Shaolin Temple UK
|Shaolin Temple UK|
|Location||207a Junction Road, Tufnell Park, London, N19 5QA|
Shaolin Temple UK is a martial arts school and centre for study of Shaolin culture, in particular Gong Fu-Ch'an, Qigong and Ch'an Buddhist Meditation. It was founded in 2000 by Shaolin monk Shifu Shi Yanzi, and is located in North London, England, between the Tufnell Park and Archway Northern Line tube stations.
The school emphasises balanced training both in the external and internal martial arts. Students typically train both in Gong Fu and Qigong.
Shaolin Temple UK is most well known for Gong Fu (or Kung Fu), and participates in national and international fighting competitions, as well as interclub fights with Muay Thai fighters.
Gong Fu classes focus on Sanshou training - one to one hand-to-hand combat - which can be considered to be China's form of kickboxing. This is the style of fighting which the temple's students use in competition. The temple's founder and main teacher Shifu Yanzi was Chinese National Champion for 15 years in the art.
Students first train for three months in "Preparation" class, with a focus on building strength, stamina, flexibility, and learning fundamentals. Beginner level students train without contact. Students are encouraged to try to pass a quarterly grading exam at their first opportunity. Shaolin Temple UK's higher classes are semi-contact and full-contact, students train with gloves and pads, and also spar.
There are beginners and advanced Qigong classes. Beginners practice a form (sequence of movements) called Ba Duan Jin, which translates as "Eight Pieces of Brocade", so called because the form consists of 8 movements. While advanced students will practice body conditioning using bamboo sticks, and an advanced form featuring 12 movements.
Ch'an is a branch of Buddhism in which talking in teaching is not encouraged, instead students are encouraged to be sharp and quick learning observers. These qualities are shared with fighters and martial artists.
Although there are also separate Ch'an Meditation classes held, it is also emphasised that Gong Fu training is in fact inseparable from Ch'an Buddhism in its essence and goal.
Other activities taught at Shaolin Temple UK include:
- Tai Chi forms
- Weapons forms
- Mandarin Chinese lessons
- Chinese calligraphy
Sources and reference materials
Combat Magazine (UK) April 2000, May 2000, Nov 2001
Front Magazine (UK) July 2003
- Shaolin Temple Overseas Headquarters
- Shaolin Temple UK Website
- Shifu Yan Lei's website - Master who teaches at STUK has a separate website, which includes training plans
- Shifu Yan Lei's Brighton Martial Arts Club