The Shaolin temple was first built around 495 A.D. by Chinese Emperor Hsiao Wen for an Indian monk Batou, or,
as known by the Chinese, Fo Tou. It was in the great Shaolin Temple in the Songshan mountains of central China
that Buddharama, a sixth century Indian monk, first introduced Buddhism and a form of meditation methods and fighting
techniques. He introduced to the temple monks a form of breathing exercises based upon animal movements, mostly
exercises for strengthening and conditioning the body. The reason he taught the monks these exercises was to purify
their bodies and develop inner strength. Then came the movement of the animals which were taught for self defense
purposes. Over a time, the monks changed and perfected these movements, gearing them toward fighting. This style
became known and feared as the art of Shaolin Temple Boxing. Buddhism and Shaolin Temple Boxing or Shaolin Chuan
Fa were the Shaolin Temple's main legacy to the world. So it was in China that the philosophical and religious
systems upon which many martial arts depend were first created and nurtured. The teachings of Lao Tzu, Confucius
and Buddha were blended with the development of the various Chinese martial art systems which spread to many other
In the 1600's, after Japan conquered Okinawa, the people of Okinawa were restricted from using any weapons to prevent
retaliation. The natives had no alternative but to practice the art of empty-handed fighting known as Te. This
name was derived from the Chinese Tang Dynasty, when many empty-handed styles of fighting were popular. The Okinawa's
changed the name of their martial art from Te to Karate, and many styles were developed.
Long before the Chinese or the Okinawa's practiced or developed their arts, the Tibetans and Mongolians had their
own form of combat from which the venerable art of Chin Na or the art of the White Tiger was further developed
into a devastating form of locking, seizing, holding and grappling. The Tibetans and the Mongolians were the masters
of the grappling arts.
The art of Shaolin Kempo Karate has developed from numerous styles of the martial arts including Shaolin Temple
Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu, Kempo, different styles of Karate, as well as the secret art of the White Tiger (Chin
Na). Each fighting system offers something both unique and special, but each also has its weaknesses that make
a fighter vulnerable. Our system stresses four ways of fighting.
With your hands (punching, striking-- both open and closed handed) or use of any part of the arms, elbows, forearms,
Kicking (with the foot, knee or leg).
Felling - that is to knock an opponent off his feet by throwing, tripping, pulling, pushing, shoving or scooping
Grappling - the secret of grappling is to always have control of your opponent by either wrestling, holding,
breaking or locking bones or joints against nerve centers, thereby directing your opponent by delivering excruciating
and incapacitating pain.
Remember, the ultimate in self defense lay not in one way or style of fighting, but by combining the Four Ways
of Fighting. The integration of these methods of fighting into one -- thereby eliminating any and all weaknesses
and vulnerabilities -- is the CORE, THEORY and METHOD behind our devastating and impregnable art of Shaolin Kempo
The Shaolin fighting system is the backbone of our system as it is the best for promoting overall good health and
longevity. The system is very well balanced, incorporating the mind, body, and spirit into one. It is a system
that promotes health and wisdom. On the fighting side, Shaolin is renowned for its awesome and devastating kicking
and punching techniques. It is the only system that incorporates the movements of the five animals: Tiger, Crane,
Dragon, Snake and Leopard. The Shaolin theory of fighting is based upon circular movements, speed, conditioning
and the development of strong internal energy, tendons and ligaments. This is the essence for producing a superior
Karate is simple and quick to both learn and execute. It is known for its linear and angular movements with quick
shuffles and in-line fighting movements. Karate type blows are more mechanical in execution than Shaolin. They
are also more explosive. Karate concentrates more on the external and fewer moves are required to get the job done.
The art of Kempo is a mixture of both hard and soft movements that blend nicely, but is not sophisticated enough
by itself. Kempo lacks the grace of Shaolin with its integrated leg maneuvers, the quick shuffles and footwork
of Karate, and the explosion of hard Karate.
Shaolin movements are more fluent than either Kempo or Karate and consists of more patterns of multiple strikes.
The weakness here is that there are too many wasted movements, which create openings for counter-attack. Karate,
on the other hand, has too few movements and is too rigid to stand-alone. Shaolin takes longer to master than Karate,
but, once mastered, your blows are delivered more effectively because Shaolin is a balance of the body's external
strength and the internal power found within. Each system offers something to compliment the other by combining
the circular and linear movements together; the end result is far superior to either alone.
Our Shaolin Kempo Karate system teaches the twelve branches of Shaolin that were originally taught in the Shaolin
Temples of China. These branches include the venerable art of Chin Na (White Tiger); the ultimate form of controlling
your opponent by holding, seizing, locking, throwing, felling and delivering pain that can be controlled. No other
art can have such control over an attacker. The Immortal Monkey, known for its art of illusion. It cannot be hit.
Its movements are lightning quick and it can change direction rapidly. It never exhausts its energy and the monkey
is always happy! The art of the Tiger with its character ferocity and strength. The Tiger fears nothing and, thus,
is feared by all. The Leopard is another important branch of Shaolin because it is the fastest of all the animals
in the system and it is through speed that the Leopard is able to generate tremendous power. The branch of the
Crane teaches centeredness, balance and grace within our movement and disposition; these are the markings of a
truly great fighter. The Eagle branch of Shaolin is also graceful in its technique, but the Eagle differs from
the Crane in that the Eagle is a bird of prey. Once held by an Eagle's powerful grip, its opponent is usually rendered
helpless. The Snake branch of Shaolin, including the boa and the python, emphasizes flexibility and precision.
The Snake doesn't have the power of the Tiger or the Leopard so it must target specific points of the body to administer
it's attack, the result is usually deadly. Another branch of Shaolin relates to insects, wherein are taught the
movements of the praying mantis, scorpion, centipede and others. The Dragon, however, is the most indomitable of
all the animals in the Shaolin system. The Dragon is the spirit of Shaolin. It cannot be defined. It utilizes the
movements and traits of all the animals, continually adapting to meet the needs of any situation. The Dragon's
will to survive and overcome is what separates it from all the other animals. Weaponry is yet another branch of
Shaolin and, within Shaolin Kempo Karate system, all traditional and modern weapons are studied in both offensive
and defensive modes. The two remaining branches of Shaolin concern the internal aspects of the art (chi kung or
qi gong) and the more metaphysical side (the philosophical and spiritual branch), both of which focus on the relationship
of the body, mind and spirit to each other and to the world.
Apart from the twelve branches of Shaolin, our Shaolin Kempo Karate system also teaches the Eleven Hands of Buddha.
The "Eleven Hands" are a way of defending by blocking, trapping, and deflecting any attack, countering
by delivering many hidden hand techniques. It can be used both offensively and defensively with the use of cutting,
deflecting, monkey, pressing, dragon, scissor, upholding, trapping, pushing and pulling hands -- once the Eleven
hands of Buddha is mastered, it is impossible to defend against. The Blood Palm and Iron Palm as well as the Poison
Finger Techniques of Shaolin (Dotting) are also taught within our system, as are all 108 combinations and moves
passed down from the moves of the Shaolin Temple. These movements have been revised for present day applications
( many of these techniques had to be mastered before a monk could graduate the Shaolin Temple).
Lastly, one of the most important criteria which makes our Shaolin Kempo Karate system so unique is that our stances
differ from the original stances of Kempo Karate. Our stances allow us to have more fluency and freedom of movement
and are more natural and logical to use. The old stances were suited for people of a different stature and who
fought in a low crouched position. Our fighting stances were developed using the way of the upright position, which
has been proven to be far superior. This is one of the most important distinctions that separate us from other
Karate and Kempo systems.