SUP BAK LOHAN SAU
18 LOHAN'S HANDS
José L. MELERO
Its full name is SUP BAK LOHAN SAU YI JIN GUNG KUEN and its meaning is “18 Lohan’s hands working for the physical conditioning of muscles, tendons and ligaments”.
Its origins go back to the 6th century of our time, when the Hindu monk Ta Mo (Bodhidhrarma) arrives at the Shaolin temple. Ta Mo creates some exercises to help their apprentices to heal their physical and energetic weaknesses during meditation.
These exercises combine a series of movements and yoga breathings and they are based on the imitation of the animal practiced in the temple. This gave birth to the form “18 Lohan’s hands”.
The form had been practiced and improved until the 19th century
by the monks. At that time the form was transmitted to
Chang Heung (founder of Choy Lee Fut System)
by the monk Choy Fok.
In the CLF system, this form was taught in the second
Kung fu level (CLF system has got three levels), but only to those
students that had been practicing for at least five or six years. In this way,
they were introduced into the Lohan Gung Qi Kung system.
Nowadays, this form is practiced in both CLF system and the therapeutic
and martial Qi Gong system.
This form works the three treasures of the traditional Chinese medicine
“SAM BAU: Jing, Chi, Shen”, emphasizing on the Jing aspect “essence”.
Its movements have very opposite phases (yin/yang). Its main objective
is to strengthen and get a physical conditioning of bones, muscles, tendons
and ligaments so as to get the necessary flexibility and elasticity in our bodies.
This will provide us with an optimal health. In addition, this form helps to
clean and drain the canals: meridians, lymphatic and blood vessels in order
to improve circulation of energy, blood and lymph.
The 18 exercises that give this form its name are grouped in the following sequences:
- Initial position (becoming aware of one’s physical, energetic and mental attitudes).
- Yin- Yang palms.
- Combination of animals.