CAN KUNGFU BE USED FOR COMBAT?
Asking whether kungfu can be used for combat almost sounds silly! "Kungfu" means "martial art", and if it cannot be used for combat then it is not a martial art. Hence, questioning whether a particular style of kungfu can be used for combat is questioning whether it is genuine kungfu.
Nevertheless, to say that kungfu is capable of combat is not the same as saying a kungfu exponent is necessarily a formidable fighter. He may or may not be as effective a fighter than a martial artist of any other style.
More significantly, to say that kungfu is capable of combat is not to deny its other benefits, such as promoting good health and spiritual cultivation, which may be more desirable than mere combat efficiency.
Combat application was an important objective of the regional Shaolin Kungfu course organized by Sifu Marcus Santer at the University of Kent, Canterbury, England in July 2005. This course was fully booked even before it commenced.
Although many of the participants were beginning students, by the end of the five-day course they were able to use kungfu for combat. The videos below, taken impromptu by Sifu Marcus Santer and Hubert Razack, and released here without editing, show their training and sparring. A worthy point of note is that none of the course participants sustained any injury at all in their sparring. Instead they had much fun and fraternization.
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- Basic Shaolin Trainig for Combat
- Shaolin Counters against Shoots
- Using Shaolin Kungfu in Free Sparring