Frenquently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Wushu & Kung Fu
1. What is Wushu (武术) or Wu Shu?
Wu Shu, or Wushu (or Kung Fu) is a general term to all kinds of Chinese Martial Arts and is regarded as the origin for many of the Asian Martial Arts. For Wushu, there are Internal (such as Taiji Quan) or External (such as Shaolin Long Fist) styles. Wushu can be used for competition and sparring as well as physical health, and can incorporate barehand or weapons techniques.
For the first lesson, you may wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes and sensible training shoes. After you register, you should buy a school uniform, including training pants, T-shirt and training shoes.
Yes. You will learn application and how to defend while you learn non-contact style Wushu. You may focus on styles emphasising either self-defense or competition and performance.
Yes. You can learn different weapons when you pass the necessary training and reached a certain rank level in the barehand forms. Weapon training is carefully guided and follows strict safety requirements.
Chinese Kung Fu, called Wushu, is one kind of the martial arts. It is an ancient method of training people’s mind, body and spirit to act as one. Martial arts practitioners strive for harmony, but also learn effective and often devastating self-defense techniques. Children who get involved in martial arts can receive many benefits in several areas of life.
Fitness is a crucial element to all martial arts classes, especially where children are involved. Warm ups with smooth movement of all joints, jumping, pushups and stretches are common, and the movements of the Wushu itself often challenge your muscles and cardiovascular system. Wushu is known for being toned, flexible and physically fitness, and your child will be no different. As obesity remains a steady and growing epidemic in our society, Wushu may serve to facilitate the problem.
By exercising Wushu, the ability to defend kids against an assailant is an empowering feeling. Most martial arts use self defense as a cornerstone of the entire program. The precise methods will vary from discipline to discipline, but you can be certain that with regular practice with Wushu, your child will learn to defend himself in a variety of different ways.
Like all other martial arts, Wushu can help instill mental focus in your child, giving her the ability to concentrate on a task and see it through to its conclusion. The discipline that is taught in the classes in regard to masters, customs and techniques often translates into other areas of life, including school and household chores.
In addition, there is an inherent emphasis on discipline, focus and respect in the martial tradition. A series of values, traditionally known as ‘Wu De’- Martial Ethics, are inseparable from practice in the arts. Children learn to bow to the masters who came before them, and to their current instructors. They also learn to treat other students as they wish to be treated.
A child who is involved in martial arts is generally a child who is confident in herself. Working through a martial art and the belt ranking system gives a child measurable goal to follow that are realistic to attain. The sense of accomplishment a child feels by mastering a new technique or graduating to a new belt follows him everywhere he goes.
Taichi, Tai Chi or Taiji
1. What is Tai Chi (太极)?
Tai Chi, literally means "Supreme or Ultimate", in reference to a concept in Taoist philosophy. It is one of the most popular forms of Chinese martial art. Tai Chi consists of soft, relaxed (usually) slow movements and is known to reduce stress, increase balance, lower blood pressure and improve general health. Tai Chi Quan is one of the three Chinese Internal martial arts (Neijia,内家), the other two being Xing Yi Quan (形意拳) and Ba Gua Zhang (八卦掌). Tai Chi is symbolized by the swirling "Yin-Yang", which represents the complimentary opposites. Tai Chi is not only a physical exercise, but a philosophy of life.
Strictly speaking, they are different. "Tai Chi or Taiji", literally means "the grand ultimate", and represents the cosmos, whereas Tai Chi Chuan, "the grand ultimate fist", is a martial art. Besides Tai Chi Chuan, the concept of Tai Chi is found in many Chinese disciplines, such as Taoism, philosophy, metaphysics, feng shui (the Chinese science of environmental energy) and military strategy. Nevertheless, many people in the West and China shorten the term Tai Chi Chuan to Taiji/Tai Chi. Many who say they do Taiji actually practice an edited form of Tai Chi Chuan without its martial dimension. One may practice Taiji, but not necessarily Tai Chi Chuan, which is a serious martial art demanding great effort and endurance.
Yes, although some teachers only teach the health aspects. Even though Tai Chi is practiced globally for fitness and longevity, there are effective self-defense characteristics contained within its movements. In fact, all movements found in the basics and routines can be used to defend and attack. Approximately 90% of beginners practice purely for health reasons at first, but many go on to embrace the complete art.
Tai Chi Chuan masters have categorized the benefits of Tai Chi Chuan into three levels: good health, self-defense and spiritual balance. Exercising Tai Chi is an excellent way to promote physical, emotional and mental health. More detail benefits include, but are not limited to: ** increased physical energy
** improved balance and coordination
** enhanced focus and clarity
** increased metabolism and weight control
** reduced stress levels and fatigue
** blood pressure reduction
** relief from chronic conditions
** increased core strength and flexibility
No. There are many styles and sub-styles, the most common being Chen (陈), Yang (杨), Sun (孙), Wu (吴) and Wu (武). The first and earliest form of Tai Chi is Chen’s Tai Chi Chuan, created by Grand master Chen Wang Ting (1600-1680) in Chen village, Henan province, China. From Chen Style, Yang Lu Chan (1799-1872) evolved Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan. Combining the best of Chen Style and Yang Style, Wu Yu Xiang (1813-1880) developed Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan. A descendent from the Yang's linage, Wu Chuan You (1834-1902) developed another Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan. These two Wu's are pronounced and written differently in Chinese. Sun Lu Tang (1861-1932) combined elements from Tai Chi Chuan, Baguaquan and Xinyiquan into Sun Style Tai Chi Chuan.
Chen’s Tai Chi is the parent form of all Tai Chi Chuan styles, created in Chen village by the Chen family almost 400 years ago. It is a style that combines both hard and soft elements, and is said to be the most effective style of Tai Chi in terms of self-defense. It is characterized by it’s low stances, Shaolin footwork, twining and explosive power (fa jin).
Chen’s Tai Chi is the martial art created by the Chen family, handed down from generation to generation. Chen-style also comes from the Chen family, however may possess many variations from the original. This is due to different interpretations taught by different masters throughout the years. The style that Grand Master Chen Zhenglei and his affiliates teach around the world is Chen’s Tai Chi. Grand Master Chen Zhenglei is the 19th generation Chen family member and 11th generation in the Chen Tai Chi Chuan lineage.
Yes. It is adapted according to the abilities of it’s students. Some of the harder elements are not practiced by the elderly, and focus is put on soft movements and circulating qi(chi) energy. Younger students meanwhile enjoy Chen’s harder aspects. Practitioners from a broad range of ages, (teens to those in their 80's & 90's) enjoy Tai Chi. There are different programs for various ages, physical conditions and levels. Some classes are specifically targeted to seniors over 80 and wheelchair users, as exercises can be done while seated. One should consult their physician before signing up for a Tai Chi class. Many doctors encourage patients to try Tai Chi.
Yes, you can. Only thing you should keep in mind is that you just follow the specific requirements of the style. The main basic requirements for all kinds of Tai Chi are almost the same.
Qi (pronounced Chi) is the life force or internal energy that flows through all living beings, believed to be produced by the kidneys. Our thoughts affect the Chi and how we feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. The combined principles of softness, circularity, polarity, synchronicity, and continuity in Tai Chi activate, circulate, and balance our Life Force in a way that allows the Chi to flow freely, and healthfully, within the individual. As Chi circulates without hindrance, it allows us to: cope with everyday life & stress with greater ease quiet the mind, while remaining alert & focused be gentle and non-judgmental of self & others release rigid mindsets overcome problems through softness & yielding, rather than hardness & force.
Qi Gong or Chi Kung, often described as energetics by Oriental Medical Doctors, translates to "breath" (Chi) & "practice" (Kung, as in Kung Fu, which means excellence through long-term practice). Breath is understood as a whole-body experience, which creates and influences balance (of the organs and the whole body itself), focus, strength, and awareness. It is a form of meditation. It is sometimes referred to as tai chi exercise, but is a generic name for a whole range of energy work, dealing with one’s meridians(channels) and acupressure points. It may include standing meditation, or gentle movements. It focuses on the generation, harnessing and distribution of one’s internal energy (Qi).
**Chi Kung (Qigong) which may be stationary or moving meditation
**Practice of Tai Chi forms i.e Silk reeling
**Push Hands (tui shou) - a two person exercise usually taught at intermediate levels
**Routines and weapon forms in more advanced classes
**A practioner should wear comfortable clothing such as track/jogging pants, t-shirt and running shoes.