Northern Shaolin #9 Connecting Links – Lian Huan

Northern Shaolin Kung Fu #9 Connecting Links.  Many systems of  martial arts have a Connecting Links Form.  Typically these forms are advanced and they bring together many elements from different forms, or training patterns into a synthesis that takes the martial artists skill to a higher level.   The Northern Shaolin Connecting Links Form is no exception.  The  image of Connecting Links is of a series of overlapping circles, or links in a chain.  This form contains movements that have more spiraling energy and more spinning and circling movements than other Northern Shaolin Kung Fu forms.   It is easy to imagine Ba Gua Zhang being an evolutionary expansion from the beginnings of the spiraling and circling techniques found in this form.

Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,

Of course Northern Shaolin Kung Fu #9 includes some dramatic kicking sequences.  Including running forward into a Jumping Toe Crescent Kick, followed by three rear kicks and then dropping to the floor and kicking up from ground level.

Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,
Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,

Northern Shaolin Kung Fu #9 also has the dramatic sequence of a one hand cartwheel into the splits.  This is followed by hoping into a sweep of one leg by the other that ends in a push up position.   Then a jump of the arms with both thrusting forward threw your arms then you end up with only the heels and palms touching and the whole body stretched out horizontally off the ground.  This is followed by snapping the legs back into lotus posture with the legs crossed while seated.  From there it’s a quick hop up into the deep horse striking low with a cranes beaks to both sides.  Definite a sort of Kung Fu Break – Dance.

Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,
Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,

Like all of the Long forms Northern Shaolin Kung Fu #9 Connecting Links contains many techniques that are not found in any other form.

Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,
Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,

Northern Shaolin Kung Fu # 9 uses contains many advanced hand techniques.  In particular the Phoenix Eye Fist is used extensively in this form.  The Penetrating Palm and Snake Palm also have a variety of unique and lethal attacks.

Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,
Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,

I have always loved this form both because of its dramatic and athletic sequences and strong hand techniques.  But it also has a strategy of flanking the opponent and unique methods of entering and attacking.  The footwork is quite advanced yet has a different flavor than either Northern Shaolin #2 Leading Steps or Northern Shaolin #10 The Method.   Northern Shaolin #2 draws the opponent in and traps them.  Northern Shaolin #10 chases them down like a dog.  Northern Shaolin #9 circles them and wraps around them.  Of course being Northern Shaolin each form does overlap the others in strategy but there are unique qualities to each form.

Northern Shaolin #9 Lian Huan,

This is a great form to demonstrate if you have the flexibility because it is well balanced with both great flashy moves and deadly practical moves.