Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, Long Island NY
A bit about me, I've trained 5 years TKD, 4 Years AIKIDO, Judo my dad taught me.
I started training with this school about 7 years ago, and start and stopped for work related reasons. I am back now, and have a decent schedule that I make 3 classes a week.
When I first moved to Long Island from Florida, my intention was to continue training in Aikido, but the Dojo's I've tried I just didn't get the same vibe I got from my school in Florida. So I went off to look at different schools on the island. I settled on Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu, because of the level of energy in the classes. I'm not dedicated to any type of style, I enjoy training and training with people who are enthused.
This is a real martial art. Lohan Chuan is the name of the art. It fully encompasses the "Art" with the forms and the "Martial" aspect with the self defense, and sparring.
I go to classes Monday, Wednesday and Friday. All the classes are different, but the usual trend is: Monday: Forms, Wednesday: Self Defense, Friday: Sparring. Classes start off with some basic stretching, the strength training exercises are fun, we hold huge wooden buckets out at arms length for three minutes at a clip. Various Push ups, sit ups, holding deep stances to strengthen leg muscles. I've worked up a good sweat with the first twenty minutes of class and can feel it in my arms and legs. (especially the next day). It transitions to basic kung fu strikes and blocks, then to forms and/or self defense. The full contact sparring is on Friday nights, the class lasts about two and half hours. Everyone is gracious on taking it "at your level". I'm prone to amnesia, so my partners are gracious enough to avoid head shots even though I have full equipment on.
I'm still a beginner (yellow sash) but when I reach a higher level (orange sash) they teach traditional chinese weapons. Staff, swords (there are three types they train with), spear, shield, chain whip. They also teach Chin-nah(joint locks, small joint manipulation), Tai Chi and Chi-Gung. Tai Chi and Chi Gung I don't know enough about to comment.
The chief instructor Shih Gung (forgive my spelling) Gregg Zilb. This guy lives Kung Fu. I've met a lot of instructors in my day, but he really impresses me. He's one of those instructors that can pull off all the moves he teaches. He's in great shape, has no problems doing a lot of the more acrobatic type of moves, head stands, flips, you name it... and he's really, really fast. He can really teach also, has a great way of communicating a technique.
Aliveness: 10: This is most intense martial arts class I've ever been to. Should be noted, we've only done ground fighting a few times I've been there. It's mostly stand up striking.
Equipment: 9 I give this a 9, because there are a full range of staff's, swords etc. for each student to use. There is protective gear, though it shows it's wear. No "ring" or "cage" as it's not teaching sport.
Gym Size: 10: He just moved into a HUGE garage type of place in an industrial area. You could fit a few 18 wheelers in where we train. I'm not good with square feet sizes.. but that should give you an idea.
Instructor/Student Ratio: 10. Higher level Black Sashes usually teach the beginners class along with owner and there are always about two on average in class. For the children's classes, it's a black sash and high level sash (purple or red)
Atmosphere/Attitude: 10 It's over the top.
Striking Instruction:9 I'm not sure what "A" level means, so I give it a 9.. in my book it's a ten, they've already improved my striking, and I thought I was decent.
I don't consider Chin-Nah grappling, I consider BJJ grappling. Although we do a lot of the same joint locks. We don't work from "the guard" or submissions. It's more heavy on the self defense, not sport. (although all the sparring makes the students competent competition sparring fighters.)
Weapons: 8 A decent amount of different classical chinese weapons. Swords, Shield, chain whip, staff, spear. No contact, forms only, some self defense with the staff.
The link to his website: www.shaolinlohan.com
I am bored today so I came across this and figure I will put a review in.
I trained at this school for a little while and it is a hardcore school. Workouts our amazing and they push you to the limit however there is a identity problem with this school. I will just talk about their normal curriculum. They do many other forms after you finish the curriculum but I will not go into that.
I am stating facts in this below and are making no claims so don't get butt hurt about it.
This schools claims to perform the Lohan Chuan style however the style they really do is called famenchuan and they have other nothern kung fu forms incorporated into the system. They don't really like to put it out there because it is more secretive. That being said I have never met a kung fu practitioner that has heard of the style famenchuan and if they have they say it is a made up style created by Mariano Rivera. If you go to Mariano Rivera's website shaolinfamenchuan.com you can see his lineage and the form list in the system but many people say it was made up because the lineage can not be verified. You can find a lot on the internet about people saying that it was made up. Many of the postings are in spanish so you have to translate it. (I am not making any claims on whether this is true or not) So the 1st issue is the famenchuan style has no credibility within the kung fu and shaolin community as either no one has ever heard of it or they say it is made up. Now I have seen some of the famenchuan forms and can not believe they were made up so they must of come from somewhere or some other system. Now any chinese style can claim shaolin because that is were pretty much kung fu orignated from but if the style was not developed in the temple, does it make it shaolin style or a shaolin influenced style?
2nd issue. They fall back on the lohan chuan but they really do not perform any lohan chuan forms (at least in their curriculum). 2 of their forms are Leng Lo and Tunda which are part of the Long Fist curriculum. They do perform a version of tong bei chuan that is a little different form the version practiced at the shaolin temple.
They also perform a spear form that I have seen choy li fut practitioners (Mui Fa Sup Sam Cheung) do with a little different variation. They also perform a broadsword form that I have seen hungar practitioners do (fu mei darn do)with a little different variation. (I am not sure if they are nothern kung fu versions of the hung gar/choy li fut forms or not) These empty hand forms listed besides tong bei chuan are not shaolin forms.(fact. I am not making any false claims or disrespecting and to me there is nothing wrong with incorporating the forms into their practice) They are Nothern kung fu forms and are not practiced in shaolin. Their influence is Shaolin but the forms are not.
Like I said, I am making no claims. I am stating facts. Do the research.
So to recap. Toughest school I ever went to. They train like shaolin monks, they fight. The instructor keeps himself in great shape and is very talented. They just need to work out their identity. They dont really practice lohan chuan but incorporate training spects of lohan chuan and movements into there training so if someone who really practices the lohan chuan as a whole goes in there, they are going to be disappointed. Now they can call themselves famenchuan but who knows the truth about the lineage and who cares because it is a really well rounded system but to call it shaolin? I dont know ? I emailed many schools and even shaolin schools in china and they have never heard of it. So maybe they should call it Famenchuan kung fu or simply Nothern style kung fu as they incorporate other nothern forms into the system.
Fa Men Chuan was once called "Shaolin Tzu Kempo" (ie "Shaolin Temple Chuan Fa")
Nobody here is going to be impressed with the Fa Men Chuan videos out there, they are all forms and compliant demos.
How about some non-compliant video before we start saying they're a "tough" school. There is a lot of video online...so if they "fight" as you put it, where's that video.
This is performance art using longfist techniques with a shady lineage.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 10/24/2014 3:19pm at .
At least one Fa Men Chuan student participated on the lei tai in 2012 (blue). Still doesn't mean much I don't see anyone else participating from that school.
It doesn't look like he got very far, this is the only video I can find.
FYI the guy he's fighting practices "Pai Lum Tao" ("The way of the White Dragon"), another mashup art (tai chi, kenpo, sanshou) apparently from Hawaii in the 1950s.
I don't train there anymore. They have fight classes weekly . the workouts on right on par intensity wise with high school wrestling workouts which I did. As far as the famen chuan, U will not see any of the forms on YouTube. If u see a famenchuan practioner on YouTube performing a form, it is most likely a competition form and not part of the system. The school has some vids on their website. Shaolinlohan holtsville ny of the training
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
If you mean the link for videos at http://www.tayufamenchuan.com/en/index.html, it doesn't work anymore.
Originally Posted by aabugho
The forms listed here, then are all "Secretive" and "Shaolin"-based, invented by Mariano Rivera, then?
I am immediately unimpressed.
I took a look at the "Shaolin" mish mosh on that website. This "history" link in particular contains so much made-up crap and erroneous dates, I don't think I need to bother writing a critique. This, plus the 30+ "principles" of Fa Men Chuan seem to support those who say this is a "cultlike" school, complete with its own version of Shaolin history, and it's own moral vocabulary.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 10/25/2014 3:38pm at .
My previous schools website is shaolinlohan in holtsville NY(won't let me post a link) .Whether the system is legit or not, the school had great workouts.
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
I've trained at their sister school down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (the Sifu there is a student of Sigung Gregg Zilb) ... and learning that this may not be 'authentic' Lohan is a bit disconcerting as I was reconsidering training there. I had my suspicions. After I left the school I bought a number of books on Shaolin Lohan and don't recall seeing anything in those books taught in class.
I will more than likely be posting a review of that particular school.
Originally Posted by TheKaiserDragon
What is "authentic Luohan" in your own opinion, after reading those books?
Greg Zilb's instruction is like a copy of a copy. Apparently he's a grandmaster, but I'd fix so many things about his "Iron Bridge" demo. It's the little things that matter.
The one that pops into my mind is "Shaolin Lohan Kung-fu" by P'ng Chye Khim and Donn F. Draeger
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
I wouldn't know what 'authentic lohan' would be at this point, since now my suspicions are raised about what it was I was learning at their South Carolina school.