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Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy Level 5 Green Sash

The Final of the 5 Foundation levels leading to the 5 Animal Levels.

On this page . . . .

You will find all the information associated with the fifth and final Kung Fu Temple level (Green Sash) of the Shaolin (Martial Art) Academy Curriculum for both the Kwoon and Cyber Program Students. If this is the 1st page you landed on we recommend you either go to our Main Page or if you are interested in the Shaolin Academy 5 Foundation Levels (which are each dedicated to the 5 Great Martial Art Temples/Areas; you visit the first Emei Shan White Sash Level 1.

Page Contents

  1. Welcome Back for the 4th time
  2. About Shaolin
  3. The 13 Iron Staff Monks
  4. This Level Overview
  5. L5 Focus - Focus
  6. L5 Movement - Ducking, Weaving, Bobbing
  7. L5 Foundation Technique -
  8. L5 Life Balance -
  9. L5 Learning Guide -
  10. L5 Vital Point -
  11. 5 Steps to Situation Management
  12. The Assessment Attitude

Home Training Info

  1. Training@Home Conditions
  2. Training@Home Warning
  3. Training@Home Membership
  4. Training@Home Requirements
  5. Training Recordings


Upon completion of this level you will have successfully completed your Primary/Foundation Shaolin Kung Fu levels. From Red Sash onwards you are in the secondary levels, much like High School. With this also comes a higher degree of responsibility (Yang) and accountability (Yin)! Achieving the Red Sash (after passing the green Sash and completing this level) is a significant step and should be accorded all the same importance as that of the Black Sash. In a way it is like the 1st part of the Black Sash as without completing this level well your progress, learning and achieving may stall or even halt.

It would be best if you could achieve this level with an minimum of 80%+; which means that you do not have more than 3 marks below 80% and none below 70%. It is even essential to review your previous levels; gray, White, Yellow and Orange and see which of these levels has areas, makes which were not passed with 80% or better. This is a strong recommendation but not a must. Although, from many years, decades actually, experience i will tell you that any weaknesses you maintain from your foundation levels will lead to even greater and more significant weaknesses in your Animal and Specialist Kung Fu levels.

No, you do not need to be perfect, that is impossible but you need to be 'as good as you can' on the Red Sash Assessment else it will be almost impossible to be 'as good as you must be' on your Black Sash Assessment. Enough said.

You may also want to complete the 4th Level of your Kung Fu Instructor Course. You will find that teaching and assisting is an important aspect of learning and progressing. it gives you a greater perspective and eventually enable you to gain a better understanding of your self and your Kung Fu.

Your past is the maker of the present; your present is the maker of your future. Redoing the past is much greater an effort then doing it right the 1st time. Sijo

With the completion of this level you will be on the verge to martial Art, Kung Fu Maturity. It is like completing your teenage discovery years and starting to be an adult. And we know that the foundation we put into our development will influence our future significantly. This is a time to decide if you are working towards just completing the Primary, Foundation level and that is it; or are you wanting to achieve the higher education of the Secondary, Advanced levels of Animal and Specialist Kung Fu. Is this level it, or are you going on?

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Map of the Shaolin temple Structure
The Shaolin Temple has only limited space in it's walls; often larger, grandiose temples were used in 'Shaolin" films.

Background and Info for the 5th Shaolin Level Training

Bodhidharma, truth, legend or a bit of both?!

The Shaolin Temple, Henan, China

There has been a lot of myth and legend surrounding the Shaolin Temple. In 1994 i started being really interested in the history of the Shaolin Ssu (temple) and the Kung Fu that derived from there. There was very little and much of this little was in the form of Martial Art Schools trying to link themselves to the Shaolin Style and origins. A lot of this was contradictory and often out and out wrong. Often, some obscure reference was quoted to show that somewhere in the past someone who ran the school was linked, birthed, trained or such by someone from the Shaolin Temple. This is often the Chinese way; if you have Shaolin Ancestry you must be good.

The layout of the Shaolin Temple proper→

Having spent some 20+ years researching Shaolin History for no other reason than to just know the back ground of the style i train and teach, i believe (modestly) that we have a great page on the fullness of events that happened or were likely to have happened with Shaolin since it's founding in 497 CE. This can be found on our Shaolin History page so we do not need to spend a lot of time and space repeating this hear and will only go through some significant events as they pertain to your training; a short perspective so to say. If you want more, you know where to go!

497 CE - Shaolin Temple founded in the Song Mountains on the foot of the Shaoshi (Shao Mountain) by a monk a Buddhist Monk Buddhabhadra that the Chinese called Ba Tuo.

537/9 CE - A second Indian Monk both Warrior Prince and Buddhist names Bodhidharma who the Chinese referred to as Da Mo gained entry (after some tribulation) to the Shaolin Temple and saw that the Monks were unfit and partially sick. Coming from a Yogic environment he developed a set of exercises based on breathing, Yoga and Martial Arts that were called the 18 Hands of Lohan (the 18 Movement/Exercises of the Enlightened One). This was the 1st emergence of Kung Fu in Shaolin.

570 CE - Shaolin Temple destroyed in a general anti Buddhist uprising. The Temple was plundered the Monks dispersed.

600 CE - Shaolin temple was revived and gradually rebuilt. Shaolin also decided to put a greater martial art emphasis on it's training and the 72 Fist of Shaolin were developed.

~610 CE - Shaolin temple was asked to help save the Emperors son; Shaolin sent out 13 Warrior Monks who save the future Emperor and routed the army.

618 CE - The saved son became the Emperor and proclaimed the Shaolin Temple No1 under the sone and allowed them to have a private guard army (very unusual in China).

7 Century CE - Somewhere along the way Shaolin saw that the 72 Fist Style was to final to violent and it was redeveloped to the 170 Move style; a blending of Punching/Kicking, Grappling/Throwing, Pressure Point Skills and Bare Hand Weaponry Defence.

845 CE - Second destruction of the Shaolin temple in the "Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution/Reform". Shaolin Monks now had a good reputation though and were accepted into non Buddhist Temples and refuges including Wudang and Emei Shan.

960 CE - After a very unruly period the Song Dynasty was founded which heralded a new piece and order in China. Shaolin was rebuilt and repopulated. Although it was a long time since the dispersal, Shaolin Monks returned to the temple to help rebuild and re-establish Shaolin Buddhism. With the returning Monks an exercise and martial art revolution took place and after a few year the Shaolin Temple was know as the place for 100 Kung Fu Styles, many of then Animal, Bird, Insect and even Reptile based. It will take another 50 to 80 years before all of these styles are amalgamated into the Shaolin 5 Animal Style

1645 CE - Ming Dynasty Chine invaded by the Mongol Chin which also saw the 3rd destruction of the Shaolin Temple. All 5 Animal Kung Fu forbidden by order of death; all Chinese declared lesser people.

There were many more violent events along the way but the above outlines the circumstances and development of the Shaolin 5 Animal Style. For more information and greater details see the Shaolin Temple (Ssu) History page.

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The 13 Champions of Shaolin

In the time of the Tang Dynasty, General Wang Shih Chung had gathered a large army in an attempt to oust the Emperor from the Imperial throne and start a new Dynasty. Li Shimini, the Emperors son, was sent with an army again the usurper. Wang Shih Chung forces managed to capture the Emperors son and inflicted great damage to the Tang army. The General also threatened to kill the Tang Emperors heir if he did not desist with his attacking army. It can be speculated that an army as large as the Generals could not have been raised and the son captured if there was not some internal help from the Emperors Court. The Emperor Tai Tsung needed some outside help.

He sent a message to the Shaolin temple as they had already gained a reputation for being un-bribable and masters in the art of hand and staff. He only sought Shaolin's aid in saving his son at which time he could bring another army to bare against the rebel general.

Shaolin dispatched 13 Brass Staff Warrior monks to answer their emperor's request. The Shaolin devised a Dawn Attack raid wherein they silently entered the Army camp, dispatched the guards, removed any resistance, killed all the Emperor's son's guards and escaped with all 13 monks and the Emperors Son safe.

This successful raid caused much damage to the troops and demoralized the army. The Emperors troops were able to follow up and 'clean up' the remainder of the rebellion.

With his son and throne safe again, having established his might and power the Emperor was pleased and happy. He gifted Shaolin with greater lands, regular funds and the Royal Grant of allowing Shaolin to have up to 500 Warrior Monks (Soldier Monks, Seng Bing). This again, put Shaolin on the Chinese Political and Buddhist map. This improved even further when a few years later the old Emperor died and his (by the Shaolin saved) son became the new Tang Emperor. A very close relationship between Shaolin and the court was established, which would last until the Buddhist persecutions towards the end of the Tang Dynasty.

With Shaolin becoming so renown, many, many young people wanted to become Soldier Monks; many wanted to learn Shaolin Kung Fu and many just wanted what ever they could get. Shaolin seemed the 2nd center (beside the Imperial court, that was a bit more difficult to access than Shaolin) of the Chinese Universe. This had both Advantages and disadvantages as the next years would show.

We have an extensive account of Shaolin History from it's inception in 497 CE through it's 4 destructions up to today.

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Preparation for Level Five Training

What is Most Important in MA

There is no skill without foundation, without underlying premises up-on which it is built. A boxer might say that the key is rabid foot work and quick solid punches. Than an MMA fighter may say that getting in close and controlling the opponent is the Key. Wing Chung and Mauy Thai might say quick entrance and exit is most important. A little bit more research will get you some more opinions such as; Footwork, rapid hand work, listening to your teacher, know your patterns, apply it in the ring, tradition, long line of unbroken ancestry . . . .and so on and so on. When the propaganda and opinions are set aside than the most experienced martial artists will dis-agree on which they consider the most important. So what does Shaolin consider the most important?

In order to answer the one you need to answer the other and to answer any, you need to know what you want from your Martial Art, your Kung Fu. The real interesting part to this is that at different stages in your martial art life you will need different parts from your Kung Fu. So we may add another important aspect of martial arts; Ability to Move with our Changing Needs".

But let us not forget about Yin and Yang! If we need our martial art to Move and grow and Change with our needs (Yin) what is the yang of it? Hmmmm; well we have already answered that question for you, from the very beginning, before your first class! You haven't remembered it yet? Then allow you mouse to hover over this line and the answer shall be given!

The ability to grow with us without limiting our options by causing damage, long term injury and spiritual fatigue! That is the way the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy approaches it's Kung Fu and teaching. A bit more obtuse as the ever popular modern martial arts offer; making your champions, good self defence, learn how to be dangerous, improve health and well being, improve discipline and focus and more. Yet all this leads to another question!

How much is enough?

A significant question; how much is enough? How much Strength is Enough, how much Speed is Enough, How much Accuracy is Enough, How much of Anything is Enough? You see we have two resources, Time and Stuff. It seems we can accumulate an infinite amount of Stuff but have to manage it all within a 24 hour time period. No matter who you are, your day has only 24 hours; no matter how much influence, money, strength or speed you have; 24 hours is 24 hours. You perceived value is based on what you can do within that 24 hours. But, although that has an influence on your being, usually by the time you are 40+y you grow out of the need for external satisfaction and start thinking about you true self worth. And, for some people this is a shock and they have a 2nd mid-life crisis.

I have been complimented many times and they always embarrass me; I always feel that they have not said enough - Mark Twain

So, again, how much is enough? Usual answer is there is never enough! And that is a cause for a whole lot of frustration, misdirected effort and low self-esteem! If you never have enough, you keep doing same-old-same-old without ever feeling success; without there being an 'enough' point you never do anything new because you are constantly striving for an unreachable goal, the non-existing goal the one where nothing is ever enough.

The answer is simple; a day has 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.1 second but let's just call it 24 hours: this is a constant based on the Rotation of our Earth. But YOU have the power to say what, how much and when is enough. And it is important that you do so! How much is enough education. For some it is just Primary and Secondary and then off to make money; some add a few years of TAFE or an Apprenteship; others choose to a University and even a doctorate. For some it is a never ending affair; and there again we have the never ending thing. What a trap! Or is it!

No man is rich enough to buy back his past - Oscar Wilde

There is that pesky Yin and Yang principle again. Somethings are never ending for a life time such as Breathing, Eating, Thinking (although some try and stop doing that sometimes) and Life-long Learning! So there are some never ending (in our life time) activities. These, Essential Activities we wish to keep going and when ever possible improve; more efficient Breathing, better quality Food, smarter and more efficient Thinking, greater fitness and so on. And there we have it again, how much is enough even in those things that are Essential and Vital.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough - Mae West

Some activities are like breathing, if you stop doing them you stop to live.

Well OK, i will give you MY answer but a short prologue. When Dagmar and I arriver in Australia we had 3 clear Target; 1 - Own our own home; 2 - Have comfortable, challenging, interesting Jobs (for me it was a Job that required me to be dressed in a suit and tie) and; 3 - have a Merc, that is a Mercedes Benz. We purchased our own home 4 years later (we worked up to 5 jobs combined; i had a promotion to HQ and a Staff 7 years later and we also then purchased our 1st Australian Merc. Since then, we extend our house to twice it's size, we got better jobs with higher salaries and more staff (220 staff in my case) and we purchased a top of the line Merc a 450 SEL 6.9 (used of course). That was all achieved 10 years later and again; oh shit....

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough - Lao Tzu

OK, OK; the point; that is when it hit me, we need to define what is enough of the one in order to peruse other goals and dreams and wants. So we simply said, what we have now is enough! We celebrated this and changed our life totally around. Dagmar started a TAFE with a partner and i ditched my Job and went full time Martial Arts and a bit of Acting on the side. I've been interested in that since i had a small part in a school play but i never perused it until then.

So, the answer is, YOU DEFINE when it is enough. Muahahahahaaa the power! Well yes, you have the power to define how happy and successful you are by simply defining how much is enough and thus when you have been successful!. All you need to do now is learn how to separate maintenance with achievement. Is what you want to achieve require maintenance afterwards, like a house and car and thus it will continue to cost you or is it like an experience or a holiday, once over and paid just a memory. This too needs to be balanced as to many possession take away your freedom!

This all has to do with this level. It is the Red Sash. If you ever wanted to achieve a Black belt well this is the Shaolin Equivalent. From this point on, if you participated in the Martial Art Professional (MAP)Training Program and achieved a Level 5 you could be assisting and even teaching Shaolin temple Kung Fu. If you achieved a Level 6 or even Level 7 you could be a regular teacher or even have your own venue. It would be a good maintenance program in many ways. You maintain your skills, continue with a healthy exercise and now even have a value add with your own students and possibly your own location. A worthy result.

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about? - Henry David Thoreau

Or, if you were just in it for the experience, this is a very honorable finish and closure. Grade Well, celebrate your achievement and move on to the next new challenge; fun and games!

But you have more options. There is so much more that can be achieved through;with;for the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy. You can choose option one and still continue training; do your High School level so to say, the specialist Kung Fu, Animal Kung Fu or even traditional Shaolin Weaponry and reach a 2nd Black Belt or the Shaolin Academy Black Sash. You then have the option of doing the Martial Art Equivalent of University and working towards your Mastership. Whilst still maintaining your own class or venue and keeping up your training and fitness.

How much is enough? Answer; You choose how much is enough for YOU. But choose you should! - Sijo

And this is a good level to Stop, Take Stock and review how much Shaolin Academy Kung Fu is enough for you and how well you want to go on your Red Sash. Remember you are also the judge of your success; what would be a good Success for Red Sash and are you enjoying the journey and want to continue it..... There is more, much more, much, much more! You may want to speak to someone about this.....

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Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough - Oprah Winfrey

Follow One Course Until Success = FOCUS!

Level 5 Focus - The 7 Senses of Focus

Often we are told that we need better perspective and better focus so i though it may be time to have a closer look at what focus really can be for us; what can it be.

Sense 1 - The concentration of attention or energy on something; "the focus of training shifted to Stance Work"; concentration, engrossment, absorption - complete attention; intense mental effort.

Sense 2 - The maximum clarity or distinctness of an image - the quality of being sharp and clear.

Sense 3maximum clarity or distinctness of an idea; "the controversy brought clearly into focus an important difference of opinion" clarity, lucidity, pellucidity, clearness, limpidity - free from obscurity and easy to understand; the comprehensibility of clear expression.

Sense 4- The nidus - a central point or locus of the kick to the knee; "the focus of impact" point - the precise location of something; a spatially limited location; "she positioned her guard so that it was almost impenetrable".

Sense 5 - The special emphasis attached to something; "the stress was more on accuracy than on speed" emphasis, accent - special importance or significance; "moving the opponent into a better light gave a higher clarity"; "the Kwoon was decorated in shades of grey with distinctive red banners".

Sense 6 - The focal point - the precise location of something; a spatially limited location; "she targeted the exact point where she could achieve the greatest result".

Sense 7 - A fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section point - the precise location of something; a spatially limited location; "she positioned her guard at a point where she could control all the opponents attacks"

So, what do you think? More than you ever wanted to know about focus? Or are these just simple intellectual game? neither, it was an exercise in capturing your attention and focusing it on your ability to focus. How was it? Were you able to read through and work through the whole list? Were you able to discern the differences between the detailed meanings. Or did you skip a few parts or even all of it in favorer of this explanation?

You focus when working on the advanced levels does not need to be 100%. Even when you are in class you do not need to be at 100% focus 100% of the time but; here is a little information for you. Your progress will depend on your focus. The better your focus the quicker and deeper you learning. This means that from the time you walk onto the floor in the Kwoon, no matter which Kwoon (our training area, the beach, a stage, the Kung Fu camp or anywhere where you are training Kung Fu) you need to ramp-up your focus! If you don't you are wasting life and may be ruining Kung Fu for your self.

That's been one of my mantras - focus and simplicity.
Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.
But it's worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. - Steve Jobs

To achieve a higher training focus in your training (for example)or learning for that matter, try the following;

Past - Before class start, empty your mind of the days, weeks troubles by using your favorite meditation style; then remember you last training session as if it were yesterday!

Present - after which connect with your fellow students, the instructor and venue; be in the present, be the present.

Future - What is the one thing that you want to improve today, techniques, forms, focus, breathing? What will you do to make today's session special/unique.

You may find that these three steps help you achieve a greater success in what you wish to achieve; in business (when meeting a client or vendor), in your private life (partner, parties and other pleasures) and planning (lose all stray thoughts and focus on what is). This is a very good habit or way of working anyway! Anything that is worth doing, is worth doing well or else you are wasting your time!

Reflect on how your Focus was when reading the involved and slightly convoluted description on the 7 Senses of Focus. Were you wasting time by trying to save time by skipping through or did you have the focus to see the detailed differences in the description. You are the only person to know if you need to improve your focus or if it is where you want and need it.

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Reality is what happens when you wake up in the morning after the night before. - Sijo

Obtrusion Methods/Tactics

We have learned to Block and to Evade, now we need to learn the third method of countering attacks, Obtrusion or simpler but not quite right Interferrance. There are 6 methods defined by the 'catchy JaRS and RIG, Jamming, Ramming and Slamming (Sweeping); Interfering, Redirecting and Grabing

Jamming is the art interfering with the opponents attack before it has a chance to develop; before it has a chance to reach it's maximum capacity to damage. So, where evading is stepping away not allowing the technique any contact, blocking is stopping the technique from hitting a vital by using a blocking technique; jamming is an extension of blocking but you take th block further into the attacker closing the gap and reducing the time the technique can develop and become mature.

Ramming is using your body to step into the attacker thus invalidating any form of striking technique. Usually done with a shoulder (although not exclusively) you ram the attacker and unbalance them, break their rhythm or such and use this opportunity to counter.

Slamming/Sweeping their feet from underneath them. Especially useful with bunny hoping stylists that do not rely on a good earth connection, sweeping can have dramatic effects and should be left for tournaments with mats or dire emergency when in real defence.

Redirecting (& Accelerating)is actually brilliant and a speciality of Aikido. A technique is launched and rather than blocking you pull it further along it's path over extending the reach of the intended technique. Of course you need to step out of the way but for smaller people against larger attackers, this is the ideal way of using the attackers size advantage as a disadvantage to them!

Interfering with the rhythm of your attacker, changing distances and stepping in without attacking, attacking their arms and legs and thus preempting them using certain favorite techniques and attacking patterns. Also, punching the punch and kicking the kick; for example they punch straight at you and you flick a Monkey Uppercut to their attacking wrist or they do a roundhouse technique and you front kick the round house kick.

Grabbing what body part ever your are being attacked by or what ever you can get at an pull aside, pull away, pull into the center .... and let go when you feel more than just some resistance; this is just another way to destabilize the attackers balance and break their rhythm. It usually gives you an extra 110 of a second and more. And that is usually more than enough time for at least one kick or punch.

When using the Jamming, Ramming and/or Slamming (JRS) tactic you should be so close to the opponent that leg attacks should not be possible. By not bending your upper body and keeping one knee always pointing at your attackers Center-line/Groin; and by continually keeping the pressure on; leg attacks even leg interference attempts from your attacker on you, should result in a partial or even total destabilization at which time you need to launch your endgame. Should the attacker find a release from your pressure even in the slightest, you should immediately launch your detachment strategy.

The distancing to use with these techniques is just out of striking and or kicking range. Whereby the JRS are just inside the technical effective range and a bit closer these Redirecting, Interfering and Grabbing (RIG). It is quite a good sequence of events to start with Redirecting the attackers, then adding Interference with an occasional Grab. If any of the Grabs are successful you swap over to the pressing of the JRS. All in all a good close quarter defence tactic especially if you extend the Interfering, Redirecting and Grabbing also to the attackers legs; Interfering and Redirecting their leg attacks with your legs and if they kick higher, scissor-capture their leg and Slam!

It is in a way a great double six-pack of defence, one for smaller, flexible, agile defenders and the other for larger body slow/hand quick defenders. Although it is the Shaolin Way to teach both sets to all members even if they seem not suited for several very good reasons. We are a health and fitness style and thus you need to do what suits you least to give a fuller and completer for of training and body/mind development. "Know they enemy and they weakness" as Sijo would say or;

"Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories." - Sun Tzu

If that is still not enough recommendation than let's look at reality; there is always someone bigger, smaller, quicker, stronger, more flexible, with better foundation, etc. than you. Having an effective Defence and Avoidance Strategy can frustrate the most superior of attackers. And Shaolin is all about; avoidance → defence → compromise → understanding → collaboration ... where possible. What a great strategy that is or;

The greatest victory in strife, combat and war is to turn your enemy into a friend (or at least a colleague). - Sijo

Finally, the above additional information to the Parry and Obtrusion, techniques and tactics are only given to better explain how this style of active and passive defence can be applied to allow a better understanding for you to help you learn and develop your stationary defence and this level of Kung Fu; the Shaolin level.

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L5 Foundation Technique - Stillness!

There is no strategy as good as surprise except overwhelming force and even then a successful surprise has even overcome 20 to one odds (ie. 13 Shaolin Monks or Kwang Gung and the 40 Assassins). It is also in the nature of a mature and developed Shaolin practitioner to be still, calm and quiet at most all times (i am still working on that bit,...). Stillness can be usually found by meditation or in older people. It is usually a sign of mental and spiritual maturity or of practice. Stillness allows you to be at the center of a storm and not be influenced or even affected by what is happening. What this means is that if everything around you is going to "hell in a hand-basket" you will still have the ability to make your own decision rather than bleat with the crowd. Stillness is a form of focus, on everything and nothing (yes another of those contradictory statements); and as much as it seems impossible to be both it actually works; almost a split between the "i" and the "me".

Mitch Shiffmann believes that Stillness ".... is a higher energy state than what we're used to. This is because we are rarely wholehearted, or un-conflicted, about anything. When you are not wholehearted, when you'd rather be someplace other than where you are, parts of you shut down and begin not to participate. Your energy circulation becomes constricted, and the creative life force is unable to flow through you unimpeded. Your energy flow, the amount of life force flowing through you, begins to diminish. The source of the energy does not diminish, but the amount that flows through you does. This leads to ill health, low energy, lowered vitality, lack of enthusiasm, depression, frustration, unhappiness, and suffering. None of this feels good."

The Inner Frontier views Stillness "... as a gateway to the spiritual, a gateway of three successive forms of stillness. The first, stillness of the body-heart-mind, develops in meditation when we sit quietly long enough. The body's fidgeting, itching, and restlessness settle down gradually as it attains rest and stillness. Our heart may recall a situation in life that brings into play one of the many hues of emotion. Or a totally imaginary event in our daydreams calls forth an emotion. But gradually, in quiet meditation, the waves of emotion also settle down to a peaceful state of equanimity. Our brain can be pouring thoughts one over another in a cascading stream. As we watch our thoughts, unmoved, not participating in them, just listening to them pass, they slow down. In some cases, they may cease altogether for periods....... Stillness of will, openness to the Tao, should not be confused with passivity. Instead, it calls for an alert, awake, open way of being. It involves the action of non-action. Not placing oneself in the loop of action, but allowing the action to flow through us. In this way we can be responsive and responsible, very active, yet free of our personal agendas, open to a more universal agenda. We see and act without the overlay of our attachments to distort our actions, but rather through the instrument of our wisdom, our knowledge, our skills, our particular talents and character. Ultimately, we aim to serve as a conscious, cooperative instrument of the spiritual force. While living a truly moral life, stillness of will involves not inwardly taking credit for our successes, nor blame for our failures. Stillness of the will brings true inner peace and fulfillment."

Possibly, like many concepts we have, Love, Peace, Awareness; Stillness can find many definitions and interpretations. Although it can be an advantage to know what Stillness, it is really up to us to find our own Stillness, that center-point of peace, quiet and equilibrium that puts us at the point of absolute readiness for everything without expecting anything. Yes, Stillness can be reached through meditation but it can also be reached in other ways. As children we had the ability of Stillness (well some of us had; whenever i was still my parents started searching for me, quickly) when everything was happening around us and we simply de-tuned (although that is only part of it) and found our own little world. But that is just it except we find the world around us and are totally immersed without being influenced by it.

“Meditation is nothing but a preparation to rediscover the state of Bliss that is already inside you,” - Swamiji Nithyananda

How do you find Stillness? Well you need to find your own way but first you need to find if you really want Stillness, if you are ready for Stillness. It is no use searching for something you do not want; that is just clutter and can come to the point where you find a gem but see it as a turd!

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Level 5 Life Balance - Social Life Balance

Shaolin Academy Life Balance Logo

There are three groups of people we constantly interact with on a day to day basis that fulfill our social needs. Each of these add to our lives in a different way and each requires different types of human interaction skills. The three different groups of people you normally have very little to do with each other (for the most). All they have in common is that they are defined by you as the central figure. Each of these groups require your time and effort to maintain and improve.

Meeting, having a drink, casual encounters at work can all be summarized as networking. There are even basic rules for this conduct. Never get personal, stay on the topic at hand, be clear, concise and professional. Work colleagues often have specific 'Roles' that they have to fulfill in their jobs. Often this is how you get to know them and how we relate to them. They are the PA, Project Manager, Boss, assistant, etc. Often these roles also define our relationship with them and a code of conduct.

Whereas friends are a totally different lot. Often with our friends we don't want professional but friendly, supportive and personal behavior. But just like at work, friends often also have specific functions like ones for going out clubbing, for movies or other entertainment, long walks at the beach, shopping, getting sloshed, gaming, etc. Rarely do we have all around friends with which we can do almost everything but generally we do have at least one good one and often many specialized friends with which we share our special activities.

A Family relationship is not that different except usually much more intense. They also have 'Roles'; mothers, fathers, sisters, uncles, cousins, grand-parents, etc. Yes, the way we behave with our family is different than with the other two groups and that is as it should be, and that is also the key to creating a good social balance.

Each of these groups fulfills a need within us and there is a balance between these three. It seems that when we neglect any of these groups we can Socially, Spiritually fall 'out of balance'. Just like money budgeting we need to allocate our time resources to fulfill all of our needs to stay in balance. We sometimes get into a rut, work too much, have a blue with someone and this balance may get very upset. All of a sudden we may be feeling that we do not get what we need from our friends, work-mates or family.

We have a spiritual budget, an amount of energy that we can spend and need to spend with and on other people. It is very much like investing money you have. Smart people diversify their investments so as not to put all their eggs in one basket. And just like investments return dividends, our time with friends return spiritual dividends. Depending on the quality of our relationships a bad day can turn into a good day, a boring evening can be filled with excitement, a bad incident can be shared and become half as bad, a good experienced can be relived and made greater by telling your friends (often one of the reason for making a bit more of something than it may have been).

These relationships can be very, very powerful. What's more, they influence your physical, mental and spiritual health and well being to a much higher degree than you may be aware! There are however types of people to recognize and make a wide avoid as much as possible. Often they seem to be offering something but in reality is that they want and are prepared to give little to get a lot for them. Have a look at the listing below and see if your recognize anyone you know!

Psychic Vampires are those who suck the life out of you. They often seem like very nice people but for some reason, somehow every time you spend time with them, afterwards you feel spiritually drained, empty, sucked dry. They seem to draw the life out of you. Unless we are aware of this, we may not notice. Now any relationship can have this effect on us sometimes but there are some people who have this effect on us most the time. These are difficult to spot and notice unless you are looking for them. Unless you have unlimited spirit and you are Buddha, you need to change this relationship quickly.

Dream Stealers usually associated with over-protective parents or siblings, they are the ones who tell us all the things that we can't do, cannot be done, are dangerous or stupid. They can also use some spiritual black-mail saying what will you father/mother think of you, your wife/husband and the like. They often mask themselves by saying they are concerned for your health and well-being. And this works well as they sound almost exactly like someone who genuinely cares for you. Not to be mistaken for those who really do care and want to stop you from killing yourself or doing irreparable harm. The coocooks are brilliant at insinuating themselves into your life under the guise of caring but in reality they only care about themselves and have a vested interest in maintaining the status-quo.

Me, Myself and I are the ones who never really laugh at you jokes, listen to your stories and experiences and almost always have a better joke, story and experience to tell than you. They often use words like 'that's nothing compared to . . .', 'not as bad as what I experienced' and when you tell a joke make artificial laughing noises putting a damper on you trying to tell another. To get away with this they often are themselves witty, entertaining and fun but at the cost of you being relegated to becoming a spectator rather than participant.

Betterers are the ones who talk about how good other people's achievements are (compared to yours or even theirs), how much better, famous or richer these other are and how good they are at achieving this. They dwell on the achievements of people they have read about, heard about and seem to idolize these without actually doing anything about it, seeming living vicariously through these stories. Unlike any of the other types listed above, they do this to themselves as well as you and it is difficult for them to appreciate achievements of people they know, including yours.

GonnaWannaMonday'ers - always have good intentions and are happy to help, tomorrow, Monday, next week, soon and when we get together next. I'm ganna do that, i wanna do this, it'll be done Monday, tomorrow, later, not right now, will be done for sure, absolutely, promise . . . are the sounds that these people make and really mean . . except that it never happens on time, or they way it was expected and agreed or even just never happens. These are dangerous because they often work in professions where customers or people rely on them. Watch out for these from the tribe of GannaWannaMonday'ers.

Librarianers are those who have read a lot and translate this into not only knowing (sight unseen) everything but representing it as (almost) as their own experiences and wisdom. They know most everything and speak of it as if they have experienced it, thought of it or at least have first hand experience of the person who did.

Missionaries - closely related to a few of the above, always know what's best for you, better than you do. These are particularly dangerous as they genuinely mean well and think that they are saving you from yourself or saving your soul from eternal damnation. They believe that god or the ultimate truth is on their side and you are in dire circumstances unless you change your wicked and/or wild ways. Usually, these people also have a certain charisma attached to their style and sometimes these people go into sales, investment or such and end up conning many people because their are so believable and logical.

Best-buddy are those who promise to do something and then don't. Now, this does happen to everyone but there are those who have made it a habit to always be pleasant and accommodating, agreeing to your point of view. But they often forget as soon as a new person is with them. Sometimes it is just fear of someone trying to force them to do or think something but often it is the best-buddy complex where when they are with you, your are their best buddy; when they are with someone else, these someone else is their best buddy.

Flaw-seekers in the worst case scenario agree with everything you say but at the end say; yes, but what about this. And often once this is explained, they will find something else to say; yes, but what about this. This is often either a stalling tactic or avoiding tactic and they either really don't want to do or agree with what you are saying but are trying to be non-confrontational. In an extreme case they can trying to kill your idea by way of 1000 buts. But, i now i must say this, again these people get away with this because sometimes a yes-but is applicable. These people though try and do this most of the time removing as much responsibility or work from their own shoulders.

Not-me'ers are never at fault. I didn't do that, it was not my responsibility, he/she didn't inform me, that was not available to me, etc. Closely related to the Yea but, but slightly different. They are usually quiet when something has gone wrong and when it turns out that they were the ones they will tell you why it was not their fault, responsibility or maybe even their duty.

There are more but, before we jump the gun, we are and so is everybody a bit of all of those above. At one time or another we display these characteristics. So do not be too quick to make a decision about the people you know. Like wild life, you need to observe over a longer period and make sure that it is not just a phase that someone is going through but an ingrain personality trait. You may wish to even speak to this person about YOUR FEELINGS, explaining that this is the way YOU are interpreting what you see to be their behavior and that you are not judging them. For what is friendship when you're not being genuine with each other and speaking up to help rather than from annoyance (it would be best to raise this issue when everyone is calm and collected not after an agro incident)!

Another variable could be you; that you are the only one interpreting this behavior as such or that this behavior is only happening with you because of your behavior. The best solution is to observe the interactions of this person with others and see if they react the same way with everyone or just some; alternatively a good talk with friends who know you both is another reasonable choice but often can have repercussions. If you have a mentor or coach, that is the best option as they will see this from a distance and give you space to think and consider.

This all finally depends on what is your Prime (not only) Motivator (PM). Are you Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Resource or Ego motivated. Most everyone has at least one Prime Motivator (PM) and then secondary and so on. Some people Prim Motivator (PM) are so strong that they almost exclude all others. An extreme physical PM might be expressed in wanting to be physically perfect, the quickest, the strongest, the fastest, the most beautiful in the are, country or world. Much the same with an extreme Mental PM; they would maybe want the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Award or other Academic or Research based recognition. Each person with an extreme PM would show (obviously) extreme behaviors often to the point of their own life being secondary to their chosen actively (missionary, World Peace Advocate, Save the Whales Warrior and the like).

And finally, are you aware of your Prime Motivators and Social Vampiric Tendencies? If not, discover them. Either through Meditation or Mentoring but until you know who you are it will be difficult to steer yourself in a direction you want.

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Level 5 Learning Guide - Renew and Review

Although it may be better to know all the learning guides at once; to properly appreciate them you need to give each a good chance, a trial to see how reasonable, workable and effective they are. You've either been doing that at this stage or your missing out on an age old Success Concept! This following Guide is used in many success models.

Askmen Guide

11 Habs that Exude Success

  1. Brag discreetly
  2. Be a good communicator
  3. Exit graciously
  4. Know about life's finer things
  5. Have good manners
  6. Make public speeches
  7. Keep a network of contacts
  8. Travel
  9. Have a positive attitude
  10. Dress well
  11. Be worldly

Spark People

10 Strategies for Success

  1. Start Small
  2. Get It On Paper
  3. Focus On Everyday Habits
  4. Always See Your Goal
  5. Be Consistent
  6. Never Stop Learning
  7. Come Out of Seclusion
  8. Allow For Setbacks
  9. Trust Your Plan
  10. Have Fun!!!

Steven R Covey

7 Habits of Success

  1. Be Pro-active
  2. Define What Matters Most
  3. Start with the End in Mind
  4. Think Win-Win
  5. Seek first to understand before you seek to be understood
  6. Synergise
  7. Renew and Review
  8. Enjoy What you are doing

There are many Success Models/Habits/Styles; you just need to go on the internet and have a look. Which works for you is something you need to find for yourself. The one i (Sijo) relate to the most is Steven R Covey's 7/8 Habits of Success. I did a lot of work in Telstra using this model, both for planning and execution as well as a teaching model. Yet, even this model did not cover everything that i felt is needed. Even SR Covey later centered on a particular habit more than all others (First thinks First) and re-titled it "What Matters Most. So make you own decision but do not re-invent the wheel. Start with a model and adapt it to your needs and way of seeing the world. We created our version of a Success Model which is heavily based on the SR Covey Model yet also not.

Shaolin Academy Guides for Successful Learning

1 - Begin at the End. Know what you want, in life, in your profession, financially, leisure, health, family. You do not need to chisel this into stone but success is achieving what you want and if you have not defined this, you may not feel successful; even if other people do consider you a success. Also, once you have achieved your success, you can improve or look at something different. But if you don't have a target you may be chasing a fools success like 'i want to be rich'; except what you think is rich at the age of 20 will probably not be the same at the age of 40 or even 30 (for example).

2 - Essential vs Important. Health is essential a big screen TV may be important. Never, ever, ever allow Important to outweigh Essential! Be clear what is essential to you and act on it. Be clear what you are committing to if it impedes your essentials!!

3 - Research. Assumptions are necessary for life but when confronted with important tasks, check your facts! We assume things all the time, life would not function if we did not assume; we assume that when we drive a car other people will stick to the road rules (more or less) and not ram us. So assumptions are that which make us different to Computers who can not make assumptions and only go on what is in them. But when it comes to something important, something big or new, it may be an idea to recheck your facts and assumptions and sperate the one from the other! One can never be absolutely sure that one knows everything perfectly. If it is a New or Important task, sperate your knowledge from your mythology.

4 - Think & Link. Our civilization is built on building on what other people have discovered, invented or made. Without knowing about the past we would have to start all over again each time and rediscover the wheel, fire and even communications. When embarking on a new task or project, how much of it is really new? How much of the new task is just a new way or has a new aspect or a new outcome. Like a Punch can be linked to throwing a ball, like climbing a ladder can be linked to climbing a relatively steep hill, there are almost always experiences from the past that could be linked into the current learning. But also, which aspects of what you are doing are also interrelated and can be synergist? Take time to thing and link.

5 - Review & Seek Perspective. What ever you do, always see the big picture; not only what you are trying to achieve but how this will effect everyone concerned, both in the execution and the completed product. The price you may have to pay for what you want in the future and the costs your are incurring now; physical, spiritual, social, etc. Sometimes, what seems so very important in the moment is incidental and unimportant when you allow yourself time for a proper perspective. It also helps in us keeping to the right amount of minutia and not being caught up in it.

6 - Bias for Action. Procrastination means that you are doing something other than the most important thing. Often we choose not to do the most important/urgent task because there is something wrong or missing in our mind about the task. One of the best way to find this out is to simply DO! You will soon find out what made you not do or feel uneasy. But, make sure that you are progressing safely and not endangering yourself or the task at hand. But also do not endanger the task at hand by not doing.

7 - One thing at a time. There is a lot of fuss made about Multitasking these days without really understanding what it means. Most the time it means time-slicing or doing several things in the same span of time but not at the same time. Isn't there a Law that says that two objects can not occupy the same space at the same time; oh, except in Quantum Mechanics where they can? But unless you are a Quantum Mechanist, you can't drive two cars at the same time; you cant even occupy two cars at the same time without some dangerous action involved. If you are doing routine, habitual tasks like walking than you can also talk but let's be clear, walking and breathing is managed by different aspects of your brain. So, if you are doing something that is important don't allow your success chance to be lessened by multitasking or time splitting.

8 - Chunking. How do you eat an elephant? Well marinated... well maybe, but; you manage large tasks one small piece at a time! The ability to chunk, segment, subdivide large tasks is one we know all to well and use all the time. But sometimes we forget about this. We constantly chunk things down. A house is chunked down into rooms or in open concept, functional areas. Clothing storage is often chunked down into draws, cupboards and hangers rather than how it used to be all in one bile in a chest. So, if you are about to start a large task or a new task, it is worth while Chunking it down into functional portions. Most large tasks can be Chunked into manageable small tasks. Just keep a good record of what you are doing and trying to achieve. Reconnect with the original task often

9 - Celebrate & Share, even Failure. If you do not pat yourself on your back often other will not either. Use most any success for a reason to celebrate, small with a mate or partner or big with the whole world; Also, advertising your achievements subtly lets people see your success and thus contribute to your future successes. If you do not appreciate your achievements, you may loose the motivation to continue to achieve. And if you fail, no, don't' throw a party but if something goes wrong most everything else is going well (but review it all just in case). And in reality, there is no such thing as perfection, failure is just a way the universe tells us to keep learning and improving. the sooner you embrace this the sooner the 'leanings' are less significant!

10 - Learn-Enjoy-Improve The foundation of our civilization is the passing on of information. Learned and not Shared is half learned; often by sharing we learn more. Consolidate the learning and find new meaning; but we also start a new cycle of learning and this is called synergy and progress">Share what you have learned. Sometimes when the learned does not seem enjoyable, find an aspect, perspective or incident where it was enjoyable. If you have to clean the dunny, be the first to enjoy using the clean throne! Life Long Learning is essential; we stop learning, exploring and making mistakes for that is life and one of the reason for living; and Mistakes are also a learning. The only way to make no mistake is not to do anything and that is the greatest mistake; you can make this mistake once and learn from it; if you do it more often you may be making a habit from it, a habit of failure because that is making a mistake without learning from it.

Harvard Business Review

Most Effective Strategies for Success

  1. Have Grit — Persistence over the long haul is key
  2. Know Exactly How Far You Have Left to Go — Monitor your progress
  3. Get Specific — Have a crystal-clear idea of exactly what success will look like
  4. Seize the Moment to Act on Your Goals — Know in advance what you will do, and when and where you will do it
  5. Focus on What You Will Do, Not What You Won't Do — Instead of focusing on bad habits, it's more effective to replace them with better ones.
  6. Build your Willpower Muscle — If you don't have enough willpower, you can get more using it.
  7. Focus on Getting Better, Rather than Being Good — Think about your goals as opportunities to improve, rather than to prove yourself
  8. Be a Realistic Optimist — Visualize how you will make success happen by overcoming obstacles
  9. Don't Tempt Fate — No one has willpower all the time, so don't push your luck

11 - Style is Everything. Be a sheep where you just need to get stuff done but even there, find you way, your style, your signature; as long as it does not take away from the finished product. Long after what you have done is forgotten, how well (or how poorly) you did it and with how much style and distinction, will be remembered (almost as much as your stuff-ups!).

12 - Embrace the Impossible and Unknowable. At one time what was over the next mountain was unknowable and traveling the world at 1000 kph was impossible. When we speak about Impossible and Unknowable we do just because someone has not looked over the mountain. It is these new frontiers and looking for the next challenge, idea new horizon that allows us to enjoy work and play. Imagine if nothing changed and we would not have come down from the safe trees.....

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Level 5 Vital Points - Shoulder & Pelvic Joints

If what you are being attacked with, no longer functions as well as the attacker expects, you have gained a valuable psychological, tactical and physical advantage. You will most likely be attacked by either hands or feet and in this level we focus at the points from which they emanate; the powerful Shoulder and Hip Joints!

Both these areas are well muscled and not easy to damage and that is perfect for the Shaolin Practitioner as we do not wish to cause any permanent or even long term damage; just enough to stop the person for a while to give them a chance to rethink what they are doing. What better way to do this than to incapacitate, for a while, the arm or leg that they are attacking you with.

Just where your chest muscles join into your shoulder joint is a weak area not protected by muscles. Just under this point is the Brachial Plexus, which is a nerve complex for the respective arm. It is also the center for some of the tendons in your arm. It is also a key point for Chi flow and tendon movement! What this means is that it is a Vital Point to protect and a good point to counter too if you know the Phoenix Eye Fist, are good with your Eagle Claw or possibly use Panther or Leopard Fists. Not there yet, with those fists? Square fist slightly turned can make a very good substitute!

A strike to these points can yield a temporary incapacitation of the limb for just seconds to minutes or in extreme cases somewhat longer. Depending on application this can also cause pain but may also be just a slight to strong tingling. The result can be seen within a few seconds of application and will, when correctly applied have limiting consequences on the use of the limb/muscles/tendons; which will effectively reduces the use of that arm as a way of attacking you.

In advanced levels, if you choose to specialize, you can learn the different ways and places to strike to result in great debilitating pain, to loss of function, pain when moved or just numbness. But this is a high level skill which is reserved in the post Black Sash Level specialization; these joints are in the perview of the Panther and Snake Styles.

The Standard Shaolin Kung Fu Guard (stance/posture) is very more than adequate in protecting these points on your body; if you have a good Center Line management Guard as taught for the Shoulder Joints. But not for the pelvic area which is quite another story.

The hip/pelvic joint is rarely seen as a vital point and yet it is possibly one of the most vulnerable major non-vital organ areas that we have! As can be seen in the picture to the right, there is a vital point for movement of the legs, that is obvious. And the ever popular Testicular target most men are very aware of the consequences and usually protect it. What is less well realized is that due to the spine ending all the nerves for the legs and pelvis are exposed and have to go through the two leg joints as dose all the blood flow. So where as the Testis are very vulnerable, men are also usually highly aware and protective of this. Yet, the inside leg/hip join is alive with a whole lot of vulnerabilities including nerves, vessels and tendons.

For a knowledgeable practitioner that is a vastly more interesting target are which depending on impact, penetration technique used and the Pitch, Roll and Yaw of the hand or fist, quite a number of different results can be obtained; the least of which is major pain.

Should the area be impact fairly solidly and semi correctly, it can cause similar effects as previously with the shoulder joints. The most likely attack would be with a toe kick rolled at 45 deg with a 0 deg pitch into where the upper leg bends forward when sitting. Right into that crease by the bladder. A Panther or Dragon fist would also work well as would a hand edge (from the side) if the correct angles are maintained. If a side kick is positioned correctly, angle and blade, this would cause the most amount of damage unnecessarily, so be warned.

To protect this area it is best to use your Gray Sash Inside or Outside Leg Block; three handed block can also be effective as well as just twisting the side of the hip towards the attacking technique (the hip side is fairly invulnerable and it is a good habit to get used to defending your groin area through a quick twist of the hips).

Again, in the Animal levels we look at the Knee and Elbow Joints in greater details. We have already covered them as a group but will go into greater options and detail when specializing on Snake Style Kung Fu together. For now, you have enough motivation and information to protect your greater joints and in a pinch use them to your protective advantage.

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Additional Info - Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy - ME

When all is said and done, external needs addressed, food delivered, house built & all the roles played out there is often one need that generally looses out; it the real ME.

We all need ME time; time for ourselves, by ourselves and with ourselves! This is evident in our daily lives. We need a time to center ourselves, be one by ourselves and think only of ourselves. This can be mistaken for being ego centered and it is, for a specific time; for our own well being and health; a search for the inner Stillness.

There is a drive with in us that we call self-preservation. It requires of us to take care of ourselves, be healthy, fit and well to meet the day to day survival need; but it can be perverted. We can be put or put ourself in such a state that even though we have everything we really need we feel we need more; a better car, a larger house, a better job, more influence, more power, more, more, more... This type of thinking and attitude can put is in a constant state of survival; where we constantly are put or put ourselves under the same pressure and stress as if we were truly in a War zone. It is a sickness and leads to physical sickness the least of which are all the constant stress related symptoms so often seen today even in Children. It seems to be a part of life but when Stress takes over you life than it is no longer your life you are living.

Meditation and finding your inner Stillness are not Stress Coping Tools, they are Life Skills and Tools that can also help with manage stress and Stressor's. But their main focus is finding your self your 'ME', your Stillness and being under undue stress prevents you achieving your Center.

And we need to develop a healthy habit of meditation. You may want to start by using Guided Meditation. There are many Masters and Yogi around that will help you and get you started, Choose those that do not charge an arm-and-a-leg but those who do it because they understand. When people say there is not such thing as a free meal, they are right, you will pay for it but the Universe is not really interested in money if what we call valuable. Universal currency is Spirit, Time and Effort directed towards the betterment of the World, Life and Nature. Choose a teacher that receives his payment other than by Money, Material or Mimicry.

Choose, but choose well and if you would like to try something immediately, try centering yourself; finding what is most important to you. Try the following Method;

Stop and take stock of yourself; know where you are at this moment in time, space, spirit and body. Spend a bit of time reviewing your life and achievements, friends and family, learning's and earnings. Create a 'time-capsule' that will show you where you are now (in life). You may want to use a White Board, Scrap Book, Photo Album or even a shelf with representative items on it. Anyway you want spend a while defining in your mind where and what you are.

Look at the big picture of your life. Not just where you are but where the world is, so to say. Perspective is essential and how well you are progressing, or not, all depends on the speed and progress around you. Yes, you should have impossible expectations but these should not rule your world in all ways.

Ask yourself who and what is most important to you (Use the three circle method). Deciding importance is really very easy. You may not be comfortable with the following but it is 99% correct. You have 168 Hours a week which can be divided into three lots; 56 hours work, 56 hours sleep and 56 hours other. From the 56 hours, how much time to you spend on friends, family, sport, charity, relaxation, etc... and does your work or sleep eat into this or add more time? Create the 3 Circle diagram and sit back and see if it feels right; as in the way you are now.

Make yourself aware of your immediate and long term needs incorporating family, friends and work based on who and what is most important to you. So, review where you are going and based on where you are and what conclusions you chose (more here/less there), make changes to this plan/vision.

Decide what needs to be done differently to have you moving in the new direction. What is it that needs doing to have you moving in the new direction you are choosing based on your review and thoughts so far.

Understand why in needs to be done. Truly understand why this, what you have decided is important and needs doing. Bring it to the point where it is no longer a Need but a solid Want!

Now make a plan to achieve this one thing. Incorporate any changes you need in all your other aspects to give this the best chance of success. You are creating a new habit and thus this will be difficult initially.

Communicate your plan with the people involved and the people you care about. This will both allow people to assist you where they can and understand you where you are coming from (that it is a you thing not a them thing). It will also cement your resolve.

SLAMDUNC seems like a simple little process but it has some very important ingredients that people usually leave out. This includes defining where one is at and creating a perspective. Many plans just look at there they want to go but few review where you are at and look at the big picture. But to get back to where we started. Do you have enough ME time, enough time to find your Stillness, enough time to be you?


To help with the Life Planning and ME time it is good to understand NEEDS. What is the difference between Needs & Wants. We have covered this before with the two brothers and sister Need, Want and Would-like-to-have. But here is another perspective.

We need to eat, sleep, breath, develop and survive. OK, but really, what are Needs and where do they come from and how do they influence our behavior and outlook on life? Following is one possible definition, as defined by Abraham Maslow.

Needs are the basic drivers or motivators that enable us to live and develop.

For example, would we eat if our body did not Need the nourishment to survive? How about another 6 to 8 hours more time per day if we did not Need to sleep! Think of all the money you would save if you did not Need protection from the weather and didn't Need a place to live....

Needs are REAL (food, air, love) - Wants are PERCEIVED

So Needs seem to be the things that we require to survive but not all Needs are created equal; there some Fundamental Survival Needs and some Spiritual Thriveal Needs. Maslow recognized human needs into 5 hierarchal levels. It seems that the requirement of each level have to be satisfied to a certain degree before we feel up to looking at the next level. Let's have a look at these levels;

1 - Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep. These we NEED before all else. These needs have to be satisfied with almost any living creature as a basic for survival.

Nutrition - Survival - Sleep - A Base

2 - Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability. Safety Needs includes that we have enough to eat in the future, enough clothing to really keep warm and that our shelter will protect us from predators; more than just pure survival but also future survival and procreation.

Security - Growth - Future

3 - Social Needs - Belonging, Love Friendship, - work group, family, affection, relationships. It seems that once our basic needs are meet, we Need to come together with common minded people. Family and friends come into this category, although both also help to cover the security aspect of our Needs.

Family - Friends - Social

4 - Cognitive needs - knowledge, understanding. Learning, developing, increasing your skills and social value, to your family or work. This is where you acquire knowledge, skills and some meaning.

Knowledge - Understanding - Expanding

5 - Aesthetic needs - appreciation and search for beauty, balance, form, etc. This is where you start appreciating the finer things in life; a good wine, art, a vigorous argument or debate, a mind bending book. This is where, from the knowledge and experience you have gained, you choose what is best and most valuable for you.

Growth - Appreciation - Experience

6 - Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility. You have a home, a place to sleep, enough to eat. You are secure in your surroundings, have a job and friends. You have enough resources to live well and have a bit of spare time. What now? Maslow believes that you would now work on your prestige, your view of yourself and how others would see you. You would work on increasing your Mind Power and the influence (face) you have with your fellow human being.

Status - Prestige - Influence

7 - Self Actualization - This is the penultimate Need, a Need that only begins to dominate your behavior once you have satisfied most of the previous Needs. This is where artists try to express themselves on canvas, wood or other. This is where a scientist aims for that breakthrough, the competitor for the gold medal. Even with these achievements, the last two Needs, often, will never be satisfied!

Self Actualization - Great Goals - Challenges

8 - Transcendence needs - helping others to achieve self actualization. You feel you have taken all that you wish to take from the worlds and now it is time to give and give others a chance to also go through this natural cycle. You become a Guide, Mentor, Life Teacher and Wise Person.

Mentor - Guide - Enabler; the Masters Level

9 - Enlightenment - The Dragon State. This NEEDS to be experienced to be understood. You are in a state where most everything is clear, reasons are know, direction are evident and choice is not required. It is not a constant state; depending on your being you bounce in and out of this state although some achieve the total Enlightenment like Buddha, Mohammed and Christ.

Oneness - Clarity - Completion; the Dragon level

As mentioned before; knowing where you are is a key to success, knowing where you are going and discovering what you may really want and a lot more stuff......consider.

Additional Information and Clarification available/taken from McLeod, S. A. (2007). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - Simply Psychology - from

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L5 Evasion & Movement - Tall Oak Evasion

When we really look at evasion in martial arts, the greatest skill is not having to evade; well actually, the greatest skill is not to have to fight but then again, aside from real life situations, where is the fun in that. So, let recap our evasions and expand on them a bit; for completeness sake.

Ideally you want to be familiar and very good at using all methods of Stepping, Evasion, Defence, Blocking and Jamming. Ideally you also want to spend 10 hours a day training 6 days a week, for 49 weeks a year; ideally, but normally not possible. Yet, before you choose your speciality, your great method for avoiding being punched or kicked, your way of Evading and Moving, make sure that you give each and every method a good try a fair go. Many and many a martial art practitioner did not actualize their style because they thought that what was difficult was not their way. Often this is right but not always and not always.

Even if you turn out to be a Tiger Stylist preferring the direct, strong and indestructible approach there will be times when this does not work and you will need something a bit more effective. Conversely, how do you manage someone who has all, some or any of these movement, evasion and defence skills. There is no substitute for experience! So let's delve into the two halves of the Green Sash Evasion.

After the Ecstasy, the Laundry! - Unknown

Tall Oak evasion is actually exactly like a Tall Tree in the wind. You do not move your legs but you do move your body a bit like a Snake for a Snake Charmer. It is all about weaving and swaying in the traditional style. like a tree in a Strong wind bending this way and that way avoiding the full force so as not to break. And that is absolutely spot on as in this form of evasion you do not want to totally avoid all contact just reduce the level of contact to a manageable level. You allow the attacker to hit you but you move in a way to avoid any damaging or injuring technique; like the Tree. it can't avoid the wind but it can minimize the effect the wind has on it's health. Let's look at this form of movement scientifically; piece by piece.


Weaving; Like a Loom being moved from side to side. Keep your body covered and central, and just move your head just enough to get out of the punches way without having to shift your weight.

Bobbing & Ducking; As in water either just up & down or V shaped. Do not bend your back and thus move your body forward as this exposes the evasion to an uplifting knee or even kick.

Slipping; under the attackers elbow with your rear shoulder is a real skill and difficult to do. Only about 1 in 10 martial artists who train this ever achieve an real success.

Splashing: is the art of moving out of the reach of a punch or kick without really giving ground; like slapping the water which will give way but be right back again.

Twisting; at the pint of impact and moving the target away and back without really moving from the spot; great against pointed weapons.

Serping; moving just the mid section to the side, like a snake without twisting your body; a bit like the Head Weaving but moving your middle out of the way.


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Conditions of Use and Training Rules for ALL

Rules allow for Freedom and Safety

The form on the right→ is information presented to all students who enter the Shaolin Academy Venue and wish to try out the training. We expect that they and you follow these rules when training or using Shaolin Academy teachings and Kung Fu!

We expect that if follow the conditions and indemnities set out on the form to the right&rarr: and that you agree to abide by these. Please read the form carefully and if you do not agree with this move on to another site and style. If there are any aspects that you do not understand or are not sure about, please write to us immediately and we will seek to understand and clarify if possible! I have a question about the indemnity conditions and details

It is the Law, the Rule of Law and Rules that allow us to be free;
Imagine driving a car down a road if there were no street rules and laws; just imagine!

In addition to the Indemnity, Blue Form, we also speak to our prospective new members and clarify the important points and rules. Please look at the following closely and again, if you disagree with any point either write to us for clarification or go away!

Safety first and Always. If you can hurt or damage yourself or someone else, do not do it!. Shaolin Kung Fu is a way of life and health, not pain and anger.

Lawful when training, at the Shaolin Academy or in the Shaolin Academy uniform fully or partially. Unless your safety is compromised or the safety of the persons in your charge stay within the bounds of the Law as you know it.

Equality means that all humans are equal even if we sometimes do not see it; treat all with respect and dignity. No, do not treat them as you would want to be treated as this assumes your wishes are everybody's wishes; treat them with respect and dignity considering their special needs if any!

Honor is the way of Shaolin and the Shaolin Academy. Our motto is "Of Word and Will" which means have the will to keep your word and speak the true word of your will; but with dignity and compassion. Be honorable.

Appropriateness means that you only use Shaolin Kung Fu for fitness, competition, fun, development and only when needed for self defence and protection. Never initiate the course of violence. Most importantly, Fun, have fun learning.

Drugs and Alcohol; can be deadly when misused or when the effects are not considered before taking any actions. No matter what type of Alcohol or Drugs, everything has a side effect, some more than others. If there is any doubt, err on the side of caution. Have a look at your eyes in the mirror. If they are blood-shot or there are very visible streaks of gray make sure you are really ready for a good workout; else make it a light session!

Sickness and Unwell-being; It's really stupid to tax your system, when it is trying to heal it self. Gentle exercise may be OK but than again, have you consciously had a 'good look at yourself' and seen how you feel? IF YOU ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS you may be able to come to training and participate in the stretching or even do some light training. But at home, by yourself, err on the side of caution!

Things going wrong Are you having one of those days? Many reason contribute to use 'not being all there'. Stress, bad night rest, oncoming sickness or simply not enough me time. But if it is such a day, again, you can join in to the warm-up but tell the instructor that it has been 'one-of-those-days' and take it easy. If you home training, take a rest and if the feeling persists, see a suitable Medical Professions

Respect the Area Please Bow in and Out of every class and training area where you train. be it with the Academy or at home. Stop before entering and Bow to the Area or to the Instructor. check that all is as it should be. Same when just leaving the training area, even for a few minutes for a bathroom break. Bow in and Out of the training area always!

Interruptions In training Stop means Stop! Or if you are training at home, if someone enters your training area, or there is any distraction, stop and attend to it before continuing training.

Energy Levels if you need to sit or lean during training, your training session is over. Perform the cool-down and call it a day. Leaning and sitting down suggests that you do not have enough (safe) energy to continue training. It is good to recognize when your energy's are down and it is good to act accordingly. If you are too tired to stay standing, then stop training and cool down!

Peace; is paramount, not only world peace but your inner peace where it all starts. Switch of any phones, noise, radio, etc. if you can and remove any distractions during training (if possible, don't throw the baby out the window!). Chatter, comments and such can be very disruptive to those who are concentrating on learning. Unless it is an essential to the technique or a requirement of training . . .shut-up; even at home. This is your Emei Shan moment.

If in any doubt about any of the above Rules, your training, a technique or anything; contact Sijo

Choose Wisely the people you listen to,
they will either raise you and make you grow or
use you so that they can raise themselves;
there are only those choices.

If you can not agree to these conditions click on this line, else continue on down to the training information.

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What you need to train Shaolin Academy Material at home!

To train Shaolin Kung Fu Academy training materials at home we recommended you follow the check list just below!;

Following the Instructions is best when you can see and hear them well. Place your viewing device far enough away that you do not accidentally hit it but close enough to hear and see what is being explained!

Training Area of around 2m by 2m or 7ft by 7ft without any obstacles or low over-hangs is best. Most of the training we do can be managed using this space. This size even has a traditional implications when the so called Boxers were training in secret for the Boxer Rebellion, many did so on Junkets, small wooden ships in the bay. the space their was approximately this size but the ceiling was less than 5 ft; so they did exceptionally good hose stances. This is also where we get our Kama Square Pattern.

Preparation and Warm-up is always a good habit to get into. Yes, i know the fallacious argument about not being able to prepare when defending in the street but then again, you don't get attacked as often as you train. So, prevent injury with the Shaolin Academy Warm-up; set-up your mindset by putting on a uniform and sash; have a towel and bottle of water ready and review the items you are about to learn or train.

Calm Awareness of your self and your surroundings. If you find your energy waning or you wanting to sit and rest, STOP. If a short rest in Natural Stance can not overcome the feeling, sit-down and do your cool down stretches.

Pain = No Brain Pain is a survival instinct and in times of War, Emergency and Danger, by all means ignore it. But you are an idiot if you do not listen to the messages your body sends you and understand what it needs. No, i do not mean the scratching impulse, by all means ignore irritants but not pain.

Training Aids are not essential or even greatly needed. And if you do use something, use something you have or can make yourself. That is the way of Shaolin. Yes, you can improve your quality of training by seeing yourself in a reflected surface but it can just be that and does not need to be a full length mirror wall. Other items that may be of help when the time is right is Impact Mitts and Bag and eventually full Sparring Gear.

E-mail Support from Sijo Robert Z

Everybody get's stuck and at some point demotivate and once this happens it is difficult to restart. Sijo Robert Z has been helping Cyber students with their training since the program started in 1996. He has helped many Cyber Members get over the problems and continue to successful completions and advancement in to the next level. For this we ask a small yearly contribution of USD29/y and that is for the whole year. This is a reoccurring payment that you can cancel with PayPal anytime, no hassles and no regrets. Just click on the Subscribe button below and become a member. We will contact you as soon as PayPal clears the funds.

You will never ever know, unless you give it a go!

US $29/y

You become wise by learning from your mistakes . . . but you are wise if you learn from other peoples mistakes!

To be sure, to be sure

Before, before, before anything; always, always, always prepare..... and for training you prepare with a warm-up. No arguments with Shaolin Kung Fu, no training unless the full warm-up is performed correctly and completely!

Yes, in a real situation you may not have the time and opportunity to prepare your mind and body but in day-to-day life you do not want to create the damage that an unprepared real situation could cause. The pre-training warm-up is the number one way of improving your stretching, preempting damage and accidents and testing yourself how you feel and checking how your energy level is to match it with the intensity of your training.

There is more than 30 minutes of warm-up here so there is some choice for you but initially, especially if your are not used to a complete warm-up, do it all. You will need to know it all when you wish to be graded. No advancement is possible without passing the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy Warm-up completely; unless there are special physical or mental circumstances. For this you need to contact Sijo

If you wish to improve your flexibility then you need to add stretching to the end of your routine. Before the event, the warm-up prepares the body and mind for training and loosens the tendons and muscles. This will improve you flexibility and agility but if you have areas that need special attention, say calves to achieve that good Horse Stance or you have back problems and need to loosen you Glut's, then the best time is to stretch after your workout. We also strongly recommend that you speak to a specialist if any problem areas arise in your flexibility or stretching.

If you encounter any persistent or repeating pain in your training; consult/seek the advice of a medical profession; Western, Eastern, Asian; no matter who as long as they are a professional with other clients!

Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy, Shaolin 5th Level Gray Sash Curriculum Card

A few words before you start

Before, before, before anything; always, always, always prepare..... and for training you prepare with a warm-up. No arguments with Shaolin Kung Fu, no training unless the full warm-up is performed correctly and completely!

Yes, in a real situation you may not have the time and opportunity to prepare your mind and body but in day-to-day life you do not want to create the damage that an unprepared real situation could cause. The pre-training warm-up is the number one way of improving your stretching, preempting damage and accidents and testing yourself how you feel and checking how your energy level is to match it with the intensity of your training.

There is more than 30 minutes of warm-up here so there is some choice for you but initially, especially if your are not used to a complete warm-up, do it all. You will need to know it all when you wish to be graded. No advancement is possible without passing the Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy Warm-up completely; unless there are special physical or mental circumstances. For this you need to contact Sijo

If you wish to improve your flexibility then you need to add stretching to the end of your routine. Before the event, the warm-up prepares the body and mind for training and loosens the tendons and muscles. This will improve you flexibility and agility but if you have areas that need special attention, say calves to achieve that good Horse Stance or you have back problems and need to loosen you Glut's, then the best time is to stretch after your workout. We also strongly recommend that you speak to a specialist if any problem areas arise in your flexibility or stretching.

If you encounter any persistent or repeating pain in your training; consult/seek the advice of a medical profession; Western, Eastern, Asian; no matter who as long as they are a professional with other clients!

Level 5 Green Sash Video Recordings

Video Introduction/Overview to the Program

Each of the buttons below are a part of the 5th level, Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy Distance Education Program. If you have any difficulties with any part of this program, materials or content, please contact .

Background Essential Warm-up Techniques & Systems Form
Level Overview Prologue 1st Shaolin 5 Animal Form

Need any help? Just e-mail us immediately and we are happy to assist, usually within 72 hours or less.


This will not make an expert out of you, or a Champion or a Warrior; but it gives you are good grounding that will enable you to specialize, if you wish, in a direction you care to take. Some have chose to enter competitions and have done well in All Styles Comps, Kung Fu Comps, Internationally and Nationally. Shaolin Academy students have even been used as action stand-in's in theater, movies, music videos and shows. We even put on a show at the Shaolin Temple in Henan China.

You may choose to want to use the style for Acting, Stage Work, Shows, Street Theater and such but it also applies for everyday life. Recognizing when you are confronted with a Tiger Style personality, you will know what you are up against, be it in the office, at a party, in the street or elsewhere. And the more you immerse yourself in the understanding of your Tiger, you will find that you are able to manage it within yourself better, both to restrain it when it will harm and to use it when appropriate. You will also learn the weaknesses of the each animal and relies that, for example, a Tiger can only be defeated by a Greater Tiger or by a mouse (and you need to work this out).

Grading & Promotion
Any additional Requests please

Level Review Application (and Certification)

Shaolin Martial Art & Self Defence Instruction & Training

Before you attempt the next level, ensure that everything you have learned in this level is correct. As you progress, many, many of the techniques that follow are based around, founded or along very similar principles as the ones from the 1st levels. Fix any problems and details now before you learn new techniques and carry through the errors thus doubling and tripling the effort to fix them later. And as an old and new wisdom stated "It is 5 times more difficult to fix a habit then it is to establish it!

Apply for a Level Review before you commence on the next level! When we receive the PayPal confirmation we will contact you with further instructions.

Further information on Shaolin Kung Fu and the Academy.