Northern Shaolin, or more specifically, the Northern Shaolin Boxing School 北少林拳門 is a very specific style of Kung Fu or Traditional Chinese Martial Arts (TCMA) made quite popular by the legendary 顾 汝 章 Gù Rǔ Zhāng. Gu is popularly known for his skill and public demonstrations of 鐵 掌 功 Tiě Zhǎng Gōng or Iron Palm Skill, which is a special conditioning method found in many martial art systems and not necessarily part of the curriculum.
This 外 家 Wài Jiā or External (family) Kung Fu style builds solid fitness, physical intelligence, martial ability, and much more, including many aspects that break out of the External mold, into the 內 家 Nèi Jiā or Internal family.
A Common Misconception
There are undoubtedly definitive ties to the 少 林 寺 Shào Lín Sì – Shaolin Temple or Shaolin Monastery. However, our style of Northern Shaolin is not the well-known Shaolin Kung Fu that many mistakenly associate with the name.
Some people intuit “Northern Shaolin” to be a more general grouping of styles of Chinese martial arts, however as mentioned above, we teach a very specific style.
The content of our flagship style at PATHS Atlanta Kung Fu consists of many different training methodologies, empty-hand forms or 套路 Tàolù, Breath, and Energy work or 氣功 Qigong, traditional Chinese weaponry or 兵器 Bīngqì, Traditional Medicine, Martial Ethics and more.
In addition to forms, applications, and additional special studies, the Kung Fu student learns the classical “Four Methods.” These four methods are known as Ti, Da, Na, and Shuai.
Four Methods of Kung Fu
- Ti: Leg techniques, footwork, kicking, etc.
- Da: Hand techniques, arm tactics, hitting, striking, punching etc.
- Na: (from Qin Na) Locking & Control techniques, upright grappling, etc.
- Shuai: (think Shuai Jiao) Throwing techniques, uprooting tactics, tripping, etc.
Eight Bodies of Knowledge
These eight include the four methods we mentioned above plus four more.
- Medicine or Healing
- Martial Virtue or Wǔdé 武德
It seems like a lot, but remember that list is not complete. Indeed, if we were to add in different types of conditioning drills, lion dancing, calisthenics, philosophy, and other things typically found in styles, the list can get much longer!
Consequently, many doors are open for the traditional student.
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu has been in Atlanta for over 20 years! And we are still going strong! Read more about the PATHS here.
Come be a part of the mystery, the legend, and the reality that is Northern Shaolin Kung Fu!