I have devoted myself to boxing arts ever since childhood, more than twenty years. Over the course of these twenty years, I traveled north beyond Hebei west beyond Shaanxi, south and east to the coasts, and to the lakes everywhere in between. Of all that I have learned in my travels, Midnight Style Luohan Boxing is the best.
I learned this boxing set from my third teacher, the monk Qi Yue [“gazes up at the peak”], who himself learned the Shaolin art from the great master Mai Shu [“walks with distinction”], mastering both the internal and external skills. I had so far applied myself faithfully to the northern arts for six years, but due to my lack of talent, I never really managed to get a proper glimpse of their profundities, only scratching the surface. However, my teacher liked me, and so he decided in the end to go ahead and teach me this boxing set. He told me: “This art is known as Shaolin Mountain-Guarding Boxing. Going beyond Damo’s method of striking acupoints, it will take you the rest of the way into mastery.”
The Shaolin boxing art has shaken the world, and yet although everyone talks of Shaolin Boxing and Shaolin Staff, nobody knows about Shaolin’s “three levels”, divided into the “twelve styles”. The four styles of Midnight, Post-Midnight, Pre-Dawn, and Dawn are the higher level. The four styles of Post-Dawn, Pre-Noon, Noon, and Post-Noon are the middle level. The four styles of Pre-Dusk, Dusk, Post-Dusk, and Pre-Midnight are the lower level. At the highest level is the Mountain-Guarding set, which is not taught to laymen. Laymen may be taught no higher than the middle level, most commonly the Noon Style. The Midnight Style within the higher level is not only not taught to laymen, it is not even shown to them.
This set turns in all directions with a dragon’s proud poise and a tiger’s angry glare. It has the energy of a surging storm or a roaring wind. If you study it and become skillful at it, then when you feel pressed to retreat, you can use it to activate your abilities and amplify your bearing. This set ought to be taught, not hidden away as a treasure for oneself. I learned it and have been practicing it for the last six years. Although I have still not mastered it, I have gained much from the experience.
Now that the government is promoting Chinese martial arts, these arts have been given a better chance at survival. I have therefore decided to publish a book about this boxing set in order to share it with all those who may be interested. I only hope this action will not go against my teacher’s wishes. I simply fear that if I do not share this wonderful martial art, it will gradually slip into oblivion and become as extinct as the notorious Guangling Melody.