Showing posts from 2012

formed abdominal muscles quickly

Sixpack Abdominal does not come just like that. But that does not mean you have to do hundreds of crunches every day that you get a sixpack stomach immediately. Not enough with regular practice, you also need to implement the lifestyle and habits that will support the creation of your sixpack stomach. 

4 The following habits are good habits that will help you have a sixpack stomach craving more quickly.
Start Your Morning With Water.Drink water after you wake up at least 2 glasses of water. A recent study found that drinking water after waking up can increase your metabolism by 24% for the next 90 minutes. Moreover, muscle cells grow faster when they are well hydrated. Consumption of water every day is recommended to help shape your sixpack stomach.

Combining Protein and CarbsAlthough carbohydrates can be stored so fat that can cover your abdominal muscles, your body needs carbohydrates remain as an energy source. When combined with protein, carbohydrates can help build muscle, espec…

True Freedom: You Already Have Everything You Need

Martial Arts is a way of being in life. It's very difficult in the beginning to make your practice into a habit and even when you've been doing it for many years, there can still be a struggle. But this is good because it shows your practice is constantly challenging you. The key to rising to the challenge is to make a strong commitment to your martial arts practice from the very beginning. This commitment automatically makes you practice, and any thoughts that go against your practice can be more easily dismissed.

In order to gain something you have to give up something. For example, you can't eat chocolate cake every day and lose weight. It's true that a martial artist does not have as much "freedom" as a non-martial artist because so much of your time is taken up with the practice. But what exactly is freedom?

Martial Arts helps us to be. If you can just be then you don't have so much desire for external things. If you can be, the Buddha says, all of you…

Just Do It - How To Achieve Your Dream

When I was seven years old, my mother asked me if I had dream? I said, "Yes, I want to become a martial artist." Then she asked me, "Do you know which is the highest part of your body?" I said, "My head and my hair." My mum said, "No, it's your hands." She told me, "Your mind make your dream happen but your mind cannot make your dream come true, only your hands can do that. This means, you can't just think, you need to do."
 Life is about doing, not thinking. Action not words.
I'm a martial artist. A martial artist doesn't just teach people, he also trains. If you only teach and never train then you never learn new things and you can't grow as a teacher. I want my students to make a decision: know what you want to do, make a strong plan and challenge yourself to make your body healthier and healthier. 
Take action today. 
Shifu Yan Lei teaches a graded path of Shaolin Kung Fu & Qigong. For more details of how you c…

Get Out Of Your Head - The Mindful Way

Researchers are finding out that mindfulness has been shown to increase happiness. Originally a Buddhist term, the word mindfulness  is now becoming as ubiquitous as the word Zen. But what exactly is it? Going to the gym and running on the running machine while watching TV is not being mindful. Going through a Qigong or Kung Fu form while concentrating on the breath and the movement is. I’m not judging the person on the running machine. It’s okay to be mindless every now and again, but if our goal is to be happy then factoring in more sessions of mindfulness and less sessions of mindlessness will help us to achieve this. 
A student came to me the other day and said that she’d been meditating for 20 minutes every morning but she didn’t feel any different. For true transformation to occur, we need to integrate mindfulness into our day to day life. The Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, advises us to use a ringing phone or a red traffic light as a tool to remind us to come back to ourselves and…

Feeling Burnt Out? Five Steps To Unleash Your Energy

1) Get Moving

The more that you sit in front of a computer, the less you will want to workout. At the end of your working day your body will tell you that it's tired and give you another excuse to skip your workout. But if you can motivate yourself to push through your tiredness, once you begin to move, you will be surprised to find that you feel energized. This is because movement and exercise unleash your body's energy. We are born to move. We are not born to sit down all day. The Shaolin Temple movements help us to bring our body and mind in harmony. It's only when our body and mind are working in harmony that we can feel truly energized and happy.

2) Use Your Shaolin Workout As A Refuge

We are so goal focused and driven in our work that I think it's good to take the pressure off when we do our workouts. Use this as a time to tune out of your daily life and tune into your body. Each of your workouts gives your body a different experience. There is the challenging anae…

3 Essential Ingredients For Powerful Kicks - Part 2

In last week's post I wrote about the 3 essential ingredients, here I show how to make these ingredients work for you. 

People sometimes think if you want to make your shin and feet strong you need to kick hard things all the time but this is  wrong. If you want to make your leg hard then the first thing you need to do is have good stamina, if you don’t have stamina it’s not possible for your leg to be strong as you won’t have energy. It’s like a car without petrol, it simply can’t move, you won’t be able to lift your leg up or kick therefore you have lost everything.

This is the reason why stamina is so important. After you have gained stamina you then work on your flexibility and then you can work on your speed and power and then you can start on the conditioning training for your leg.

Iron Leg
The best way to warm up is to do the Si Bi Quan form from my Workout One DVD. This form consists of two ingredients: stamp and punch, the more power you can use with the stamp, the mo…

3 Essential Ingredients For Powerful Kicks - Part 1

In China there were originally two Shaolin Temples, one in the south and one in the north. It is said that the Southern Shaolin Temple was famous for their punches and the Northern Shaolin Temple was famous for their kicks. But hundreds of years ago the Northern Shaolin Temple was burned down and the only record of it today is in history books. The skills from both temples have now merged, and the knowledge that has been passed down through the ancient books shares with us three vital ingredients we need in order to have powerful kicks. In this article I will share with you the first two and in next week's post, the third ingredient and also how to use these ingredients effectively.
1) Flexibility - If you want to kick with power and speed then you need to train it to have as much flexibility and dexterity as your arm.  2) Speed and power - Flexibility doesn’t lead to speed and power so the next thing you have to concentrate on is gaining speed and power. 3) Strength - In Shaolin we …

A Beginner's Guide To Transforming Yourself Into A Shaolin Warrior

I've had many enquiries from people who haven't done any fitness or martial art's training for many years and have asked me how they can use the Shaolin Workout DVDs to get back into shape. This month I share with you a programme based on Shaolin Workout Volume 1. If you're in okay shape or you want to move up a volume then you can use the same principles for Volume 2 and 3. Please note, that these are guidelines only and you shouldn't undertake a new workout regime without checking with your doctor first. 

The Shaolin Workout - A physical and spiritual overhaul
The Shaolin Workout is designed for the martial artist but it can also be used as an exciting fitness regime. The beauty of Shaolin Kung Fu is that it carries us through each phase of our life, boosting our metabolism, helping our heart and increasing our flexibility and coordination.
Welcome To The Class

The DVD is designed exactly the same as the beginner's class so it's perfectly normal if you strugg…

The Shaolin Way To Happiness

The Buddha said the one thing we all seek is happiness. And my martial art's practice is one of my greatest sources of happiness. The ancient movements of Qigong and Kung Fu that were practiced by monks and nuns thousands of years ago on the mountains of China, give me a feeling of calm and happiness. And I can see that my students feel the same way so I have been interested to read some research that may help us understand why we feel so happy when we practice.

Aerobic exercise triggers brain growth
Recent research by Cambridge University scientists have shown that aerobic exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells and improves the memory and ability to learn. The study was conducted on two groups of mice, one which had unlimited access to a running machine and the other which did not. The mice were put through a series of memory tests, and the mice that had been running were almost twice as successful as the sedentary mice, which got steadily worse as the tests progressed. …

Five Fundamental Stances - Gong Bu

The most commonly used Shaolin stance is mabu or horse stance which I wrote about here. In this blog post, I focus on the second most commonly used stance which is: Gong Bu. 
Benefits: Strengthens the legs. Strengthens the spine. Is the key to unlocking the Shaolin forms. Centers and grounds the mind and body.
Step by Step: 1) Stand straight. Draw your fists to your waist and turn your head to the left. 2) Step your left leg out to the side so your feet are wider than your shoulders and slowly squat into Ma Bu. 2) Turn both legs and bend your left leg as much as you can , keeping your right leg straight. Turn your body to face the left. 3) Remain here for six breaths.
Check list: It's a good idea to check your stance in the mirror. Your back foot should be slightly turned in, it shouldn't be completely straight. Your back foot needs to be in line with your left foot. Your front knee should be over your front foot. Is your neck tucked in and your shoulders relaxed? Are you knees slightly pushed…

A Simple Method To Stop Anxiety & Stress

At The Beijing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Institute of Qigong Science, EEG results on Qigong practioners showed a predominance of alpha brain waves indicating that Qigong induces a relaxed and focused mind. After just three or four minutes there was a measurable shift of alpha and theta concentration from the rear occipital regions to the frontal lobes. This corresponds to a union of the mind and body from which feelings of peace and harmony arise.
If you can, it's good to do some of your Qigong training outside. If you live in the city then get up early and go to the park, preferably a place where there are some trees.
Just as we spring clean our house we can also spring clean our body, being outside helps us to clear our stagnant energy and breathe in fresh air. It also reinvigorates our practice. The important thing is to be awake to the practice. It is important not to do Qigong by rote but say to yourself: For these next twenty minutes I'm going to dedica…

Live Young

Most Western doctors and researchers describe the ageing of the human body as being similar to the ageing of man-made machines. The damage can be periodically repaired leading to an extension of the machine's functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with cars.  But what if we could postpone the effects of ageing before any damage occurred?

Aerobic exercise has been shown to prevent memory loss, heart disease, diabetes, depression and obesity. Weight training stops our muscles from shrinking as we get older. But what about our internal organs? Because we can't see them, we tend to only think of them when something goes wrong with them. But it's the internal organs that govern the body. They are the key to living young and having excellent health.

There is only one way of exercising the internal organs and that is through the practice of Qigong and Qigong self-massage.  Qigong is quite literally exercise for the internal organs. Not only does it protect the internal orga…

How To Be Your Own Light

On my daily run, I pass a church which has a notice on the wall : Everything We Do Is A Prayer. Even though this is a Christian church, for me this is a very Zen statement and it reminds me to come back to myself. We tend to put our life into boxes; this is my meditation practice, this is my work, this is my workout... but really it is all the same. It is all an expression of Zen.

It can be hard to keep this awareness. And sometimes people believe that if only they could have a great master who would show them the way, or if only they could go and train in a temple, then they could find true peace and everything would be alright. But this is a fantasy which has nothing to do with Zen. A temple is an organization like any other and it has its own problems. You only have to read the Hui Neng Sutra to understand this. The Buddha said: Don't rely on others. Be your own lamp.

As a young boy at the temple, I soon understood that whatever teaching or philosophy I followed could only work i…

The Ultimate Health Prescription: 3 Ways To Awaken Your Potential

1) Stop Making Excuses

The most common excuses I hear for not exercising are: I haven't got enough time or I can't afford it.  Exercise gives us more time because it has the potential to give us a longer and healthier life. Not only that, recent research shows that higher earners exercise more. The choice to exercise benefits not only you but your family.

"I can't afford it" is another self-defeating excuse. When I was at the temple, we couldn't afford to eat good quality food so we had to eat a lot of steamed bread so we could have enough energy to train. We never used lack of food as an excuse to stop us training. Ask yourself, what is required as a start up health and fitness investment? You don't need to pay the hefty price of a gym membership. For the price of a few Shaolin Warrior DVDs you get my twenty five years of martial art's experience giving you a lifetime of training.

2) Give Up Waiting For Tomorrow

You already possess the tools for great he…


When you are training for a fight, it is vitally important that you build up your stamina. A marathon runner has very good stamina but they would never have the stamina to fight in the ring because a fighter’s stamina is totally different. In this article I will concentrate on the first part of a fighter’s stamina training; running. In future articles I will concentrate on bag work, pad work, sparring and body conditioning so that whatever fighting art you practice you can be totally confident that your stamina will really work for you when you go to fight in the ring.
As a fighter you need to vary the way that you run, some days do a short thirty minute aerobic road run, other days do some hill running. Sprint running is also very important, do ten repetitions of 100 or 200 metres twice a week. Other times you should start with a five minutes slow run then one minute slightly faster then four minutes slightly faster again then back to one minute slow again. C…

Heaven Is Now Or Never

 “Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.” Morihei Ueshiba
Whether we are fat, thin, old, young, healthy or unhealthy, we all share a mind and body that can be trained. If we step onto the path of Shaolin with intellligence and determination, I am confident that we can bring to our life the health and wholeness that we all seek.
Being healthy and whole means we take care of our minds at the same time as we take care of our bodies. Our mind plays a vital part in keeping us healthy. A happy mind makes a healthy body, and the key to happiness or unhappiness is in how we use our mind.
Most of us have minds that roam about like untrained puppies. Our martial arts practice -  whether it’s Qigong, Kung Fu or both - acts as an anchor and tethers our mind.  Once you start to workout with my DVDs, let this become a  refuge from your daily activities. A time to let go of the small self and allow the big self to concentrate on the posture and breathing.
This act of su…


INVEST IN YOURSELF At the Shaolin Temple, we get up every morning at five-thirty, and go for a run up the mountain. This is like putting money into a saving’s account. If we do not have the stamina then we will not be able to practice the skill. When we come back from the mountain, we practice five basic stances, five basic kicks and stretching.
Learning martial arts is no different from learning maths or English, if we cannot add two plus two then we cannot progress to algebra, if we cannot read the alphabet then we can never read Shakespeare. This is the reason we study these very basic skills. Only when our body is getting stronger do we then start to learn some internal and external forms, and only when our master feels we are ready do we progress to studying fighting punches and kicks and then start to fight in the ring.
THE IMPORTANCE OF QI We also practice body conditioning. I specialise in Shaolin Steel Jacket. The reason I specialise in Shaolin Steel Jacket is because I am small…