Kamis, 16 Desember 2010

Shaolin Skype - Making Authentic Shaolin Accessible To All

I am passionate about Shaolin not only as a martial art but also as a powerful tool to help people live longer, be happier, fitter, healthier. I am always looking for ways to help people master the Shaolin Arts and get closer so they can experience the real Shaolin. My aim is to take away any obstacles that may get in the way. This is why I make  books and DVDs. I hope that wherever you are in the world, you feel as if you are training in the temple alongside me.  

When I first came to study at the Shaolin Temple I was confused by the different forms and training. I studied a myriad of different forms before I found the true jewels of the training. My training and experience means your time is not wasted. When you train with me you are being handed my twenty-five years of experience. I only teach what is relevant. Time is precious. I don't want to waste your time in learning something that isn't. This would be a waste of my time too.

In accordance with the Temple of Zen, I aim to teach as clearly and simply as possible but I recognize that as a student's training deepens there may be aspects of the training that can't be answered through my DVDs and books. This is why I am now offering Shaolin Skype sessions.

Who are the Shaolin Skype sessions for?

Do you have a niggling doubt that you may be doing the breathing or some of the movements incorrectly?
Are you struggling to stay motivated and committed to your health and fitness program?
Do you want a personalized program tailored to your health concerns?
Do you want more detailed specific advice?
Is there a martial application that you want to learn that I don't teach in my DVDs?
Suffering from injury and want help in recovering?

If you've answered yes to any of these questions then these sessions may be for you.

How does it work?

A Shaolin Skype class is the same as if you were coming to see me for a one2one. The Shaolin Skype Session last 45 minutes and is available exclusively to subscribers of my newsletter.

What do I need?

A Skype account. If you don't have one already then you can sign up for free.
A web cam.
A Wi-Fi connection.

What do I need to do?

Wear loose comfortable clothing
Be in a quiet private space with phones switched to silence
Log on a few minutes before the designated time

How do I book?

If you haven't already then subscribe to my mailing list
Follow the link to buy a voucher and receive a Shaolin Skype session for £60.00
Once you have made the payment you will receive a pdf gift voucher together with instructions as to how to book.
The vouchers are non refundable and valid for twelve months.

What happens after I've bought a voucher?

You can make an appointment to have a session with me at any time within the next twelve months.
Bookings are made up to three months in advance.
Simply email my team and let them know when you're available.
They will then book you in, and send you a series of questions via email.
Your answers will be strictly confidential and help me to tailor my session for you.

Only subscribers to my mailing list can receive a Shaolin Skype Session. Subscribe today and receive 20% off.

Senin, 13 Desember 2010

The Seven Laws Of Success - How Your Daily Workout Can Help You Achieve Your Dreams

Working Out The Mind & Body

Before I came to the West I only knew what was taught in the four walls of the Shaolin Temple. I knew there were other martial arts outside of Kung Fu and Qigong but I had never seen them before. When I came to the London I was curious and went to many classes to study. I wasn't so much interested in the different techniques. I was interested in how the mind worked. Would the mind of a Muay Thai fighter work differently to a Sanda fighter?

But the most important mind that we need to get to know is our own. It saddens me to think of the many people who workout without using their mind. At the temple, our training is always seen as a meditation. The mind and body work in a unique way and by using our workout as a meditation we infuse our self with a deep sense of spaciousness and peace. So next time you are running, swimming, weight lifting, practicing Qigong or doing a kung fu class either through a DVD or in a class, use my  seven laws to help you achieve success not just in your workout but in your life.

Now Is All We Have

Our mind is a muddy glass of water. It's only when we allow our mind to be still that the mud can settle to the bottom and we can have clarity. The present moment is changing fast and our mind is constantly darting between the past, present and future. To calm it down, we give our mind an object to settle on. The object is our breath and our movement. Once our mind is calm it can then gain the powerful focus of a laser.

Star In Your Own Movie

There are some places in this world that give us great peace. For some people, it may be a Buddhist Temple, others a church, others may find peace in nature. Before you begin your martial arts session, take a few moments to close your eyes. Approach your workout as if you are about to enter that place that gives you peace. Then, begin to imagine yourself at your best, in peak health, flexible, and relaxed. If you're doing bag training, picture your self kicking the bag with power and speed. If you're going through my Qigong DVD then you're staying completely focused on the movement. Runners imagine yourself running effortlessly, your body as light as a feather.

 Believe You Can

" Believing in something beyond the self can have a hugely psychological impact, even if the belief is fallacious." Bounce by Matthew Syed.

Faith is vitally important. Give me a fighter with faith and a fighter with good skill and the fighter with faith will win. We need to believe in our self and in a bigger wisdom than our self. Belief is the first step of our training. A belief that we can do this.

Shaolin Kung Fu Training is hard. It challenges us. This is why we gain in confidence. We are now doing something we never thought possible. We look back and see how far we've come. Our workout has taken us out of comfort zone. It didn't just challenge our body, it challenged our mind. We are taking part in a tradition that is thousands of years old. We are keeping it alive and applying it in our life so that we can become an urban warrior.

Let Go

Shaolin Training is an effective tool to deal with worries and problems. But how do we apply this? Using our workout as a meditation gives us a mini holiday from the circle of our thoughts. It allows us to let go of our worries and problems. This crucial mini holiday helps us to get a bigger perspective so we can deal with our problems more effectively because we no longer feel swamped by them.


It takes many hours to become a master of something. Once the sport is mastered, a different part of the brain is being used and this is when the workout begins to feel like an instinct. But this only happens with very purposeful practice. Doing the thing that you're bad at makes you into a champion. Failing over and over again makes you into a champion. If there's a certain kung fu kick you struggle with then keep practicing it. Spar against people who are better than you, this is the only way you will learn. Struggling with stamina? Do interval training and hill running.  


When you can easily get through your workout, it means it's time to move on. Never stop believing in yourself and never stop challenging yourself. If you are lazy in your workout, are you being lazy in your life? If you're limiting yourself in your workout, in what ways are you limiting yourself in your life?


Your Shaolin Kung Fu Workout is a blueprint for your life. From success in your workout, you can go and achieve success in your life. And remember it's not about winning or losing. It's about doing everything with passion and mindfulness so it has meaning for you. You can't control the outcome but what you can control is having fun in the process.

If you like my blog posts then please sign up to my newsletters to receive more tips and exclusive offers.

Selasa, 07 Desember 2010

The Zen Koan Workout

The world of Western traditional physical exercise is beginning to catch up with what  martial artists have known for thousands of years. Fitness is not just about burning calories and sweating. It’s about being healthy from the inside out and using breath and movement as a way to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves.  Research is revealing that this mind-body fitness not only keeps us healthy but also greatly helps to banish stress and is aids longevity.

Planting the seed

As martial artists, we trust that our final goal of conquering ourselves will be reached effortlessly. The goal is the seed. Through being in the moment and turning up for our martial art’s training sessions we carefully nurture that seed. When we are ready this seed becomes the goal we planted all of those years ago without us having to tinker with it or turn our thoughts to it. It’s almost like something we put away in a drawer and forgot about. 

But training is not possible without some basic level of health. Most of us take health for granted and it’s only when we get a cold or an injury that we are reminded how lucky we are to have the good health to train.

Mind- Body Fitness

Sometimes a person can look strong but this doesn’t mean they’re healthy. Body builders may be inflexible and internally weak. Yoga practioners may be flexible but ask him or her to perform a martial art’s kick and they have no power or speed. This is one of the reasons why there are so many different Shaolin exercises and forms. We work with our whole body and our bodywork has an affect on our mind.

We mix different kinds of training together to make our mind and body connect and work together. We want our stamina and flexibility to work together and our power and speed to work together. At the Shaolin Temple we build up our fitness level from our health not the other way round. Fitness is much more than good stamina.

Peaceful Monks

Sometimes a person may not look strong but they look healthy because of their skin and eyes and when they talk their mind is calm. I have witnessed many Buddhist monks like that. There is something about them, which makes a person feel calm when they are in their presence. Health means that they have a peaceful mind and their internal organs work well. 

Fitness from the inside out

The world of Western traditional physical exercise emphasizes the need for cardiovascular and strength training but they are increasingly beginning to realise that for true fitness we also need to practise stretching and Qigong. Health and fitness usually mean two different things but for optimum fitness and true health we need to bring the two together and join them in a union.

Once you have a healthy body this means you have the foundation to be able to get fit. Fitness doesn’t mean you can run ten kilometers or you can lift very heavy weights, fitness means you have good stamina, you are flexible and your reaction time is very swift.

Suggested Training Plan – How To Start

It is not necessary to be a Shaolin martial artist to run through this training plan below but it is suitable for any martial artist.

1) Run for twenty minutes to make your body hot.
2) Raise each knee a hundred times to loosen your muscles.
3) Stretch your legs and hips.
4) Practise the five fundamental Shaolin kicks.
5) Do some push ups to train your upper body.
6) Traditional punches to stretch out the muscles.
Repeat 2) – 6) three times.

Once you have finished this training we can do some traditional forms or if you are a Thai boxer or kick boxer then you can shadow box and kick different combinations to make your mind and body work together. Do a workout from one of my workout or bootcamp DVDs. 

If you don’t like training outside and you train in the gym or in your home then at the beginning of your training session you can skip or ride a bicycle instead of going for a run. The important thing is to make your body hot.


After we have gone through this training plan, we finish our training with Qigong. At the Shaolin Temple we never do fitness training alone but always balance it out with the practice Qigong to enhance the power of our external training and balance our Yin and Yang. Qigong helps us to feel peaceful, concentrated, positive and focused.

The Power Of Qi

Many athletes especially long distance runners and cyclists know that it is their mind as much as their body that gets them through the race. Once their mind has given up then they too will give up and they won’t be able to continue and complete or win the race.

But even though they understand the power of their mind, they don’t understand the power of Qi. This is why they end up retiring when they are in their thirties. They don’t look after their internal organs. Shaolin Monks do which is why their training deepens as they get older.           

Effortless effort

When I look at someone who is truly fit, everything they do looks easy. They are very flexible because when they run they tell their body to keep light and positive. When they punch or kick, they tell themselves to relax and use their body more. When they lift weights, they know exactly which muscle they need to use and which muscle they don’t need to use. When they practise Qigong they know when they need to inhale and when they need to exhale. They focus on what they need to focus on and this gives them confidence and power. They understand that if their mind is strong then their body is strong and if their body is strong then their mind is strong. It’s not possible to separate the two out.

A Zen Koan

Martial artists have always used both; they have always used the breath because it is the link between the mind and body. They have always focused on the present moment because it is the only moment when we can be truly alive. This is why – in the past –Masters sometimes used shock tactics or said Koans in an attempt to awaken their student to what life really is. 

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

If we try to understand with our intellect then we’ll never understand and if we try to do martial arts with our intellect we shall also never understand. 
Only when we have cultivated strong willpower and let go of our mind can we move to hard training to build up our stamina level and create from out of ourselves a warrior’s mind and body.

Rabu, 06 Oktober 2010

Shaolin Body Conditioning Tincture

At the Shaolin Temple, once a disciple begins to study one of the seventy-two styles, they are given a specific Qigong and a specific recipe to make a body conditioning tincture. In the past, the monks used to lie in baths of these tinctures but today we apply this tincture to our body. After making up this tincture, the disciples then adapt it slightly and each disciple has his own recipe.  Mine is made from twenty-five natural herbs, roots and barks. Some of the herbs help the blood to flow, some help to strengthen the bones, others help the muscles to relax.

This medicine can also be used for injuries, bruising, and some people say that it can be effective for repetitive strain injury though I have no experience of this so I don’t know if this is true. My own experience is in body conditioning. I used it when I was learning Shaolin Steel Jacket and I could never have endured this hard training without the aid of this special medicine.

The first thing we do when we do body conditioning is warm up our body then we rub the medicine into the part of our body that we want to condition. You need to rub the medicine in hard so it really gets inside the skin. The medicine works in three ways: protects the skin, reduces the risk of injury, and strengthens the bone.

I get asked many times about the difference between my Body Conditioning Tincture and the oil that some fighters use especially Muay Thai fighters. This is oil and not a tincture and the main ingredient is camphor, which has a warming effect on the muscles, but doesn’t penetrate the bones or help to prevent injury.

Another misconception is that Shaolin tincture is the same as  “Dit Da Jow”. Dit Da Jow uses alcohol as the base for their medicine where as we use a very high quality vinegar. Why do we use vinegar and not alcohol? Vinegar can take the varnish off a table; it strips the medicine of all of its good things and preserves it.

We also use a secret blend of herbs, roots and bark which is individual and unique to each master. Just as there are varying qualities of olive oil or wine, so it’s the same with this medicine. I take great care in finding the best quality herbs and then I brew my medicine for four years before filtering it. This makes it very potent.

If you don’t do body conditioning but you do martial arts or fighting then I would recommend you use this oil before you train to strengthen your bones and reduce injury. But remember to warm the body up first so that the tincture can penetrate through your skin and into your bone.

Senin, 17 Mei 2010

The Future Of Exercise

Powerful strategies for optimzing your body and mind

I believe that practicing martial arts or going through your life without practicing Qigong is like driving a car and never topping up the air in the tyres. The air is our Qi, it gets us places. Take the air out of the tyre and the car will go nowhere, take the air out of our bodies and we die. It is as simple as that. On a basic level Qi is breath, it flows where the blood flows, but on a deeper level it is the energy matrix of the body and when we do Shaolin Training we optimize it on daily basis to get the most out of ourselves.

This is what the Shaolin Temple mean when they emphasise the importance of internal and external. The external is the kung fu, the things we can see, the internal is what is going on inside of us, and to optimize our energy we mix internal and external together.

Shaolin Steel Jacket

A good example of this is Shaolin Steel Jacket. In order for me to be able to do this, I have to have good stamina but I also I need to practice Qigong. It is the Qi that protects my body. I direct my Qi to my ribs or my back and I deflect the pain away so it acts like a mirror, when a person kicks me, their power is deflected and turned back on themselves so it hurts them instead of me. That is the amazing power of Qi.

The Competitive Edge

The majority of people use Qi to unblock the channels and optimize the efficiency of the body. In China, top-level businessmen and women practice Qigong so that they can focus and have full energy for the day ahead. They believe it gives them a competitive edge. Martial artists use it to make their bodies into weapons or simply to give them a stronger and longer martial art's life.

The balance of yin and yang

When I first went to the Shaolin Temple to begin my training, I was fourteen years old and 90% of my training was kung fu – external - training and only 10% was Qigong – internal - training. To be honest, I used to find internal training boring and I wasn’t convinced that there was such a thing as Qi. But I wanted to learn Shaolin Steel Jacket and in order to do this I had no choice. It was only when I saw the effectiveness of the Qigong movements that I became interested in Qi.

As I get older I don't need to practice 90% kung fu, and if I did I would quickly burn myself out. The reason boxers and footballers usually retire in their thirties is not only because their stamina is not as strong but also because their body feels weaker, and this is one of the ways in which martial arts differs from sport. As martial artists, our thirties are the time when we have the maturity and experience to go deeper into the internal techniques. We change the yin and yang of our training so that we may do 60% kung fu and 40% Qi Gong but as I get older this may become as much as 90% Qi Gong and 10% kung fu.

The key to staying young isn't to work out until our endorphins make us happy but to be clever and learn how to balance our external training with our internal training.

How far can you go?

If we have a car, every now and again we check the air pressure, especially if we are about to go on a long journey. We need to do the same thing with our body. What is it telling you? How much can you do today? How much can you push yourself?

This is something, which is difficult for a martial artist to judge because we know we have to push ourselves to improve. Martial arts are about taking us beyond our limits. The training challenges us and this is one of the reasons why we love martial arts so much. It takes us away from the smallness of our self and connects us with a tradition that is thousands of years old and it also gives us unity with our fellow martial artists. There is something exhilarating about our body being able to do something that we never thought possible.

But no matter what martial arts you do, or even if you don’t do martial arts, if you want to sustain your martial art's life then you need to do internal training. If it's not part of your tradition then take it from another tradition.

Right Now

The history of the Shaolin Temple was built on monks going out to different provinces and taking the good things then bringing them back and finely tuning them. It's important that we don't stay stuck but we keep evolving. Remember the lesson of impermanence. Nothing is fixed and solid. Just as our bodies are impermanent and constantly changing so should our training change and adapt to where our bodies are right now in the present moment.

Less is more

My advice is at the end of your martial art's or workout session, finish with some Qigong. In the beginning, you may – like I did – feel bored. But if this happens remind yourself that Qigong has been around for thousands of years. If it were rubbish then it wouldn't be practiced anymore. It is a time-tested technique of putting energy back into your body but it yields nothing to an impatient bored mind. The practice needs to have quality so it's best to start off with doing less, just five minutes a day.

The Eight Treasures Qigong

The Eight Treasures Qigong is possibly the most popular Qi Gong form in China. I teach it in my book Instant Health and also my DVD The Way Of Qigong. It consists of eight sections so it's easy to break them down. Take one section from The Eight Treasures Qi Gong and practice this movement, and then build up a little bit more each day until you are working through a whole form. Try to get into a daily routine. We don't think about brushing our teeth because it's a habit. Try to make a habit of doing Qigong.

It's important to have patience. Our minds are like puppies, we know when we bring a puppy into the house it's naughty and we have to train it. This is the same with our mind. We have to give it direction and leadership and soon our body will start to enjoy the increase in energy and we will want to do Qigong.

Beginner's mind

Shaolin Qigong comes from a Ch'an or Zen tradition so we don't think about where the energy is going. The important aspect of this is to have a no thinking beginner's type mind. Practice with a heart and mind placed firmly on the practice and from this your own experience will grow. You will become aware of energy naturally; your body will direct you. Don't complicate things. The secret to a successful Qigong practice is to make sure your breathing is one with your movement. Don’t add anything more. Keep it simple.

The Shaolin Energy Massage

Just as top-level Olympic athletes have regular massages, we also finish our Qigong practice with a self-massage. And we use The Instant Health Massage Brush to do this. I use a metal one because I practice Shaolin Steel Jacket but The Instant Health Massage Brush that my students use is made from bamboo and consists of 108 bamboo rods. It is designed for a person seeking health, and for martial artists it is also the first step to body conditioning.

Not only does it relieve tight muscles but it also assists in unblocking the acupuncture channels, and helps the body to detox through the stimulation of the lymphatic system. This is a natural battery charger for the body. We do this massage when we have finished our Qi Gong training and it takes about five or ten minutes.

The future of exercise

The future of exercise is changing, just as yoga has become more mainstream, I believe Qigong will follow. New research is proving its effectiveness and I hope to see not only martial artists use it but boxers and athletes and runners and footballers.

Life is about energy. When we love something or feel passionate about something then we have a lot of energy. Our love for martial arts gives us the mental energy to keep training. The Qi in our bodies gives us the physical energy to keep training.

I like to think that even when I'm in my sixties I'll still be kicking and punching bags and running up mountains. I'll still be discovering more and more about martial arts because martial arts is like the ocean, it's never ending and I am a beginner who is always learning. It is only through the Qi that I can continue to do this.

Go for it!
If I explain to you the taste of an apple, it's not the same as you actually taking a bite from an apple. It's the same with Qigong. I believe it will help you to run faster or punch quicker and it will give you more energy not only for your martial art's training but your day-to-day life. But I ask you not to take my word for it but go and try it out for yourself.

Kamis, 06 Mei 2010

Shaolin Xi Sui Gong

“Bodhidharma travelled to the East to teach these two Yi Jin and Xi Sui classics. A bird like the crane is able to live long, an animal like the fox can be immortal, a human who cannot learn from these classics is worse than the birds and animals.”

The Mind and Body of a Buddha

Ee Jin Jing makes your muscles and tendons strong, flexible, fast and powerful while building up the health of your internal organs. Xi means wash and Sui means bone marrow.  Xi Sui  means clean your bone marrow. The aim of Xi Sui Gong is to detoxify the body and cleanse the unhealthy aspects of the mind. The highest aim is to help us reach enlightenment and give us the mind and body of a Buddha. But even if we can’t gain enlightenment in this lifetime, the least this Qi Gong can do is give us a long, healthy, and peaceful life.

Connecting With Our True Nature 

It is vitally important that we use our heart to train, not just our body. We can train as regularly and as hard as we like but if our heart isn’t present then we will never improve our skill or get the benefit from Qi Gong or Kung Fu. Whether it’s Shaolin, Karate or Taekwondo, the aim of any martial arts is to awaken us to our true nature. Our true nature can only be found in the here and now. Our martial art helps  to plant us in the present moment. This can sometimes be uncomfortable because it confronts us with who we truly are. But once we’ve broken through our smaller self, Qigong helps us to go beyond our small individual selves and find a connection with the very fabric of the Universe. It does not give us anything new; it simply connects us with the body’s internal power and automatic wisdom that already exists within us.

If we train mindlessly then we may as will join a gym and watch TV while listening to music and running on the treadmill. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of training if all you want from your workout is to get fit but it’s certainly not the type of training which will increase our martial arts skill and power.

The Power of Concentration

The more we can concentrate, the more benefit we can gain from Qi Gong. Every movement of Xi Sui Jing is done from a sitting position, this sitting position helps us to develop patience.

When you begin to run through the movements, your mind will be busy at first. This is natural. But as you focus on the breath and the movement together this will calm the mind and you will begin to feel peaceful. This calming of the mind cleanses the mind. With a clean mind, the mind and body can then begin to work in harmony. Once the mind and body are working in harmony, the body can start to self-regulate
itself, unblocking the channels and preventing disease from building up in the body.

Our Body Is Our Own Doctor

This is why we say that our body is our own doctor, the Qi Gong gives us access to the medicine. But this all happens unconsciously. Our body will start to feel better of its own accord without us having to intervene in any way.

This has led many people to shun conventional medicine in favor of Qi Gong or other alternative medicines but I believe we should use the best of both worlds. If a person is suffering from an illness I recommend that they combine  Western medicine with Qi Gong so that it’s not an alternative approach but more of a complimentary approach.

The Challenge

There is a famous story in China about a Ch’an master who was famous for his meditation and a Shaolin martial artist who was famous for his martial arts. One day the Shaolin master challenged the Ch’an master as he belived his skill was much better than that of the Ch’an master. The Ch’an master chose a narrow ledge at the edge of a high mountain, one wrong step and the person would fall to their death. Because they were both unskilled in archery they decided it would be fair if they challenged themselves in this way. The Shaolin master went first, he stood at the edge of the mountain but when he placed the arrow into the bow he couldn’t stop himself from looking down and he became scared at the thought of plunging to his death. This fear meant that he failed to hit the target. The Ch’an master took the bow and arrow, stood at the edge of the mountain, and hit the target perfectly. The Shaolin master was amazed and asked him what his secret was so that he could improve his skill. The Ch’an master said, “No thinking. No reason. Just do.”

No thinking. No reason. Just do.

This is exactly what we must apply to our practice. EE Jin Jing makes our body like stone. Xi Sui Jing turns our body into a Buddha. But we need to practice and find this out for ourselves.

Qi Lifting

Higher level students learn Qi lifting which mixes internal and external together. They practice Qi and at the same time they use Qi. This kind of Qi Gong can only be transmitted master to master. This takes karma and the student needs to be ready. In China powerful businessmen and politicians learn this Qi Gong because they know that the health of their mind and body is the most important thing. But this higher level can never be reached without first learning the authentic Shaolin forms that I teach on my Qigong DVDs. Without learning these forms we can never reach the higher levels.

Shaolin Xi Sui Jing Qi Gong is taught on The Way Of Qi Gong Volume Two. 

Shaolin Xi Sui Jing and Ee Jin Gong Qigong

The most famous Qigong forms that come from the Shaolin Temple in China are called Xi Sui Jing and Ee Jin Gong. Ee Jin purifies the muscles and tendons and Xi Sui purifies the bone marrow. Shaolin monks have trained in these two forms for thousands of years and they continue to train in these forms because they know that this Qigong enables them to be their best at kung fu.

Two wings of a bird

I am always emphasising how important it is to train in both Qigong and kung fu. Or internal and external. Even if you are not a martial artist, for good health and longevity you should train in Qigong. It is like the two wings of a bird. Qigong helps you to stretch better, kick better and punch better. Not only does it increase your speed, power, and stamina but it also increases your concentration and balances your mind and body. It gives you the strength and foundation to practice intense physical training without the fear of burn out. Qigong insures our internal organs work properly, only when our internal organs work properly can we be at our most efficient. The Shaolin monks used Qigong to help them gain enlightenment, the Taoists to live the longest life possible. We can use Qigong to stay healthy and maximise the power of our martial art. You don’t need to do Shaolin kung fu to practice Qigong, you can do Karate, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, what ever martial art’s you do, Qigong will take you to the peak of your power.

Shaolin Energy Massage

One important aspect of Xi Sui Jing and EE Jin Gong is the self-massage that we do when we’ve finished the form. At first we use a bamboo brush which has a hundred and eight bamboo rods. Massaging with the Shaolin energy brush create vibrations which relieve stress and tension in the muscles, assist in unblocking the  channels, and help the body to detox through the stimulation of the lymphatic system. It cleans the skin and helps the Qi and blood to flow properly. It acts as a natural battery charger for the body. If we are only interested in health then we continue to use this bamboo brush but if we are a martial artist then - when we move to Volume 3 of The Way of Qi Gong - we begin to use the metal brush.

Massage for fighters

When you get to this stage, it means you can use power to hit yourself and the power of vibration goes inside your bone marrow. This is one of the reasons why it cleans your body. If you want to be a fighter then you must use the iron brush to hit yourself. The stronger you are, the harder you can hit yourself and your body will feel happy. If your body can’t take the pain then it means there’s something wrong. You have to be very careful with this training as you don’t want to risk damaging your internal organs. There should never be any feelings of pain. If there are this means that your internal organs are not strong enough and you need to slow down, check your training programme and see where you are going wrong. You should never hit use the metal brush unless you are under the supervision of a qualified master.

Body of stone

The combination of Qigong and self-massage is enough to make our body strong like stone but a stone isn’t a weapon. So how do we go on to use our body of stone and turn it into a weapon? I come back again to the two wings of a bird. We need both internal and external. In this modern world, I feel that some people have lost the true meaning of Shaolin. They believe that all they need to do is focus on their fighting skills to be a good fighter, or they believe that all they need to do is focus on their Qigong and forget all about external. Or they think of Shaolin as something that looks nice but is useless. Shaolin does have performance in it but it should never be reduced to that or it becomes little more than a dance. A dance is not a martial art. A dance can not help us in the ring, it can not help us to defend ourselves, and neither can it help us to live a long and healthy life. But authentic Shaolin can. All we need to do is step onto the path and follow the steps that your master shows you or I demonstrate on my Shaolin Warrior series of DVDs.

House of health

Qigong is not a secret. It just takes practice. Focus on the breathing with the movement together. This is the key to unlocking the door. The Qigong forms are the blueprint for you to build your house with. Day by day, moment by moment your practice is the bricks that build your house of health.

It takes time and patience. When you master Qigong, your Qi begins to circle around your body from your head to your feet and back again.  You can then use your internal organs and your Qi to lift weight that wouldn’t be possible with muscle alone. This increases the feeling and power of the Qi just like we need water pressure for water to run through our taps, we practice with weights to increase the power of our Qi.

But this level of training can never be practiced alone but only with a qualified master where as Xi Sui Jing and EE Jin Gong and the Shaolin Energy Massage can all be learnt and mastered directly from my books or DVDs. These Qigong’s are not only safe but powerful. Even if done wrong, they can’t harm the body, it just means they are little more than a stretching exercise.
I believe that the practice of Qigong is as vital as eating and now that I’m thirty-six it’s only through my Qigong practice that I can continue to train in kung fu and keep my power, stamina and fitness level at a high level. If you are skeptical, then don’t take my word for it but discover for yourself  and see what Shaolin Qigong can do for you.

Selasa, 27 April 2010

Unlock the Secret of Shaolin Iron Leg

The Shaolin Temple have thirty-six internal techniques and thirty-six external techniques making a total of seventy-two different styles. When we talk about internal we don’t mean 100% internal, but a combination of internal and external with the focus more on the internal. It’s the same with
the external techniques, the focus is more on external but internal still has its part to play.
In this article I focus on Iron Leg. 

This article is for information only and must not be used as a substitute for being taught by a qualified master. All of the Shaolin body conditioning techniques can damage a person’s body, they can not be learnt from a book or a DVD, and they must be approached with wisdom and caution.

The Paradoxical Qualities of Iron Leg

Iron Leg is one of the thirty-six external styles. Iron Leg needs to have flexibility, speed, power, and it also needs to be hard as well as soft. But how can a leg be soft and hard at the same time? This paradox is at the heart of every single one of the Shaolin techniques.

Bio Dynamics and Muscle Quality

I practise Iron Shirt and I recently had my muscles tested as part of an investigation by the Dana Centre in the London Science Museum. The scientists wanted to find out what was it about my muscles that made them able to withstand such heavy blows. Using a bio dynamics machine and comparing my performance with a rower, they found my muscles had more or less the same strength as the rower so it wasn’t the strength of the muscles that was helping me withstand blows.

They found my reaction time to be incredibly quick, which isn’t surprising as a martial artist’s reaction time must be far quicker than a rower.

They then used a different type of machinery that prodded into my stomach, they found when I contracted my muscles, they became not just hard but “bouncy”, deflecting the power of the machine and sending it back

This is the aim of these techniques and one of the keys as to why Shaolin masters can take such heavy blows. Our body acts as a mirror reflecting our opponent’s power back to them. Iron Shirt or Iron Leg is not just about muscle strength but the quality of the muscle and the use of Qi.

Attack and Defence

Iron Leg means when you kick, your kick is incredibly powerful, it also means that when someone kicks your leg, your leg is like a tree. Not only can you take the kick but also the kick hurts your opponent and doesn’t hurt you.


If you want to develop Iron Leg, the first thing you need to develop is excellent stamina. This means you need to run a lot and you also need to do a lot of lower stances and lower kicks to build up your legs. We call this static stamina. 

You also need to make not only your leg flexible but also your entire body because when you kick although you are using your leg, you kick with your whole body.

People believe that in order to make their leg strong they always needs to kick a bag or bamboo but this is only the external part of the technique. The most important aspect to developing Iron Leg is that we make our bone strong, not just our skin, sinew, and muscle. And in order to do this we need to be flexible.


As well as going through your regular stretching exercises you need to do the five fundamental kicks and then move on to fighting kicks.( I teach these in my Shaolin Workout DVDs) Kicking at different levels high, middle, and low. Practise shadow kicks over and over again to make your body and leg work together.

If your leg is hard but inflexible this will mean that you can’t kick properly which means your leg is strong but this isn’t a good weapon because you don’t know how to use it. If your leg is very fast but it isn’t strong, this means if you kick someone and there body is stronger than your leg then you will be injured. Iron leg protects this from happening.

The Qualities Of Iron
Iron has different qualities; some iron is easier to break than others. If it’s easy to break this means it’s on only strong on the outside but its not strong on the outside.

This is why you must practise Qigong alongside body conditioning. First, you practice the Qigong prescribed to you by your master then you apply the body conditioning tincture and you rub it deep into your skin so you feel as if it is penetrating your bones. Then we use an iron brush, we also use bags with beans inside or metal ball bearings, and we do a lot of stamps. I demonstrate the simple Shaolin form Si Be Quan in Shaolin Workout One. The more power you can use with this stamp the more the power of the vibration will go inside the bone which makes the bone strong and conditions the internal organs.

Body Conditioning

When we practise body conditioning, our leg gets blue and swollen. Qi Gong is vital because this helps the internal organs work together. Afterwards, using the Shaolin Energy Massage Brush, we beat our body helping the blood to flow and the Qi to circulate.

Ten Years Time

Iron leg is very hard training; it takes a lot of will power. Some people believe that all you have to do is kick hard things for about ten years time and then they will have an iron leg. I guarantee this will not happen.

Iron Leg takes skill and a proper master to lead and teach the student. A strong training plan is needed with faith and belief that this is possible.

Only when you can kick someone with power and speed, and you can stand and take the kicks of others without using any self-defence but your own Qi have you come close to mastering this technique. 

Senin, 19 April 2010

Unlock the secret of Shaolin Stamina

Extraordinary techniques for unleashing the power of the body and mind

When we practice martial arts it’s vitally important that we train our minds as much as we train our bodies. We believe we are the boss of our minds but when our mind says it wants chocolate, even though we know we shouldn’t, the next thing we know we are eating a bar of chocolate. So who is in charge? We can’t blame it on the bar of chocolate can we?
More than two thousand five hundred years ago, The Lord Buddha said, “It is our mind which makes the world.”        
A positive mind has a positive impact on ourselves and in turn our family and friends and this trickles out to the world at large. I don’t know if there was chocolate in the Buddha’s time but I can guarantee that our mind was the same then as it is now.
At the Shaolin Temple we use powerful techniques that have been passed to us directly from the Buddha to aid us in our martial art’s training. This doesn’t mean that in order to practice Shaolin we need to be Buddhists but using some of these mind techniques can help us to approach our training with fresh eyes.

Mind and Body Stamina

When I studied at the Shaolin Temple, we started every morning with a grueling run up the Songshan Mountain to the Bodhidharma cave then back down the hill, where we would begin our martial art’s training. There were many mornings when I felt lazy and the last thing I wanted to do was run up the mountain but our master would be chasing behind us with a stick and we would be beaten if we were too slow. Over the years, one of the things I began to realise was that sometimes it wasn’t my body that was feeling tired but my mind. Our master was there with the stick not just to give our bodies stamina but more importantly our minds.

In our martial arts training it is vitally important that we build two types of stamina – mind and body. A martial artist’s mind is very important for every aspect of their performance. We need to be as flexible in our mind as we are in our bodies.

Super Human

Looking back over my training, I realise it was my mind which held me back rather than my body. Shaolin Steel Jacket is a good example of that. When I began this training, I doubted whether it was really possible to hit myself with a brick and feel no pain. Of course, it is impossible without special instruction and techniques. It would be like trying to find a street in a strange town without a map or someone to guide us. But with the correct training, our body can surpass what our mind thinks is possible. People call Shaolin monks “super human” but we are human, it’s just we know how to train our flesh and blood and the most important thing: our mind.

A fusion of body and mind

I feel this is what all martial arts are, an extraordinary fusion of mind and body. And the first thing Shaolin monks do with their body is take it for a run. I don’t believe that any martial artist can have good stamina if they don’t run.

Body Stamina


When we run and we get tired, sometimes it is our muscle and other times it is our breathing. We need to build the power of our muscle and breathing together. We don’t need to count how many steps we take but we need to get into a rhythm so our steps are in tune with our inhale and exhale. The other important aspect is to vary our speeds so that sometimes we are doing aerobic exercise and other times anaerobic. For example we can do five minutes to warm up then two minutes sprint then one minutes slow then another five minutes normal jogging speed.

Long Distance

We also need to do at least one long distance run a week. But if we can run eight or ten miles, this doesn’t mean we have good stamina for martial arts. The only way to build this is to continue our training after we have run. This is the reason why all Shaolin Temple trainees start their day with a run up the mountain and then don’t stop but continue.

Temple Training

The running is just a warm up, a preliminary. Our body is warm and now we begin our real martial art’s training. It’s vitally important that we stretch thoroughly. Running, especially hill running makes our leg muscles tight so we need to do a lot of kicks to loosen the tightness of our muscles.  We start off by doing relaxed kicks and punches building up to using power and practicing our forms. We also can do some jumping to strengthen our legs.

At the Shaolin Temple we have no choice. We are never allowed to lie in bed. But here in the West, we have many choices. We may start off with a lot of enthusiasm but maybe one day it’s raining or we feel tired or there’s an interesting film on at the cinema or we don’t have enough time. This is when it’s time to employ Mind Stamina.

Mind Stamina


When we are in the temple, we practice meditation. Many people think that meditation is sitting on the floor in a cross-legged position and trying to empty our minds of all thoughts but this is not meditation; this is like being a dead person! There are many types of meditation, I think people give themselves a hard time, they say ok, now I will be peaceful but when they shut their eyes the thoughts seem louder and they don’t feel peaceful at all so they stop meditating all together.

Thoughts are thoughts. It’s what we do with the thought that is the important thing. It’s how we react. There are many different ways to meditate but one way is to meditate with positive thoughts. This will give energy to our mind.

Running Meditation

We don’t have to sit to do this but we can do it when we run. When we feel tired, we can dedicate our run. For example, we can say; I want to run ten minutes for peace or ten minutes for my grandfather who is ill, or ten minutes for my friend who was feeling depressed today. We can dedicate whatever we do for the betterment of others, and this takes the focus off the smallness of us and makes our running a part of the whole world.

Horse Stance

The other thing we can do to help with the stamina of our mind is practice different stances. For example we can practice horse stance. We stay as low as we can and we quickly get tired so then our mind fights with our body. Our mind says, “Keep going!” but our legs say, “You are killing me!”  It’s the same as the chocolate bar. Which one will we choose?

This is one of the reasons in the old kung fu films we see the kung fu master’s practice horse stance. It is great for building mind and body at the same time. 

You already are what you want to become

Another mind technique we can apply to our martial arts training is
aimlessness. This is one of four Dharma seals in Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism. This means: You already are what you want to become. Does a tree have to do something? The purpose of a tree is to be itself, and your purpose is to be yourself.

We have everything. There is no need to put anything in front of us and run
after it. So, whatever it is that you believe you want – good health, more
energy or to be an exceptional martial artist – you already have.

Bringing this energy into our practice, enriches everything we do - running, kung fu, qigong, meditation, and also our work and family life. It helps us to stop putting our life on hold or wait for the future when we think we will have more time or be less stressed.

There is only now

There is no future time there is only now. And now is the most important
time we have. Now is the building block for the future. Instead of drifting
into the future of “if” and “when”, we focus on the single point of now.

Kung Fu Ch’an

In my DVD Kung fu Ch’an, through Shaolin Kung fu, I demonstrate how the mind and body work together to become one so that Shaolin training becomes a direct gateway into the teachings of Ch’an Buddhism.

Shaolin Martial Arts helps us to reach the potential in ourselves that we only dreamt of before. I believe with the correct approach and the right motivation, we can use our martial arts to bring to our life the wholeness, health and inner satisfaction that we seek.