If you love falling on the ground, and hopping around like a dog, you might just enjoy learning Dog kung Fu. Dog Kung Fu allows you to blind opponents with rhythmic fluidity, counter against injury, enhance ability to escape binding techniques, and improve relaxation and posture.
Originally, Dog Kung Fu, also known as DiShu Quan, was a secretive martial are known only to Chinese nuns. Legend says the art spread after the collapse of the Ming Dynasty around 1644. During this moment in Chinese history, Southern Shaolin monks and Fujian nuns joined the rebellion to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. It’s said that the art form was created by a nun named Si Yue. Back then, foot binding was still enforced on women, and made standing on two feet quite difficult. Therefore, the art of Dog Kung Fu was created, so the nuns could defend themselves from enemy soldiers, bandits, and wild animals. Si Yue eventually become ill, and was taken in by the Chen family. After her recovery, she felt indebted to them, and served their family for many years. During that time, she trained Chen Biao; and he and his following lineage kept the art a family secret for generations. Eventually, in 1937, a family descendent named YiJiu Chen, brought the art form into the public arena. In 1964, a student of YiJiu Chen named Zai Pei Lin, started Dog Kung Fu training, and eventually mastered the art. As a master, Zai Pei passed the teachings down to his son Zheng Quan Lin, and students in Fuzhou.
The Spread to the West
The western world finally came in contact with Dog Kung Fu in 2006. An Englishman by the name of Neil Johnson travelled and met Master Zai Pei Lin in China. Neil trained in the White Crane martial art for thirteen years, which gave him a good foundation for learning Dog Kung Fu. Neil was given a “stone of seal”, which gave him permission to teach the art outside of China.
Training starts with intense stretching, leg lifts, and squats meant to strengthen ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Foot work is emphasized, with two person timing and stepping exercises to teach in and out fighting techniques. After that, diving, rolling, and coiling maneuvers are taught, which help the student learn to move quickly around an opponent. This allows a student to move easily on the floor, and be ready to use binding techniques that render an opponent defenseless, and unable to move, or counter. Dog Kung Fu pattern, or DiShu patterns, train the body to move with ease, rhythm, and style.
The Bottom Line
The Dog Kung Fu system is only taught by a few select students who have proven their loyalty. It’s a tight-knit group that exist only within the WCFA club. More information on teaching, and the available classes can be found here. A video representation of the art form can be watched here.
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