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Kung Fu training methods - traditional through to modern day

I am a lover of tradition and that is why I joined a Hung Kuen club as it has such a deep rooted history, traceable back to some of the most famous martial artists ever.

At the London club I love to include a variety of traditional methods that help us all keep fit and help defend ourselves.

I aim to show that fitness and strength are not a by product of monthly gym memberships and expensive weight training equipment. We can do it using our own body weight, or the body of a training partner.

We regularly use deep rooted stance work and dynamic tension to build strength in the places needed for our art. This enables us to kick and punch with explosive power. It also means our forms are how they are meant to be - low stances, strong strikes and the transition from one move to the next flows.

Our bodies can become fit and strong but we have to condition ourselves to reduce the risk of injury from being hit. We do the regular sit up and push up variations for the muscles and also partner drills where we can strike forearms with each other, kick to the legs or kick to the stomach. Don't be put of by this though as it is a very gradual process starting as a feather touch and advancing to powerful strikes.

I hope that a situation never arises where you have to rely on these training methods on the street but if the worst happens we also train to defend ourselves and not just stand there being able to take a punch! We train to react to an attacker - again this is done using a partner to drill technique. We start slow and look at how our partner attacks: Do they drop their shoulder when they cross punch? Do they shift their weight before they jab? Does their foot step to the side if throwing a kick, or are they throwing their arms wildly before the leg gets off the floor? This is how we learn to see an attack before the person has committed to doing it - we can then see how to react quickly. After much practice we can build up the speed of the attacker as we need to know how to see these subtle movements quickly.

Of course not every fight is standing and it is said that most end up on the floor. We train to get up from multiple attackers any way possible but if it is a one on one situation we learn to defend and disable an attacker from being on our back - although this can be quite technical it is designed to use minimum strength so is particularly useful if the attacker is bigger and I place emphasis on that fact to women as a smaller woman can successfully disable a larger man should the need arise.

Liam Scully
hungkuenlondon@yahoo.co.uk
07890 66 77 14
Classes in Greenwich/Blackheath, London.



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