Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Learn Kung Fu

Thinking about improving your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being?
Come learn kung fu!

Xinyiliuhequan is a traditional type of Chinese kung fu. It is considered an "internal martial art", related to others such as Tai Chi (aka Taiji), and Ba Gua.

One of the things that makes the Xinyiliuhequan style so interesting and accessible is that it is so practical and straightforward to begin learning. Right from learning your first move, you will both know that you are learning a genuine martial art and also feel you are getting a great, holistic workout.

As accessible and approachable as first learning Xinyiliuhequan can be, because it is an "internal" art there is no end to the levels of learning and improvement that one can aspire to with dedicated practice. Once you learn a move or form it becomes like a container - to be continuously filled with other practices from Xinyi and whatever unique strengths and attributes you bring to your training.

Thanks to the diversity of the "10 Animals" (and many variations of their movements and forms),  concepts such as the "Six Harmonies" and the "5 Elements", and training principles such as the "Seven Fists" - there are always way to keep challenging and interconnecting one's developing skills. Also, when studying a traditional art like this it is always important to explore ways one might apply it both to "martial" situations - and to the challenges and stresses of day-to-day life.

What Should You Expect When Attending a Class?

When you come to train with me you should expect to be treated with respect. I always try to teach all of my students the essential fundamentals of Xinyi, but also cater the instruction and emphasis towards each individual student's particular hopes and needs. I am passionate about martial arts and about applying them to wellness and daily life.

An average class would consist of:

Individual/unstructured warm-up time
-a brief time to socialize and touch base since your last class
-a chance to get moving and to ask questions (e.g. about previous lessons or about moves that one is working on at home during the rest of the week)
-getting ready to train

~20 minutes of martial arts warm-ups
-guided practice of various warm-ups, drills, stretches, etc. (from Xinyi and other martial arts traditions)
-emphasis is on getting focused and engaging the mind and body

~20 minutes of Xinyiliuhequan foundational movements
-guided practice of essential movement patterns and forms specific to Xinyiliuhequan upon which all of the other animal movements and forms are built
-this is a fairly steady work-out period and requires full attention to training

~20 minutes of working on a specific move from a specific animal form
-learning specific variations of the ten animals (Bear, Tiger, Horse, Monkey, Dragon and Eagle, Rooster, Swallow, Hawk, Snake.
-slowing things down to learn and analyse the forms
-time for more experienced students to work together and for novice students to get plenty of instruction
-learning to practice the movements on-the-spot, walking a line, in any direction, and with various other types of unique Xinyi footwork

~20 minutes of 2-person drills with time for stretching and questions
-opportunities to integrate the movement and application
-working with fellow training partners
-a chance to stretch, relax, talk, and bring the session to a close

I always enjoy training with my students whenever they can make it out to train. Although I wish everyone could come out and train twice-a-week, I fully understand that, as they say, "life can get in the way"... For that reason, students are welcome to pay by-the-class (if they can only make it once-a-week or less often) or by-the-month (for those who plan to attend most classes in a month). That said, I am dedicated to making this art accessible to good, kind people who want to learn an authentic, serious martial art. I never want people to feel bad if they miss a class.

I also want people to feel accepted and to have fun. I am happy to train with people whenever they can make it out to train and I am always willing to train with people wherever they are at in their discovery and experience of this beautiful art.

Please check out my previous blog postings for more information regarding Xinyiliuhequan and my take on martial arts practice. Of course, if you are interested please contact me via email. Let me know you are interested and then you are welcome to come and try out a session for free, of course!

To learn more about my take on martial arts, please check out the "Home" tab for some suggestions of where to start. I am also always happy to hear from people who are interested in learning more.

All good things to all,


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