Student Resources

What is Wushu?

 

Modern Wushu, also known as Contemporary Wushu, is a dynamic, fast-paced and aesthetically pleasing art form with a foundation in traditional Chinese Kung Fu. It was created in the early 1950s and is now a sport practiced worldwide. Wushu, translated into English as “Martial Arts” is generally divided into two groups, Internal and External Wushu. Wushu competition includes Forms (Taolu) full-contact fighting (Sanda) and International Compulsory routines: Long Fist, Southern Fist, Broadsword, Straight Sword, Staff, Spear, Taij Quan, Taiji Sword, Southern Staff and Southern Sword. Today this awe-inspiring martial art continues to improve the mental, physical, and spiritual health of practitioners from throughout the world as it adapts to suit the continually changing needs of the People.

Five Stance Form

First Long Fist Form

Beginning Long Fist Form

Philip Sahagun participating in a morning prayer ceremony in Shaolin Temple with the Abbot Shi Yong Xin.

What is Shaolin Kungfu?​

 

The manifestation of Shaolin Kungfu comes from over 1,500 years of continual refinement and development by the Monks of Songshan Shaolin Temple, generals, warriors and disciples alike. Shaolin Kungfu is based on the special combination of three unique characteristics: Chan, Wu, Yi, or Chan Buddhism, Martial Arts and Medicine. Shaolin Kungfu is considered one of the top Chinese martial art styles because of its long history and fully developed practices. Each set contains a series of movements which coincides with human anatomy while emphasizing the mixing of action and stillness, balancing of Yin and Yang energies, combining soft and hard movements and exhibiting one’s spirit or vitality in the postures. Amongst Shaolin Kungfu’s principles of movement, one of the most notable is the “The Six Coordination’s.” They are the coordination of one’s hands with the feet, one’s knees with the elbows, one’s shoulders with the hips, one’s mind with intent, one’s intent with Qi, and one’s Qi with physical strength. This amongst other principle's are essential in learning how to bring the mind and body together naturally and effortlessly, the unification of which, is the mind and body as one.

Middle Level Luohan Quan

First Luohan Quan

Youth Compulsory Form

Eight Diamond Movements

Da Hong Quan

Advanced Compulsory Form

Early into my days as a teacher I created an in class written exam for my Wushu students as part of their philosophy testing. I would like to share one short essay that was done particularly well. The student, Lee'An had been studying for 1.5 years at this time and had just turned 10...

 

“Martial Arts benefits people by giving them strength and power. It also gives them coordination which is important in everyday life. Martial Arts gives a person knowledge and strength through philosophy, meditation and practice. It has benefited me a lot because now I can do a backhand spring which I couldn’t do before. If I can do these things, I can probably do many others. Martial Arts can make the world rid of evil and make the world a better place if people choose to practice it. Martial arts is, I think, supposed to purify ones mind and rid it of unwanted thoughts. It can also give you immense power if it is practiced long and hard enough.”  -- Lee’An (10 years old, Student for 1.5 years)