The Art of Village Fighting
SHAOLIN KUNG FU COMBAT TRAINING "THE ART OF VILLAGE FIGHTING"
From the halls of the famous Shaolin temple, Gus Gates Kung Fu & Fitness brings you one of China's most practiced and powerful martial arts: Shaolin Kung Fu "The Art of Village Fighting." Practical street defense without the loss of tradition and culture.
2003 Hall of Fame inductee and Martial Arts Instructor of the Year SIFU GUS GATES brings the beauty of the Dragon, Tiger, Crane, and other animal styles of Kung Fu.
Discover the exhilaration of learning to wield classical weapons of Kung Fu. All combative martial arts originated from the use of ancient weapons of war and no one boasts as wide a proficiency and variety in weapons as in Shaolin Combat Training.
Many different studies have shown that participation in a well-run Martial Arts program can be equivalent to and in many cases better than other physical activities you and your child might be involved in, including organized team sports. Teens who regularly attend Kung Fu classes learn to avoid some of the dangers children may be faced with in today's world, such as gangs, drugs and peer pressure, to name a few.
Kung Fu classes can help define and build you and/or your child's self-esteem, discipline, compassion, strength and confidence needed in everyday life.
A history of the Shaolin Temple and its monks—even a brief history—would have to begin in two distant places: with the development of Chinese civilization (over 5000 years ago), and with the birth of Buddhism in India, in the 6th century BCE. Much documentation has been made that within Chinese civilization, martial arts and philosophies often coexist. In 2674 BCE, Emperor Huang Ti of China was already practicing a basic form of martial arts, used in combat and training for soldiers; since it was common for these soldiers to end their military careers by retiring into monasteries, the martial arts also became part of temple and monastic life. Confucius espoused the importance of martial arts in 600 BCE, and Taoism also integrated martial arts into its spiritual teachings.
After Ba Tuo, another Indian Buddhist teacher arrived at the Shaolin temple on Songshan Mountain with Ch’an teachings. Bodhidharma, a Persian or South Indian prince (sometimes referred to as Bada, Damo or Tamo) taught a form of Buddhism that emphasized on self cultivation through seated meditation. ‘Dhyana’ in Sanskrit or the investigation of one’s mind is called “Ch’an” in Chinese. The Japanese later pronounced it as “Zen”. Great Master Bodhidharma was recognized as Twenty-Eighth Indian Patriarch and the First C’han Patriarch of China.
As Buddhism spread from India was introduced into Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Burma, and into China along the Silk Road, a trans-Asian trade route, in the 1st century BCE, Buddhist communities begin to be formed. One of the earliest communities is the White Horse Temple, built by the end of the 1st century. In 464 CE, an Indian Buddhist monk Ba Tuo came to China to teach what is now termed Theravadan Buddhism. At this time, Chinese Buddhist monks were already practicing certain forms of martial arts and wrestling, called wushu. Emperor Wei Xiao Wen gave Ba Tuo land on Songshan Mountain (Bear’s Ear Mountain), and founded the Shaolin temple there in 495 CE. Songshan mountain is located in what is now Henan Province. “Shaolin,” the Mandarin word for “young (or new) forest” refers to the young trees that were replanted by the Emperor’s gardeners when it was cleared to build the temple.
While the practice of Ch’an points directly to the mind, and emphasizes self-awareness and self-motivation, the practice requires self-discipline. The monks are encouraged to focus on simple, thoughtful living. Upholding of precepts and vows are emphasized through the practice of meditation, in simple diet (vegetarian), clothing (simple robes), and possessions to aid in achieving concentration (‘Samadhi’ in Sanskrit) while investigating Ch’an. To the the student of Shaolin Gungfu, it should be similarly emphasized that the introduction of movements and breathing exercises are entry points to develop self-discipline, and concentration that is required to begin the investigation of one’s mind to seek wisdom and achieve unconditioned happiness and ultimate liberation.
Different legends describe Bodhidharma’s first encounters with the monks of the Shaolin temple. In one version, he finds the Shaolin monks in such poor condition that they often fall asleep while sitting in meditation. Legend describes Bodhidharma sitting in a cave on Songshan Mountain behind the temple and meditating for nine straight years, facing the wall. When he eventually comes down the mountain to the temple, he introduced the monks to a series of physical and breathing exercises. These movements—derived from Indian yogic practices of hatha and raja—were classified according to the 18 main animals in Indo-Chinese iconography, and evolve into Shaolin Gungfu.
There are some characteristics that make the Mount Wudang area unique
1) It has been inhabited by Daoist masters throughout history
Mount Wudang is one of the oldest and most important cultivation sites of Daoism. More than 2500 years ago, YunXi (disciple of LaoZi) after recording the famous DaoDeJing from the Daoist Grandmaster LaoZi, started this cultivation on the Mountain. Since then, a number of Daoist masters, including ChenTuan, LuDongBin, and ZhangSanFeng have come train and get realized on Mount Wudang, suggesting the uniqueness of this place for the cultivation of Daoist practice and understanding.
2) It is the birth place of Tai Chi Quan
ZhangSanFeng, the Daoist master who lived in the 14-16th century, founded the Wudang martial arts branch, and invented the famous Tai Chi Quan, which made a tremendous impact on the martial arts, human health, and towards Daoist cultivation. Through the practise of Tai Chi Quan, practitioners could improve their physical condition, the energy (qi) in their body, and experience inner tranquility and peace.
Besides cultivation and training, Mount Wudang is also famous for Regimen (the nurturing of life). There are many Chinese herbs that grow on the mountain, and together with the Daoist wisdom used in preserving life and Daoist medicine, make the mountain a unique place for healing and rejuvenation.
4) The Architecture
Besides secluded caves built by practitioners, there has been construction of many temples at different times, the earliest dating back to the 6th century. Temples are built at locations following the natural landscape of the mountain, some at cliffs and some on mountain tops. The uniqueness of the mountain and its architecture earned it a place as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Cultural Sites on December 17, 1994.