Strong stances provide the foundation for generating power and the most important task for beginners is to build a firm foundation. Like a house, Kung Fu without foundation will most likely collapse. The first half of most beginner classes consists in practising techniques while holding stances, this ensures that strength is built in the correct places while the mind is engaged in learning or improving techniques.
Traditional forms can be quite long and are well-known for their elegance as well as an expression of martial power and speed. Most forms that we teach have a training purpose, as well as providing a catalogue of techniques in an easily-remembered format. As well as being able to execute a form correctly, students are required to understand each movement’s purpose and be able to use the techniques in practice.
Drills & Padwork
Drills are very important training tools because they teach the body to execute a sequence of movements automatically with speed and power. Padwork helps us to increase strength and power as well as firmimg up the hands, feet etc. Both of these exercises increase fitness and stamina.
Sparring allows us to practice our techniques in a fast-paced, high pressure and yet controlled and nurturing environment. Through a combination of exercises and free-sparring, students get single and multiple opponent combat experience in a safe setting. Sparring is also great for fitness, stamina, and confidence. A varied experience of partners is important and so more advanced students profit just as much from sparring with beginners.
Understanding applications is key for a martial art to have practical use in self-defence. This is how we understand how movements work and therefore also how to execute them correctly. Eventually this leads to an understanding of principles which can then be used to decipher other movements and styles.
Slow sparring increases sensitivity and relaxation, both of which are very important in Martial Arts. More aggressive techniques can be attempted as it is safe to do so slowly. Students learn to sense a great deal about their opponent’s intentions and balance through touch.
Weapon sparring and application is important for a full understanding of a weapon’s form. Although it is arguably less relevant in today’s world, it forms part of our inherited tradition besides being great fun!
Providing lion dances for community occasions is an important aspect of the traditional Kung Fu School. Lion dance is great for strength and adds a performance aspect to our art.
Conditioning makes the body strong enough to withstand blows while getting the mind accustomed to it as well. Traditional conditioning uses Dit Da medicine to help heal any bruises, thus we do not desensitize the nerves and ensure the skin stays healthy.
All of our exercises and movements are Qi Gong. Although initially the focus of training is mainly external, the internal energetic system is constantly being exercised. As the student progresses through the system, the focus becomes more and more internal. Our Qi Gong is great for your health, but it mainly seeks to generate power. At the highest level, the internal and external power are combined and in balance.
Martial Arts are about more than just fighting. As the student progresses, they will learn about different aspects of Chinese philosophy, including Five Element Theory, energetic anatomy, and martial philosophy such as the philosophy of the twelve bridges.
Grandmaster Yee chi Wai is a Chinese Doctor as well as a highly accomplished Martial Artist and scholar. He teaches cupping and Dit Da medicine among other things to his interested students.