Your kung fu training should be consistent and practical.
A saying goes that it is not the system that makes the art it is the fighter.
That means it requires vigilant practice.
Depending on which kung fu style you practice the fighting fundamentals are the same. Note your range, have a strategy for attack and play to your strengths while exploiting your opponent’s weakness.
Your style should have specific techniques for this. The animal styles can have their origins traced back to the Shaolin temple and where formed by the monks observations of how animals moved and behaved. From the monkey..feisty dynamic and quick sharp moves, to the snake slithering and smooth sideways moves. There is also the drunken style which you may have seen in many a kung fu movie..not sure what was being observed there.
Many of these styles have become more symbolic in today’s terms. Where fighting needs to be more direct and explosive. A lot of the forms that the traditional styles teach are quite elegant and the practitioners very talented in their execution. However in practice may not be very effective. As they overemphasise some movements and are too focussed on elegance rather than a direct conflict.
Also they can be quite complicated to learn .. My preference is wing chun training as it emphasises a direct line of attack to your opponents and is strictly a fighting style in its philosophy. The forms are rather dull to look at, however when put into practice: meaning quite brutal..—Eye strikes, throat chops and broken limbs.. are the usual wing chun targets.
The biggest advantage is that it is relatively easy to learn, the concepts are basic and very practical.. Once you understand the form and theory of the system you can put it into practice and feel comfortable with it in a relatively short time.
However don’t expect to be Bruce Lee overnight. It takes time and diligence as mentioned earlier. Also remember it is not the art that makes the fighter, it is the fighters use of the art that makes the real martial artist. So next time someone says this kung fu is better than that think twice about listening to what they have to say. Sure some styles are more effective. But a half assed martial artist with the best system will always loose to a determined focused opponent who has never studied martial arts.
Some food for thought.