Why You Should Learn Kung Fu
Kung fu is a fighting art to most folks. But that isn’t really what kung fu is. Literally, kung fu means any skill achieved through hard work. So, in essence, you could have kung fu cooking or kung fu gardening or kung fu cake decorating. The term for combat arts is wu shu. But of course, most people think of kung fu as a generic catch all term for the literally thousands of fighting arts native to China. The kung fu that I practice comes from southern China. It is called Hung Gar (Hung Ga), “Gar” meaning family. So it is the Hung Family style. There are any number of legends about the origin of the style which may or may not have some basis in fact. But none of that matters to you.
Why should you learn to practice kung fu? Well, you shouldn’t learn kung fu so you can defend yourself. Let’s face it, people don’t fight that way anymore. Get in a bar fight or something and even if you win you are more than likely going to find yourself in court. You will either be arrested, or the person you beat up will sue you for damages. And these days, it is quite likely that, should you win the fight, the person you beat up will go to his or her car, get a gun, and come back and shoot you to get even. This isn’t Hollywood and we don’t live in the old west. So you can’t just go out and get in fights anymore.
You learn to practice kung fu to achieve good health and peace of mind. You learn how to focus. You learn body awareness, balance, and coordination. You make your body healthy inside and out. Many of the exercises you learn through the practice of kung fu are for your internal organs, something you can’t do at your local gym. Kung fu teaches you to control yourself, and that’s really the best self defense you can have. You learn to be aware of your surroundings. After all, the best way to block a punch or kick is to not be there.
A great reason to learn kung fu is that it is an exercise anybody can do. It doesn’t matter how fit you are or how old you are. Yeah, you’ve seen guys like Jackie Chan do incredible things. And some guys can do that. But you don’t have to. And what I like about practicing kung fu is that I can exercise for an hour and I don’t feel tired. I feel energized. I still practice every morning for an hour to an hour and a half, and I’m pushing 60. My doctor says I’m in terrific shape, even though I am a little on the round side, as are many my age. And I have to tell you, kung fu is lot more fun than walking on a treadmill.
And of course, even though kung fu isn’t really about learning to fight, it doesn’t hurt that I can defend myself if I had to. I does give me a sense of confidence. I don’t plan on getting in any fights, but I wouldn’t want to be the guy who tries to hurt me or anybody I love. As a Shaolin fighting monk once said, “The practice of kung fu is for your heart.” And it is.
Hung Gar system of Kung Fu as taught by Sifu Richard Cunningham
Classes for all levels, for men, women, children, the old and the young. Learn kung fu for health and for self-defense. We offer individual instruction with no contracts. South Bay Kung Fu Club has been in open in the South Bay since 1969. Are you ready to learn real kung fu?
South Bay Kung Fu Club
1014 Aviation Blvd.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Mountain Spirit Hung Ga Shaolin Kung Fu
Cedar Glen, California
I now teach Shaolin Hung Gar Kung Fu up here in the Lake Arrowhead, California area.
Here’s the Facebook address for Mountain Spirit.
This is a very old picture of me with my Sifu, the late Richard Cunningham. I now teach kung fu in the Lake Arrowhead area. Contact me through the contact page if you are interested in lessons. I have been practicing Hung Gar kung fu since 1984. And I have spent the last several years adapting this style for people over 40 because kung fu is a great exercise for everybody! Check out my kung fu lesson blogs on this very site!