Do You Fully Understand the Benefits of Kung Fu?

In Category Maidstone Kung Ku
BySifu Lee Jacobs

Kung Fu – if the first thing you think of is Bruce Lee, you aren’t alone, and while Bruce Lee may have made the word Kung Fu a household word, many people still are unsure of what exactly it entails, and what the benefits of Kung Fu are.

If want to really understand the benefits, take the time to talk to the people who are taking Kung Fu – moms, dads, children, professionals, seniors…well just about anybody. What you will hear repeated often is that ‘Kung Fu is a holistic path to achieving excellent health and getting into your best shape.’

Yes, Kung Fu is demanding physically, but it is definitely achievable with hard work. For children what parents love is the fact that Kung Fu is about more than just techniques. Children are taught dedication, discipline, and hard work.  The values learned at Kung Fu can support them throughout their lives.

Kung Fu refers to Chinese martial arts, which originated in the Shaolin Temple. It was here that the monks during their quest for enlightenment practiced Kung Fu for self defence and overall health.

The first Shaolin temple built in 377 AD, was a Buddhist monastery in the Henan province. In 527 AD Bodhidharma (Da Mo) a Buddhist prince, travelled to the temple for a religious teaching, only to find that the monks were weak and in poor health. To give the monks vitality Bodhidharma locked himself in a room meditating for nine years. Yi Jin Jing, were his resulting works. This was a series of exercises Bodhidharma developed to improve vitality, internal energy, and strength. It is considered the original martial arts.

Historically, you will see that Kung Fu was an important part of the Chinese government leaders and scholars. Kung Fu had great value placed on it by the Chinese people because it taught morality, humility, patience, and respect.

Many believe that Kung Fu is a single martial art like Aikido or Taekwondo. Actually, Kung Fu includes hundreds of different Chinese martial arts styles such as Eagle Claw or Long Fist.

Another common mistake is believing that Kung Fu is a ‘soft style’ compared to Karate. Not true. Kung Fu is made up of both hard and soft techniques. Kung Fu contains both external and internal components.

The Teaching of Kung Fu

Your first Kung Fu class may be a bit daunting as you are faced with tons of new information. You will also learn exercises for vital energy and muscle power. You will learn movements that incorporate your hands, arms, legs, feet, eyes, trunk, and breathe. Each of the movements has a specific purpose and your Kung Fu instructor will ensure you understand the purpose so that you can get the maximum benefits.

Different instructors will have different teaching techniques, but the underlying focus is the same – to teach you Kung Fu so that you can enjoy the many benefits. Of course, you have to start with the basics and one of those is conditioning your body. In just a month, you will notice a difference in your arm and leg strength, as well as improved concentration, and overall health.

In just six months you will be able to perform basic Kung Fu movements, you will have energy like you have never previously experienced, and you will begin to progress with your Kung Fu skills without unnecessary injury. Your frustration will have significantly decreased.

The Difference Between Kung Fu and Other Martial Arts

Kung Fu Philosophy

Contrary to what you might think, the philosophy of Chinese martial arts did not get its origins from warlords, but the Buddhist masters. We’ve already touched on the origins. The history and philosophy has resulted in a number of different attitudes and practices among the various martial arts.

Some of the martial arts systems contain a great deal of hostility and violence. However, this behaviour is not found in Kung Fu, which is a calm disposition where feelings of your training partners are intrinsically developed. In fact, harbouring aggressive, selfish attitudes will work against you as a Kung Fu practitioner.

The Comprehensive Kung Fu System

The techniques associated with martial arts are divided into four areas:

  1. Kicking
  2. Striking
  3. Grappling and throwing
  4. Seizing and locking your joints

Every type of Kung Fu contains techniques from all of these areas. Each technique category is effective against other categories. Therefore, when it comes to defending oneself a Chinese martial artist can defend themselves against an attack from any one of the categories.

Other martial arts such as Jujitsu, Tae kwon do, Judo, and Karate specialize in only one or two of the four technique categories. As a result, those skilled in these martial art can find themselves having trouble with opponents that fall outside the categories they have specialized in. One way to avoid this is to learn the various different martial arts so that you are familiar with all four categories. One easier way is to simply learn Kung Fu, which addresses all four categories.

Kung Fu is excellent for all family members. It has much to offer. Why not find out for yourself? Maidstone Kung Fu welcomes you!

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