How to Learn Kung Fu Step-by-Step

Oi-tsuki Strike
(Image: bokan76/iStock/GettyImages)

Kung-fu is an ancient martial arts discipline that originates in China. It’s been made famous in the West through popular movies and TV shows, and thousands of people enjoy the benefits of learning any of the different styles of Kung-fu.

While learning Kung-fu isn’t easy, getting started learning isn’t tricky. Whether in a school or at home, here is a step-by-step guide to beginning the journey toward Kung-fu mastery.

Learning at a Kung-fu Training Center

A Kung-fu training center offers the guidance of an experienced instructor known as the Sifu, who will demonstrate the techniques and help students learn at the pace they’re comfortable with.

Step 1:

Before finding a Kung-fu school, it’s important for someone to decide which style of Kung-fu is best for them. It’s a good idea to read about the different kung Fu styles styles, like Wing Chun, Praying Mantis or Tai Chi, and then:

  • Locate a school using an Internet search
  • Ask the instructors questions
  • Compare different schools in the area
  • Decide based on what you found out

Step 2:

Once a training center has been found, the real work begins. A new student will have to dedicate time to consistent practice because missing classes will slow progress. Learning basic movements, like stances, kicks and punches, can be tedious in the beginning. Kung-fu students have to be willing to tough out the sore muscles and endless repetition of each new move that they learn.

Step 3:

Like learning any new skill, practice is the key to mastery. Be prepared to devote some time to practicing the skills that are learned in class at home. Martial arts mastery is founded on endless repetition to hone techniques to perfection.

Step 4:

Once students have advanced past a certain level of accomplishment, the instructor may ask them to help show newer students specific techniques or drills. The final step to learning Kung-fu in a school is to be willing to help the instructor and share knowledge with others.

Kung-fu can provide a very good workout.
Kung-fu can be learned by young and old. (Image: Pixabay)

Learning Kung-fu at Home

Although learning Kung-fu in a class setting is the most efficient way to become proficient in any Kung-fu style, for some this isn’t possible. If there isn’t a school available that teaches the desired style or any school at all, it’s still possible to learn Kung-fu.

Step 1:

Research what materials are available to learn the chosen style. There are many books written that provide all the information someone needs to learn at least the basics of almost any Kung-fu style. Research well-reviewed DVD courses or search YouTube to access hundreds of videos that demonstrate the various Kung-fu techniques.

Step 2:

Set aside a space dedicated to Kung-fu practice. It should be spacious enough to allow practicing the kicks, punches, stances and combination moves that are required. Make sure that there is nothing in the way (like furniture) which could present a risk of injury.

Step 3:

Just like learning in an instructor-led class, dedication to regular practice is essential. Establish a routine time for practicing and stick with it. Even though no one will mark you late for class or scold you for finishing early, there is no way to make progress without putting in the hours necessary to master each technique.

Step 4:

Find like-minded individuals near you and see if it’s possible to convince anyone to be a training partner. Kung-fu, like most other martial arts, relies on sparring with an opponent to master many of the movements. Training with someone else can also make practice more interesting and help maintain motivation levels.

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