Huang Han Xun. LUOHAN GONG. Shaolin Internal Training Set

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Huang Han Xun


Shaolin Internal Training Set

"...As far as the Breath and Qi is concerned, it must not only make the man energetic and his movements nimble, permeate the four extremities and impregnate one hundred joints of the human body. Due to special practices the body must become light and capable of doing high jumps so that the man could climb a cliff or get over an abyss..."  / Shaolin Treatises on the Pugilistic Art /

   Shaolin Kung Fu OnLine Library:   Chinese Martial Arts - Theory & Practice / Old Chinese Books, Treatises, Manuscripts

History of Creation

of Book


The history of the creation of this book goes back to Master Fan Xu Dong (life time: 1841 — 1925, according to another data - 1936). At the turn the 19-th and 20-th century Fan Xu Dong several times visited Shaolin Temple where he studied heritage of the monastery. That's what Master Jon Funk writes about it: 


"Fan made several trips to the Shaolin temple and spent time there researching with the monks. From these trips to the Shaolin temple, as well as his other work with the Seven Star Praying Mantis system, he wrote five volumes titled "The Shaolin Authentic". These handwritten manuals contained concepts on fighting skills, medical information and historical aspects of kung fu. Contained in one of these five volumes is the eighteen exercises of the LUOHAN GONG complete with replicas of the original drawings of the Shaolin monks demonstrating the postures of each exercise." See Full Article >>


These five books were later hand copied in Hong Kong by shifu Huang Han Xun. The original illustrations and calligraphy on LUOHAN GONG by shifu Fan Xu Dong was reproduced in shifu Huang's book in which he added photographs to depict the movements.

Authentic Shaolin QIGONG

Today as in the ancient time special exercises aimed at acquiring "Internal Mastery"(GONG FU) are one of the most important elements of Shaolin monks training. Those exercises united under the common name NEI GONG ("Internal Work") make up the core of the Shaolin School of martial arts, they are the key to the true summit of mastery. An important component of NEI GONG is QI GONG (QIGONG), or "Art of controlling the internal energy QI".

The book presents one of the traditional forms of the Shaolin QIGONG called LUOHAN1 GONG. The Shaolin "Treatises on Fighting Arts" say: "It is necessary to pay special attention to the fact that the mind would guide the breath-Qi and the breath-Qi should act in unity with the physical force Li. The breath-Qi must strengthen the physical force Li and the force Li must guide the breath Qi". This, in outward appearance, a simple set of exercises is aimed at training the said cooperation. Undisputable advantage of that method lies in the fact that profound knowledge of QIGONG theory, quite complicated for understanding, is unnecessary for its effective employment. What one only needs is to do exercises in accordance with their description, observe specified breathing rate and concentrate one's attention on movements.

At the initial stage of training mental concentration has uttermost importance, it is called "The Thought Leads Qi" in the tradition of the Shaolin School of QIGONG. After some practice any of your movements will be filled with the internal energy Qi without any effort of your consciousness. That is the final aim of Fighting QIGONG practice in the Shaolin School. Shaolin treatises on pugilism say: "
When each movement of your body is fused with the breath Qi, your arms and legs become quick and strong like those ones of a monkey. So the man moves like a lightning in the sky and joyfully he passes along as a victor in all battles".

In process of executing the set of exercises you also learn to control your breath, which allows to indirectly control your psychic and emotional state in combat conditions (or under stress). That contains the mental aspect of training. Conscious control of breathing and mental concentration creates the affinity between that method and Buddhist practices of meditation.

Method LUOHAN GONG also is a superb means of the development of strength and health improvement. Straining certain groups of muscles, mental concentration and breathing make QI start circulating properly in the body. Due to it barriers in the channels and the meridians are eliminated, QI flow becomes smooth and powerful, energy potential of the body increases. The restoration of QI circulation makes the blood system stronger and the flexibility of blood-vessels higher, as according to postulates of Chinese medicine "QI guides blood". Thus, thanks to LUOHAN GONG practice muscles, bones and sinews become stronger at the external level and internal organs are improved at the internal level.

LUOHAN GONG can be rated as methods of careful stimulation of the body. During the execution of the whole set of exercises breathing is even and deep, movements mainly are smooth and measured. Therefore, LUOHAN GONG is a safe method and suitable for everybody regardless of age, state of health and physical conditions. Certainly, long maintenance of static stances and the execution of slow movements demand a certain strength and endurance (both physical and psychic one), therefore to do all exercises of the set in succession is within abilities of a well-trained man only. However, if you start to master one exercise after another by stages and gradually increase the time for training sessions you will soon feel positive changes in your body. Therein lies the everlasting value of the LUOHAN GONG method, one of pearls of traditional Shaolin QIGONG.

We also recommend you to read the article "LAW HON GONG, The Monk's Strength" by Master Jon Funk in which some important aspects of the practice LUOHAN GONG are covered in detail. (The author uses the Cantonese pronunciation "LAW HON' that corresponds to "LUO HAN' in Mandarin. Such pronunciation is specific to the school Seven Star Praying Mantis where this style QIGONG adopted from Shaolin is practiced).

Important directions on the practice of LUOHAN GONG.
The article by Master Jon Funk "
LAW HON GONG, The Monk's Strength" >>


1LUOHAN (aluohan), the Chinese transcription of the word "arhat'; a Chinese Buddhist saint who attained perfection.

 < Fragment from the book / pdf, 1.22 mb, 21 pp. / >

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Huang Han Xun. 

LUOHAN GONG: Shaolin Internal Training Set

Translated from Chinese in 2007

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