Kung Fu

Classes at a glance

All Kung Fu classes

In China, the term Kung Fu (Gong Fu) literally means “a skill acquired over time”. Mechanics that work on cars, for example, can have Kung Fu. The translation in terms of daily living, gives Kung Fu a more well rounded perspective. Day by day, month by month, over the years, we train a skill that we refine and apply to various aspects of our life.

For me, Kung Fu is not just about fighting. Although “fighting spirit” is a major piece of the pie, there is much more to the practice. I see Kung Fu as more of a discipline. One that promotes adaptability and longevity.

Heart & Mind Six Combination Fist

In this art, six combinations must be in accordance. Internally there are three, externally there are three. The Xin (heart) and Yi (intent), the Yi and Qi, the Qi and Li (power), these are the three internal combinations. The hand and the foot, the shoulder and the hip, the elbow and the knee, these are the three external combinations. Internal and external are one, these become the six combinations.

When Xin is stirred it creates Yi, when Yi moves it’s called fist (boxing). As Yi changes Xin follows, though Yi is born from Xin. To be utilized perfectly, they’re as one.

So from Xin there is feeling, Yi must then respond. Yi acts and so Qi must follow. It is said Xin is the ruler, Qi is the command given, the hands and feet are the subjects.

Of the actions of Xin Yi, any occurrence is handled with composure. When the moment for change comes, act as fast as a lightning bolt. The rulers command is given, the subjects comply in unison. This is called De Xin Ying Shou (from the heart all things are easily attained).

In this style of Chinese boxing, the body methods include: chicken leg, dragon body, bear shoulder, eagle claw, tiger stare, and thunder sound. When proceeding, it is like the tiger pouncing. When grasping it is like the eagle catching.

This internal power of a Xin Yi practitioner comes from anywhere at anytime, though in expression there is shape. It is difficult to discuss, but this theory is solid. So the skillful practitioner’s Qi will be abundant. The heart moves and Qi follows, Qi moves and strength manifests. These principals are essential.

To sum up, When utilizing the three characteristics, one slight move in combat is like a tiger extending and grasping, but the grasp is not seen. Nothing can escape. Like a dragon using it’s strength, but the strength is not seen. Even a mountain cannot stop it.

- Master Zhang Yu Fei

Paul Lara