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Qigong Is Not Enough

Qigong is not enough. Kung Fu is not enough. The secret of the Shaolin Monks is a combination of Qigong and Kung Fu. Once you’ve followed your Qigong Program, what you do next depends on your goal. This article is dedicated to those students whose goal is to study martial arts.

If you’re a disciple at the Shaolin Temple you will do all of the exercises in Shaolin Workout Volume 1 and 2 ( the 3rd DVD is dedicated to fighting). The Secret Training Of A Novice Shaolin Monk gives more details on that program. Once a disciple knows the Shaolin Temple Fundamentals, they begin to hone their skills and increase their stamina to prepare themselves for one of the seventy two styles ( Iron Body being one of them).

Iron Body has two meanings. The first meaning is the body can protect itself from blows by using Qi to deflect our opponent’s power. The other meaning is Iron Body strengthens our immune system as does all Qigong. Iron Body is a combination of exceptional stamina and specialized Qigong breath and form. My Iron Body DVD is just a guide. Iron Body has to be taught master to disciple. It can’t be taught through a DVD.

An excellent way to test your stamina is by running 5k. Time yourself and see how long it takes you. Do you have to stop? How out of breath are you?  This is what I do when a private student comes to me to study, I take them for a run, see how many push ups they can do, and how long they can hold a plank. Then I know their fitness level. We can trick ourselves with other exercise but with the simple basics, we can’t.

Once you can run 5k no problem and have learned all the exercises in Shaolin Workout 1 and 2, move onto Shaolin Bootcamp. This is a tough workout which uses martial arts moves. Do the whole workout then finish with your regular Qigong Workout and the Instant Health massage.

The next day your muscles should ache. If they don’t you’re not pushing yourself enough. This is the challenge of doing any form of exercise on your own. I know how hard to push my students but it’s harder for us to know that by ourselves. It’s vitally important that you don’t train yourself to pain and injury. Experiment with how far you can go. Below is an example of a small adjustment I made to a Shaolin Student in Iron Shirt. Check your training is precise and accurate. Never train with injury and if you feel pain, stop immediately and seek professional help.

Shaolin Bootcamp together with Shaolin Qigong will dramatically improve your strength and stamina. Qigong strengthens you internally and you’ll begin to feel it in your workouts. I don’t drive a car but my students have likened it to feeling that Qigong gives them a powerful engine to drive their body. 

The training is the fire we put our mind and body through to get to the gold at the end. If you haven’t already, read through The 4 Qualities For Successful Shaolin Training. I also recommend you get a notebook to track your workout and your progress.  

A Shaolin Monk trains intelligently. We don’t just train to get stronger muscles, we also train to open our body, to align our body to its true nature. Let me know how you get on in the comments below. Next week's article is a training program for health and longevity. 

The programs you need are Shaolin Bootcamp 1 and 2. They are available as a DVD bundle or two separate downloads: Bootcamp 1 Bootcamp 2. 

Remember this program is not for beginners! 



  • William Wightman

    Qigong is not for Martial Arts only. I have used it over the past thirty years to improve health and bicycle racing performance. The latest revelation is that combining cycling and Qigong methods, while cycling on the road, are both subtle and fascinating. The power is like a sponge and water, a squeezed sponge will not take up water. If I only just exert myself then I ride with more effort than exertion and release. Chi is mental water and seems to follow my thoughts. It is a formless friend.

  • Michelle Salt

    When I was first training my iron skills I was fighting organ failure many times a day for years and I found that the vibration or instability to shake off and ground or earth against like the training stick provides externally really needs a sensitive core to both soft and hard subtlety. That’s why the snap off and reground is so important but anyway… Despite having many hours per day planned to train in i still look forward to qigong and other training with you :). Its all on my list!

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