Tien Shan Pai Kung Fu
Kung Fu is a martial art with a very long history, and many differentÃ‚Â facets to it. Ã‚Â While mostly known as an art of fighting, I believe it is much more than that - it is a system of surviving and thriving inÃ‚Â difficult conditions, both individually and as a group. Ã‚Â While there is a competitive side of Kung Fu, we see the main purpose to be a lifeÃ‚Â long journey to acquire skills to support physical, mental andÃ‚Â emotional well being. We emphasize overall development of a personÃ‚Â versus achieving the highest possible results in competition ofÃ‚Â scores. People regardless of theirÃ‚Â age, physical condition, gender,Ã‚Â weight benefit from our training program. Besides stand-up fighting,Ã‚Â our Kung Fu training includes self-defence skills, physical fitness,Ã‚Â defence against weapons, aspects of self-healing, relaxation and meditation.
Our school has a well developed curriculum to follow and measureÃ‚Â individual progress. We see the belt system in a similar way toÃ‚Â numerical system for classes in college: your belt indicating theÃ‚Â skills you have as well as the set of skills you currently are workingÃ‚Â on. Reaching the black belt level is not an end of the path, ratherÃ‚Â it may be compared to achieving a bachelor's degree in college whenÃ‚Â you have mastered the fundamental skills in a subject, and are readyÃ‚Â go deeper in studying selected areas. Our chief instructor MikeÃ‚Â Thomas and higher belt students in class are always happy to help youÃ‚Â and answer questions. Below we tried to subdivide the Kung Fu program into distinct parts:
BASIC SELF-DEFENCE SKILLS
As a part of our Kung Fu program, we teachÃ‚Â basic elements of fighting skills: punches, kicks, blocks, stances, footwork, clinching, escapes from grabs. We use both heavy bags forÃ‚Â stationary training and target mitts for training in motion. TheÃ‚Â basic techniques are used as building blocks for a variety ofÃ‚Â offence-defence combinations which train reflective responses toÃ‚Â different attacks.
KUNG FU FORMS
Forms are prescribed sequences of moves based on martial artÃ‚Â techniques. They train the correct way of moving, coordination ofÃ‚Â footwork with strikes and other techniques, as well as judgement ofÃ‚Â distance between opponents. When practiced with low and long stancesÃ‚Â repeatedly, forms also provide very intense and versatile physicalÃ‚Â workout. While forms are based on real fighting techniques, they areÃ‚Â often performed in stylised fashion, becoming also a way of artisticÃ‚Â expression.
FITNESS and CARDIO
Just participating in class activities provides aÃ‚Â good deal of physical activity. Ã‚Â In addition we conduct about 10Ã‚Â minutes of intensive cardio training every class using a variety ofÃ‚Â exercises, both based on Kung Fu tradition, and modern fitnessÃ‚Â approaches. It is also beneficial to stay after class for additionalÃ‚Â stretching and callisthenics as suitable to individual level andÃ‚Â purposes.
Chin Na is a set of techniques applied to an opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ‚Â joints to defend against grabs and punches, restrict an opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢sÃ‚Â motion, and submit the opponent if necessary. Ã‚Â It is a very efficientÃ‚Â self-defence technique which often allows you to prevent attack beforeÃ‚Â it becomes a full fledged striking exchange. Ã‚Â Almost in every class weÃ‚Â practice various aspects of chin na training, concentrating onÃ‚Â technique and sensitivity to opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s intent and balance.
Practice fights train the practical applications of skillsÃ‚Â in a situation close to real fight yet in a controlled environment.Ã‚Â Besides improving fighting skills it has a number of psychologicalÃ‚Â benefits. Sparring allows you to learn maintaining calm andÃ‚Â self-confidence in threatening situations, control aggression,Ã‚Â overcome fears, make decisions under pressure, understanding personalÃ‚Â and opponentÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s limitations. In our school we usually startÃ‚Â introducing students to sparring after reaching green belt level.
Tien Shan Pai includes a wide variety of weaponry. Most of the weapons taught are traditional implements used in ancient Chinese warfare. After a student attends the rank of Green Sash which can typically take about 6-12 months of training, he or she is introduced to the short staff. A short staff is a wooden dowel about 3 feet in length. After gaining proficiency in the short staff, the student is introduced to the broad sword. Other weapons that follow include the straight sword, long staff, spear, three sectional staff, fan and others.
Tai-Chi can be studied as a separate discipline and byÃ‚Â itself can be considered a complete system of self-defense andÃ‚Â personal development. Ã‚Â It is true that it takes longer to develop theÃ‚Â same level of self defence skills comparing to external styles. Ã‚Â Ã‚Â TheÃ‚Â variety and subtleness of techniques present an exciting challenge toÃ‚Â someone interested to study human capabilities in depth. Ã‚Â Tai-ChiÃ‚Â principles have a lot in common with principles of traditional ChineseÃ‚Â medicine, and Tai-Chi practice has proved to be beneficial forÃ‚Â relaxation, the immune system, balance, and everyday energy level. InÃ‚Â our classes, we teach all students 108 Long Yang form, with thoseÃ‚Â interested having a possibility to continue studying 300 Yang Chen-FuÃ‚Â form, Tai-Chi straight sword form and their applications.
The core heritage of our system is the Tien-Shen-PaiÃ‚Â Kung Fu style. However throughout many years we have brought in many efficient techniques from other disciplines, both from other Kung FuÃ‚Â styles (Hang Gar, Wing Chun) and other martial arts (Jiu-Jitsu,Ã‚Â Aikido, Kali). Ã‚Â We strongly believe that a good martial artist has atÃ‚Â least basic understanding of a number of different disciplines, whileÃ‚Â being excellent in a few. Different martial arts have differentÃ‚Â emphasis and techniques. Our class regularly trains together with theÃ‚Â Aikido and Jiu-Jitsu classes in our school. Advanced students areÃ‚Â also getting instruction in Kali and Arnis (Filipino knife and stickÃ‚Â fighting).