Consider yourself the next Bruce Lee? Want to learn the moves of Jackie Chan? Then kung fu is the sport for you. All martial arts courses will teach you self defence, yet a kung fu course will teach you so much more. Kung fu is a whole philosophy and way of life; you will learn to be disciplined, mentally focused and be taught the importance of self development, while at the same time having fun.
What is kung fu?
Kung fu, or Wushu, refers to a diverse range of Chinese martial arts, probably most famous for the collection of styles known as Shaolin kung fu practiced by Shaolin monks. Kung fu originated in the Shaolin Temple, where monks practiced the art for health, philosophical and self defence reasons during their quest for enlightenment. The Chinese people placed great value in the practice of kung fu and it became an important part in the education of scholars and political leaders. They believed that kung fu taught respect, patience, humility and morality to those who studied it and many people around the world still firmly believe this.
Philosophy of kung fu
Despite being a fighting style, kung fu is grounded in the philosophy of Taoism. Taoism is a philosophy and collection of teaching for living in harmony with nature, other people and yourself. It teaches those who study it that everything is interconnected and that your actions affect everything else around you. Kung fu translates into hard-won achievement and modern day kung fu hopes to help you succeed at both self defence and self development.
Kung fu aims to use this philosophy and its self defence techniques to maximise inner strength and mental well being. Kung fu courses teach you to be relaxed and alert at the same time, possibly even teaching you meditation techniques alongside self defence. Learning kung fu and the mental focus it teaches you will help you with the stresses of work or study; the discipline it will teach you will help you to achieve individual goals that you’ve always thought were impossible. If you want to further your understanding of philosophy you could take one of our philosophy courses.
Benefits of kung fu
Physical health: Kung fu is one of the most rounded exercises ever; it can take extreme physical conditioning to become the best. The course will improve your fitness, flexibility, health and strength, making you overall a healthier person. This improvement to your physical health will help you to be more youthful and energetic.
Self defence: While kung fu teaches you to avoid confrontation at all costs, knowing self defence techniques can never be a bad thing. Kung fu uses practical techniques to defend against attacks. You will be taught to develop confidence, coordination, and awareness and learn to train your mind and body.
Mental focus: Many Buddhists use kung fu not for fighting, but to enhance mental focus through exercises that require the mind and body to work as one. This will teach you to be more relaxed in your day to day life, but at the same time being more aware of your surroundings. This can help you in situations such as work or study where you can stay calm in stressful situations, while at the same time being more focused on what you want to achieve.
Fun: People often don’t exercise as they get bored of the same old exercise routines. Kung fu will provide you a sport where constantly learning new things will keep you interested for life. As you progress and see your self development you will be motivated to keep going back to further your knowledge.
Three most popular kung fu stars
Bruce Lee: Bruce Lee is one of the most famous and influential movie stars and one of the greatest masters of kung fu ever. Bruce Lee was the first person to showcase Chinese kung fu to the whole world, in the process creating his own style of kung fu and his own philosophy.
Jackie Chan: Jackie Chan is an extremely famous Hollywood actor and an expert in kung fu. He has progressed the work of Bruce Lee further, by making kung fu even more accessible to people of all ages and all nationalities via his work in all genres of film.
Jet Li: Jet Li is known for his expertise in Shaolin kung fu and his appearances in Hollywood movies, such as Unleashed and The Forbidden Kingdom. At the young age of 11 he won his first national Wushu Championship in China and went on to win 15 gold medals in total before retiring at just 17 to become a film star.
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