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How to Learn Northern Shaolin Kung Fu

author image Donivan Gillis
Donivan Gillis began writing professionally in 2010, with his work appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM. He has been studying martial arts since 1996 and has been teaching since 2002. He studied business management at Polomar College in San Marcos, Calif.
How to Learn Northern Shaolin Kung Fu
The center punch is one of the most basic strikes in Kung Fu. Photo Credit karate image by Dušan Zidar from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Wushu, known today as Kung Fu, traces its origins back to a Buddhist priest named Bodhidharma. Bodhidharma left his Indian temple on a holy trek to northern china where he eventually taught the monks callisthenic exercises and self-defense. Centuries later Shaolin temples would be destroyed, causing the few remaining Masters to split into different regions. Northern Chinese Kung Fu was practiced on hard ground which allowed for more concentration on movement and kicks. This style of Kung Fu can range from easy, effective kicks to more powerful acrobatic and graceful strikes with the legs.

Horse Stance

Step 1

Stand with feet together and hands on hips.

Step 2

Step out to the right with your right foot to one and a half times your shoulder width. Keep your toes pointed toward your opponent.

Step 3

Sink down by bending both knees equally. Keep your knees over your toes.

Step 4

Keep your back and shoulders straight.

Reaping Kick

Step 1

Stand with your right leg forward and the majority of your weight on your right leg. Place your knee straight over your heel with a slight bend. Keep your left leg straight and your foot at a 90 degree angle from your right foot.

Step 2

Step into your opponent with your right foot, positioning your foot so that it is on the instep of your opponent’s left foot. Maintain a slight bend in your right knee.

Step 3

Place your right hand on your opponent’s left shoulder and your left hand on your opponent’s waist on his right side.

Step 4

Step in with your left foot so that your heels are touching in a 90 degree angle. Lift your right foot between your opponents legs. Kick your right leg backward so that the back of your heel makes contact with the back of your opponent’s left knee.

Step 5

Push forward with both hands in a sudden movement. Your opponent should fall backward into the ground.

Center Punch

Step 1

Stand in horse stance with your fists at your sides at hip level. Point your wirsts upward.

Step 2

Punch out toward your opponent with your right fist.

Step 3

Twist your arm so that your wrist is pointed downward just before making contact with your opponent.

Step 4

Keep your shoulders and back straight.

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