kung fu moves

The smallest external moves seem insignificant but can translate to great movement of internal energy, says Shaolin monk Wang Bo. Watch as he discusses and demonstrates an outward manifestation of this practice via the double-palm strike!

In a previous video-blog entry, Shaolin monk Wang Bo recommended a series of "internal exercises" for development of one's mind-body connection. Most of these internal exercises from Shaolin kung fu involve a foundation of slow-motion breathing. "As one of the internal practices, [slow-motion breathing] starts inside and moves outside," Wang Bo says. "When you punch [during kung fu techniques], it's a physical movement from outside to inside which is the opposite. Slow-motion breathing will make your organs work better and make you healthier. It looks very small, but it does a lot of work inside your body."

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Got the holiday blues? Are you angry, impatient, depressed? In this exclusive interview video, Shaolin monk Wang Bo explains why Shaolin kung fu training may be just what you need to re-frame your hectic life.

In the United States since 2008, Wang Bo is on a mission to promote Shaolin philosophy and physical culture by spreading the practice of traditional kung fu techniques and the discipline that goes along with them. "My goal is to help as many people as I can while [teaching] them how to defend themselves," the Shaolin monk says. "My purpose [in coming] to the U.S. is to promote Shaolin traditional philosophy and culture through this traditional art, discipline and spirituality to help more people know [about] Shaolin Temple and to benefit from this art." Unlike some martial styles, Shaolin kung fu teaches not just physical skills but also methods for building inner strength and spirituality, Wang Bo says. "Beating somebody is not that hard; loving somebody is harder. We say, 'If I beat you today, you may hate me for a long time, but if I help you, you may remember me forever.' "In kung fu, you don't see people beating each other too much. More often you see self-practice — one person doing forms. The techniques are very powerful for fighting, but when you learn kung fu, your teacher doesn't allow you to fight. You can fight 10 people and win now, but eventually you will get old. Eventually you can't fight anymore. It's better to cultivate yourself and help people use this art to improve their lives."

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Do you have 7 minutes to spare? In this exclusive 7-minute video, a genuine Shaolin monk shows you an ancient, no-impact, breath-based movement sequence to strengthen your mind-body connection and fortify your execution of kung fu moves.

Ask anyone who's visited the Shaolin Temple or watched Shaolin monks perform on tour, and he or she will attest to the phenomenal shape these martial artists are in — and to the phenomenal feats they can coax their bodies to do. The type of fitness the Shaolin monks exhibit is not a bodybuilding kind of fitness; it's a functional, practical musculature that's perfectly suited to executing the kung fu moves in which these martial artists specialize. Furthermore, their ongoing practice of kung fu techniques fosters holistic health by building internal strength. For expert guidance in the way of Shaolin kung fu fitness, we brought in a genuine Shaolin monk named Wang Bo. Formerly of the Shaolin Temple, Henan province, China, Wang Bo is now based in Torrance, California, where he teaches Shaolin kung fu techniques as well as meditation, yoga and tai chi.

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