SHAOLIN KUNG FU | MARTIAL ARTS FOR ADULTS
SHAOLIN KUNG FU
FOR THE SEEKER, THE PHILOSOPHER, & THE CREATIVE SPIRIT
Like many martial arts enthusiasts, I always have admired and respected the explosive Kung Fu mastery of Bruce Lee. But if I am to be really honest, it was his philosophy that impressed me more. "Not anger, emotional content!" "Don't concentrate too much on the finger, you'll miss all the heavenly glory!" "The art of fighting, without fighting"
These were the phrases that made me curious about what lay beneath the surface of the martial arts. Then I saw the t.v. show Kung Fu and the gentle universal spirituality, philosophy and way of life captured my imagination! I set out like Kwai Chang Caine to find a school that mirrored the wisdom I saw reflected in that show.
After many years of searching, in 1980 I found a Grand Master of Shaolin Kung Fu who was teaching out of the public eye in the basement of a San Francisco apartment building, and began a journey that transformed my life. I found all I was seeking and more under the guidance of this loving and wise teacher, who taught on all three levels of mind, body and spirit. "The physical level of our Kung Fu training is like the surface of an iceberg. The part you see is 1/8th of the art the other 7/8ths lie beneath the surface, but it is the foundation of the art." This is only one of his many profoundand insightful sayings. I knew I had found what I was looking for and began extensive Kung Fu training 30-40 hours a week. For 20 years I studied with my teacher the art, the philosophy, and the spirituality. I also learned from his amazing teaching style, witty, irreverent, humorous, but always deep and profound life lessons. Fifteen years ago, I came to Tucson, Arizona with my family and opened a branch of this magical approach to Shaolin Kung Fu. I have been studying Kung Fu for 35 years, teaching for 30 years, and am a 9th degree Black Belt in this eclectic branch of Shaolin Kung Fu.
With all due respect to the popular trend towards Ultimate Fighting approach, and I do understand its strengths and benefits, there is nothing that bores me or saddens me more. It reduces the value of martial arts training to its self-proclaimed challenge, "Who is the ultimate fighter?" Are we really that shallow as a society that we are willing to put young men in a cage, and entertain ourselves by watching them beat each other senseless. To me, the deeper aspects of the art I love so much, the philosophy, the values, and the beauty of self-expression through animal styles and weapons training are lost in translation.
I can respectfully agree to disagree on approach, but I mention this to give on honest and fair representation of what I teach so that those who are looking for what we offer can find it. My teacher once said "The question is not which martial art is the best, the question is what are you looking for?" Efficiency is the measure of all action, but purpose is the measure of all efficiency! My purpose is to pass on the aspects of Shaolin Kung Fu that I love.
Calling all seekers, philosophers, and creative spirits, come and join us as we improve ourselves as human beings and martial artists, while at the same time contribute to the welfare of the world!
We humbly bow to those who have passed on the art of Shaolin Kung Fu from age to age, and seek to honor their legacy with our own contribution within this generation!
-Si Gong Robert Firestine
The Shaolin Master Path is dedicated to providing the tools of self-mastery in mind, body, and spirit, through the ancient art of Shaolin Kung Fu. This is the opportunity to become a better person and to build a better world. The Shaolin Temple never engaged in the vain pursuit of producing the best fighters in the world. It was committed in the training the whole person, to take the life-long journey of improving oneself in mind, body, and spirit. The Shaolin Master Path shares this intention, but with a modern approach. We are seeking good students who are humble, responsible, and respectful to share this journey and cultivate, vitality, skill, compassion, and wisdom.
The Shaolin Master Path includes basic training, self-defense, animal styles, weapon training, philosophy, meditation and energy cultivation.