After a year of kicking myself for not giving Kung Fu a chance I
thought the least I could do was go in for a visit. I convinced Jen to come with me because I knew that if Kung Fu
was to be a part my life it better be a part of hers ... I was thrilled that I was going to learn something that I
had desired my entire life and Jen was thrilled that I was finally going to shut up about it. It has taken several
years to be able to see the effects that Shaolin Ch'uan Fa has had on my life and I would like to explain a few of
them. First and foremost it has made me feel like I am 13 again. I feel like I can move better now than I have
since high school. My stress level is 10% of what it used to be and my stomach problems are much more
manageable than ever before. I feel like I have found what has been calling to me all of these years and studying
Shaolin Ch'uan Fa is now as comfortable as laying in a hammock on a Sunday afternoon. Since childhood I have wanted
to know the mystery behind the martial arts and the truth is what drives my studies now and for the rest of my life.
A great privilege for Shaolin Arts students to study with a
great Calligrapher. Duanran Fan is a professor of calligraphy at Yunnan University. He was born and raised in
Kunming, China, where he had spent nearly forty years on calligraphy.
We wanted to let
you know how pleased we are with Brandon’s progress. The changes we are seeing in him are great! Brandon is more
responsible both at home and at school. He does his homework more willingly. His chores are done with less
fuss. He is less aggressive with his little brother and sister. We have also seen his confidence
increase. He is also more respectful towards us. The four months he has taken lessons have been
well worth the money the lessons cost. We checked several studios before we chose you. As we visited other places we
were not impressed with the atmosphere or philosophy as we were here.
I am constantly amazed with Tai Chi. It is a beautiful combination of art and science. By practicing, I get to play
and cultivate creative potentials. I also gain insight into physiology and health benefits. The more I learn, the
more I see these elements blend, and I become more aware of how I can flow between them. Tai Chi helps me
discover my imbalances and allows me to work on becoming centered. I can vary forms to fit my daily needs
and can satisfy curiosities as well. I can then apply these new ideas and principles to other aspects of my life. I
feel more centered and fulfilled creatively from my Tai Chi study than I have after years of
studying dance. By studying Tai Chi at Shaolin Arts, I let go of myself and gain more than I can ever imagine. The
discoveries never stop. I learn something new each time I run forms, practice Chi Kung exercises, or
meditate. Best of all, I have the chance to be childlike: to learn, explore, dance and play, and strive to enjoy
each moment in my life.
"This is the reason why I wanted to be involved in Shaolin arts. Not only using my own body but also many kinds of
weapons will give me more diverse strength as a whole. Training my inner strength ... should be my
life-long theme no matter what I would do in a future but the idea of Zen Ken Ki Itsu was actually coming from the
Shaolin Temple. Therefore, I feel like I have finally reached the art that fits my idea that Improves me."
I have always been
interested in oriental culture, especially the martial arts. Visions of ninja warriors from movies who seemed to
possess superpowers, and scenes from "Kung Fu Theatre" probably sparked my love for the arts. Throughout my life, I
have taken lessons from several different studios, but the lessons were not enough to keep my interest. In addition
to my love of the orient, I feel it is very important to be in shape. When I first joined Shaolin Arts, I was forty
pounds overweight and depressed. A little over a year later, I have lost all of my excess weight and am in
the best shape of my life--physically, mentally, and spiritually. As a side effect from doing something I
think is fun and good exercise, I have developed a good understanding of how to defend my loved ones and
myself if violence ever strikes. Matt Crockett
Snake Techniques 101 by Trish
early morning workout. The sun was just braking through the trees.
having fun in the back parking lot ...
Self Defense photo shot with Amber and Master Gracey
I am fortunate to have been associated with Shaolin
Arts School of Martial Arts and Fitness for the last eight years. I have been mentored and trained by Master Gracey
and Sifu Mitchell in the arts of Chuan Fa (Kung Fu) and Tai Chi Chuan. Both arts have helped me maintain mental
sharpness, remarkable physical condition, and great confidence in my abilities. Shaolin Arts not
only teaches the martial aspect of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, but also the age-old traditions of sincerity, self control,
effort, etiquette, and character. Sincerely,
Below is a summary of some commonly asked questions. Much of this information can also be found
throughout the website, but is here to make the information easier to find. If you have questions
that aren't addressed here, use the phone numbers at the bottom of the page to contact the nearest
studio and they will be happy to help you.
Prices will range from $6.50 / lesson and up, depending what your desires and needs are. The main
point is to make sure you are getting your money's worth. We are each individuals with individual
needs. Shaolin Arts is not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, just the best - and we will
guarantee you'll get your moneys worth.
Each studio will have a little bit different class schedules to match the needs of the community it
is located in. We are teaching six days a week and therefore can match most people's schedules. Just
call and set up a time.
There is no set time each person is required to come in. Twice a week works well. Once a week is
common for those traveling a lot. Use us as a school. Learn, take our principles with you wherever
you go and you will grow. Some individuals come in everyday and programs are set up for them, and we
have programs that we take to private homes and businesses where the individuals or groups rarely,
if ever, come to the studio location. The more you can be involved the better. But, quality is more
important than quantity. Take the time you have and really use it, and you'll grow.
Each of our instructors must be well trained in the Arts they are teaching, and they must be trained
in teaching those arts. They must complete our instructors college, serve an apprentice program, and
pass background security checks. They must certify under the international PAI association, and must
continue to certify in all these areas as long as they wish to represent Shaolin Arts in any
Shaolin Arts has always provided a complete program, because that's what works. Kicks, punches,
stances, defense, grappling, chin na, offense, chi, healing, philosophy, health, sport, street,
weapons, etc. Some individuals do come in for just one piece or style of the Arts, which is fine,
but we do like to teach the full program when possible. It's fun, it's real, and it works. Let us
know, and we will set up the best program for your interests and needs.
No. A well-run program will decrease aggression, channeling youth energy to positive activities. We
all get frustrated, youth too. Frustration does not need to become anger. Discovering you can have
control of your circumstances is a wonderful feeling, a powerful feeling. The feeling of true
freedom all ages desire.
Shaolin Arts studios pride themselves on their excellent safety record. Far more injuries occur in so
called, non-contact sports, such as basketball. You do not have to be hurt, nor hurt another, to
learn good martial arts, self defense, kung fu or Tai Chi. The Arts were designed to make you
healthier and stronger, not weaker.
You can start classes in whatever physical condition you're currently in. Being in perfect shape
would be nice, but to be in perfect shape you'd likely already be doing one of our programs. Our
programs are designed to take you from where you are to where you want to be. Just come and tell us
what you want. We'll take care of the rest.
Currently, our oldest student to date is 87. With each age comes a different set of life experiences,
abilities and desires. The trick is to match the program up with you, the individual.
Uniforms accelerate the learning process. They are just clothes that work best for the given
activity. They are safe, functional, create a mood, and convey information. They are used because
they make a significant difference.
3 is typically the youngest and it works well when they study with a parent. Five or six is more
common, depending on their coordination and mental maturity. A five minute in person consultation
will give you excellent feedback.
No. Many religious people do study the Arts, and the basic philosophies complement good core values,
but there is no religion involved. Good Arts must be built upon true principles to work and last,
just like good people must be built upon to be their best and last.
Coming into a Shaolin Arts studio location allow us to meet you and you to meet us. It doesn't have
to take very long. It's the best way to give you accurate information, to see you, the unique
individual, we are speaking about. We can better recommend certain programs, explain all we have to
offer, and you can take your pick. It is a free consultation, but it's worth a lot.
Yes and no. DVD's, videos, and movies can help remind us what we have already been taught. Learning
new skills is difficult and refining almost impossible by watching a video. Five minutes of details
with a good instructor will save hours of effort and a lifetime of errors.
Rank, belts or sashes are part of the uniform and are colored to represent your progression through
the different skill levels. They create motivation, organization and safety. A good program will
teach you in a safe progression, called rank, so that your body is ready for the next set of
material. It is a wonderful way to set you up for success after success. Sashes tend to work better
than belts in protecting the Dan Tian, thus they are used.
The main reason for testing or reviewing for rank is for your experience and growth. Each rank review
will be longer than the previous one because you have more material to review and you will be in
better shape to review it. Only you can 'earn' your next rank. Not your parent or spouse. Again, no
one is interested in setting you up for failure. Each review is designed for your learning
experience and benefit.
It can take just a moment of correct instruction to realize the potential the Arts can give us. Real
change does take time. The first difference happens within 3 months, then 6 months, etc. Some people
will have set goals, which can be reached in a set time period, and then they will come in from time
to time for a review or refresher. Others discover there is a lifetime of material available - a
lifetime of growth, adventure, fun. Shaolin Arts strives to make each class worthwhile. All of us
have found remaining active in the Arts improves our quality of life, our very whole being. Staying
active makes everything else we do better.
The shout, the Kiai' or 'Qihe' helps you focus your energy. At first it is more external and with
proper practice, becomes more internal. The sound itself is unimportant. We will all develop our own
sounds or tones as we advance. It is the results we are after not just the sound effects. This is
not to be confused with the classic healing sounds taught in our Qi Gung exercises.
Traditional often refers to old or ancient ways verses modern relating to our own time period and
circumstances. In the Arts something that is thousands of years old may be just old and outdated, or
it might mean is has 'stood the test of time', that all through the ages nothing has ever been
invented better. Certain techniques worked in the past because of the core principles they utilized
and therefore will work well now, in our times and circumstances if we can be taught the same
methods. When we understand why and how things worked in the past we can have all their strengths
for the future.
Yes. Weapons are an extension of the body. Any error the body makes the weapon will exaggerate.
Therefore weapon training can give the body great feedback. They are wonderful tools for developing
the mind and body. Certain traditional weapons aid in this process more than others. Thus at Shaolin
Arts, for those students who are interested, we like to introduce classic or traditional weapons
training. Secondly, weapons are a part of our society. Understanding how they work increases our
understanding of how to defend against them.
There are many masters of the Arts who feel and have experienced how sport and competition have
destroyed the Arts. How techniques were ruined that had to be 'watered down' to make them safe
enough for playing around with but never really used. How the skills deteriorated when all one had
to do was pretend to hit rather than have to make their movements work. How more trophies are won by
the Hollywood type appearance of energy and power rather than real power and ability.
On the other hand, sport or competition type activities can develop the desirable skills of
coordinating your movements with another's. Good sportsman-like behaviors can develop with well-run
activities. The idea is to use sport for the strengths it can develop and not confuse sport skills
with true street or fighting skills. At Shaolin Arts, you can have Arts that are fun to do and still
be powerful and effective.
No. Neither the color of your skin, nor the birthplace of your parents is as important as your own
desires, motivation and dedication. Learning from a mystical stranger from some foreign land can be
fun at first and impress others but in the long run you learn through good communication and
teaching skills. Remember, the greatest Arts did develop in the area we now call China, by both
Chinese and non-Chinese. They came from throughout the world to share and grow (see history section
for more details).
Yes. It is commonly referred to Dim Mak, but it is an uncommon skill. Chi, or internal force is
needed with an understanding of how energy flows through the body. Tapping into these energy sources
can trigger significant results, both to heal and to disrupt. Experience with massage, acupressure
or acupuncture can help develop our awareness.
Many refer to the Arts as either internal, meaning developing or dealing with the internal parts of
the body, and external, meaning the external or outer shell of the body. Internal is likewise
thought of, as being soft or gentle in movement while external is only hard or focused. There really
is no such thing in the Arts. Rather there is some degree of both in all. One type or style of Art
may have become known for being more soft or hard, gentle or focused, but both are still needed,
just like the outside of the body has need of the inside and the inside needs the outside. Neither
can live without the other.
Shaolin Systems have always been referred to as external, not because they are only hard but because
they first came from outside of China, or external from the local people. And Tai Chi Chuan was an
internal system because it first came from within China, from the internal or inside of the country
or people. At higher skill levels there are more similarities than differences between the two, i.e.
we learn complete focus with no extra tension.
Meditation is simply relaxing the mind. But simple is not always easy. The more relaxed the mind the
better it can function, react, be fully aware. Techniques are taught to aid in this process. Tai Chi
is sometimes referred to as, "meditation in motion". Good meditation can calm a busy mind or
stimulate a dull one. It can bring us back to center.
Bowing in the Arts is like a handshake without the transfer of germs. It is a greeting to the
physical training area, and one another. Like a handshake, bows can have different meanings, and can
transfer many feelings. Students enjoy learning to express themselves and understanding the body
languages bowing can radiate.