Martial arts techniques are divided into four areas: striking, kicking, grappling and throwing, and seizing and locking the joints. Every type of Chinese Kung Fu contains techniques from each of these four areas. This is important because each category of techniques is effective against one or more of the other categories. A Chinese-style martial artist, therefore, can deal with every type of attack and defend himself effectively.
Kung fu training will improve your health and fitness. By health, we mean not only being free from illness, but the ability to sleep soundly, to work energetically, to think clearly, and to be calm yet alert. By fitness, we mean not just physical strength, but the ability to react quickly, to endure hard work, and to concentrate without mental fatigue.
Self-defense is the essence of Chinese martial arts. True Kung Fu teaching always instructs students to be tolerant and avoid fighting, but the ability to defend oneself is a valuable asset. It is only when we know that we can defend ourselves effectively that we gain self-confidence. In this way self-defense can be applied to non-combative situations, such as job interviews or school exams. In modern society, this need for psychological self-defense is perhaps more important than the need to actually fight.
The objectives of kung fu practice vary with the individual and often evolve with time. In general, practitioners seek to benefit in areas of:
1. Moral Growth - Kung fu is conducive to developing good manners and conduct. Deeply influenced by Confucian philosophy, it promotes good moral character, nourishes the spirit and fosters proper temperament.
2. Self Defense - Kung fu is about martial arts. Even though armed and unarmed combat are no longer an important part of modern day society, practitioners should appreciate the origins of the art and try to understand the applications for self- defense of the movements they practice. For the few who are interested in the combat aspects of kung fu, the techniques are rich in diversity and effectiveness in terms of attack and defense.
3. Health Improvement - Some kung fu styles include exercises that benefit the external and internal parts of the body.
4. Artistic Merit - Kung fu forms contain many graceful movements of the body and can be visually appealing. Some elements of kung fu can be found in traditional dance and opera.
5. Coordination - Kung fu practice is about the harmonization of the mind and the body as well as the synchronization of the internal and the external.