Internal Force

Internal force is an integral aspect of genuine Shaolin Kungfu


In the West a tradition seems to have developed in Shaolin Kung Fu training which grades people with various sashes: white, gray, orange, yellow, blue, purple etc. leading to black sash. Has this anything to do with 'pure' Shaolin Kung Fu training, or is this just a Western development. And in the training you provide, do you have any similar structure?

-- Dr Piotrowicz, USA


In traditional kungfu training, including Shaolin, Taijiquan and other kungfu styles, there is no colored sash system to indicate levels of attainment. Some modern kungfu masters, however, have borrowed the colored belt system in Japanese and Korean martial arts like Judo, Karate and Taekwondo, and use it in their kungfu schools, substituting sashes for belts.

In our school, Shaolin Wahnam, we do not use the colored sash system. Nevertheless, we have a structured programme as well as a time frame for training to help our students progress from one level to another.


I am very eager to make a deep commitment into studying Shaolin Kung Fu, but am a little nervous not to get involved in variations of the original. What I have read of your work is so beautiful and appears to be straight from the original Shaolin.


In my opinion, much of the original Shaolin teaching has been lost today. Shaolin Kungfu was well known for internal force, combat efficiency and spiritual cultivation. But most Shaolin practitioners today use muscular strength instead of internal force, Kick-Boxing instead of Shaolin techniques in their sparring, and have little understanding and experience of spiritual training.

We believe that what we value and practice in our school, Shaolin Wahnam, are very close to the original philosophy and practice of the southern Shaolin Temple at the time of its burning about 150 years ago. The fact that I am only four generations from the original Shaolin Temple, which is close as other lineages may be ten or fifteen generations away, enables the original teaching to be better preserved. We in Shaolin Wahnam are dedicated to preserving and passing on the original Shaolin teaching to deserving students.

Reproduced from March 2006 Part 2 in Selection of Question-Answer Series


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