Self-Study: The New Form

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu - Forms Practice

Brea Shaolin Kung Fu – Forms Practice

As you train, new forms are taught to advance the number of techniques you know and develop your physical abilities.  These forms are an essential part of the art and each movement contains many techniques for fighting.  As mentioned in a prior post, it is not enough to know the form.  You must really know the form.   So much so that there must be no chance to get it wrong.  That is when you truly “own” it and are able to utilize the techniques inherent in it.  This may take hundreds – even thousands – of repetitions and many evolutions of the form for it to become ingrained in your body.

Besides attending class every day, a simple way to develop mastery of your form is to practice your newest form(s) at least once or twice every day.  As there is usually a good space of time between learning new forms, you will have the opportunity to practice this form (or perhaps the last few forms) at least dozens of times.  Maybe it’s when you wake up, before you leave for work/school, after dinner or sometime before bed.  Practice it slowly – on count – at first and then do it again at full speed.  Make a habit of it and your forms and your martial skill will improve faster and you will test for your next rank with much more confidence.  Don’t forget – this does not take the place of attending class regularly!  Take as many classes as you can to maximize your progress in the art!

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


 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.

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


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.