IMPORTANT AND DIFFERENT CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FIVE CHOSEN SETS IN THE GLORY OF SHAOLIN KUNGFU COURSE

Dragon-form Set

Majesty of the Dragon Form Set



The course on the Glory of Shaolin Kungfu was held in Inari, Lapland in Finland from 22nd to 26th of January 2018. Markus (Sifu Markus Kahila), the course organizer, chose the following five kungfu sets for the course:

    1. Shaolin Dragon Form Set
    2. Shaolin Flower Set
    3. Monkey Set
    4. 72-Pattern Tiger-Crane Set
    5. Five Element Continuous Fist Set
The five sets were arranged in the order above by Markus in his announcement as well as by me in my website. However, the sets were performed and explained during the course in another order as follows according to their progression in the advancement of skills. In other words, the first set needs comparatively the least skills and the last set the most skills.
    1. Shaolin Dragon Form Set
    2. Monkey Set
    3. 72-Pattern Tiger-Crane Set
    4. Shaolin Flower Set
    5. Five Element Continuous Fist Set
This arrangement is, of course, subjective. Other people may have different arrangements.

There are two important points one should bear in mind in the above arrangement. One, progression was based on skills, and two, the progression was comparative. "Five Element Continuous Fist Set" was placed on the last day because its skills were most advanced. If the progression was based on techniques, it would be the simplest and placed on the first day.

Flower Set

Sophistication of the Shaolin Flower Set

The progression was comparative. The simplest of these five sets, "Shaolin Dragon Form Set", was placed on the first day. But by itself, both the skills and the techniques of the set are advanced. For example, it needs much skill to serve in this set, and the technique of serving is also not easy. It is a set not recommended for beginners.

These five sets were well chosen, as they represent five important and different characteristics of Shaolin Kungfu. As Shaolin Kungfu is the greatest martial art, a participant of this course would also learn the important and different characteristics of any martial art.

If a practitioner learns only the Shaolin Dragon Form Set, he may be majestic which is a characteristic of this set, but he misses the playfulness of the monkey, which is a characteristic of the Monkey Set. If a person only learns the Shaolin Flower Set, be may be sophisticated, but he misses the directness of Xingyiquan, which the Five Element Continuous Set provides.

It is helpful to examine these five sets to see what their main features are and why they are different from one another, and how these characteristics can benefit any martial artists, not only those practicing Shaolin Kungfu.

Monkey Set

Playfulness of the Monkey Set

The Dragon Form Set is majestic, and the movements are flowing and serving. If a practitioner performs the set as if it were Karate, he would miss its flowing and serving characteristics. If he performs it like a Monkey set, he would miss its majesty.

The Shaolin Flower Set is sophisticated, and its movements deceiving an overwhelming. If a practitioner performs it as if it were a Taekwondo set, he would miss its deceiving and overwhelming characteristics. If he performs it like a Xingyiquan set, he would miss its sophistication.

The Monkey Set is playful, and its movements tricky and fluid. If a practitioner performs it like performing Boxing, he would miss its playfulness. If he performs it as if he were performing a Tiger-Crane Set, he would miss its tricky and fluid movements.

The 72-Pattern Tiger Crane Set is dignified, and its movements forceful and elegant. If a practitioner performs the set as if it were Muay Thai, he would miss its dignified forms. If he performs it as if it were a Lohan Kungfu Set, he would miss its elegance.

Tiger-Crane Set

Elegance of the Tiger-Crane Set

The Five Element Continuous Fist is direct, and its movements powerful and penetrating. If a practitioner performs the set as if he were performing Aikido, he would miss its directness. If he performs it like a Taijiquan set, he would miss its powerful and penetrating characteristics.

A course participant learns all these important but different characteristics which he can apply appropriately in combat situations and in daily life. When he needs to be majestic, for example, like when he speaks in front of a board of directors, he can draw the characteristic from the Dragon Form Set. When he needs to be playful, like when he is in the jovial company of his friends, he can draw the characteristic from the Monkey Set.

When he needs to be sophisticated like when he meets an opponent who is skillful in combat, he can derive movements from the Shaolin Flower Set. When he meets an opponent less advanced then himself, he can defeat him using movements from the Five Element Continuous Fist.

The characteristics from the five selected sets are not only important for combat and daily living, they are also different and diversified. They range form being majestic and playful, and from being simple and sophisticated. They meet many situations in sparring as well as in daily life.

Wong Kiew Kit
28th January 2018, Inari, Finland

Five Element Continuous Fist Set

Directness of the Five Element Continuous Fist Set

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