When it comes to the practice and perfection of a martial art, few things can entirely replace the intensive education of a live instructor. However, thanks to internet videos, martial arts books, and other resources, learning and training kung fu at home has never been easier. Whether you are an aspiring practitioner seeking to learn traditional kung fu on a budget, or simply want to tone your body and increase your knowledge of self-defense, a comprehensive approach to learning kung fu can have you perfecting strikes and forms in no time.
Create a schedule for your weekly practice sessions, allotting at least one hour per training session, at least one day each week. Commit yourself to your practice as much as you can in order to maintain discipline and regular training.
Designate an open space for learning and practicing your kung fu instruction. Connect your computer in a safe area where you have clear visibility of the screen. Place or suspend the punching or kicking bag in an area where you can clearly strike it.
Begin each session by stretching and warming up your body. Create a routine of basic leg, arm and spine stretches followed by sets of push-ups, sit-ups and leg exercises. Spend at least one minute in the horse stance, which is performed by placing your feet three to four feet apart and bending your knees to squat down.
Purchase or download a beginning kung fu instruction video such as David Carradine’s “An Introduction for Beginners to Kung Fu and Tai Chi” or the numerous free videos available on YouTube. Accessing the video instruction on your laptop or portable computer will allow you to practice strikes, blocks and stances along with the video instructor--and you can pause or rewind when necessary. Devote at least 30 minutes of your training session to learning new forms from the instructional video; practice new strikes and stances on your punching bag.
Recruit a sparring partner to test your strikes and techniques as you progress. Perhaps the most educational part of home training, sparring will allow you to utilize live combat to make tangible the material you’ve learned in theory. Communicate with your partner and establish safety measures, as well as offensive and defensive targets. Wear appropriate sparring gear, such as gloves and feet-protection, and practice caution when engaging in full-contact sparring.
Establish a routine and stick to it in order to facilitate training. Look into local tournaments in your kung fu “style” and practice your techniques in live competition.