Shaolin Kung Fu Philosophy

Shaolin Kung Fu philosophy teaches important values and code of conduct for both martial arts training and life; the philosophy helps us cope with modern day stress, anxiety and pressure. Shaolin Kung Fu is grounded in the philosophy of Taoism (pronounced as ‘Daoism’). Taoism, pre-dates even Buddhism which has played a significant role given Shaolin Kung Fu was first practiced by Chinese Monks who later established the Shaolin Temple.

The life goals or 3 jewels for a Taoist are compassion, humility and moderation. Taoism is about living within nature’s laws and in harmony with the cycle of nature. It is about recognizing that everything is interconnected, that everything you do affects everything else around you. Taoists seek to live in harmony with the Tao. Shaolin Kung Fu aims to keep us in harmony and balance.

Shaolin Kung Fu Philosophy in Practice
At LSDU, students are taught the 8 Wisdoms of Shaolin Kung Fu, which teach important values and a code of conduct for both Chinese martial arts training and life. In times of hardship, such as emotional, family or financial crisis, this knowledge helps us cope with our modern fast paced lives that lead to stress and anxiety. LSDU students are also taught Shaolin Kung Fu’s Shaolin Martial Morality which teaches the Morality of Action and the Morality of Mind.

Some basic examples of Taoist philosophy as they relate to Shaolin Kung Fu classes include the:
1. Control of breathing and effective use of Qi to maximize inner strength, physical power, and promote sound mental health
2. Location of key pressure points as a means of quickly and strategically defending
3. Effectiveness of both ‘hard’ (yin) and ‘soft’ (yang) techniques, and the value of using ‘soft’ techniques against even the strongest opponent.

"Nothing in the world is softer and weaker than water; But, for attacking the hard and strong, there is nothing like it! For nothing can take its place. That the weak overcomes the strong, and the soft overcomes the hard, This is something known by all, but Practiced by none. (Tao Te Ching, chapter 78)."

The treasures of the Shaolin Temple were called the five Quan’s. Quan designates a fighting form (ex: Tai Chi is a philosophy but Tai Chi Quan is a self defense form based on the Tai Chi philosophy).

The original Quan’s:
1. Dragon Quan -training attention and spirit
2. Tiger Quan -strengthens bones and emphasizing jumping.
3. Leopard Quan -practicing the application of force.
4. Snake Quan -practice inner breathing, stretching, sensitivity.
5. Crane Quan -training concentration, stability, accuracy and determination.
6. The Shaolin philosophy is a blending of Taoist thought with Buddhist ideas.

We are a martial art, not a sport, hence we accord it due respect. Students are expected to observe certain rules of courtesy and good behaviour. We teach in a traditional, sincere, friendly and safe manner, with constant regard for practical considerations. We successfully balance traditional aesthetics with practical requirements. We do not force our students to do try everything all at once but will always encourage them to have a go. It all takes time, effort, continuous and conscientious practice whilst at the same time being determined, aware of the individual limitations and potential.

The formalised approach to our teachings is aided through use of the system syllabus. Whilst we believe that a student must decide upon themselves the rate at which they excel, by having a syllabus our students have some targets to work towards.

Grading examinations are held every 3 months, though whether or not you go for grading is down to your hard work and the progress you have made. Belts are issued as formal indication of level. Our teaching system equips students with a solid grounding in the practice of martial arts and this can lead to a number of specialisations. However, learning mere moves is not the main objective, as true martial arts help you develop your spiritual dimension, improving both your confidence and humility.

Forms Meaning

Shaolin Kung Fu forms are a well-known and important part of training. It is through the forms that the traditions are passed down and your Shaolin skills take shape. You will learn forms, the meaning of the forms, their history and their applications in real world situations.

Qi Gong School

It is not only a school of martial arts but also a physical and mental exercise method, which is beneficial to health and body-building. There are mainly two types - Dynamic Qi Gong practiced by specific body movements, and Static Qi Gong practiced by adjusting the breath and mind.


One must not use his strength for deception of people. One must not rise over other people. One must not use this Art for suppression of people. If there are achievements, there should be flaws. It is necessary to know about flaws to attain higher achievements. It is necessary to breed the true greatness of Spirit.

My Philosophy

In martial arts, as in life, you quickly learn not to think too much. You have to do. While you're thinking, you open spaces where an opponent can successfully strike at you. The more you think, the more vulnerable you become. My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting. The BEST DEFENSE is NO DEFENSE.

Shifu Zhao Hui

Know Your Trainer

Shifu Zhao Hui
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Shifu Zhao Hui
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Shifu Zhao Hui
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Shifu Zhao Hui
Martial Arts trainer