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How to do kung fu

How much is tuition?

After your Introductory Course you’ll sit down with an Instructor who will design a program to meet your goals and your budget. Your investment is in your personal, physical, and mental development!

When are the classes?

We have a very flexible schedule for all levels, Monday through Saturday. Our weekday classes run from late afternoon children’s classes to evening adult classes. Classes are divided by age and skill level.

Do I have to be in shape to join?

No, you don’t. Our Introductory course and Beginner’s class will ease you into the discipline of training and the initial exercises. Regardless of your fitness level, once you begin training you’ll start getting in shape and feeling immediate, positive results.

Am I too old to start learning Kung Fu?

At our Academy we have students from ages 4 to 74 training in their respective classes. Regardless of your age, the training will make you feel great. It’s an excellent way to improve your overall health, not to mention the benefit of learning how to protect yourself.

Is Kung Fu difficult to learn?

Not at all. You’ll find our classes to be fun, exciting and rewarding. Our instructors will guide you through our step by step curriculum of belt levels and help you achieve your personal goals.

Do I have to lose weight before I begin training?

No, You don’t. Getting started in our classes is the best way to begin losing the weight. As you continue your training, maintaining your ideal weight will be much easier.

Will learning Kung Fu help my child at school?

Yes, Because of the demands of the training, students develop better skills of focus, concentration, and discipline, which help them tremendously in their academics as well as in their extra-curricular activities.

Do many women train in Kung Fu?

Yes. Our classes have many women learning self-defense and achieving personal fitness goals. Half of our Senior Instructors are women. Many of the self-defense techniques are especially great for women as they rely on speed and accuracy as opposed to brute force. And kicking is one of the most efficient ways to tone muscles.

How do I get started?

Call or email us and set up your Introductory Course.

What style of martial arts do you teach?

We teach a style of Kung Fu called Choy Lay Fut. A well-known style from southern China, Choy Lay Fut is known for practicality. It contains a wide variety of self-defense and fighting techniques, including strikes with all parts of the body, lots of kicks as well as joint locks and takedowns. It is known as a complete martial art because all techniques are used, as well as weapons.

How is Kung Fu different than Karate or Taekwondo?

Kung Fu is from China, Karate is from Japan, and Taekwondo is from Korea. While all are excellent Asian martial arts, Kung Fu is arguably far older than the other styles. It is less widely taught in the United States, since the Chinese wanted to keep it secret from Westerners until Bruce Lee helped open up Kung Fu to the world. However, Kung Fu is the martial art we associate with movies!

How large are the classes?

While they are usually small, each class is taught by at least two Senior Instructors as well as one or two additional Assistant Instructors. Our student-to-teacher ratio is second to none!

What kind of programs do you offer?

Students typically train twice a week, but some more and some less. Our Tiger Team, the youngest students, learn real martial arts, but in an age-appropriate curriculum. Our Juniors learn most of what the adults learn, but again in an age-appropriate manner. All students learn discipline and respect, have fun, and, with time, become excellent martial artists. We will design a program that best suits your needs.

Do you teach weapons?

Yes. Intermediate students learn the staff, and more advanced students learn broadsword, spear, as well as more exotic weapons such as fan, double butterfly knives, 3-section staff, etc.

Do you teach cardio kickboxing?

Our kickboxing workout provides all the benefits of cardio kickboxing, but it is taught by instructors who will teach you practical self-defense and effective kicks and punches.

Is Kung Fu good for fitness?

Kung Fu is an excellent workout for all parts of the body. You will develop core strength, flexibility, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance. You will also engage your mind and spirit in a way that few exercise programs can match.

What ages do you teach?

Ages 4 to 74, in classes divided by age and skill level. Age is no barrier.

Will I learn self-defense?

Yes. In addition to fitness, and mental and emotional development, Kung Fu is all about practical self-defense. But we believe that self-defense is much more than techniques: it is an attitude which comes from confidence.

Do you do competitions? Do I have to compete?

We do competitions, both in-house and international tournaments. Competition is not required, but we believe it can provide motivation and challenge, as well as teaching sportsmanship and improving self-confidence.

In the United States, martial arts are more popular than ever. In fact, did you know that it’s a 4 billion dollar industry?

If you’re considering martial arts either for yourself or your child, it’s a great choice! There are so many benefits to both your physical and mental health. But it can be tough to commit to something new.

That’s why we put together this guide with 10 reasons you should learn martial arts. Check it out below.

1. Increased Confidence

Increased confidence is something that martial artists of all ages enjoy. Whether it’s for you or your child, martial arts can help you improve your confidence.

Practicing, improving, and succeeding at a skill improves self-image and gives participants confidence that they can succeed in other areas and ventures.

In fact children who participate in karate or a similar martial art show improved confidence and even better performance in school. So, if you’re looking to improve your child’s self-confidence or yours, martial arts are a great activity to do so.

2. Full Body Workout

Are you looking for a new form of exercise? Martial arts is your answer.

That’s because martial arts truly provide a full body workout. The consistent practice has shown to increase overall mobility, improve your body’s pressure response, and increase muscle.

Because so many martial arts involve repeat muscular actions over time you’ll build strength and burn fat. Who doesn’t want that?

Looking for a way to increase strength and build muscle quickly and intensely? Kempo can do it for you. It’s a full-body martial art that combines the athletic abilities of Karate, Judo, Kung-Fu, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This is an ideal martial arts system to accomplish those goals.

3. Increased Flexibility

Repetitive movements like high kicks, low stances, fancy footwork, and ground maneuvering improve flexibility and mobility which will benefit your overall health.

Did you know that flexibility has many health benefits ? Some of them include:

Better freedom of movement

Reduced muscle soreness and tension

Improved relaxation of mind and body

Reduced risk of injury

The multi-directional movement of Kempo makes it a perfect martial art for those who want to improve flexibility. If flexibility is your goal, try it out!

4. Better Coordination

All martial arts require spacial awareness and coordinating movement with another person. Some martial arts even include the use of props and tools.

All of these factors improve the coordination and awareness of the participant’s body as well as the people and objects around them.

Practices like Kempo encourage the lower part of the body to act as a base from which the upper body can maneuver and operate – this idea has been borrowed by many martial art systems including Krav Maga.

5. Self Defense Skills

One obvious benefit to learning martial arts is an improved ability to perform self-defense maneuvers in situations where there is a real threat.

According to recent data, an aggravated assault occurs every 43 seconds in the United States. Martial arts can prepare practitioners to defend themselves in life-threatening and dangerous situations.

This is great for you but also really great for your children as well.

6. Lower Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

Participants in martial arts have been shown to have lower blood pressure and heart rates. But that’s not all.

Because of its similarity to H.I.I.T. (high intensity interval training), martial arts can improve overall heart health, lower cholesterol, and provide more regulated blood sugar and insulin levels. Say hello to a healthier body happier life!

Martial artists enjoy all the physical benefits of regular exercise without having to run on a treadmill or lift weights. It’s a great option to improve your health.

7. Want to Improve Your Mental Stamina? Learn Martial Arts

Recent research showed that aerobic exercise (like martial arts) actually produced a physical change in the brain that promotes better memory and learning skills .

The same study observed that a new case of dementia is observed every four seconds globally. Those who want to prevent this debilitating condition can fight it by participating in martial arts.

This is a great benefit that many people aren’t aware of when it comes to martial arts.

8. Improved Social Skills

Martial arts can also help you develop social skills. This is because of the team environment. You’re working alongside people with the same goals as you, learning and growing together.

This is especially beneficial for children. In martial arts classes, they’ll be able to learn how to resolve conflicts, make new friends, and show compassion.

Being in a new environment can be scary for kids, but learning how to navigate that situation in a safe controlled environment is a great skill that will benefit them for life.

9. Develop Self Discipline

By attending martial arts classes you’ll become accustomed to direction and structure. In this environment you have to pay attention to the task at hand and rid your mind of distractions.

It’s also crucial to realize that achieving your martial arts goals depends on you. No one else can do it for you. This promotes self-reliance and independence!

You’re the one who needs to put in the work to improve and grow. To be your best, you need to be dedicated and put in the required effort.

As you progress you’ll gain self-discipline that will be beneficial in every other aspect of your life as well.

10. Stress Relief

Did you know that practicing martial arts can help relieve stress? Often this is accomplished by focusing on the present and things you can control. Many forms of martial arts also emphasize being in complete control of your breathing and thoughts.

When you do this you’re learning a skill that can be applied throughout all areas of life. When you’re more focused and confident and your thoughts are more clear you’ll relieve yourself of stress in so many other parts of life too.

More than anything, going to martial arts class will help you leave with an increased mental focus and a greater appreciation for the world around you through a fun, safe, and challenging workout in an encouraging environment with like-minded people.

Now What?

Now that you’ve read all about all these reasons why you should learn martial arts it’s time to get started. Make the decision today to push yourself to a new level of personal performance.

In no time, you’ll be reaping all the benefits of learning martial arts. So just do it and get started today.

If you have questions or want help getting started to learn martial arts in Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Camarillo, or Oak Park, Ca, contact us today. We’re here to help with anything you need to take your first step.

Often misunderstood as a unique martial art, kung fu is a term encompassing all of the many Chinese martial arts. Kung fu training can be highly beneficial to a person’s physical and mental health. It teaches self-defense through the practice of kicks, pivots, and punches while simultaneously improving flexibility and strength. Other benefits of Kung Fu are increased blood circulation, lower blood pressure, stress relief, improved concentration, and discipline, as well as providing a sense of community.

Table of Contents

History

Kung fu is a Chinese phrase that means a skill learned over time through hard work, more literally, human achievement. Over time, kung fu came to be used as a term representing all Chinese martial arts. Tracing kung fu’s history is extremely difficult because preserving the teachings in writing was forbidden, but historians have theorized that the first form of kung fu originated around 211 BC. The Shaolin monks of the 5th century AD introduced the more modern versions of kung fu known today.

Playing Surface

Kung fu training doesn’t take place on a regulation court or field, as is common in other sports. Kung Fu is practiced both indoors and outdoors. It may be beneficial to practice Kung Fu on padded flooring to prevent injury, but there aren’t any rules specifying this. In China it is common to train on grass, dirt, stone, or wooden floors provided there is room to maneuver.

Kung Fu Equipment

The Chinese martial arts can be practiced alone or in a group with an instructor. There are a variety of training tools and equipment available to improve fitness, strength, and technique while practicing. Protective equipment is also available and highly recommended due to the repeated striking during training. Another category of kung fu equipment is weaponry. Due to the danger involved in traditional kung fu weapons, training may involve a safer alternative.

Here is the essential kung fu equipment you should have:

  • Balance poles
  • Gloves
  • Leg Wraps
  • Nunchucks
  • Shoes
  • Sticks
  • Striking dummy
  • Swords
  • Throwing weapons
  • Uniform

Objectives

The three main objectives of kung fu training are combat efficiency, health, fitness, and character development. Combat efficiency mainly focuses on self-defense in the event of an attack. Athletes training for competition will focus on offensive combat as well. Repeatedly practicing punches, kicks and pivots will provide strength and flexibility to the athlete’s physique. Health benefits include lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, strengthening the immune system, and lowering stress. Kung fu can also improve confidence, self-expression, and self-discipline.

Rules and Regulations

There are many martial arts techniques that comprise kung fu, so the rules may vary among them. Kung fu stresses the rules of conduct and character as highly as those of combat. The way you behave toward your instructor and fellow students is as important as how you perform in competition.

Here are the most important kung fu rules you should know:

  • Respect and loyalty to your instructors and your club
  • Wear the proper uniform
  • Be humble, don’t show off your skills
  • Students do not teach unless instructed to do so
  • Salute with an open palm and fist before competing
  • Compete only against others in your skill level (based on experience)

Techniques

There are so many styles of kung fu that it is impossible to master them all. Some styles are better suited to large, physically solid athletes, and others more suitable for smaller, agile athletes. However, all kung fu styles require expertise in four major techniques. Some styles are known for complex hand movements while others stress using the legs as a primary weapon.

Here are the most important kung fu techniques you should know:

  • Kicking
  • Hitting
  • Grabbing
  • Throwing
  • Weapon training

Lingo

Here is the common terminology and slang in kung fu:

  • Combat training: a workout preparing a technically trained competitor for a fight.
  • Fa Jing: the explosive power a good fighter is able to release on their opponent. It requires special training.
  • Faints: A technique used by fighters to deceive the opponent by simulating the beginning of a strike but not completing it.
  • Full-contact: A competition that allows the competitors to hit each other at full power, within the rules of the competition.
  • Openings: A way to reach the target that the opponent is attempting to block with their defense.
  • Shifu: Also called “master”, a person that based on experience and knowledge is able to teach others.
  • Strike: Offensive contact against the opponent made with the hand, arm, or leg.

Practitioners

There aren’t any Olympic or World Championship Kung Fu competition broadcasts as you find in other combat sports. Famous kung fu athletes are known through other endeavors.

Kung fu didn’t become a popular term in America until the 1960s when Hollywood began making fighting movies featuring Bruce Lee, undoubtedly the most famous of all kung fu athletes. The majority of famous kung fu athletes gained their notoriety through motion pictures.

Here are the most famous kung fu players you should know:

  • Bruce Lee
  • Jackie Chan
  • Jet Li
  • Biao Yuen

Events and Competitions

There are many kung fu competitions across the globe every year. Most of these events take place in local clubs or gyms among small communities. The best of these competitors may have their sights on more significant competitions and awards. While not very familiar to most Americans due to little publicity, a few large Kung Fu competitions are held every year.

Here are the most popular tournaments in Kung Fu:

World Kung Fu Championships (WKFC): Hosted every two years by the International Wushu Federation in China. It is a tournament where competitors of all ages and skill levels can compete in a wide variety of events. The event focuses on building friendships and interest in kung fu.

International Chinese Martial Arts Championship: Takes place in the United States. It is an event where Kung Fu practitioners of all skill levels and ages compete against their peers to determine a champion.

Bows. We use them so often in Kung Fu – in our forms, before we enter or exit the kwoon, and to begin our classes. Simple as they may appear, there are many layers of symbolism to bowing. For example, the closed hand may represent war or aggression, and the open hand peace. By covering aggression with peace, we tell someone that there is power within us, but we choose the path of nonviolence. In another way, we could use the bow to represent the opposites of yin (open, soft) and yang (closed, hard). There are many theories on what the bows could mean, and there is no one right answer. Even the three bows before class have their own individual meanings:

  1. Ancestors (or Masters):
    An ancestor is a person from whom we are descended, like a great-great grandparent. In Kung Fu, this term refers to many people, from the monks who created the martial art thousands of years ago, to their first students, all the way to Grand Master Pan and Sigung Bob who shaped the Kung Fu of our school. This first bow is a sign of respect to the past and to honour the work they did to keep Kung Fu going. Just think – without our ancestors to pass down the skills and knowledge of martial arts, there would be no Kung Fu to practice!
  2. Sigung:
    Our second bow is to Sigung, who is both owner and head instructor of our school. He teaches everyone at WKFA, from Little Ninjas all the way through Black Sash (the learning doesn’t stop once you become a Sifu!). Sigung also sets the tone for the school by honouring the traditions of our ancestors while still allowing our Kung Fu to evolve and grow. Bowing to Sigung before class is a sign of respect and thanks for all the hard work he does to make the Academy an awesome Kung Fu community.
  3. Everyone:
    Kung Fu teaches us to have respect for those around us, and the third bow is a sign that we will uphold that. It is a promise to your classmates, instructors, and yourself that you will try your best and work hard during class. The third bow honours the future of Kung Fu – you! As you continue to train and move forward in your Kung Fu journey, it will become your responsibility to teach the next generation of students how to be martial artists.

Everything we do in Kung Fu has purpose or meaning behind it, and the three bows before class are no exception. Our martial art is founded on a philosophy of respect and honour for the past, present, and future. Each bow is a way to acknowledge these aspects of Kung Fu, and every time we bow in for class, it is a promise to uphold these values while we train. So remember what you’re promising next time you bow!

San Antonio Kung Fu & Tai Chi features in-person instruction for kids, adults, or seniors. Our in-person classes are held at our brand new in-person training facility. Come join our family!

San Antonio Kung Fu & Tai Chi features online & in-person instruction for kids, adults, or seniors. Our in-person classes are held at our brand new in-person training facility. Come join our family!

Our Class Offerings

Adult Kung Fu

Improve your confidence, discipline, and focus in our friendly community. Our instructors provide an engaging and fun environment for you to enhance your self-defense skills, strength, and flexibility.

Adult Tai Chi

Learn the benefits of relaxation as you build stronger back, legs, and knees in a relaxing tranquil practice. Improving your mind-body awareness, flexibility, and focus are primary focal points of instruction at our adult tai chi classes.

Seniors Tai Chi (Ages 65+)

Learn Tai Chi to increase your flexibility and reduce blood pressure through these gentle exercises in our supportive community of individuals with similar goals.

Kids Kung Fu

Prepare your children (ages 4-11) by promoting confidence through self-discipline and fitness. Our instructors foster a caring and supportive environment as your children learn effective self-defense skills.

The Biggest Kung Fu – Tai Chi School in Texas!

6203 Krempen Ave #101 San Antonio, TX 78233

Off Judson Rd.
1 mile West of IH-35
In Judson Business Park

210-340-7811

What Our Students Say

It’s a really welcoming and accepting environment. Plenty of work and growth to go around! I didn’t feel self conscious or out of place. Nothing but but good energy!

– WYLEAH SCHLEIFER

“I can’t say enough positive about Master Ryan and his mastery of Kung Fu and Tai Chi and his motivational skills that even persons advanced in years and not in prime physical health are no longer a barrier to this beautiful artistic combat. The personal instruction in each class is AMAZING!”

– JOHN VALDEZ

Thank You Master Ryan for the wonderful inspiration. My granddaughter is 7 and has ADHD. I searched for six months for the right school and finally found it at South Texas Kung Fu. She’s only been attending for two months but already there is a marked increase in her confidence and agility. She is very proud of what she has achieved!