The survival of authentic kung fu

Venerable Hai Deng, who was famous for his One Finger Zen skill, was the last abbot of the Shaolin temple who advocated traditional kung fu training. After he left the Shaolin temple in the 1960's, the focus of the Shaolin temple gradually shifted towards demonstration wushu rather than martial arts. Image reproduced from www.shaolin.org

Venerable Hai Deng, who was famous for his One Finger Zen skill, was the last abbot of the Shaolin temple who advocated traditional kung fu training. After he resigned in the 1960’s, the focus of the Shaolin temple gradually shifted towards demonstration wushu rather than traditional kung fu. Image reproduced from http://www.shaolin.org

Many kung fu practitioners have heard of the Cultural Revolution in China which led to the death or exile of many practitioners of traditional arts, including kung fu. In fact, many people have the mistaken belief that no authentic kung fu exists anymore!

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Cross training and sparring methodology

Free sparring is used to test, not train, fighting skills in Shaolin Wahnam. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Free sparring is used to test, not train, fighting skills in Shaolin Wahnam. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

Back in mid-May of 2013, I posed a question to the G+ Martial Artist community regarding cross-training and sparring methodologies used in their schools. After a few responses, someone asked my opinion on their situations. Here’s what I replied with:

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