Chinese kung fu has "36 famous tactics" of fighting and self-defense:
# tactic 1 of 36 - "fleeing is the 1st tactic (走为上策)."
however, the first requirement for fighting is prowess. Buddha's 18 hands style teaches prowess. its main tactic is:
# tactic 2 of 36 - "no-fort tactic (空城计)": don't take cover behind your fear and weaknesses. keep calm, with no sign of fear or weakness and no pretense of offense or defense. it deters opponents.
this involves calmness and intense prowess in moves. __________________ - history:
this is the oldest style of Shaolin kung fu.
# Liang dynasty (502-557): Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, entered Shaolin temple in 527 AD. he made meditation part of Shaolin monks' daily routine. monks had simple exercises to recover after meditation and cultivate their body as well. they combined martial art and Zen to form the union of body and mind.
# Sui dynasty (581-618): according to the historical records of Shaolin temple, monks of Shaolin temple had a select set of simple moves based on expressions of daily activities and Buddhism. they later combined these moves into a combat form which was later called 'Buddha's 18 hands'. these are the most basic moves of Shaolin kung fu, based on which all other forms have been developed.