Chinese martial arts are complicated in structure and abundant in school. According to historical records, Shaolin Kungfu is the one school among a myriad of Chinese martial arts schools, which enjoys a long history and a complete spiritual, physical, and intellectual system. Shaolin Kungfu is not one martial art school or a form of Quan techniques in its literal sense, but rather a profound martial arts system with rich contents. Shaolin Kungfu can be classified into two types: barehanded, and weapons, while the weapons can be divided into long weapons, short weapons, and soft weapons and so on; based on the types of skills, Kungfu can also be classified into several decades of skills, for example, Quan, staff, broadsword, spear, sword, skill strike and Qigong. In the early years when Kungfu was formed most martial arts were for practical combat and gradually developed into rich movements and finally formed a complex set of Kungfu.
According to the Kungfu guidebooks handed down in the Shaolin Temple, Shaolin Kungfu has 708 series of movement, including 552 series of Quan and weapon techniques and other 156 series like 72 unique skills, Qi Gong, grappling, wrestling, attacking a vital point of the body, etc. The total extant series of Kungfu movements numbers 545, including 178 Quan series, 193 weapon series, 59 combat series as well as 115 other series. These forms and skills form an elaborate Kungfu system, affiliated with the Shaolin culture.