instructor: monk Deqi, from Shaolin temple
Shaolin kung fu emeror's long-range style (太祖长拳: taizu chang quan):
- 'strategy': this style teaches to fight groups of enemies. fighting against groups has its strategies. breaking through a group of enemies directly is not generally wise. a saying is "fleeing is the best tactic (走为上策)." quickly retreat by fleeing back if it could make the situation better. however, if you are determined to fight, "beat the grass to frighten the snake (打草惊蛇)," strike the group to frighten them and to "lure the tiger leave its lair (调虎离山)," i.e., to induce individuals leave the group to attack you. do not induce all enemies to follow you all at once, but "befriend the far ones while attacking the nearby one (远交近攻)". retreat to keep safety, don't resist against their advancement as "to catch one, let him go (欲擒故纵)," let them come off the group for a safe distance, then "shut the door to catch the thief (关门捉贼)," catch them before they get back to the group. do long-range moves while retreating to keep distance and to avoid being surrounded by enemies. furthermore, enemies outnumber you, it's important to "await at ease for the exhausted enemy (以逸待劳)," i.e., keep your energy while making the enemies waste theirs. this needs avoiding unnecessary moves and the proper combination of soft and hard (yin & yang) in your moves. the best actual method of this strategy is to "watch the fire from the other side of the river (隔岸观火)," i.e., while the enemies are engaged in combat, you simply avoid it, don't resist or block enemy's hard (yang) force, but just evade or follow it softly (yin), let enemy's move reach a proper position, then you apply a proper amount of force to "remove ladder after one climbs the roof (上屋抽梯)," i.e., to end enemy's move against himself. for example, to "kill with a borrowed knife (借刀杀人)," i.e., to borrow enemy's own force and turn it to himself. be strong yet soft, move simply yet effectively, avoid group and hit multiple opponents at once with long-range sweeping moves. these are the main strategy of Shaolin long style.
- 'history': Zhao Kuangyin, the first emperor of the Song dynasty (960-1279), visited Shaolin temple in his youth, and there he learned and exchanged knowledge with the monks for a short period of time. in 961 AD, he commissioned monk Fuju, the chief of the martial monks of Shaolin temple, to make a standard set of Shaolin kung fu styles. Fuju invited famous masters of martial arts from various areas, and Zhao Kuangyin also sent his best army commanders into the gathering. after a few years of work, they combined their knowledge with Shaolin kung fu and created the best styles they could. the older Shaolin styles and these new styles were officially recorded into a book named 'Shaolin kung fu manual (少林拳谱)' which was updated through generations and kept in Shaolin temple. the first style they created was Zhao Kuangyin's main army martial style, and was later named the 'grand emperor's long style (taizu chang quan)'.
Shaolin kung fu tutorial:
- training: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB9EB410ECABF43C8
- styles: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8F75C68BF1246C2B
- weapons: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE48D537F756421A2