why train Shaolin Kungfu

We train Shaolin Kungfu for good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys


Why do you or you senior students or other real warriors not participate in such competitions as MMA or UFC? As an example to demonstrate that kung fu is a great art as Sifu Sung Lu Tang or Sifu Hoa Yun Jia did in the beginning of 20th century it will be great.

— Gasham, Azerbaijan


There are a few good reasons why we in Shaolin Wahnam do not take part in competitions like Mixed Martial Art (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitions. I believe that other genuine kungfu masters share these reasons too, which also reflect the philosophy of traditional kungfu masters in the past. These reasons can be summed up in the expression that we "walk our talk" or practice what we say.

The main aim of our kungfu training, whether in our Shaolin Kungfu or Wahnam Taijiquan, is for personal cultivation in all its physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspect. Our cultivation gives us good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity, spiritual joys as well as combat efficiency. These benefits enable us to make our life and the lives of other people meaningful and rewarding.

As it was also the case with kungfu practitioners in the past, it has never been our objectives to win competitions, or to show others how good a fighter we are. We do not glamorize fighting, and try to avoid it as best as we can. But if we have to fight, we will certainly fight well.

Then why do we train a martial art if we hope not to be engaged in real fighting at all? Would we also achieve those wonderful benefits mentioned above, except being combat efficient, by training high-level chi kung instead of Shaolin Kungfu or Wahnam Taijiquan.

Actually our chi kung is derived from our Shaolin Kungfu. In the past, high-level chi kung was known as "nei kung" or internal art. It was taught to specially selected disciples after they had spent many years in kungfu training and had proven themselves to be of high moral character.

One may still enjoy the wonderful benefits of good health, vitality, longevity, mental clarity and spiritual joys by practicing high-level chi kung without any martial aspects, but it is the martial training that brings the attainment to an exceptionally high level. A few examples will make this clear.

To most people the concept of good health means being free from illness and enjoying general well-being. This marks the apex of non-martial chi kung training. But to a true martial artist, this is only the beginning. His concept of good health will include many aspects ordinary people do not even dream about, like being able to spar for an hour or two without feeling tired or panting for breaths.

To most people the concept of mental clarity means being able to think clearly. But it is much more to a true martial artist. His mental clarity is trained to such an exceptionally high level that during combat, for example, he can analyze a few possible responses in a given combat situation and in a split second make the best choice. In a non-combat situation, when he enters a room full of people he can sense who are friendly to him and who are antagonistic, even when some of them are behind his back!

Another important reason why we do not want to take part in competitions of MMA, UFC and the like is that we neither want to be seriously hurt by our opponents nor to seriously hurt our opponents. There is no doubt that competitors in MMA, UFC and the like are top-class fighters. A single strike by these top-class fighters can maim or kill. We also have no doubt that we can also maim or kill with just one strike.

We have a choice. We can choose to put ourselves in such a situation where we can be badly hurt or hurt others badly, or we can choose not to be in such a situation at all. We have sufficient mental clarity to choose wisely. We are not misled by fame or price money to make a bad choice. We also do not have any need nor interest to show others that kungfu can be used for fighting. If others do not believe kungfu is combat efficient, that is their problem, not ours.

The above is taken from Question 2 of September 2009 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.


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