HomeQ&ASauna Use in Kung Fu and Wu Shu Training

Sauna Use in Kung Fu and Wu Shu Training

Wu Shu external body-conditioning massage is ideally done onto bare skin (although effective still performed through light training gear). Lots of skin is exposed consistently when we sauna.

Long ago I asked my most esteemed Teacher, Grandmaster Yap Leong, about Wu Shu massage in saunas. He replied: ‘What do you think it’s like in parts of S.E. Asia?’. With such down-to-earth encouragement I began practice in earnest.

General Sauna Benefits:

i.the internal organs, which must work harder to cool the body down, receive a mild workout;

ii. extremes of heat and cold (cold showers and plunge pools) enhance the body’s adaptive response mechanisms, helping it to cope with extreme training;

iii. replacing old, stale internal water with new (via hydration during sessions) helps keep spinal cord and brain stem healthy and encourages general detoxification.

Saunas and Wu Shu Massage

30% of body toxins are eliminated via the skin, including stale sha qi whicn the body must remove as surely as it must assimilate fresh sheng qi. Saunaing aids Wu Shu massage to do just this (amongst other things) via anti-clockwise massage in particular.

Wu Shu lower body massage is difficult to teach and practise as the lower limbs are always fully covered. In saunas (or other times when students are unclothed) this is more easily performed and includes the following routines.

Ideally these exercises should be performed seated.

Massaging Front and Inside Thighs

With the right hand massage the front of the left thigh 50x in anti-clockwise fashion before repeating this on the right thigh with the left hand. With the right hand then massage the inside of the left thigh 50x anti-clockwise before repeating this with left hand on right thigh similarly.

Using right hand on the left thigh (and vice-versa) encourages underlying muscles to link the two sides of the body and arms and legs together enhancing Wu Shu/ Kung fu performance. Such massage ‘processes’ fat accumulating here making it more readily metabolisable as an energy source.

Massaging Front and Inside Calves

Do this in similar right-left fashion for the same number of repetitions. Excessive dead skin hinders natural elimination of stale sha qi, the exfoliation these routines promote further encourages this process.

Massaging Yangquan

The ‘bubbling spring’ pressure point at foot-arch’s highest point(between sole and heel) a major qi assimilation and elimination point needs conditioning accordingly. With the flat of the right hand massage the left foot Yangquan 50x anti-clockwise before repeating this with left hand on the right Yangquan similarly. The feet’s floor-gripping abilities improve considerably over time.


Whilst modern gyms, health-clubs and life-styles feature sauna use significantly fhese routines work as indicated wherever performed.

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