Training Techniques

Shaolin 18 Weapon Form Training Techniques

Daoshu (Broadsword): As one of the prominent short bladed weapons in Chinese history, the broadsword was widely practiced throughout China. It is a single-edged curved blade and its practice is characterized by vigorous attack and defensive techniques. Its fierce and powerful movements primarily utilize wrapping and entwining techniques with relentless hacking, upper-cutting, slashing, blocking, thrusting and circling. Its performance requires great strength and co-ordination between the practitioner’s body and the weapon.

Red or Black Chinese Kung Fu Sword

Red or Black Chinese Kung Fu Sword


Jianshu (Straight sword): The straight sword is one of the most widely practiced short bladed weapons in Chinese history; its influence goes beyond the realm of Wushu (martial arts) and has deep cultural connotations. It is a double-edged straight bladed sword and its practice is characterized by graceful, elegant, brisk, agile and naturally flowing motions. It focuses on a harmonious balance between hard and soft techniques with variable and flexible changes in speed. Its primary techniques include thrusting, pointing, tilting, shearing and sweeping combined with intricate footwork, and flexible body work.

Gunshu (stick,cane): Considered the “father” of all weapons, the long cudgel is fast paced which focuses on far reaching sweeping techniques. Combining offensive and defensive techniques, it is characterized by quick and heavy movements, with fast and numerous changes. The most commonly used techniques include: chopping, butting, sweeping, smashing and rotating. (If you want try this Shaolin Stuff Kung Fu, you can buy one from here>>)

Qiangshu (Spear): The spear is considered the “king” of all weapons, and is the major long shafted weapon practiced widely throughout China. Its practice is characterized by agile footwork, flexible body work, smooth transitions, fast and precise techniques, with both short and long range techniques. While its core technique is thrusting, it also includes coiling, circling, circular blocking as well as slamming movements. The spear requires unity between the body and the weapon, and relies on force generated from the entire body. This creates a breathtaking and mesmerizing display.

Except these main type weapons, shaolin have lots of uncommon weapons form with long history. There are: Spade (or shovel), Rope Dart, Double Hook, Moon Fork, Grass Sickle, Hammer, Qian Kun Wheel, Double tiger head hooks, Damour Rod, Group Soft Whip,Double wihip, Shepherd Whip, Wood fish and 18 weapons sparring you can try.

Shaolin Sanda Techniques for Real Combat and Fighting

Sanda is a modern unarmed combat sport which developed from traditional wushu techniques, and primarily makes use of punching, kicking, throwing, wrestling and defensive techniques. It should be noted that there is a big difference between traditional shaolin forms and modern sanda. Sanda is real fighting forms, it draws on shaolin Qin na and other combat kung fu form, get techniques and skills to strengthening the body and involving movements more effective, make people do better in denfense and attack.

Sanda (san shou)has use dozens of shaolin 2 person sparring forms and skills like: quick moving ba, mind ba, tigher forward ba, mass cross ba (shizi luan ba) and so on. And the shaolin monks and coaches have collected useful combat skills for shaolin qin na (san shou). Now, there are “samllqin na” and “big qinna”, 36 qin na forms and 10 combat skills.

Samll qinna use the palm, fingers and wrist to control opponent. Big qinna use the ebow, shoulder, head and leg to control opponent. The main techniques are use various anti-joints forms and acupoint forms to attack opponenet and force them give up, of course there are also techniques about getting rid of your opponenet’s control. That why more and more people learn it for special jobs need, and girls learn it for defense.

Sanda techniques traning Qin na skills

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For the Sanda Competition Bouts comprise of 3 rounds in total, each lasting two minutes with a one minute rest period between rounds. Apart from illegal blows and methods, sanda athletes may employ punching, kicking and throwing techniques from all styles of wushu. Valid striking areas are: the head, the trunk (including the chest, abdomen, waist and back) and the legs. The full-contact bouts are free flowing and exciting, and athletes are awarded points by the sideline judges for successfully executed techniques based on the scoring criteria. An athlete will be declared the winner if he or she wins 2 out of the 3 rounds of a bout, or if their opponent is knocked out.

Most professional athletes take sanda training for competition. and most boxing lover also go shaolin kung fu school to learn sanda and go for a boxing career. If you have the same dream, you can try the magic sanda and you will be love it!

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