Introduction to Lohan Quan the Buddha Palm Style of Kung Fu
“Lohan” is the Chinese translation of the Buddhist term “Arhat” from Sanskrit. Arhats
are enlightened beings who still have a little ways to go before complete Buddhahood.
In the Chan Buddhist tradition, becoming a Lohan, or enlightened Buddhist saint, is a
goal of your practice.
The Lohan forms taught by Sifu Wong Jackman were the highest part of the Northern
Shaolin system. Few students ever learned these forms. Northern Shaolin is a vast
system and people would have already learned 12 + long, complex sequences of
Northern Shaolin and Tan Teui, before Sifu Wong would begin teaching these forms.
The only exception was the shortest, and simplest, Lohan #1. But few students ever
learned Lohan # 2, 3, and 4. Most students simply already had more than enough hand
forms and these are, in truth, quite difficult.
Typically saving the best for last, these are some of the finest Northern Style Kung Fu
forms around. These rapid firing, power punching, forms with have a great variety of
striking techniques. Lohan includes direct straight punches and also wide open, long
range, smashing, and pounding blows. There are also many high kicks, flying kicks,
leaps, low sweeps and quick steps showing the mobile leg center character of Northern
Chinese Kung Fu.
It is hard to say whether the Lohan forms are a completely separate style of Kung Fu, or
are closely related, or are the advanced level of Northern Shaolin. The Lohan forms are
a natural, expert level, expansion of the Northern Shaolin system that also integrates
elements from Tan Teui. The Lohan forms are consistent in style to Northern Shaolin
and add only a few new techniques. The added techniques fit in well with the other
techniques in Northern Shaolin.
In any case, the hand forms known as Lohan #1, 2, 3, and 4 are powerful advanced
hand forms at the pinnacle of the Northern Shaolin curriculum taught by Sifu Wong
Jackman.