Internal Arts

Internal Arts

Riccardo Salvatore has been practicing, promoting and teaching the Shaolin Wahnam Internal Arts for over 25 years.

Shaolin Wahnam Internal Arts

So what makes Shaolin Wahnam Arts, Arts of excellence?

The origins of the Shaolin Arts, Chi Kung, Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Zen, are deeply rooted in the spiritual and energetic foundations of the history of Shaolin Monastery and the arrival in China of the venerable Bodhidharma to spread the teachings of Zen Buddhism of Shen, which means, in Chinese, mind and spirit.

Bodhidharma was a Prince Regent of the Kingdom of Kanchiporam, the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism, who renounced his throne to spread Buddhism at the highest spiritual level.

In this sense, he was invited to China by Emperor Liang Wu Ti, who practiced a stream of Buddhism more focused on rituals, while Bodhidharma emphasized the development of transcendence and spiritual expansion to reach Enlightenment and interrupt the cycle of Karma.

These opposing views led Bodhidharma to retire in 527 BC to the Shaolin Monastery where he is said to have meditated, facing a wall, for 9 years.

The Southern Shaolin Monastery, since its founding, has been devoted to spirituality, meditation and practices of respecting and developing the human capacities at its highest levels. Regularly visited by Chinese emperors of the various dynasties, many other elites, generals, ministers, philosophers, astronomers, masters with unusual abilities, imperial personal guard, so they could learn the Internal Arts’ secrets and respective advanced techniques.

To improve the monks’ health, weakened by inactivity and focus on meditation and help them more easily reach enlightenment, Bodhidharma, an expert in Indian Martial Arts, developed and taught them two sets of exercises to improve their health, physical vigor, mental clarity and thus achieve spiritual development.

From these two sets of exercises called “Sinew Metamorphosis” and “The Eighteen Hands of Lohan”, other practices of Arts were later derived, including the famous Shaolin Wahnam’s Kung Fu, combat art par excellence, Taijiquan and Chi  Kung. Bodhidharma is considered the first patriarch of the Shaolin Arts.

The Shaolin Arts were practiced, deepened and refined by successive generations of masters and monks, in a continuous and regular way, over about 1300 years until the destruction of the Southern Shaolin Monastery, which occurred between 1800 and 1850, and remained so, until about 30 years ago.

Venerable Jiang Nan, from whom Grand Master Wong Kiew Kit is descended in the 4th generation, was one of the few monks who managed to escape and survive the destruction of the Temple. He took refuge in an area in southern Thailand that was later ceded to Malaysia by the English.

I have been practicing and teaching these Arts for about 30 years and I consider myself privileged to have contributed to their dissemination through regular classes and seminars, many of them taught directly by Grand Master Wong Kiew Kit, having made all its benefits accessible to many hundreds of people.

Some of the exercises of these Internal Arts were reserved for a reduced elite, taught in secret to chosen people, emperors, generals or practitioners of Shaolin Arts who were considered worthy, regardless of their creed, culture or race.

The Internal Arts and its techniques, kept in secret until recently, were a way to be able to reach beyond full health, achieve inner path, develop abilities, spiritual fullness and discover our true dimensions.

From the heart, to you, this is so my wish.

The origins of Chi Kung, which literally means the Art of Energy, are rooted in the energetic bases of the Chinese Tradition, with different strains existing since antiquity.

Saying that Shaolin’s Chi Kung is a treasure of humanity can only seem exaggerated to those who have not yet experienced its benefits, as it brings together various ways to cultivate energy, achieve health, application in martial arts, expand the mind and cultivate the spirit.

Shaolin’s Chi Kung is a legacy of Bodhidharma, founder of Chan (Zen) Buddhism, who, when in 527 BC left the court of Emperor Liang Wu Ti, retired to the Shaolin Monastery where he meditated for 9 years facing a wall.

Having found that most of the monks had fragile health and little physical resistance, which prevented their spiritual evolution, he taught them two sets of exercises – The Eighteen Hands of Lohan and the Sinew Metamorphosis – in order to have health and vigor, to be able to defend themselves, have mental clarity and thus achieve spiritual development and enlightenment.

For about 1300 years, between 527 and 1800/1850, these exercises were practised, deepened and developed by multiple generations of monks and masters.

The Eighteen Hands of Lohan became the basis of the various styles of Shaolin Kung Fu, considered the art of combat par excellence throughout the ages and the reference for all types of Kung Fu.

The Sinew Metamorphosis evolved into Shaolin’s Chi Kung, a source of well-being, health, mental clarity and spiritual expansion, considered a treasure destined only for emperors, generals and an elite that was considered worthy.

Until recently, all of these Treasures were kept a secret!

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The fame and prestige of Kung Fu at the Shaolin Monastery was due to the teaching of Internal Arts based on Zen Buddhism, intended for people of any creed, religion, race or culture. aiming for spiritual awakening and development through personal experience, nobility of principles, health and good physical shape, agility, vigor, joy, serenity and mental clarity, in addition to the ability to defend oneself.

These were the attributes that transformed Shaolin Kung Fu into the Martial Art par excellence since antiquity.

The rise, throughout history, of many notable people in the most varied areas of Chinese society was due to the learning of the Internal Arts in the Shaolin Monastery, which since its foundation was the elite place and the temple where emperors from all dynasties gathered to practice Internal Arts and meditate.

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Taijiquan is an internal martial art, an effective means of achieving and maintaining health, developing calm and serenity, agility, mental freshness and cosmic resonance. Anchored in Taoist philosophy, based on accompanying and flowing with the opponent’s movement in a calm and relaxed way, taking advantage of the “moment” and internal strength.

Tai Chi has the sense of Cosmos, associated with the Yi Jing or Book of Changes. Quan, in Taijiquan, has the sense of the art of combat, that is, Cosmic Combat Art or Cosmic Kung Fu.

Among the historical references to the origins of Taijiquan, the main one refers to the Taoist priest Zhang San Feng, who, after completing training at the Shaolin Monastery in Kung Fu, Chi Kung and Zen, continued to cultivate the spirit in the mountains of Wudang.

Watching a bird attacked by a snake and after a while, ending up, subtly, winning the fight with a deadly lunge, he adapted his Shaolin Kung Fu to a gentle approach, eliminated all physical strength training, concentrating on gentle movements, breath control, channeling and visualizing energy to achieve spiritual realization, which he named Taijiquan.

Zhang San Feng is considered the first patriarch of Taijiquan and Internal Kung Fu.

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