Northern Shaolin Kung Fu

What is Northern Shaolin Kung Fu?

Northern Shaolin Kung Fu

"... feet kicking like the northern dragon, fists striking like the southern mountain tiger ..."

Northern Shaolin Kung fu (also known as Bak Sil Lum) is a traditional Chinese martial art with roots tracing directly back to the Shaolin Temple in Henan Province, China. Shaolin, which translates to "Young Forest," is historically and culturally regarded as the greatest Chinese boxing style. The southern branch of the Northern Shaolin style was founded by the legendary Gu Ruzhang (Ku Yu Cheung), whose father studied at the Shaolin Temple. The style itself emphasizes powerful kicking with fast and flowing hand movements and solid strikes. Northern Shaolin is generally regarded as a "Long Fist" style, focusing on long range technique. This style is well suited for the student who is agile and flexible, with good endurance and speed... or those who wish to develop such traits!

So, does the term "Kung Fu" translate to "Martial Art?"

The term "Kung Fu" (also spelled Gung Fu and Gongfu) actually translates to describe a skill developed over time through much practice and effort. This skill can be martial or otherwise. For example, one how has devoted many years learning, practicing and refining a trade such as cooking or painting can be said to be practicing Kung Fu. In mainland China, however, the term used to describe martial practice is Wu Shu, and Kuo Shu in Taiwan.

What are the Benefits of Practicing Kung Fu?

The advantages of regular martial practice are numerous, but most importantly the earnest student will gain a balance of the physica, mental/emotional and spiritual aspects of life. Da Mo, the wandering ascetic monk from India, took residence at the Shaolin Temple for many years. During his stay, he realized that the mind and spirit cannot fully reach maximum potential unless the body is healthy and strong. As the old saying goes: "The body is the temple that houses the soul." Thus, Shaolin Kung Fu is an excellent way to condition the body, mind and spirit.

Regular practicioners of Northern Shaolin enjoy the following physical benefits:
  • Increased muscle and tendon strength
  • Increased flexibility of the legs and torso
  • Conditioning of reflexes while increasing speed, agility and coordination
Some long-term benefits include the following:
  • Good health and immune resistance
  • Confidence and emotional well-being
  • The ability to defend one's self
  • Knowledge of an ancient martial art, thereby preserving and promoting cultural awareness.