Shaolin boxing is hard, strong, fast and according to the Chinese it is “filled with softness inside.” It is also plain and practical with every action, both attack and defense as well as in pose. As the old saying goes: practice in a place where only a cow can lie; such is shaolin boxing, you’re not limited by the place and its size.
The shaolin style embodies a word — hard. It is practiced with both attack and defense, but mostly attack. The form is not only beautiful, but also practical. The steps are flexible. Shaolin teaches you actions forward, actions of retreat, reaction and to punch directly in front of you. On body and fist, it is required that the arm is not too straight and to keep all the forward and backward motion natural. The foot technique must be stable and flexible, the eye technique requires staring at the opponent’s eyes and for the breathing, the Qi should be “down to your dan tian'” before the Qi is released. “The action is as fast as a flash, a spin- like a turning wheel, a stance like pine and jump like a fly.”