As a martial arts instructor, I get this question all the time.  Kung Fu is the most complete, peace loving, effective, and life-building martial art on the planet.  Since beginning my Shaolin journey, I’ve found that my life has improved on so many levels.

The Chinese Lung Dragon

Fitness

The fitness benefits are second to none.  Since beginning my Shaolin Kung Fu journey, I’ve enjoyed the following benefits:

  • I’ve lost 55 pounds thus far
  • Cholesterol has gone from 287 to 149
  • Thyroid count has gone from 10+ to just over 5
  • I’ve lost 6″ off my waist
  • Less fatigue
Personal
The personal benefits have been equally positive.  I’m more “present” with my wife and daughter, and we enjoy a happier life around the house on every level.  As a dad, particularly, my daughter and I have developed a stronger bond than ever, because I can really invest myself into our time together.

There is a strong mind-body connection in Kung-Fu

Stress relief

Nothing relieves stress like kung-fu.  It’s fun.  Being a part of a studio means being a part of a community.  We laugh and enjoy the journey together.
Self confidence
As a Shaolin black belt, I’m confident that I’d be able to defend myself in just about any situation.  Much more important, however, is the knowledge that I probably will never have to.  It is truly my goal to study the martial arts for the rest of my life, but NEVER to use it in anger.  I get a strong sense of self from the movement and the meditation that is a regular part of my life.

 

The Shaolin Temple - the International Home of Kung-Fu

History

Personally, I enjoy being a part of an original.  The history of Kung Fu could be its own entry, of course, but I’ll put it simply.  Kung Fu began in the Shaolin Temple about 1500 years ago.  Sure, it wasn’t the first martial art on the planet, but it is the father (or mother, if you prefer) of all contemporary martial arts.  Karate, kempo, Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Jiu Jitsu, Hopkido, Muay Thai, MMA, Kickboxing…you name it, they all came from Kung Fu.  Like most things in history, there was some evolution going on behind it.  There are some ancient arts practiced in Greece and in India that pre-date even our beloved kung-fu, and that’s what a monk named Bodidharma brought to the Shaolin Temple.  The events he set in motion around the 4th century were a major turning point, and what we now know as the martial arts can all be traced back there.