The Shaolin Temple In Your Living Room
With the exception of Rou Quan, all of my DVDs can be practiced in a space the size of a yoga mat. What can't be taught in a DVD I don't teach. I'm not interested in wasting my time or my student's time. Morihei Ueshiba was correct when he said, " Progress comes to those who train." But training incorrectly and without direction is like not training at all. My DVDs and books take you step by step through exactly what is taught in the Shaolin Temple with a focus on health and combat. These are the two aspects I'm passionate about. I give you the key to unlock the gate of the Shaolin Temple , but it's only your sweat and training which will open the gate and let you in.
My DVDs are designed to transform your mind and body into a martial artist's mind and body. This means you become fighting fit, flexible, have strong will-power, inner confidence, sharp reflexes, peaceful sleep, an abundance of energy, look younger than your years, and there is a glow to your skin and eyes.
If you are starting from scratch then I recommend that you begin with these two DVDs. The Eight Treasures Qigong is taught in my book and on The Way Of Qigong Volume 1 DVD. If you are only going to learn one Qigong then learn this one.
It's important to work your body internally and externally. This is like the two wings of a bird. The Qigong changes your internal body and the Kung Fu changes your external body. In the Shaolin Workout you learn kicks, traditional punches, and forms to give your body strength, flexibility and co-ordination.
The training is flexible depending on how much time you have. You can do the Qigong and Workout on alternate days or you can do the Workout in the morning and the Qigong in the evening or even do them both together. If you have time, it's a good idea to go for a run before you begin your Shaolin Workout. If you want to build your health and fitness then I recommend that you train at least 4 times a week to get the full benefit. For martial artists and fighters, you need to train 6 times a week.
You can happily practice The Eight Treasures for the whole of your life. But if you want to go deeper into your Qigong practice then once your heart is stable and you know the form without thinking you are ready to go to the next level.
This is a sitting Qigong. It seems easy but if you let someone sit for half an hour and not move, unless they're an experienced meditator, they will find it impossible. Not many people can do simple movements because they lose their focus. We go to the toilet everyday to get rid of our waste but we tend to carry a lot of rubbish around in our mind. This sitting Qigong is about focusing and de-toxing the mind of its rubbish.
In Shaolin Workout 2 I teach traditional punches and kicks, the first part of Xiao Hong Quan, and a little bit of fighting. A lot of Chinese Kung Fu is for performance, many people don't realise that Shaolin can be used for fighting. With Shaolin we start in a traditional way to build our strength then we move into fighting. This makes our background, belief and foundation different. So when you learn Shaolin Kung Fu, you are not just learning about fighting, you are learning to train intelligently.
You will know when to move to Qigong 3 & workout 3 because you will have built up your experience. You can then alternate between the workouts, finding the best movements and making them become special. You can practice them over and over again.
Martial arts is not about levels, its about how to get fit and how to know your body. You need to know how far to push yourself; no one can tell you when you need to go to another level. I always feel that I'm a beginner. Don't think that simple things are easy; making simple things not easy is martial arts.
When you learn all of the three Qigong forms, you don’t have rules; you can do anything you want.
With Qigong we don't move a lot. Rou Quan is similar to a moving Qigong. It's the only DVD where you need more than the space of a yoga mat. It's called soft fist because it combines internal and external. Some people call it a Shaolin Tai Qi but just like Qigong, it's much older than Tai Qi. As well as improving mental and physical health, this thirty-six-movement form can also be used in self-defence.
In the beginning you really need to focus on your inhale and exhale. You know when you can do this form because you are no longer thinking of breathing. This means you just practice. The form is now inside you. It's become a habit like driving a car. You forget inhale and exhale.
In Shaolin Bootcamp I teach different body movements to strengthen your upper and lower body. In the beginning, don't focus on whether the movements are correct or not, just do it. The students who'd been training with me many years and were in both DVDs took one week to recover after the filming. It's a very tough workout. Don't underestimate it.
This is the best way to get fit, lose weight, and give your body real strength so it's ready to go into the ring. The Bootcamp is designed to keep us moving; push up, stretching, punch, shadow and speed training. It's designed this way for a reason: this kind of training is guaranteed to get us fighting fit. Melting the fat and toning the body. It's giving our body new challenges while increasing its speed, coordination and power.
Some older people believe that all they have to practice is some gentle Qigong or Tai Qi exercise. But this isn't true because once we get to about the age of thirty, not only do our organs shrink but also our tendons, muscles and bones. In Qigong For Upper Body and Qigong For Lower Body I address these concerns by teaching a Qigong form that links hard Qigong with soft Qigong. This is the first time I've taught hard and soft Qigong on a DVD. For fighters or young people who find it difficult to concentrate, these forms are more challenging so easier to focus on, they will increase the power of your punch while increasing your peace. Strengthen your Mabu and your meditation. They strengthen the internal organs while strengthening the external muscles. This is a tough Qigong, you can see from the sweat that is dripping off me. It uses your muscles in a new static way that is different from a push up. It gives your muscle Qi, energy, power. This is the Zen way to train intelligently. In the Qigong For Lower Body we do a form which involves stamping and lots of lower stances to make the legs and bones strong.
This is the first DVD I made. It's not a teaching DVD but gives an insiders account of a day in the life of my training. This is still my favourite DVD.
The following DVDs are only for fighters and martial artists. They show you how to use your body properly and how to mix speed and power and strength, all linked together to help you later on in the ring.
When you martial arts reach a higher level, you need to forget everything and give everything you have. If you are in a bad situation, you can't do anything but take your opponent's punches or kicks. Kung Fu is not just about how heavy you can kick or punch, it's about how much you can take. Practicing Kung Fu Ch'an will make your confidence grow and also show that in order to take someone's kick or punch, you need to have a good Qigong background. Kung Fu Ch'an is about how to make your mind become a fighter's mind.
In Volume 1, I teach creative ways to increase the power and speed of your kick and punch. In Volume 2 I teach Chinese Sanshou takedowns. These takedowns can be used in mixed martial arts, cage fighting or UFC. They are a very important skill to have so you can have more chance of surprising your opponent and winning a fight.
Our bodies tend to look for an easy way out so don't let your body get lazy. Alternate the training from my DVDs. Do Shaolin Workout 1 on one day and Bootcamp the next, keep changing and developing and moving forward. John Wooden, a successful basketball coach said, " When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur.... Seek the small improvement one day at a time."