Lion Dance Banner

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Lion Dance


To live your life in a martial way is not easy in the 21st Century. Indeed to pursue a martial career outside of its’ roots may be seen as a poor imitation. For anyone to truly learn any form of martial art it is important to understand its cultural background and the pursuit of such knowledge may be fraught with misconception. It is unfortunate when the roots are forgotten; conversely it is unfortunate when the desire for the origin leads to stagnation in the style.


This is not always so. Some styles have progressed, Sil Lum Kune in particular recognise that the Shaolin Temple was like a modern day university. This understanding has led its Chief Instructor,  Sifu Paul Burkinshaw, to develop the system. Together with his most trusted students they are constantly striving to improve the standards of their Kung Fu.

Part of the Sil Lum Kune syllabus includes learning the Traditional Lion Dance. Finding a definitive explanation of the Lion Dance in terms of the Chinese culture has proved elusive.

We have several troupes who perform the Lion Dance and are available to book for Chinese New Year, opening of new businesses, weddings and other special occasions.  Please look at the booking page for further details.


Two performers, one at the head and one at the tail of the lion execute the Lion Dance. It is a careful demonstration of stylised movements performed by either martial artists or acrobats. The eyelids, mouth and ears of the Lion's head all move, thus giving the Lion ‘Life’.  A drummer together with the accompaniment of the gong and cymbals controls the dance. Loud music and the use of firecrackers, relate to the role of the lion in dispelling evil and bringing good luck. The eating of the green rendering the lion drunk culminates in the regurgitation of the green spraying it over the audience before the lion skips away contented and tranquil.

The squad have been training and perfecting their routine for many years and their skill has been recognised across the country. For several years we just performed this dance as an opener to our own Kung Fu demonstrations. Then we began to get booking such as:-
Coventry Lifestyle event 2002 & 2003, Ryton Gardens Natural Living show near Coventry 2002 & 2003, Healthy Living Show Birmingham 2003 and then for the Coventry & Warwickshire Chinese Community at their Chinese Cultural day May 2003.

In 2004 the squad were invited to dance at the Chinese New Year Festival at many venues. They started the year at Cannon Park in Coventry followed by two restaurants in Birmingham performing for the Chung Ying and the Chung Ying Gardens on two consecutive nights. They then packed their costumes up to drive down to London where they were invited to perform with Iain Armstrong’s Nam Yang Pugilistic Association at the London Chinese Community’s festival in Trafalgar Square.

Later in 2004 Sil Lum Kune performed Lion Dances at many local schools, carnivals and festivals.  This has been followed in 2005 by performing at similar events such as Chinese New Year and we performed at a wedding ceremony in August.

Since then we have performed at many different events over the years and have gained more experience enhancing our dancing style and performance. We maintain links with Nam Yang and regularly train with their Lion Dance master Tan Tiong Beng. From 2013, we have trained with our Hark Fu Mun branch in Hong Kong under the guidance of Head Coach, Alan Low.