KUNG FU BELTS
Our comprehensive belt system defines our Kung Fu curriculum, which is mostly based on Shaolin Kung Fu.
White, Yellow and Green belts indicate novice levels of training in Kung Fu, with students moving through those ranks in that order. Students at this level can expect to drill on basic strikes, blocks, stances and similar skills. Basic Motion, Five Motion and Xiao Hong Quan are all the most basic forms of Shaolin Kung Fu. Green belt represents the first introduction to Shaolin weapons. By attending two or three times each week, a student can expect to spend about a year moving through these ranks.
Intermediate level training involves mostly weapons demanding more complex forms and stances. Purple, Purple & Black, Blue, and Blue & Black belts indicate this level of training. It generally takes one to two years to progress through the intermediate levels of Kung Fu training. Students will learn to master long and short weapons.
Brown and up belts indicate advanced training in Kung Fu involving both advanced weapons and forms. Sparring will be part of the curriculum and represent a new level of challenge and Kung Fu experience for students.
Black belt, the highest belt level, is often recognized as proper qualification required for teaching Kung Fu. Most students can earn their black belt after three to four years of dedicated training, but training for advanced "degrees" of black belt can continue for the rest of a practitioner's life. Black belt requirements include mastery of all forms and weapons previously learnt in addition to Shaolin Spear, weapons work, self defense techniques, basic Karate skills, sparring skills, as well as philosophical understanding of the art of Kung Fu.
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Basic stances and kicks will be introduced. These include (but are not limited to) horse stance, drop stance, bow stance, cross stance, and empty stance; front kick, back kick, slap kick, inside kick, outside kick, roundhouse kick, and side kick. Emphasis will be on proper posture and forms. Basic stances and kicks are building blocks of Kung Fu. They provide an important foundation for learning more advanced forms later on in Kung Fu training. Students will also learn basic strikes and blocks.
Shaolin Five Motion derives its forms from “Five Animals”: Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Leopard and Crane. Each animal has its characteristic form and movement, such as power, speed, tenacity, flexibility, and balance. Through practice of Shaolin Five Motion, students will be able to develop better strength physically and mentally. Specifically, Five Motion strengthens the shoulder, back, waist, ankle, as well as muscles & bones.
Shaolin Xiao Hong Chuan (literal translation to English is: Small Form Hong Boxing) is one of the basic and probably the most well known Shaolin forms. It is said to be the "mother fist" of Shaolin Temple. Movement is simple and plain but attack and protection are very exact and precise. It encompasses many of the basic stances learnt in the beginners class as well as attack and defense techniques,
Shaolin Broadsword, or Dao in Chinese, is one of the four traditional weapons in Chinese Kung Fu. Broadsword is primarily a slashing and chopping sword with a single edge. It is often referred to as “The General of all Weapons.” Broadsword is a lightweight weapon with which it is easier to strike faster.
Nunchakus, or two-section staff, is a weapon of Japanese origin that consists of two sticks joined at their ends by a short length of chain. Nunchakus can be used to strike, block, hit, twist and pinch, and allows the development of quicker hand movements and improves posture. The nunchakus owes its popularity partly to Bruce Lee.
Kung Fu Fan (Shaolin style) is a unique bodybuilding martial art exercise. The movements are strong and flexible, aggressive and defensive, but elegant and artistic at the same time. Practice of Kung Fu fan can help maintain strength, flexibility, and balance.
Shaolin staff, a very popular weapon, is considered the chief weapon of Shaolin. A staff is unique in that it can be held from any of its parts and used in all directions. This enables coverage of a wider range and stronger blows. Although the staff is not pointy or sharp, it can be as powerful as a sword or spear with a direct blow. Shaolin staff also enables the practitioner to swiftly attack and defend from different directions.
Shaolin straight sword, also one of the four traditional weapons in Kung Fu, is a double-edged straight sword. Straight Sword is about style, honor, class, elegance, distinction and serenity. Its techniques are regarded by many to be the highest physical expression of Kung Fu. Straight sword is most suited for quick strikes based on speed, timing and accuracy.
Shaolin Double Broadsword, or "Shuang Dao" in Chinese, means "twin broadswords". Dual weapon practice requires skilled footwork, high level of coordination of both arms, and an increased skill of the non-dominant hand. Dual-weapon practice also helps develop better body coordination and balance.
Southern Fist originates south of the Yangtze River of China with emphasis on "short hitting" on the arms movement predominantly on southern styles. Contemporary style features vigorous, athletic movements with very stable, low stances and extensive hand techniques. Power is driven from sharp waist movement with special emphasis on fast stance transition to generate power and speed in the arms. Practice of Southern fist strengths the waist, arms, legs, and improves general body balance.
Shaolin Kung Fu Sparring (controlled fighting): our curriculum focuses on developing basic fighting skills such as right spacing, right timing, fluid movements, energy flow and mental clarity. Choreographed fighting sets will be taught with heavy emphasis on discipline, control and safety. Students will need to master Kung Fu at a different level as choreographed fighting requires excellent spatial and temporal accuracy as well as proper coordination with each of his/her partner's moves.
Shaolin Pu Dao, also known as "Horse Cutter Sword", looks like a short staff with a sword attached to its head. In ancient Chinese wars, this weapon was only used to attack the legs of the enemy's horses. But later a variety of techniques was developed and Pu Dao became a popular and unique traditional weapon. With its long length and cutting ability, Pu Dao could be used as a spear or sword. It is a slicing weapon which requires bigger movement.
Shaolin spear is called the King of all weapons. Spear practice requires flexible body movements and agile footwork in advances and retreats. Basic techniques of the spear include pricking, thrusting, circling, blocking, pointing, poking, holding and wringing Advances and retreats need to be quick and smooth, with force focused on the point of the spear. It was said: "A year training for the broadsword play, a month training for the cudgel play, but whole life training for the spear play". Spear play is difficult to master, but it can greatly strengthen your physique and fighting ability.
BEYOND BLACK BELT
(TBD) Curriculum beyond black belt: dagger, double daggers, nine-section whip, and other exotic Shaolin weapons.
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