Kung Fu is a Chinese fighting art that includes a multitude of styles, variations and techniques. From the Northern long fist Kung Fu style to the five animal techniques taught by the Shaolin Temple, Kung Fu includes a significant heritage of unarmed and weapons combat methods. While sometimes intimidating to the beginning martial artist, the various strikes, blocks, stances and forms of Kung Fu begin with fundamentals that practically anyone can grasp, developing in complexity as you advance in rank. With discipline, determination and a willingness to invest time, practically anyone can learn Kung Fu in a step-by-step manner.
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Ask members of the martial arts community in your area which Kung Fu style and instructor they recommend or have had good experiences with. Visit local Kung Fu schools in your area and ask to sit in for a class to watch how the class is taught. Decide on a school that you prefer and dedicate yourself to a weekly class regimen of two to four classes per week.
Create a daily training regimen of 30 to 60 minutes wherein you practice the punches, strikes, kicks, blocks, stances and forms learned in class. Begin your training sessions with basic stretching exercises followed by push-ups and sit-ups to tone your physique and prepare your body for practice.
Practice the basic Kung Fu punches and strikes as you learn them by performing repetitions of 20 in front of a mirror. Position the mirror so that you can easily see your hips, chest and face in the reflection and adopt the fundamental Kung Fu Horse Stance by placing your feet three to four feet apart and squatting down until your hips rest just above your knees. Lean your upper body back so that your spine is straight and practice all of the Kung Fu punches and strikes that you have been taught, such as: the straight punch, ridge hand punch, leopard strike and tiger claw.
Perfect your basic Kung Fu kicks by adopting a Bow Stance with your left leg placed 3 to 4 feet in front of your right. Make sure your heels are in one line in the mirror and angle your front foot so that the toe directly points toward the mirror with your rear foot pointed at a 45 degree angle to the right. Perform the basic right thrust kick by lifting your body up on your left leg and thrusting your foot out directly in front of you, aiming towards the mid-section of your reflection in the mirror. Continue 20 repetitions on each side for all of your basic Kung Fu kicks, including: the side kick, hook kick, roundhouse kick, sweep kick and hammer kick.
Ask a friend or recruit a sparring partner from your Kung Fu class to join you for weekly sparring sessions to help practice your ability to engage in live combat. Perhaps the most effective method for learning Kung Fu, sparring will allow your practiced strikes, kicks and forms to become tangible in real combat situations wherein you are forced to quickly maneuver between techniques and styles as a fight demands. Put on your protective sparring gloves and boots and decide on a set of rules before beginning, such as: no attacks to the head or groin, no full-strength attacks, wrist locks or throws.
Consult your sifu, or Kung Fu instructor, about whether you fulfill the requirements for advancement and remain diligent as you advance in belt grades.