Shaolin Five-Animal Set

Grandmaster Wong demonstrating "Single Tiger Emerges from Cave"

As Shaolin Kungfu is more sophisticated than other martial arts, it takes a longer time to be able to use Shaolin Kungfu competently in combat. When I taught at Shaolin Wahnam Association in the 1980s, it took my students about 3 years to apply Shaolin Kungfu competently in fighting. This was a big achievement considering that most kungfu practitioners could not use kungfu for combat despite having practiced kungfu for many years. They either practice flowery fists and embroidery kicks or use Kicking Boxing or other martial arts for fighting.

When I set up Shaolin Wahnam Institute I expanded the 12 Basic Combat Sequences used in Shaolin Wahnam Association to 16. I also improved my teaching methodology. This resulted in enabling students to speed up their ability in using kungfu for combat from a few years to a few months! It is indeed an incredible improvement.

But when I taught regional Shaolin Kungfu courses, I might not have sufficient time to teach the 16 Basic Shaolin Combat Sequences. So I condensed the 16 sequences into 8. Please note that it was a condensation, not a reduction of material. The material was the same, in fact more in some aspects, but it was condensed. For example, instead of having 3 sequences to deal with 3 different directions of striking, namely top, middle and bottom, as in the first 3 sequences of the 16 Basic Shaolin Combat Sequences, the 3 different directions of striking were condensed into just 1 sequence, like the first sequence of the 8 Distilled Combat Sequences.

The 8 Distilled Combat Sequences solved two serious problems facing many kungfu practitioners. Many kungfu practitioners only perform kungfu techniques; often beautifully, but they cannot use the kungfu techniques for combat. Secondly, those who attempt free sparring, do so randomly or use techniques from other martial arts, like Boxing and Kick-Boxing. These 8 Distilled Combat Sequences enable our students to use kungfu techniques competently for sparring.

Not only our students using these 8 Distilled Combat Sequences could apply them for free sparring, they attained this remarkable achievement in a very short time -- just three days! In the regional Shaolin Kungfu courses in Andorra, Switzerland and Finland, for example, course participants, many of whom could not use kungfu for combat previously, could do so after just three days!

Does this mean that our Basic 16 Shaolin Combat Sequences, as well as the 12 Basic Taijiquan Combat Sequences can bow be replaced by our 8 Distilled Combat Sequences in Shaolin and also in Taijiquan? No, these 8 Distilled Combat Sequences were invented to meet expedient needs. If time is not a crucial factor, 16 Basic Shaolin Combat Sequences and 12 Basic Taijiquan Combat Sequences provide a more systematic and comprehensive training for combat.

Wong Kiew Kit
20th December 2015


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