Lohan (enlightened) Chi (energy) Kung (time and effort) is an ancient Chinese healing exercise created by Bodhidharma (Da Mo), the founder of Chen (Zen) Buddhism 1500 years ago.
This exercise was a precious secret kept within the Shaolin temple until its sacking and massacre of its inhabitants about 200 years ago. The monk Choy Fook, one of the few survivors, fled south to Guangdong province, and was sought out by Chan Heung who became his disciple. Chan Heung mastered the whole system of Shaolin kung fu including the Chi Kung exercises and medical knowledge; which has then been passed from generation to generation through his family.
This gentle exercise is relaxing and energising at the same time, with each set of movements designed to activate and cleanse the dan tiens and particular acupuncture meridians.
Master Chen Yong Fa is the great great grandson of Chan Heung and the present custodian of Choy Lee Fut kung fu, including, until now, the secret Lohan Chi Kung exercises.He is also a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, specialising in zheng gu, (bone setting).
There are four Lohan Chi Kung sets forming a comprehensive system of progressively more advanced techniques towards gaining complete mastery of ones chi, or vital energy.
These are the “Buddhidarma lohan 18 hands” (“lohan kung” for short), the “siu lohan”, the “tai lohan” and the “wu chi”.
The four forms, form an internal set of exercises for cultivating the “three treasures” of chi (vital energy), jing (essence), and shen (spirit). Done regularly it activates the flow of the intrinsic life energy along the meridians, strengthens the internal organs, increases longevity through maintenance of health and vigor of body and mind, exercises the joints and muscles, promotes relaxation and stress management, prevents occupational physical stress diseases, promotes postural awareness and correct posture, and provides the essence and base for many internal and external martial arts.
“The dragon and the tiger met in heaven, to revive our Shaolin ways”
“Teach you followers righteousness, let each generation uphold and enliven”
- Yang Breathing: There are six fundamental breathing techniques in the Lohan Chi Kung system which are used to promote various physiological responses. When combined with the correct movements of the body, they stimulate the subtle energies of the chi. In this clip, Master Chen demonstrates three dantien yang breathing.
- Sap Ba Lohan Kuen (1/4)
- Sap Ba Lohan Kuen (2/4)
- Sap Ba Lohan Kuen (3/4)
- Sap Ba Lohan Kuen (4/4)
- Siu Lohan: Segment of the form performed by Master Chen Yong Fa. This is the second form of the Lohan system. This form gives special importance to breathing. While the postures are more relaxed, they are held for a longer time while they are done with deep relaxation, producing a state of well-being and tranquillity in the practitioner. This form works on Qi or “energy”, whereas the 18 Lohan works more on Jing or “essence”.