Download video: Shaolin drunken kung fu: form 1

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instructor: monk Yanbin, from Shaolin temple

Shaolin kung fu drunken style (醉拳: zui quan):

- 'strategy': the drunken style teaches some most unusual tactics. mentally, the saying is "feint madness but don't be mad (假痴不癫)," and physically it is the "self-infliction tactic (苦肉计)," that is, pretending to have injuries or weakness. these are to convince the enemy that you're not an actually serious threat to either ignore you and loosen his guard or to get confused as how to keep guard. you can even "bait a brick to catch jade (抛砖引玉)," expose some part of your body to lure the enemy attack, if he attacks there, beware and take advantage of him. attack from unlikely angles, as the saying "borrow a way to attack Guo (state) (假道伐虢)." however unpredictable your moves are, a saying is "to catch thieves, catch the chief (擒贼擒王)," that is, to be most effective, target the most sensitive points. this requires the knowledge of acupressure points. these involve unusual drunken-like moves with unlikely angles. this is the main strategy of Shaolin drunken style.

- 'history': Buhhist monks are not allowed to get drunk. at the beginning of the Tang dynasty (618-907), 13 monks from Shaolin temple intervened in a great war to help the emperor against rebel forces. role of the monks was prominent and Li Shimin, as the next emperor, appreciated it and bestowed on them officialdom, land, and wealth, and sent the temple a gift including meat and wine in ceremony of the victory. with the emperor's permission, monks could neglect the Buddhist rule and consume meat and wine. this happened around 621 AD and since then some Shaolin monks have consumed wine. however, the drunken style was first introduced in the Song dynasty (960-1279). it is said that Liu Qizan, a famous martial arts master, killed someone and sought refuge in Shaolin to repent. however, he still continued drinking wine, and so monks wanted to expel him from the temple. while deeply drunk after consuming a huge amount of wine, he defied and beat the monks, some say 30+ monks. after seeing this, the abbot praised his skill and this drunken style of combat was adopted from him by the monks and was refined over generations.
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