Science of Martial Arts

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu

“The true science of martial arts means practicing them in such a way that they will be useful at any time, and to teach them in such a way that they will be useful in all things.”

Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), founder of Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship.  The Book of Five Rings Trans. D.E. Tarver

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!

In the News…

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu was recently interviewed as a subject of an article published in the CSUF newspaper, The Daily Titan.  We know Master Jeu Susing as Master Bob Hsing…

Tai Chi Can Help Students Reduce Stress

– POSTED ON NOVEMBER 4, 2013POSTED IN: FITNESS

Students at the Brea Shaolin Kung Fu studio focus their energy into their balance. Tai chi helps with movement of the body and lower body strength.  Chu-Ling yee / Daily Titan

Students at the Brea Shaolin Kung Fu studio focus their energy into their balance. Tai chi helps with movement of the body and lower body strength.
Chu-Ling yee / Daily Titan

Students suffering from stress and are overwhelmed by school may want to try tai chi. Tai chi, an ancient kung fu fighting defense, can help relieve stress and lower blood pressure.

Tai chi originated as a form of martial arts, but due to its health benefits, tai chi is now taught as an exercise too.

The exercise can ease tension, strengthen the lower body and help blood flow more easily throughout the body. Tai chi provides a workout without the intensity of a regular cardio workout. The movements are typically circular and never forced.

Master Charles Robert, owner of Brea Shaolin Kung Fu, said tai chi helps the thighs act as a second heart. Tai chi movements help muscles in the thighs contract, causing less strain and work for the heart to pump blood. Robert has practiced tai chi for 20 years and his studio teaches more of an internal and competition form.

Internal focuses on breathing and less of muscle power to exert force. Competition form of tai chi is not fighting, but it is judged on timing and technique. Tai chi instead focuses on the little movements of the body.

There were originally five styles of tai chi: Yang, Wu, Chen, Hao and Combination. Years ago, an assembly gathered in China and decided to standardize the five different forms of tai chi to create a competition form.

Anybody can begin taking tai chi for its health benefits and further their skills by tackling competitive aspects of the practice.

Master Jeu Susing who teaches tai chi at the studio begins teaching students the basic Twenty-Four Movement, which consists of 24 separate movements. The competition forms of movements are titled by numbers of steps in them.

“The teacher is the key,” Susing said. Average students are unable to reproduce the same results by themselves. Students are limited to what they know.

Master Susing teaches students not only how to do the movements, but also how to improve their chi.

One of the main reasons why tai chi is effective in helping to relieve stress is attributed to the deep breathing that is involved. When students are focused in what they are doing and are breathing correctly, they can find peace with themselves. They focus on themselves and forget about the situations that are causing them stress.

Stress causes high blood pressure, chest pain and fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic. By taking tai chi, people can help prevent future illnesses. Tai chi has also been proven to  help ease fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Doug Robson, 66, said tai chi has helped him with arthritis and keep his body limber. Robson attends classes at the studio twice a week.

Tai chi eases the joints and lubricates them with all the movements they do. There is no aggressive jumping involved that could harm the bones.

Another benefit of the exercise is that no one is there to scream at the students, because it is a relaxing environment.

The lower part of the body also gets stronger since tai chi requires people to move their hips and use their legs. There is a misconception about tai chi that it is a slow-paced exercise most suited to seniors. Robson said anyone can do this form of exercise.

“I can do just about any form and it will start calming me down,” Robson said.

He recommends practicing tai chi for 15 to 30 minutes a day. Susing said people can see improvement within three months.

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.

A Little Paranoia

Paranoia:  an unreasonable feeling that people are trying to harm you, do not like you, etc.

A little paranoia is a good thing to have.  A healthy amount will keep you aware of your surroundings, mindful of those who might mean to do you harm, and prepare you to act in the event something unwanted happens.  An unhealthy amount of paranoia will likely require medical attention as you can’t think or focus on anything else.  A little paranoia will keep you prepared for the unexpected.

As always, the lessons you learn in class are applicable to real life.  When classmates are swinging weapons around, you need to keep an eye on those weapons and not get too close if you can avoid it.  If a student comes in to train and seems off, be particularly focused and careful when you begin practicing San Shou, Chin Na, or Sparring with them.  If the class is full and everyone is tightly packed for Kicks or Forms, keep an eye on where everyone is so you don’t hit them and they don’t hit you.  Little lessons like those and the many more you learn in class can really benefit the student outside of the school.

Outside the school, if you’re in a place where the energy just doesn’t feel right or you hear something that seems off, take preemptive action and keep your distance or simply leave, especially if you’re with friends or family who are not trained.  If someone you don’t know interacts with you and you sense they don’t seem very balanced emotionally or mentally, be careful.  You don’t need to talk with them – feel free to walk away – while always keeping an eye on where they are.  Even if you’re out having lunch at a restaurant, try to find a place to sit where you’re back is covered and you have a clear view of the entire establishment.  These are just a few examples of a little paranoia.

Be aware of your surroundings and the people in it.  Although it may take a little time and energy, it has the potential to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu Martial Arts

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu Martial Arts

“For the warrior, the path to enlightenment comes by openly and objectively studying all forms of martial arts, sticking to the true path of the warrior, allowing no dishonesty in your heart, sharpening and trusting your intuition, and diligently practicing and clinging to the truth.  In time, once the clouds of confusion have cleared, you will come to true enlightenment.  

Many think that they are on the true path of enlightenment some through religion, and some through education.  But true enlightenment can be seen by what a person has done, not by what he says.  Those who have missed the mark may chatter all day long about this and that, but they have never done anything.  Anyone can make a good argument, by few can show good results.”

Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645), founder of Niten-ryū style of swordsmanship.  The Book of Five Rings Trans. D.E. Tarver