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.



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Tai Chi is an ancient martial art, one that was practiced for centuries in China as an exercise, a martial art, and a way to improve the internal flow of energy in the body.  It emphasis correct form and feeling with each and every movement, which is why it is always taught to be practiced in a slow and gentle fashion. It is known as a soft kung fu training style.

By involving the entire body with little to no impact, Tai Chi promotes strength, flexibility, and stamina.  With the entire body being taught to move as a whole, Tai Chi cultivates the link among the mind and the body, helping to enhance ones coordination and balance.  It can also help with the joints as well, especially if an individual is very stiff in the joints.

Although it was developed to be a martial art, it involves very little striking, offensive, or even defence techniques.  Tai Chi is a movement and breathing art that works all of the major muscles and joints in the body, helping to circulate internal energy, or chi.  The Chinese believe that internal energy, or chi is what prevents or stops diseases.

When practicing the art, the body will remain very soft and relaxed, just like it was suspended from the top of the head with the joints being similar to that of a puppet.  The mind of the student is focused on each movement, focusing on the flow of energy.  By being relaxed and focused, you allow the energy to flow through your entire body.

Even though you are soft and relaxed, you are still constantly moving.  The energy that flows through your body never stops, it keeps you moving.  When you move in reality, it takes little to no energy to make a movement.  By using your chi, everything you do seems as if it is weightless.

In combat, the Tai Chi student uses his opponents energy against him.  The stylist is very relaxed, believing that the energy of the opponent can be used against him.  There is little to no strength involved.  When the opponent becomes weak and tires himself out – the stylist attacks.  This way, there is very little energy left for defence or even attacking.


Tai Chi is one of the oldest styles of martial arts, and one of the hardest to find these days.  Just like other martial arts, such as Tiger Claw and Ninjutsu, it can be very hard to find a dojo that teaches the art.  If you can find a dojo that teaches the art of Tai Chi, you really shouldn’t pass it up.  It can teach you a lot about internal energy and your spiritual well being – learning more about yourself than you ever thought possible in the process.


In Kung fu training one of the most popular styles surround the 5 animal forms of Kung Fy.  They are also known as the Kung Fu fist forms, the 5 animals of Kung Fu are known all across the world, and are some of the deadliest martial arts you can study.  There are other specific fist styles in Kung Fu, although none of them are as powerful or as well known as the 5 animal styles.  As the name implies, these forms were derived from the animals in which they got their names from.

The Dragon Claw

The Dragon Claw is very well known, with the Chinese believing that this style comes directly from the ancient dragon.  This style uses an open hand technique that is used for controlling the opponent through grabbing and throwing.  Using an open hand technique, stylists may also use the fingers to poke as well.  Dragon Claw is very fast, very hard to defend against – and nearly impossible to predict.

The Leopard Claw

The Leopard Claw style utilises a half opened fist.  The ideal striking method with Leopard is the ridge of the hand, which is formed by folding the fingers towards the palm of the hand, with the palm being the backup or secondary striking method.  Leopard Claw is very fast as well, and very lethal if the stylist has enough technique and power behind his strikes.

The Tiger Claw

Tiger Claw uses an open hand movement that is used for tearing and grabbing.  Tiger Claw is the most well known of the 5 animal system, and also one of the most well known forms of Kung Fu as well.  It isn’t affected by simply grabbing and gripping with the hand, but from the digging of the fingernails deep into the skin.  Once the fingernails have been embedded in the opponents skin, the Tiger Claw stylist can shred the skin right off the bone, tearing the opponent apart.  Tiger Claw is very powerful – and one of the deadliest forms in the world of martial arts.

The Snake Head

Snake Head resembles the attack of a snake in combat, using an open hand technique which requires the fingers to be held together tight, fully extended.  The tips of the finger form a very hard surface, used to attack the softest and most vital areas of the opponent.  In order to be effective, both hands need to be used together at the same time.

The Crane Beak

Crane involves the fingers being pressed together tightly, forming a striking surface at the base of the stylists fingertips.  Although the fingers can be conditioned to a high level of strength, most attacks using the Crane technique are focused towards the most vital areas of an opponent.


The 5 animal styles of Kung Fu are very popular, and very deadly.  Martial artists that know any of these forms are very deadly – and more than capable of defending themselves against anything that comes their way.

Improvisation, time and the Wing Chun Dummy

Some people say that its hard, don’t have the time or even I don’t have a training partner.  There are a number of ways to get around this. As I have mentioned before, the best place to start is the wing chun dummy

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Does Martial Art Style Matter?

I am starting to think that most people are mis-guided and really allowed ego to drive their martial arts and businesses for that matter. We shouldn’t be arguing about what martial art style is better. – {it’s not about the style it’s about the practitioner}.

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Progress and your Wing Chun Training Part 2

The physical process of grinding through the training and tips to improve.  In this second part conclusion I talk about the mindset you need need to develop to really hit the top marks in wing chun:

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An important concept fir any Kung Fu.
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Basic Wing Chun Sensitivity Drills

Understanding  internal martial arts is to understand sensitivity drills.  Wing chun and other styles like it relies on a persons ability to feel energy.  I know to some folks it sounds strange but that is exactly what we do. We feel a persons intention through their body.

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This is the cornerstone of any Kung Fu  training regime.

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Sometimes when you go through a long journey it’s good to reflect where it all began…

Wing Chun Training: How It all Began

It made me pause and reflect on the wing chun journey I had begun.  Flashes of taking my first tentative steps into the class making that decision to go. I must have waited outside for 5-10 minutes hesitating in what felt like an eternity…

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