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• Tai chi chuan (dynamic balancing boxing)
• Chin na (seizing)
• Shuai jiao (take downs)
• Self defence
• Neigong (whole-body strength)
• Jing (whole-body power)
Students learn how to strike using various parts of the body, misplace bones, seize muscles, target vulnerable areas and take their opponents to the ground.
It’s certainly sobering when
after all those years of training, facing Sifu Waller I feel about as
effective as an old lady throwing marshmallows.
I feel very grateful to Sifu Waller for an introduction to a form of martial arts that as I understand it is not that widely available to western students in its authentic form. I feel he has generously presented us with a wonderful opportunity.
For those of us who’ve been involved in martial arts for some time, and have some experience of Chinese arts and teachers, I feel we can be confident that with Sifu Waller we have stumbled upon a treasure trove of authentic Chinese martial arts. It’s tremendously exciting as the lineage and history is abundantly clear in his approach. It struck me, the first time I saw Sifu Waller demonstrate it, that 5000 years of Chinese culture and history is somehow woven into the lethal beauty of his art.
What does kung fu mean?
Kung fu literally means 'hard work'.
Practiced since the dawn of human civilisation, kung fu has influenced martial arts development throughout the whole of Asia. The fighting skills have been developed and refined with each generation. The Chinese have used martial arts for the last 4500 years. Their skills have remained relevant and functional throughout the ages. The speed and versatility of the different kung fu approaches make them ideal for armed combat and self defence.
Kung fu is the martial expression of your skill. A person may study for decades, but if they cannot fight or defend themselves competently, they have no kung fu.
Although most people think of Chinese martial or fighting arts as being 'kung fu', the actual term kung fu is fairly recent and only came into more common use in the 1960's. Before then, Westerner's referred to Chinese martial arts as being 'Chinese boxing', as in the Boxer Rebellion (1899). The popular book Chinese Boxing by Robert Smith refers to kung fu as being 'Chinese boxing'. The word 'boxing' summons images of fists and punching.
Kung fu is thousands of
years old and is a highly developed system of martial art. The student who
locates a good kung fu school will find the training thorough and
challenging. Kung fu skills, which have been refined over centuries, are not
learned easily or quickly. The sincere student, however, through hard work
and dedication, will not be disappointed with the results.
If you’re looking for something easy, then kung fu is probably not for you.
Internal or external?
This is a tricky one. Many kung fu methods claim to be 'internal' but how they use their art is decidedly 'external'. In order to fully understand the question, it is important to research the matter further:
• Neijiquan (internal martial arts)
• The Tai Chi Classics
• The essence of the art
• Tai chi principles
• The Sword Polisher's Record: Way of Kung Fu
chin na jing neigong neijiaquan self defence shuai jiao syllabus tai chi weapons
21 May 2003
Last updated 23 October 2023