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Frequently Asked Questions

Traditional Training: There are so many rules in a Kwoon, why?

In Shao-lin we say "Zhen Tung Shin Nyan." The first two words "Zhen Tung" means traditional and the last two "Shin Nyan" mean training. The arts have been taught the same way for hundreds of years. Certain methods are used to develop the students character as well as his physical skills.

In a non-traditional school very little attention is paid to ethics and old traditions. This kind of training takes away much of what the art is trying to teach along with the many techniques of self defense. It is believed by traditionalists that if the character is developed andÊ self discipline is cultivated, the chances of physical encounters are lessened. Most fights start because of faults in character training.

"Real men" are seldom trying to push their weight around. Rather they try to avoid physical conflict realizing it seldom solves anything except to inflict damage on another human being. Most encounters can be easily avoided when you have a clear headed and controlled individual there. Of course there are times when nothing can be done and you must defend yourself, but this is generally not the rule.

Proper training includes development of mind, body and spirit. To do this certain rules are strictly enforced in a kwoon to help a student develop proper attitudes towards other people. The old masters were constantly testing their students' patience and character traits. If the students passed these tests they were taught all the teacher had. If not, the teacher would often reject such student as poor candidates for Shao-lin knowledge.

The methods remain much the same today as they did hundreds of years ago. Little has changed in the traditional schools of learning. I feel this methods are not old-fashioned as many would have you believe. They serve a good purpose, which is to make us better human beings who can handle the stress and riggers of life.

The first rule of Shao-lin to to win the battle over the SELF. If you fail this, you fail life. Your greatest enemy is indeed yourself, not others. Therefore the focus of Shao-lin is to take charge of your life. A person in charge himself or herself is a leader among men. The only way I know how to do this is "Zhen Tung Shin Nyan".

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