The legend of the Lohan is that in the sixth century A.D., Bodhidharma travelled from India to China to spread his teachings of Buddhism. He came to the Shaolin Temple, the birthplace of Wushu (martial art) in China. He noticed, that during his teaching, the monks often fell asleep because of their poor physical condition. He therefore introduced his exercises of sinew change, called the “18 Arhat Methods”, to improve their health and assist their meditation. The emphasis was on rhythmic breathing, bending, stretching and dynamic energy meditation.
The story I use to remember the form is.
The warrior monks travelling from India to China are mounted on their horses. Opening the form the warriors mount their horses. To travel that vast distance, India to China, they scan the horizon and navigate by the seven stars. Travelling on horseback they often pause to water and rest their horses. When the finally arrive they in china they open the heavy gates of the city and begin to spread the energy of the Qi. To close, the warriors have integrated Chinese ways and so flex they tails and settle in meditation.
- Opening – gather, open left, open right, mount the horse.
- SERPENT COILS THE RING – scan the horizon
- CHASING THE SEVEN STARS – navigate by the stars
- WARRIOR SCOOPS WATER
- LOTUS SPIRALS DOWNWARDS
- HORSE DRINKS WATER
- LOHAN OPENS THE GATE – left then right
- FOCUSING THE CHI – left, right, front.
- DRAGON FLEXES TAIL – gather and high prayer
Learn the form with a Master. Rod Ferguson.
An alternative and different version – Shaolin 13 Luohan QiGong