The structure of the system
As in all kung fu styles it is important to build a strong foundation from which the more acrobatic, demanding techniques can be developed. After a certain time of purely practising the standing position you enter the system with the old form San jun (三君) that dates back to daoist times. Nowadays the five so-called pupil forms follow. They present a mixture of the different subsystems of Da Sheng Men. This is followed by specialising in order to master one of the five foundation systems: wood (木), stone (石), low (沈), shy(迷) or drunken (醉) monkey. The drunken monkey is so sophisticated that it can only be mastered after learning two other systems. The wood and stone monkey are tought together and form a combined system.
The social function of the substyles
Through our knowledge of the certain substyles within the system we can gain insights into the organisation of the system during earlier times. Wuxing hou (monkey of the five transformation stages) or black and white monkey were guardians of the school, yellow monkey protected the Grandmaster. Forms of social function seemed to be connected with particular subsystems. This seems to have been a form of military organisation, more evidence of the military history of the Aw (胡) family.
After passing through the training of the five pupil forms you start with the first Qi Gong exercises. Methods to support and consciously control breathing and movement, tension and relaxation of the muscles are taught. During the further course of the training the different weapon systems are included. The handling of the following weapons is taught:
- double stick
- walking stick
- butterfly swords
- three-section staff
- monkey Ring
Martial arts and medicine belong together
Grand master Hu and also the teacher of the school, Thomas Quehl, both treat patients in their practices according to the principles of Chinese Medicine. Certain methods of treatment from Da Sheng Men are also applied. To treat injuries and to gain a general knowledge of Chinese Medicine, different massage techniques are taught during training.