Bravery

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu - Bravery

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu – Bravery

It’s not something you can see, but it has many colors and is incredibly important.

Bravery is one of the key requirements of the beginning student and becomes one of the major attributes of the advanced one.  It is also one of the primary reasons our school is ideal for today’s youth.  Many students who begin at our school do not have any martial arts experience, nor any familiarity with the Chinese language and culture.  Being that we are a traditional school, this can be intimidating and difficult for a westerner to adapt to.  Continuing on this course takes bravery.

Hundreds of kicks, holding stances for minutes on end, struggling to learn and remember movements, grueling sparring sessions with students possessing significantly more skill, training through injury, the pressures of preparing and testing for the next rank…. these are just a few of the many elements of kung fu that require bravery at our school.  It’s a personal decision each student must make to press on.

Students will also exhibit bravery out of school.  It might be as simple as stepping in to help someone in trouble to something more major like defending someone in a violent situation.  The bravery gained through the hard training provides a solid basis for the student to determine right from wrong and the strength and skill to act on it properly.

Taking Up Exercise At Retirement Triples Rate Of Healthy Aging

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu - Senior Health

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu – Senior Health

Taking Up Exercise At Retirement Triples Rate Of Healthy Aging

NOVEMBER 26, 2013 • BLOOMBERG NEWS

 It’s never too late to start exercising to improve your health, even if you’re about to retire, according to a study.

People who took up exercise over a four-year period were more than three times as likely to be healthy agers as those who did nothing, according to the study of 3,454 people in England whose average age was 64. Active adults who continued to exercise during that time were seven times as likely to be healthy agers as those who were consistently inactive.

The study, published yesterday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, is one of the first to focus on how exercise affects health in the elderly. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for premature death — after smoking, excessive drinking and obesity — causing an estimated 3.2 million deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization.

“This study supports public health initiatives designed to engage older adults in physical activity, even those who are of advanced age,” the researchers, led by Mark Hamer at University College London, said in the published paper.

Participants, taken from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, described the frequency and intensity of regular physical activity from 2002 and every subsequent two years until 2011. Any participants with existing chronic disease were excluded.

Healthy aging was measured through absence of major disease and disability, mental health, cognitive abilities and ability to maintain social connections.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institute on Aging and a consortium of U.K. government departments coordinated by the Office for National Statistics.

Wood Carving Kung Fu

In keeping with our martial art’s Chinese heritage and their definition of the term “kung fu”, which refers to any study, learning, or practice that requires patience, energy, and time to complete…. this Chinese wood carving artist has significant kung fu.

“One tree, four years of work and an indescribable amount of talent: that’s what it took to create this incredible masterpiece. A famous Chinese wood carver chopped down a single tree and tirelessly worked on it for over four years to make this piece.

It all started out with a simple tree trunk…

Then Zheng Chunhui, a famous wood carver, spent over four years creating this masterpiece.

The carving is based on the famous Chinese painting “Along the River During the Qingming Festival.”

The original artwork was created over 1,000 years ago.

The piece won the Guinness World Record for the longest wooden carving and measures over 40ft (it is 2.286 meters long, is 3.075 meters tall at it highest point, and is also 2.401 meters wide).

The intricate carvings of daily life in ancient China are so detailed and perfect, they could drop your jaw.

It’s no surprise that this incredible work of art is drawing so much attention. It’s amazing, but not just because it’s so big, but also because it’s so incredibly detailed.

Source:  http://www.viralnova.com/tree-trunk-carving/

Flexibly Rooted

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu - Flexibly Rooted
Parents take note – there are three aspects of kung-fu training that enabled our students to do well in life.  These aspects revolve around being “flexibly rooted”.  Through the years, the school has seen firsthand these three things enable our younger students with the knowledge and discipline to become highly competent and confident adults.
  1. Consistent and enduring training.   This includes not just a physical level, but also a discriminating use of time and experience that reflect in their pursuit of education and work ethic.
  2. Awareness through self respect.  As they learned to push themselves and achieve their desired goals, they grew to respect not only others and their kung- fu training , but they grew to respect themselves.  A sense of confidence and ability that they learned to apply in a full range of different circumstances.  A learned habit they would call on time and again in hard times as well as good to know they can accomplish anything because they persevered in their kung fu training.
  3. Through self effort they learned self-discipline and self-efficacy.  Nothing was given to them – they had to earn it through toil and persistence.  And in the process they learned never to give up, no matter how hard it was.
Throughout the history of this school, the use of these kung-fu principles have not only come to bare in our young students future academic and professional careers, but also in their personal sense of themselves.  Whether it be with their wives, kids, friends, work associates, or strangers, they stand flexibly rooted!

Using the Mirror

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu - Using the Mirror

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu – Using the Mirror

The mirror can be helpful for developing your kung fu ability.

Before or after class, you typically have time to practice anything you like:  kicks, stances, forms, chin na, san shou, etc.  By paying attention in class, you see how higher rank perform certain movements.  Perhaps you had a movement that was taught or corrected in class by Sifu.  The mirror let’s you judge for yourself just how well your movement stacks up.  Is your technique well balanced?  Are your stances low and strong?  Are your kicks and punches fast and sharp?  Is your posture correct or are you leaning, tense or just off?  The mirror and your honest judgment will give you the answers.

During class, the mirror is helpful in a different way.  Like the above, you can measure how high, fast and powerful your kicks are getting, how your stances compare to the rest of the class, etc.  However, during class, the mirror can be used when being taught new movements and greater details of old movements.  You can see multiple angles via the reflection and see things you might not have seen otherwise.  The mirror can also provide you with better peripheral vision to ensure you don’t hit or get hit by others.  It can even help you see others if you get confused or stuck – hopefully that doesn’t happen.

The mirrors can do all of that for you and more – the only thing you need to do is use them properly (i.e. not a great idea to look at yourself in the mirror when sparring and definitely not when you are standing at attention).  And one more thing, clean the sweat off of them after class every now and then.

Showing Up

“80% Of Success Is Showing Up.” – Woody Allen

Whether you like or dislike Woody Allen and his body of work, his success as a comedian, actor, director, and playwright can not be denied.  His quote above should motivate you both in and outside of the school.  He went on to say, “People used to say to me that they wanted to write a play, they wanted to write a movie, they wanted to write a novel, and the couple of people that did it were 80 percent of the way to having something happen.  All the other people struck out without ever getting that pack.  They couldn’t do it, that’s why they don’t accomplish a thing, they don’t do the thing, so once you do it, if you actually write your film script, or write your novel, you are more than half way towards something good happening.  So that was my biggest life lesson that has worked.  All others have failed me.”

If you want a high level of fighting ability, robust physical fitness, constant self-improvement, self-confidence, and more – then show up to class.  Using this principal of “showing up” will also serve you well in the other important areas of your life.