Qigong and its Representation in the Structure of Training Shaolin Kung Fu in Europe of the Czech Republic

Martin Dlouhy1* , Ladislav Pokorny1,Ladislav Kaspar 1 and Ladislav Kaspar 2

1Charles University of Prague, Faculty of Education, Department of Physical Education, Czech Republic
2Special Educational Centre (SPC) Náchod, Elementary School and Kindergarten Josef Zeman in Náchod, CzechRepublic

*Corresponding Author: Martin Dlouhy,Charles University of Prague, Faculty of Education, Department of Physical Education, Czech Republic,; TEL:776/895210 ; FAX:776/895210 ;

Citation:Martin Dlouhy, LadislavPokorny, LadislavKaspar, Jana Dlouha (2016) Qigong and its Representation in the Structure of Training Shaolin Kung Fu in Europe of the Czech Republic. Medcina Intern 1:102.

Copyright: © 2016 Martin Dlouhy, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

Received date:October 06, 2016; Accepted date:November 17, 2016; ; Published date:November 21, 2016


The aim of the paper is to explain the specific structure of training (not only in the Czech Republic), its characteristics and its principles. It will also be useful to include some new, hitherto carefully hidden – also to point out and highlight some as-yet unpublished inside information about some specific training concepts of this martial art. An integral part of this training is to develop the internal energy called Qigong and some specific techniques within the different levels of performance in Kung Fu. Qigong is an effective part of alternative and natural medicine (and not only) in Shaolin Kung Fu and contribution highlights the need for the necessary representation of Qigong in Shaolin Kung Fu. Part of the contribution is also an aspect of the philosophy of martial arts Shaolin Kung Fu and its relationship to other martial arts

Keywords:Qigong, Shaolin Kung fu, Training, Philosophy,Martial arts


Shaolin Kung Fu is a comprehensive and orthodox Chinese martial art which has often been surrounded by many superstitions and misinterpretations. The number of possibilities for its actual use is huge. The authors want to point out some inaccuracies and misunderstandings that have been passed down about this martial art (eg in some of its terms or the content of its training), that may discredit its importance and value. The main objective is to explain Shaolin Kung Fu from the perspective of the basic structure of its training and its relationship to other martial arts, and also to point out and highlight some as-yet unpublished inside information about this martial art[1].

An important part of the contribution is the introduction of some as-yet unpublished inside information about the internal energy called Qigong and its representation in Shaolin Kung Fu in its various levels of performance in Kung Fu.

Qigong is an effective part of alternative and natural medicine (and not only) in Shaolin Kung Fu.Since they have been around for millennia carefully concealed any information about Qigong (nature, content, structure and the effects of exercise to health - as well as combat), so today we have very little information about the nature of Qigong exercises. Even today it is evident effort to keep this secret.

The logical reason is not only the know-how, but also legitimate concern about possible misuse of Qigong. This post was because he wanted to, at least briefly informed about certain aspects of Qigong in the context of Shaolin Kung Fu[2].

Goal Post

The aim of the paper is to explain the specific structureof training (not only in the Czech Republic),its characteristics andits principles, and to introducesome new, hitherto carefully hidden – never before published informationabout somespecific trainingconceptsof this martialart, including the training of internalenergy calledQigong.A sub-task is to clarifythe relationshipofShaolinKung Fu to othermartial artsin terms of itsphilosophy, including the elaborationof the concept of Kung Fu.

Kung Fu training permeates qigong.It is it´s integral part. The effects of Qigong are exceptional, both in terms of health, and in terms of use in the application of combat techniques. The Kung Fu is focused on the development of internal energy, which improves motor skills individuals need for effective performance of martial techniques[3].

Qigong Kung Fu has very severe health effects.It has a positive effect on the skeleton (muscles, joints).It is known that Qigong improve the circulation and functional disposition of the body and helps the overall regeneration.

Qigong Kung Fu is working with inner energy in the body.Qigong exercise techniques in Kung Fu, a gradual increase in the level of internal energy in the body exerciser and it can gradually better and more effectively regulated.

This leads to greater penetration and destruction of punches and kicks in combat techniques[4]. And it is also possible to redirect this energy in the fight in the required areas of the body, which can be attacked by enemy attack (kick, punch etc.). And also it is possible within recoveries strike or kick etc. it may send attacked by the location that is at the moment much more durable and stronger. It may be at this point much more durable and stronger (Bending metal rods called a sharp point, Cervical hollow when demonstrations, Qigong Shaolin monks during their performances etc).

Qigong has in Kung-Fu an irreplaceable and important place. Likewise, it is very wide and varied and its usage within the health or martial aspects. Qigong exercise is a lengthy and difficult process. Each level of exercise is logically equivalent level of adequate exercise Qigong techniques.


The main methods usedwere: the analysis andsynthesis ofthe datainvestigated, a literature search of research sources,and the conducting of interviewswith world leadingexperts inShaolinKung Fu:

discussion on October 17, 2012 with Chen Xiao Wang – the current world leader and Grandmaster, dedicated to Shaolin Kung Fu for more than 60 years – with respect to the supervisory style Chen Taijiquan. Interview on April 21, 2012with GrandmasterChenHongHi, a studentof GrandmasterChenXiaoWang and descendent of Chen, devoted to the Chinesemartialart of KungFu formorethan 40years,including being a multipleinternationalwinner in China in sets (forms) ofkatachi and incontact warfare[5].

Basic description of the announced Qigong techniques is given in the individual degrees of skill levels in Kung Fu (see below). With regard to it regarding to it a full description of these techniques is very difficult and beyond the scope of this paper, therefore these techniques are described only briefly (title and general theme that exercise). It is a technology-oriented mainly on relaxation, meditation, exercise manifest external forces Techniques "soft and hard power." For a general idea and representation techniques of Qigong Kung Fu however, it is sufficient[6].

Results and Discussion

The structure ofthe trainingShaolinKungfu and Qigong in Kung fu

The training programat the NorthernShaolinKungFu School can be dividedinto severalascendinglevels. The methods of trainingare carefullyarranged in aprecise, clear Shaolineducationalcurriculum thathighlightsdifferent aspects ofthe student'sskillsindifferent levels.Beforea student canproceed to the nextlevel of training, he/she must be able to handle all therequirements ofthe previous level with a high degree of competence.Everystageand its correspondingnumber of techniquesand exercises are precisely defined so as to ensure themost effective training and to avoid an unnecessary"flood" of students. The schoolcurriculumis based on fivebasic stylesthat mimic the attack and defensemovements of a tiger, dragon, leopard, snake and crane.Theyare latersupplemented byother styles, such as those of monkeysorpraying, etc[7].

Official training is normally3 times a week,initially for2 and then later for3 hours per session. Over time, the number of sessionsper weekincreases, and thetrainingstructureis extended toweekendtraining units, the so-calledbasic and specialseminars[5]. The granting of technical degreesis well-establishedand verysophisticated with respect to its details anddemands (e.g. the highest level, master,is be awarded bythe most qualifiedand bestexpertsof the schooland the statewith thepossibility of acontinentalsupervisor)[8-10].

Initial level (about 1 year): Students are intensivelytaughtbasicpartnerexercises andsets.The emphasis is on accuracy, speed and powerat this levelmoredifficultpartner sets are taught, which practiceestimatingdistance, accuracy, coordination, and the timing of mastered actions.Students areintroduced to theelementarytechniquesofweaponsetups.Part ofthis level is the mastery of the fundamental techniques ofCHINNA (techniques of using levers and controlling theopponent). Setsare performedin groups andindividually, with instructions in the use oftheir individualtechniques.The blockis completedby teaching the basic techniquesof relaxation andmeditation.Intensivedevelopment of physicalfitness andmotor skillsis a must. At the pre-intermediate level there areQigongexercisesto developinternal energy, and trainingwithsome special and multi-purposeexercises (egYIYINGYIN, BA GUAZHANG)[12-14].

Intermediate level(2 years):Students at this level aretrained in more-specializedhand,weapon andpartnersets(with the basicweapons – stick,saber, sword,spear, and latersupplementedwithweaponslike thechainwhip, three sectionstaff,Halberdanddoublesword). Atthislevel there isintensivetraining in pairs, infreefightingtechniques, the techniques ofCHINNA,SHANCHUEH(methods for knocking down and throwing), the use of strategy, partner exercisesand the 18 techniques of LOHAN.Qigong, static positions and YANG GANG GONG (exercises for the external show of strength)are taught at theintermediatelevel [8].

Advanced level (3 years)Students at the advanced level are taught more technically difficult sets with a strong emphasis on position, concentration, rhythm and inner strength from training, observation, speed and hardness, and estimation including that of the timing of fights. The teaching of all internal techniques achieves significantly higher levels in all areas of Qigong. At this stage, for example, the techniques of Yin Rou Gong (techniques of "soft power") and the application of techniques in controlled and free contact fighting are taught. Training in physical fitness, relaxation and stretching exercises are an essential part of all performance levels. Advanced students can teach beginners (Dlouhý, Dlouhá, Slezáček, Pokorný, Kuhnová, 2013).

Master level: At this level, students fully understand the difficulties of the school. They understand the fundamentals of Shaolin Kung Fu and are able to teach students at all levels in every aspect. At this level the difficult master and partner weapon sets are taught. Special emphasis is placed on practical fighting techniques and their applications, courage, commitment and inner strength. Qigong instruction concludes [8].

Special additionallevel:This level containsspecial hand, partner and weapon sets which arenormallyincluded inschool curricula to complement andfurther honestudents' skillstothe master level. These includespecialsets andtechniquesoffightingwith bare handsagainst oneor moreopponentswith weapons[9]. Methodssuch asDimMakorTiehHsueh(dianxueBiqi) belong to the category ofsecret techniquesintendedonly for students ofadvancedleveland apply to all aspects - not onlycombativebut alsospiritual andmoral[10].

Grandmaster (GM)level: This is quitean exceptional levelin every area and aspect in a school of Kung Fu,which among other thingsentitles one to teach studentsthemasterqualities.

The philosophy of ShaolinKung Fuandmartial arts

In order to understandthe essence ofShaolin Kung Fu as well asits relationshipto combat sports, it is necessary first to brieflydefine Kung Fu and its underlyingphilosophy. The philosophy of Kung Fu isinextricably linked to chan-Buddhism, which was broughtto theShaolin monastery byBodhidharma(Long,2002). "Kung Fu" includes not only martial artsand care forphysical fitness, but it also includesphilosophicaland medicalaspects(Long,2009).In China it became anationaltradition (Turneber, 1992)[11].

Kung Fumeansmastery,skillacquiredwith great effort over a long period of time. It does not apply directly only to martial arts, and therefore one whohas devotedmanyyears of learning, practice and thesharpening ofskills so as tobecome anadept KungFu – Master -- thereforeis often also called a "perfectman."Achievingmasterlevel in Kung Fu is a long, demanding process of difficult training whichlastsabout 10years, and sometimes evenlonger[2].

In Western countries, the term 'Kung Fu' is almostexclusivelyassociatedwith the martialarts.Todaythisterm is favored by themajority of Chinesemastersliving here, to distinguish the real,traditional martial art of Kung Fu from the sport ofWuShu,which was establishedat a time whenthe Chinese leadershiphad declaredallschools of warfare to be unwholesome forsociety(Qing Dynasty1644-1911).Somemastersrefused tosubmit and continued to teach martialartsin secretor in exile.Other masterschose tocompromise. They createdWuShu, a kind of Kung Fu without fighting, but with sets using a lot of acrobatics andmovementsthat areperformedonly asstrenuous physicalexercise.The application didn't have to loseits military significance, but it could be publicly performed and taught [12].

It isevidentthat the meaning of the concept of Kung Fu has sometimes been understood only invagueterms.Therefore the termShaolinKung Fu is used to make the meaning more clear(it is also known asShaolinQuan;quanmeansfist, thusitcan betranslated asShaolinfistarts, Shaolinboxing, or Shaolin fist). For purposes oftranslation this has stabilized the meaning of the term, whichmost of therecognizedmasters ofthe world currently tend to use – i.e, "Kung Fu" with respect to "ShaolinKungFu"[13].

The purpose of Kung Fu then is notto prove one's superiority, for example, in a competition and thus gain popularity, or in battle by defeating all opponents. Rather it is practicedfor the way of lifeit offers. It is not practicedfor theresults of the work, but philosophicallyspeaking, for the work itself.OrthodoxShaolinKungFudenies the kind of competitiontypical ofEuropean sports. In Kung Fu the emphasis isnot only on the perfection oftruecombat skills(whichhave beenprecisely andpracticallyproven in many historicalmilestones), but also on a spirituallevel, the perfection of ethics, humanity anddeep philosophy,andforbidsanysports activities of a competitive (commercial)character.Thatis the biggest differencebetweenmartial arts andcombatsports,which currently includesporting forms of fighting and competitive methods for overcomingopponents [4].Fightingwith an enemyis, of course, an integral and very important part of traditionalShaolinKung Fu. But the pointis to refine the fighterto perfectionduringextremelyhardbut verysophisticatedand systematictraining, and it isnotacted outin the form ofa sportsmatchin public (Oyama, 1966).The main purpose ofthe originalKung Fu is not ashowdownwith an enemy, but the gradualovercomingof oneself.This is also reflectedin the philosophy ofKung Fu,which says that thenovicemust put learning toovercomeand controlhimself andhispain first, before his desire to overcomeanother (eg a teacher of Shaolinstudents in China,inone of his interviews with theShaolinmonkGrandmaster ShiDeKai,saysthat if the novice cannot remainin the lowpositionmabu,wherethe anglebetween thecalf andthigh is around100 degrees – inkaratethis stanceissimilar tothatof a rideron horseback, called Šiko-dachi or kiba-dachi – for at least 1hour,there is no reason to even start the exercise!) [14-16].

Novices in Shaolinmonasteries werestrictlyforbidden toperformthe originalten pointsin a publicfight andshow offtheircombat skills. For thesereasons, ShaolinKungFudoes not appearin the sportsarenainthe aforementionedforms of sportsmatches.Many canask, thenhow the “China Cup” can approve these “rules?”The answer is, it'spart of the traditionof orthodoxKung Fu. Schools and theirnovicesmet(according to the opportunities of the time), to present to each other theirabilities andskills, includingintensive,hard contactmatches andQigongexercises, in orderthatKung Fu would continually be perfectedand undergothe maximum limit ofconstructivereflection, thusensuringthe highest development andperfection of theShaolinarts.Kung Fu is qualitatively historical – a fact that is unquestionably verified, because in the past Shaolin monks often had to face a variety of aggressive social oppressions and warlike conflicts, or be otherwise involved in them, helping, treating, etc. the persecuted, weak, injured – and thanks to that arose the legends of their demonstrated exceptional combat skills and physical abilities (discussion on October 17, 1998 with Chen Xiao Wang – the current world leader and Grandmaster, dedicated to Shaolin Kung Fu for more than 60 years – with respect to the supervisory style Chen Taijiquan).

This tradition isnowrepresentedby, for example, exhibitionswhich are underthe auspicesof renownedmasters, and meetings ofindividual schools– from here, then, it is close to being named as the unofficial“championship.” All these forms differ from sportingly conceived branches of themain objective(despitethe emergence ofvarious competitionsin Kung Fu,themainorthodoxphilosophicalline ofShaolinKung Fuopposesitand is notin agreement with it), whose task it is toemphasize theoriginalityandpermanenceof traditionalmartialarts,martialqualities,moral valuesand the spirituallevels ofShaolinKung Fu(interview on April 21, 2012with GrandmasterChenHongHi, a studentof GrandmasterChenXiaoWang and descendent of Chen, devoted to the Chinesemartialart of KungFu formorethan 40years,including being a multipleinternationalwinner in China in sets (forms) of katachi and incontact warfare).

Nowadays, the meanings of terms such as success, quality and mastery are often distorted by the pragmatic-consumerism of contemporary society and its specifically value-oriented structure. One's own success, whether or not it has any source, let alone the means to achieve it, is the main criterion for social success (Nakayama, 1966). Function and social status are often brutally given superiority over deeper moral and human values, regardless of the consequences of such behavior. These egoistic value shifts are also reflected in the contemporary implementation of the idea “the sooner and the more the better – the best” (Ming, 1982).

This alsocorrespondswith the reasonwhya large proportion ofphysicallyactive society is oriented towards combatactivitiesinstead of commercial sports.There theprobability of successand commercialvalueis clearly greaterandmuchfaster (than in just themartialarts), along with lower demands for a higher level oflong-termvoluntarymoralqualities, which are thus hidden bytheir ownfleetingfeelingof success andexcellence.And so,under a veneer ofquick superficial successis conceleda latentthreatto society asa whole: value anarchy and tyranny, a lack of moralvaluesorself-reflection on one's values,achievementby any meansand self-centered value opportunism – all threatening the nature ofthe very foundationsof human society[15,16].

Since they have been around for millennia carefully concealed any information about Qigong in Shaolin Kung Fu (nature, content, structure and the effects of exercise to health - as well as combat), so today we have very little information about the nature of Qigong exercises. Even today it is evident effort to keep this secret. It is therefore very little information available and the authors who are willing and able to bring more specific and more detailed information on this issue. For these reasons, the possibilities of this study, therefore, very limited. Among the major authors and their studies in this field are currently mainly Urgel (2010), Frantzis (2013), Long (2011, 2013) and WenweiOu (2015)[17].


ShaolinKungFuis an orthodoxmartialart. Its training and structure are designed to precisely match thebalanceof yin and yangin accordance with itschan-Buddhist philosophy, and it comprehensively shapes a student'sdevelopment (Kit, 1996). For purposes of self-improvement, it is a journey of human development that is of extremelyhigh quality, intensity and sophistication. In terms ofits content, meaning and philosophy Kung Fu is an excellent pursuit, but it is not intended as afocusforsportsandsportingforms of competition.

Qigong is an elementary principle and enforceable essence of Kung-Fu. Qigong is specifically and elaborately pervades all phases of training and individual skill levels in Kung Fu. Without representation qigong and its multidisciplinary overlap would not kung fu nearly as efficient and pleasant as well as health benefits. Qigong has Kung Fu multidisciplinary overlaps as well as its undeniable health benefits. Without him it would not Kung-Fu nearly as effective, efficient, unique and beautiful.


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