72 Shaolin Arts

Sifu Wong Chun Nga demonstrating Golden Belle


These three arts, Marvelous Fist, Golden Bell, and Art of 1000 Steps/Art of Lightness, are legendary, and often portrayed in films and spoken of in stories. Because of that, the results from training these arts, as depicted in the films, seems (to me) to be tipping into the realm of fantasy. For instance - Marvelous Fist - striking someone across a courtyard, leaving a fist-shaped purple bruise on their chest, and causing massive internal injury or instant death.

Golden Bell - the practitioner can withstand thrusts from a spear, or be kicked through a brick wall, and sustain zero injury/damage. Art of 1000 Steps/Art of Lightness - the practitioner can run across water and barely disturb the surface, jump to a roof top and run from building to building, or jump to a high tree limb and stand on the thinnest of branches.

For those lucky enough to attend this course, what results (or even "wow" moments) can participants expect during the course itself? And also after 1 year of training, and 3 years of training?

Additionally, how would these results compare to the results of training the Shaolin Wahnam syllabus? For instance, I have heard that students/ instructors have developed some degree of Golden Bell by training Horse Riding Stance or Golden Bridge. And I personally have experienced some degrees of the Art of 1000 Steps/Lightness by directing my flowing Chi to my legs to run and jump.

Sifu Matt Fenton, USA


These arts are indeed legendary. We are very fortunate to have them in our school, and those who value legends and make an effort to obtain them, have a chance to learn them at the Scandinavian King’s Road courses.

Some of the effects of these arts shown in films or spoken in stories are exaggerated, but basically the marvels of these arts are real. For example, during a demonstration Piti (Sifu Piti Parra Duque) gave Dr Juan a strike at his ribs but stopped an inch or two away. Dr Juan was in pain, and a day later when he had an x-ray in his specialist hospital, he found that his ribs were fractured! Although it was not a hundred steps away but just an inch or two, Piti could fracture Dr Juan’s ribs without touching them! It was a manifestation of Marvelous Fist.

During the Dragon Strength course in Penang in a demonstration of dim mark, Kai (Sifu Kai Uwe) dotted an energy point at the collar bone of Roland (Sifu Roland Mastel). An inch or two away before touching, Roland felt numb, exactly like the effect of dim mark. Roland had to perform an energy flow to clear the injury. In a course in Frankfurt, while teaching a weapon course, I sliced a sabre near the “tiger-mouth” (between the thumb and the index finger) of a student without touching the “tiger-mouth”, but blood oozed out. In both cases, injury was caused without physical contact, which was a manifestation of Marvelous Fist.

Many of our instructors and some of our senior students have Golden Bell which has resulted from their regular training, though they have not tested it or demonstrated it in public. Chun Nga, Mark Appleford and Barry (Sifu Wong Chun Nga, Sifu Mark Appleford, and Sifu Barry Smale) demonstrated being hit with sharp choppers without injury and without prior formal Golden Bell training. It will be the first time I shall formally teach Golden Bell at the King’s Road courses.

The Art of Thousand Steps is one of the arts of lightness. Many of our Shaolin Wahnam family members would have heard of stories of my sigung jumping up a wall of about 10 feet. I did not see this myself, but my sifu who told me the story never lied. I also heard from a community leader in Sungai Petani that his uncles and aunties in China in the past used to jump over high walls at night to “do their business” of robbing the rich to help the poor.

But I had personal experience of the Art of Thousand Steps in my younger days to run up a stairs of about 30 steps to save my small niece from tumbling down just two steps. I also used the Art of Thousand Steps to run up a four-storey building to meet my sijie, Uncle Righteousness’ eldest daughter, in lightning speed before she could open the door after answering my call from a window! These interesting stories are found in my autobiography, “The Way of the Master”.

In some of my Intensive Chi Kung Courses, I taught course participants to use chi flow to make them run round a training hall about 10 times, which was about the distance round a football field. They were not tired and not panting for breath after running. In my schooldays, I would be very tired and heavily panting for breath just running half a football field.

Using chi flow to run is different from the Art of Thousand Steps, but the way we use chi to run is one of the arts of lightness. The Art of Thousand Steps will be first taught at the King’s Road courses.

During the respective courses, these marvelous arts will be formally and systematically taught. Course participants will acquire the necessary skills, techniques and philosophy in just a few days what others, if they are very lucky enough, may take many years. Course participants can expect many “wow” moments during the courses themselves of insights and experiences that other people may think impossible and which they themselves may not have dreamt of before. Amongst many other benefits, they will realize that if they have the skills, techniques and philosophy, they can achieve feats that others may consider impossible.

After one year of daily training the way they have been taught at the King’s Road courses, course participants will be able to perform the feats I myself performed, and probably what are described in my autobiography. I myself took less than one year to practice the methods that enabled me to perform the feats, which I shall teach at the courses. It is worthy to remember that course participants are more cost effective than I was at that time.

After three years of daily practice, course participants can be “guardians” or “hu fa” in Chinese, of the respective arts. Not only they know the skills, techniques and philosophy of the arts, they can perform their respective feats very well. This is what I hope will happen. These arts are marvelous, and we want them to be preserved for posterity.

In a personal and practical manner, training of these arts will give course participants good health, vitality and longevity, which I believe are some of the best benefits any art can give. They will also have spiritual joys, attain peak performance in their daily life, and have mental freshness and clarity.

For those who do not attend the respective courses but train the fundamental Shaolin Wahnam syllabuses, will not have the specific skills, techniques and philosophy for these legendary arts, but they will still have the general benefits of good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance, mental clarity and spiritual joys. If they ever develop abilities of these arts, it is co-incidental and will take a much longer time.

72 Shaolin Arts

Students at a chi kung course employed chi flow to run

This question and answer are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions on the 72 Shaolin Arts in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.