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The choices reflecting a wai-kung (external) specialist’s goals within Northern Shaolin, 5 Animals, Choy Li Fut or Ch'uan Fa Kempo are tailored according to the needs and goals of the student.

Contrary to popular belief regarding "Kung Fu," few of the many arts and training of Shaolin or other external styles concentrate solely on combat. In fact, many schools exist where emphasis is on forms study and no combat or sparring takes place. The N. Shaolin/5 Animals candidate has two basic choices in his studies, i.e. combative or non-combative. The Choy Li Fut curriculum is by definition combative, as is Ch'uan Fa Kempo.

The following are two descriptions: 1) The integrated curriculum of combative N. Shaolin/Ch'uan Fa Kempo/Choy Li Fut studies; and 2) The 5 Animals Shaolin non-combative, meditative studies. Both are valid, respected, time-honored paths for martial artists.



N. Shaolin/Ch'uan Fa Kempo/Choy Li Fut

The lower six levels of study concentrate on 1) the Foundation conditioning and skills program, as presented in the BASIC TRAINING and IRON WARRIOR series; 2) several forms; and 3) 165 self-defense techniques which prepare the student for advanced work. These first six levels utilize many kinds of strikes and kicks, but the emphasis is on the upright grappling arts, i.e. grabs, locks, throws.

At the 1st Degree Brown Belt level, you begin researching 175 advanced self-defense maneuvers, covering attacks from single and multiple opponents, unarmed and armed (club, knife, pistol). These techniques are added gradually as you progress to higher skill and rank levels, for a total of 340 seminal self-defense maneuvers. I say ‘seminal’ because the total is many times that by the time a serious student researches the many variations inherent within the principle of each technique. Eventually, too, you’ll add up to another 60 fist and weapon forms to your arsenal. Descriptions of much of the training can be viewed here.


Kempo Defense Arts 1 (20 techniques)

Basic Training

Ng Lum Ma/5 Wheel Stance form

Ng Lum Kuen/5 Wheel Fist form

Liu Lu Lohan Ch’uan/6 Methods of the

Monk form


Kempo Defense Arts (25 techniques)

Iron Warrior 1

Begin Iron Warrior 3

Bei Shaolin Ch’uan/Northern Temple Arts Fist

Shao Shizu Ch’uan/Small Cross Fist

1st GREEN:

Kempo Defense Arts 3 (30 techniques).

Iron Warrior 2

Continue IW 3

Kung Li Ch’uan/Fist of Power

Jiben Ch’uan/Fundamental Fist

2nd GREEN:

Kempo Defense Arts 4 (30 techniques)

Continue IW 3

Tao Lu Ch’uan/Five Attacks Fist

Di San Ch’uan/Three Fists

Dragon’s Head Staff #1 – drills and form

1st BROWN:

Kempo Defense Arts 5 (30 techniques)

Continue IW 3

Chan Fu Hok Ch’uan Fa/Zen Kempo Tiger-Crane form

Tan Tui/Springy Legs form

Single Baton drills and form

2nd BROWN:

Kempo Defense Arts 6 (30 techniques)

Continue IW 3.

Chan Shao Pai Hao Ch’uan Fa/Zen Kempo Young Crane Fist

Dwun Da Ch’uan/Short Strike Fist

Dragon’s Head Staff #2: Drills & form

3rd BROWN:

Kempo Defense Arts 7 (40 techniques)

Finish IW 3

Dahn Dao/Basic Saber #1– drills and form.

1st BLACK:

Kempo Defense Arts 8 (30 techniques)

Iron Warrior 4, Part 1

Bei Mei Hua Ch’uan/Northern Plum Blossom Fist

Pao Hok Kuen/White Crane Fist

Dragon’s Head Staff #3 – drills and form

Single Dagger form

2nd BLACK:

Kempo Defense Arts 9 (30 techniques)

Iron Warrior 4, Part 2

Da Hsin Ch’uan/Striking to the Heart

Kung Chien Pu Ch’uan/Bow&Arrow Stepping Fist

Sui Sup Ji Kuen/Cross-Grabbing Fist

Dahn Dao/Intermediate Saber—drills and form

3rd BLACK:

Kempo Defense Arts 10 (35 techniques)

Shaolin Yizhichan Chi Kung/Inner Breath Work of the One Finger Zen School

Wu Yi Ch’uan/Infinite Mind Fist

Fu Bok Mei Ch’uan/White Eyebrow Tiger Fist.

Sup Ji Jit Kuen/Tiger Blocking Fist

Double Baton – drills and form

4th BLACK:

Kempo Defense Arts 11 (40 techniques)

Stone Warrior Body Hardening Set

Tit Juen Kuen/Iron Strength Fist

Bei Chang Ch’uan/Northern Long Fist

Siu Cern Dao/S. Shaolin Twin Sabers

5th BLACK:

Review of self-defense arts.

Shi Pa Lo Han Shou/18 Movements of the Arhat

Tuozhe Bu Ch’uan/Shuffling Step Fist

Fut Jeung Kuen/Buddha Palm Fist

Tri-Sectional Staff #1: drills and form

6th BLACK:

Publication of original manuscript

Tit Lo Han Chin Ch’uan/Iron Buddha set

Tuide Tuikai Men Ch’uan/Opening the Door fist

Chan Hou Ch’uan Fa/Zen Kempo Monkey Fist

Yee Jeong Bot Gwa Kuen/Righteous and Strong Fist

Chien #1/Single rapier—drills and form

Hatha Yoga

7th BLACK:

Publish original manuscript

Yi Chin Ching/Muscle Change Classic

Ling Tao Ren Ch’uan/The People’s Leader Fist

Chan Pao Ch’uan Fa/Zen Kempo Leopard Fist

Ping Kuen/Cannon Fist

Double Daggers form

Chien #2: drills and form

8th BLACK:

Publish original manuscript regarding history and

philosophy of martial arts

Zuo Ma Ch’uan/Sitting on the Horse Fist

Chan Si Ba Ch’uan Fa/Zen Kempo Snake Fist

Chan Hong Lung Ch’uan Fa/Zen Kempo Dragon

Monk’s Broadsword form.

Double Butterfly Short Swords

9th BLACK:

Publish original manuscript

Lien Huan Ch’uan/Continuation Fist

Chan Wu Ge Shou Ch’uan Fa/Kempo 5 Animals

Tri-Sectional Staff #2—drills and form

Spear: drills and form

10th BLACK:

Kum Nye

Shing-Yi Ch’uan

Pa-Kua Chang


Wu Ge Ch’uan Shou/5 Animals Kung Fu

A meditative, non-combative, non-competitive approach to Shaolin ch'uan.

These are ritualized movement practices that contain principles of health preservation, weaponless self-defense, meditative insight. This work is heavily influenced by the Chinese Zen monastic tradition of martial arts, which in turn grew out of the Indian Buddhist vajramukti teachings which taught: aggression is illness arising from fear within; compassionate self-defense does not produce durable suffering; aspects of healing, health-nourishing, spiritual discipline, and raising consciousness are proper concerns of the student.

The vehicle for such a life-time study is the correct, controlled execution of technique embodied within the famous Northern Shaolin School and the 5 Animals forms (hsing): tiger, crane, leopard, snake, dragon. Each animal embodies individuated characteristics which are enlarged upon in training, i.e. the tiger movements strengthen bones and increase external power; the crane forms develop concentration, stability, determination; leopard forms practice jumping and generation of projected force; snake studies enhance internal chi flow; and the dragon forms develop attention and spirit, emphasizing lightness and change.

Hsing studies are taken from traditions of several Chinese schools, including Northern Shaolin, Southern Siulam, Choi Li Fut, Hung, White Eyebrow, White Tiger, Chaan Ch’uan Fa, Wu Mei, Honan. Each meeting includes: stretching and strengthening, stance drills, arm and leg coordination exercises, work on the hsing of the moment, including:

    1. Hu-Hao Ch’uan (Tiger-Crane Fist, Chaan Ch’uan Fa school)
    2. Pai Hao Ch’uan (White Crane Fist, Hung school)
    3. Si Ba Ch’uan (White Snake Fist, Chaan Ch’uan Fa school)
    4. Mui Tao Kuen (5 Animals Defensive Fist, Hung school)
    5. Pai Hao Ch’uan (White Crane Fist, Wu Mei school)
    6. Pao Ch’uan (Leopard Fist, Honan school)
    7. Wu Ge Shou Ch’uan (5 Animals Fist, Chaan Ch’uan Fa school)
    8. Fu Bok Mei Ch’uan (Northern Tiger Fist, White Eyebrow school)