History of Kung Fu
origin of Kung Fu is lost in the pages of time. During prehistoric
ages, the art of self defense was pretty much confined to man's own
ingenuity. Throwing of rocks and wielding crude weapons such as
clubs and stone axes were no doubt the earliest means of warding off
primitive man's many enemies.
In China, however, crude methods of self existence gradually
developed into highly refined methods of combat. Methods which
reflected not only fighting tactics, but also the principles of
psychology, physiology, medicine, physical therapy, and meditation.
Unfortunately, a great deal of Kung Fu's history is obscure. Because
dates and details are often contradictory, much of what we hear
today must be considered legendary.
Many styles of Kung Fu revolve around the ideas of metaphysics and
nature. Ancient fighting masters often developed their fighting
techniques by observing the world around them. Animals, birds, and
insects provided the basis for many systems of Kung Fu developed in
the past. Other influential factors were the beliefs of Chinese
philosophy and wisdom.
The soft style of Tai Chi Chuan, for instance, in addition to its
value as a means of self defense is highly beneficial for the
promotion of good health. Through its training, one can attain inner
peace and a sense of physical and emotional well being. For this
reason, Tai Chi is often called Chinese Yoga: the art and science of
meditation through movement.
Many of the hard styles trace their origin to the Buddhist monastery
called Shaolin (Siu Lum in Cantonese). It was there that a
mysterious Indian priest named Tamo established residence nearly
1500 years ago. According to legend, Tamo arrived at the Shaolin
monastery where he found the monks in poor physical condition.
Because of their inability to stay awake during meditation, Tamo
introduced a series of 18 exercises designed to nourish both body
and mind. These therapeutic movements are said to have merged with
self-defense tactics studied in the Shaolin Temple. During his stay
there, Tamo is also credited with introducing the Buddhist
philosophy of Chan (Zen in Japanese) into China.
The next major development supposedly occurred in the 16th century,
when a wealthy young man named Kwok Yuen entered the monastery to
study their methods of fighting. A skilled swordsman, Kwok Yuen not
only mastered the Shaolin art, but expanded its fighting patterns
into 72 exercises. Still yearning for greater knowledge, he left the
Temple and traveled throughout China in search of other fighting
masters. Eventually, he met two other experts: Pak Yook Fong and an
old man named Li. The three retired to a monastery, where the 72
movements of Kwok Yuen were increased to 170. These techniques were
then classified into five different animal forms: the dragon, tiger,
leopard, crane, and snake. Thus was born Shaolin Kung Fu's "Five
Although many details of the Shaolin art are not clear, records
indicate that priests from the Temple proved themselves formidable
fighters in many historical battles. Down through the centuries,
therefore, the name Shaolin became renowned for the skill of its
fighting monks. Behind the Temple walls, self discipline augmented
technical skill. A rigid code of ethics was established to improve
the caliber of Shaolin fighters. In addition to the development of
fighting skill, therefore, humility, prudence, patience, and
dedication became equally important in the Shaolin way of life.
For century after century, the secrets of Shaolin Kung Fu remained
hidden within the Temple. When China was conquered by the Manchus in
the 17th century, officials and supporters of the defeated Ming
dynasty sought refuge at the monastery. Fearful of a possible
uprising, the Manchu government launched several attacks on the
Temple. During the final attack, legend says that the monastery was
burned to the ground. Fighters who survived this raid, however,
established new lives in the outside world, and in so doing,
propagated the Shaolin art throughout the four corners of China.
Shorin Kung Fu was developed by Grandmaster Brigham, as a synthesis of the martial arts he mastered during his forty years' training throughout Asia, Japan, and the Philippines. Shorin Kung Fu combines inner power, effective technique and graceful movement in a singular, elegant art. To maximize the effectiveness of the martial arts, Grandmaster Brigham combined styles of Karate, Kung-Fu and Jiu-Jitsu. Sam Marcellini was the Grandmaster’s highest rank student for over a decade. He has worked diligently to further the research and development of the art. In this class, Sam teaches a combination of Muay-Thai Kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu while incorporating elements of Kung-Fu and Karate for a complete and fully effective approach for self-defense.
Shorin Kung Fu training teaches, first and foremost, self-control, a key element in peaceful resolution of conflict. At the same time, students learn how to protect themselves effectively, should it ever become necessary.
We believe the martial arts is a way of life, building not only a strong body, but a sound mind and good character
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