Tapping Into Your Greatness Through Kung-Fu

The predominant style of Kung-Fu that I teach is called, “Choy Lay Fut”. The way it was passed on to me was from the standpoint of maximizing my ability to generate power.

When I finally put the pieces together, and made a jump in my ability, and tripled my power, it was a major feeling of accomplishment. I had never experienced that feeling before. It was a transformative, spiritual moment. My instructor, who I deeply admired, literally said, “You broke the pad, and you’re starting to scare me. By the way, you hit so hard, you bruised your hand, so you can’t hit pads for a couple of days, until it’s healed.”

When we are in the world of martial arts, sure, it is shrouded in a culture of violence. It is embedded in a culture and mindset of inflicting physical harm on another human being, in the name of self protection.

But, the reality is, I don’t like the idea of hurting another human being. I can do it, if necessary. But I do not want to consume my thoughts and energy towards that. I’d rather heal and build people.

Can martial arts, and Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu, in particular, be a tool to build and heal people, when it presumably teaches you to be so powerful, in the name of decimating another human being?

I say YES! Which is why we hit pads more than we hit at each other. I think there is something deeply spiritual about you feeling your ability to manifest and generate power with another human being - all in the name of us building each other.

The idea of making adjustments, finding your center, finding your hard-soft energy balance, and striking the target with your maximized power creates a connection of how powerful you are. It creates a connection that you are strong. It creates a connection that you are able.

Once you’ve learned the technique, you then, as with anything, have to maintain it, and practice it. It is very easy to forget and get disconnected with your sense of power.

We live in a world where many things around us are communicating a message to us that we are not enough (e.g. you are not smart enough, you are not hard working enough, you are not dressed well enough, you are not rich enough, you are not good looking enough, you are not organized enough, you are not sensitive enough). In this kind of world, the belief in self is more important than anything else in the world.

I believe the Choy Lay Fut approach to hitting pads taps directly into the practice of believing in oneself. Sure any athletic activity can do this, but something about doing a combative technique taps a little deeper into it, because we understand that this was originally designed as a movement to protect yourself from someone who was attempting to harm you. Just knowing that, as you practice your technique, is a great connection to your belief of yourself and connection to the mindset of protecting yourself.

In today’s world, protecting yourself might not necessarily be from someone who physically attacks you (although it might). Instead, it is more applicable to use Choy Lay Fut techniques and training to protect yourself from a society that works very hard to make you feel like you are not enough.

It is in Choy Lay Fut’s history. It was taught secretly, and used to defeat the oppressive Manuchurians during the Ching Dynasty. Now, we can use it to defeat society’s attempt to get you to defeat yourself. In its roots, Choy Lay Fut has been a tool used to rebel against the status quo.

Long live Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu!

The Deeper Meaning Behind Techniques

We did this combination in the Adults Class last night (10/7/2019):

Headlock w/Punches Escape, Pak Sau, Chain Punches, Kup Choy.

After we drilled that, I briefly talked about the philosophical idea behind each chunk, and the larger picture with each.

Headlock Escape w/Punches - You will probably never find yourself in this situation. The idea isn't to scare you into thinking, OMG WHAT IF THIS HAPPENS TO ME?!?!?
The idea is for you to see this scenario, be compelled by how horrifying this set up is, and then to see the solution. It is to promote the mindset that no matter how bad a situation is, there is always a way out. The more you embrace that idea, the more you'll be prone to positively seek solutions, even in what may seem like an impossibility.

Pak Sau (or Pak Da) - Anticipate and be aware of what's around you, and have a response. This requires being sensitive and mindful of who and what's around you. Having the sensitivity and presence of mind to respond quickly, to communicate that you are paying attention.

Chain Punches - One might not be enough. Be in the habit of iterating. Be in the habit of following up. The idea of "one and done" should not be a default. Always look to continue and improve.

Kup Choy - Contrasting to chain punches, sometimes, you only get one shot. You have that one interview. Gather all your resources, every ounce of your being, consolidate it all, put it all together, and give that one shot everything you have. Every single attempt must contain your full presence and consolidation of all your resources and past learnings.

TRAPS AND PITFALLS AND THINGS TO AVOID FOR EACH

Headlock w/Punches Escape - Don't wait for things to get so bad, just because you know how to handle hard situations. Be proactive, so things don't get that bad.

Pak Sau - Don't be so hypervigilant that it makes your paranoid. Be aware, but let it go. Acknowledge possibilities, but don't dwell on them.

Chain Punches - You have to know when to stop. Doing the same thing over and over again with no real impact is the very definition of insanity. Know when to stop and shift strategies.

Kup Choi - Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Also, sometimes putting your all into things requires you to not just master hard energy, but also to master soft energy. Sometimes, for a greater impact, you have to go softer and pull back.

So I told everyone that the chances are slim -hopefully- that they will ever need these techniques in actual combative situations. But the philosophy that manifests from each tactic is something to be applied in daily life, be it relationships with friends, family, co-workers, etc or situations at work, in public, etc.

Martial arts training and techniques are a pathway into a deeper philosophy that you can see and use in every day life.

Becoming a Martial Artist

Martial Arts is dangerous. Not really to do, but more dangerous if you know it, but don’t know how to control yourself. If you do not know how to control yourself, you become a very dangerous person to your community. 

So what teachers would do is put the people who want to learn martial arts through tests, to see if they have the strength and the ability to control themselves to be good martial artists.

When the right people learn martial arts the right way, you have a happier and safer community.

Some of these are tests of mental strength, through physical exercises. They want to see what you are like when things get difficult. If you give up too easily, they will give you easier things that are not really part of the real training. If you don’t give up very easily, then you will probably start experiencing the more authentic training.

Some of these are tests of patience. They want to see what your level of self control is. If it is at a very low level, and they will give you things that are not really part of the real training. If you demonstrate patience, resiliency, and self control, you will probably advance faster, and start getting closer to the authentic training.

Many people think martial arts is all about the techniques. The techniques are only a small part of what Martial Arts is all about. Martial Arts is about the training, the self-discipline, and having the right mindset. It is learning to have good skills, but being very humble about it. It is learning that you can strengthen yourself by strengthening others.

So part of getting the real Martial Arts authentic training is seeing if you can make it through a process that requires commitment, perseverance, patience, and confidence.

When these character attributes are proven to the teacher, the teacher will then decide to take the student through a training process that will coach the student through a slightly altered process that will help them attain the skills faster, and develop them to be executed at a higher level. 

Just because you learn a few self-defense techniques in one day does not mean you are ready to defend yourself.
Just because you learned a few chords on the guitar in one day does not mean you are ready to join a band.

Just because you learned a few words in a different language in one day, does not mean you are ready to hold fluid conversations about politics with native speakers of that country.

It is one thing to learn some basic martial arts techniques, it’s something entirely different to be a martial artist.
It is one thing to learn a few basic chords on the guitar, it’s something entirely different to be a guitarist.
It is one thing to learn a few words of a different language, it’s something entirely different to be fluent in that different language.

The goal of a martial arts teacher is to teach everyone some basic martial arts techniques, but then out of those people, find out who are ready to become martial artists.



Role Playing Problem Solving Situations

In our self defense methodology, we take the most common attacks, whether it be a street fight situation, a sexual assault, or a bullying situation, and become familiarized with those patterns. We then apply our techniques, concepts, and philosophies to address it all.

We do it enough times, and also address variations of the situations, or mistakes we might make when applying these, and how we adjust, and recover.

This is a bit different from sparring. What sparring provides is developing the mindset and movement readiness for someone who is intent on attacking us. The problem is, that usually the types of attacks are specialized attacks that are specific to the art. So you are training to defend against someone who knows your art. It will for sure raise your attributes for self defense.

However, if those aren’t typical attacks that happen in the “real world” situations, then you aren’t training the perfect readiness to handle it.

It’s almost akin to thinking that regularly arguing with your brothers, sisters, and friends is going to prepare you for handling a workplace disagreement. When in actuality, if you try to resolve workplace conflicts the same way you try to resolve conflict with family, it might get you into big trouble.

So, that’s why if you study Human Resources/Relations, you learn about how to negotiate disagreements and workplace conflicts through case studies, and in a sense, roll playing situations. No situation is ever identical, but there are common patterns, and you can apply a certain concept, principle, or philosophy to address it.

It is an intentional practice of specific situations, initially. Then you can randomize the situations, and then you can throw curveballs into the situation to address how to readjust yourself, instead of being in a fixed mindset.

When you drill intentional, choreographed drills, and then also randomize it, and occasionally throw in complications, you can develop legitimate self defense/problem solving skills.

So, role play. Do pre-set exercises. Then mix them up, and throw in curveballs. It’s one of the most efficient way to mindfully develop skills.

Kung-Fu in a Chair!

In the spirit of full disclosure, last night I ate some junk food I don’t typically eat…late at night! Why did I do this? I have no idea. The mood hit.

I instantly regretted it. I felt all bloated, unhealthy, and out of shape. I did not like the way it made me feel. I’m not talking about having any kind of stomach pains or anything, I just felt like blah! You know the feeling. The regret.

So I wanted to sweat it out a little before going to bed. But it was late at night, I didn’t want to go anywhere, and I didn’t want to be noisy stomping around the house while everyone is asleep! I was thinking, “What should I do, what should I do? Maybe I should just go to bed, and work out in the morning.”

NO!

And suddenly, an image flashed in my mind. It was an image of videos and actual people I knew who trained martial arts in wheelchairs. And they were going all out, full spirit! That reminded me of other imagery I’ve seen of people who are literally missing limbs - arms and/or legs, who are doing martial arts forms all out, with the caption reading something like, “YOU HAVE NO EXCUSE”.

…!

1000%!! This is it! I started doing my forms from a seated position. No footwork, no legs at all, just all hands. And I went all out! I probably went for 45 minutes! I was literally sitting down the whole time doing my moves, absorbing the spirit of those without limbs who practice martial arts. I worked up a good sweat, and, I totally brought back some old hand speed drills and built up my skills!

It taught me a valuable lesson - just because the situation isn’t perfect/ideal, doesn’t mean I can’t train! No matter where you are, what your circumstance is, you can always find a way to train and practice martial arts. Even if at a 10% capacity of what you are actually capable of, it is important to always remember:
SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING!!

The point is to keep doing it. Instead of waiting for the perfect situation to fall into your lap so that you can train, find a creative way to get even a 1% of your capabilities to train. It is literally better than 0.

It all come back to mindset. How you think about it and approach solutions with a mindset of optimism of belief that there is a way, is the big lesson here.

In fact, sitting here at this desk, typing away…as soon as I’m done, I’m going to go through a few forms from my chair and get my heart rate up a little! And then, I’ll go home, and eat something healthy!

I may be the head instructor here, but I tell you, I’m still learning, and still gaining insight. I consider myself a lifelong student. I have much to teach, and, I still have much to develop and learn!

Dealing With A False Sense of Confidence

One critique I hear from martial artists who find out that other martial arts schools don’t spar, is that they are enabling their students of developing a false sense of confidence.

My take is that more often than not, these are folks who are lazy at teaching, and don’t have the vocabulary, insights, patience, and skills to help shape the mindset to prepare every day, average people to engage in combat. It is the old approach of throwing somebody into the deep end of the pool and have them try to survive.

So the question is, if you are indeed developing a connection with combative energy, but are not actively sparring, with full contact, full resistance, are you developing a false sense of confidence? The quick answer is NO. Don’t let them make you believe that. They are bullying you.

There are people with absolutely NO, ZERO, NONE training whatsoever in martial arts or any combat practice, who have stood up to bullies and attackers, and have even gotten into fights, and have prevailed. Why? MINDSET.

Here’s the hard reality that a lot of martial arts and fighting experts don’t want you to know - you can live your whole life without doing martial arts. Millions (billions, actually) have. If you value your life, and you are not one to put up with someone who is trying to oppress or intimidate you, your mindset is protecting you. You don’t really need martial arts. Martial arts can certainly help, though!! If it does end up going down, aren’t you glad you had some training?

I’ve seen and heard many stories of people who trained martial arts for years and years, get beat up in a street fight. They didn’t have the mindset. That have all the combat attributes. They have all the techniques. They’ve even done endless amounts of sparring. They still got their ass kicked! Was it because the attacker was more skilled? NOPE, NOPE, NOPE, NOPE!!!! It’s because the attacker could smell your fear, and intimidated you.

Embracing the combative energy and developing the mindset to fight - to actually be violent, when necessary for self defense is actually the thing that can save you.

I will admit, though, that there are some places that teach people to be confident about their abilities, but they really lack the technical skills. I, too, find this problematic. But we live in an information age, now. If you want to learn how to make your straight punch as strong as you possibly can, there are a plethora of free videos on YouTube out there. So in my opinion, when it comes to the technical information, there’s no excuse for using a lot of low percentage movements, when it comes to training for self defense.

Even in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) - there is so much emphasis on the guard (you are on your back, with your opponent in between your legs). While it is important to know what to do if you wind up there, but for the love of life, do you really want to put yourself there in a real self defense situation? Especially when it’s possible that someone could kick your head in? So, don’t go to the ground, if you don’t have to…and if you do, do everything you can to stay on top. That’s your focus. Now, in case things don’t go your way, then yes, let’s practice some guard moves, but practice in the context of your trying to get back on top or enable and escape.

Some of these ideas are disruptive to industries. I understand that.
Look. If you practice high percentage techniques for self defense (the knowledge, data, and methodology for that is all open source, at this point), and you practice developing your reflexes with it, and engulf the mindset with raw combative energy, with a meditation on your relationship with violence, I don’t believe that you are building false confidence. I believe you will stand up for yourself. I believe you will fight to survive. You might win. You might not. That is never a given. But, you will fight. And that’s the most important thing.

Combative Energy is What Makes Martial Arts Unique

There’s punching the bag mindlessly.

Then there’s punching the bag with intent.

And then, there’s punching the bag with martial warrior spirit!
This is the one I want to talk about. This one is a visualization that you are in battle, and you don’t have time to think or get too analytical. You have to move to survive.

Imagine - you are in a violent confrontation. You have 3 choices:

  1. Flight

  2. Freeze

  3. Fight

You choose option 3, to fight. That takes a mindset. Some of us already have it. Some of us don’t have it. Some of us don’t have it, and don’t want it. Some of us don’t have it, but want it.

Ok. If you don’t have it, but want it, this is where we come in. Building any sort of martial arts or self defense skill is first and foremost a mindset.

You have to think in terms of combat. And if you are pretty removed from that, it helps to start with being very very technical about things. Once you put the technical pieces together, you start finding that if you “ramp it up”, your techniques start working better. You are tapping into the combative energy. BUT, you’re still not there, yet!

Just because you put the technique pieces together, and you’ve ramped it up, doesn’t mean you’ve full embraced combative energy, yet. There’s another layer. That layer is, now you visualize and act as if you are using that technique in a life or death situation, and there is no time to think, and you move with EVERY OUNCE of your mind, body, heart, and spirit - your survival depends on it!!

This way of moving is getting out of your intellectual, cognitive brain, and going straight “lizard”! Meaning, you are moving with emotion, expression, and purpose.

You have to practice this, if you are, in general, a non-combative, agreeable person, by nature. It means you have to accept certain levels of violence. It means that you have to be okay with the fact that you have to picture yourself causing physical harm to another human being. If you cannot picture this, then you will never truly be able to connect with combative energy.

Come to terms with violence. To be clear, I’m not advocating you to actually become violent. Not at all!! I want you to be the most peaceful, helpful person on the planet! But in order to be helpful, you have to be strong. And when you have come to terms with violence, are not intimidated by violence, and are not afraid to inflict violence when you are physically attacked, you become even stronger. Thus, you could amplify your servitude to others, because you don’t have fear of any sort of random act of violence.

Tapping into your combative energy is a very deep, philosophical idea, that comes out in your movement. It is very clear to me, even when someone is doing a solo form (kata), I can tell if they have connected with their combative energy. The details, the aesthetics, the performance attributes, and the athleticism of it are great. But those don’t get to the heart of combative energy directly. I personally would rather see someone perform a routine kind of sloppy, but with very clear combative energy. That demonstrates a person who is willing to fight for themselves.

Embracing combative energy is what martial arts is all about. Part of embracing combative energy requires you to visualize yourself doing violent damage to someone who has attempted physical harm to you. Think about this the next time you hit a bag, pad, or do some moves in the air - does it have combative energy?

Meditation Hack - It's Brain Training!

There’s been so much mysticism around meditation. Along with that, a lot of weird claims of what meditation can do for people.

I’ve stripped it down, and have a new way of looking at meditation, so as to reshape your mindset towards it.

DON’T CALL IT MEDIATION. CALL IT “BRAIN TRAINING”.

In a typical meditation, you find a chant, and you repeat it over and over again. Why? Because it helps focus your mind. Your mind is a thought producing machine, and generally, that’s a good thing. But if you want it to work better, you have to practice focusing it. Just like if you want to get stronger, you need to do specific, targeted exercises.

This is literally no different than that. Repeat the chant/mantra, over and over again. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the chant/mantra. It will wander many times. So you’ll be bringing it back from the wandering to the chant/mantra many times. The more you practice that, the more you can quiet your mind down on a dime’s notice, and think clearly.

It’s as simple as that. You are training your brain to be able to go from it’s natural state of always producing thoughts, to dead-still quiet. This takes a lot of training and practice. And like with anything, the more your practice, the better you get at it.

Will it improve your health? Sure, but don’t focus on that. Will it improve your ability to communicate? Sure, but don’t worry about that. Will it improve your production and execution? Sure, but don’t worry about that!
Just focus on training your brain to get stronger focus. There are plenty of benefits, but don’t get fixated on them.

Many times, various meditation styles/groups/societies/cultures set up some rather rigid norms. They sell these norms as a way indoctrinate you. I think all of that is bogus. You don’t have to do it for a specified amount of time, or at specified times of days. Hogwash! Do whenever you can, however you can. You don’t need to be in a quiet room. You don’t need to be sitting. You don’t need to even close your eyes. You are training your brain to focus, by practicing it. That’s it! Nothing more, nothing less.

Find a chant/mantra, repeat it over and over again, and bring your mind back on to it, after it has wandered off. That’s all that it is. It’s brain training. And it has no copyright. It has no ownership. It has no patent number.

My own perspective is this:
It is better to get into the mode by doing it every moment you can, than to have hour long sit down sessions. Do it while driving. Do it while shopping. Do it while doing the dishes. Do it while taking a shower. If you build brain training into your day-to-day actions, you will be not only strengthening it, but you will be making into a way of life.
Having designated times to sit and meditate is fine, but then you know what happens with that, right? “Oh, shoot, I have to skip my meditation session, because I had this urgent thing to tend to.”

I’m here to tell you that that is not the only way. Right now, say the word “ayem” over and over again as your chant/meditation. You can say it in a variety of ways, such as:
Ayem
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayem
Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyem
Ayeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeem
Ayemmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Ayem
Ayem Ayem
Ayem Ayem Ayem
Ayem Ayem
Ayem

Do you see? Just do that for a few minutes/seconds/whatever. Do it every chance you get. That’s it. You are training your brain by practicing quieting it and focusing.

Hopefully I have helped dispelled some myths, and provided some greater clarity on what this stuff is. Brain training.

Skill Based Empowerment

When you develop new skill sets in martial arts, it builds your belief in yourself.

This is the skill set order that I prefer:

—Develop punching power first. When you know how to generate power from your hands, and realize the damage you could inflict with your hand strikes, you start getting in touch with your sense of personal power.

—Develop kicking power next. Once you start realizing that you can inflict even more damage with your legs, because your legs are twice as strong as your arm, you start appreciating how lethal you’ve become.

—Develop your blocking ability next. Once you learn how to effectively learn to use your limbs to block strikes, and how to use movement to evade strikes, you start realizing that not only can you inflict damage, but you also know how to avoid getting damaged. Developing breakfalls and rolls also falls in line philosophically here, as well.

—Develop your ability to strike and block with weapons. When you learn the basics of how to wield basic weapons such as a stick, knife, or bo staff, you develop a sense of empowerment of being able to enhance your techniques and escalate the damage with an object. You also gain empowerment know that you know how to defend yourself, with a weapon.


—Develop the ability to use grappling to shut down aggressive actions. You learn how to clinch, take down, control, redirect, and submit an attacker. This is arguably the more nuanced and complex skill set. But when you come to an understanding of this, you start believing your ability to defend yourself from virtually any size attacker. You may also develop a sense of being able to control someone and get them to comply without having to inflict too much damage.

Not everyone will agree to the order of skill sets I prefer. I created this order purely off of my personal preference. Some people start at grappling. Some people start at kicking. Some people start at weapons training. It really doesn’t matter. What’s important is that you start.

You Need A Coach.

You might know how to do all the techniques I teach.

You might even be able to do them better than me.

But what is highly unlikely is that you are training yourself on a regular basis.

If you are, great, read no further. But if you aren’t, then keep reading.

A coach is someone who can guide you, and keep you on the path. To develop martial arts as a lifestyle, you need someone to be able to give you goals, direct your focus, and someone to provide insights and encouragement.

We tend to see martial arts as more of an “end-result” oriented product through what we are exposed to in the media. But the best part of martial arts is the lifestyle, and the process/journey one takes with it. That part might not be very exciting to watch. But it is the most important part, and can be very fulfilling.

You might already have a strong punch, that you might be able to use in self defense. But, you could be making your punch stronger by punching every day, with each hand. You could also be be building your stamina with throwing 100 full body punches with each hand. You could also be building your timing and reflexes by punching at a moving target. You could also be doing conditioning and specific weight training exercises that build your punching power. You could also work on your diet and sleep schedule, to improve your performance.

These are things that coaches do. If you think about some of the highest performing athletes, they all have coaches to help direct them. The coaches may not be at the same technical level as the athlete, but they understand what it takes to get the athlete to the next level.

So much of it revolves around mindset.

I would like to help you with your mindset, in regards to martial arts training. We’ll use the techniques that I teach, and whether you know them or not is not that important to me. What is important to me is having the right mindset, while training.

Finding Your Power

When I started martial arts at age 13, it definitely empowered me. I felt I had the ability to protect myself which gave me a huge confidence boost. People tried to bully me, but they failed, because I stood up for myself, always.

The confidence this gave me is immeasurable.

But, it wasn’t until I started training in Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu, when I realized my actual power. Choy Lay Fut’s methodology is very direct in how one develops actual physical power. When I started, I realized very quickly that even though I was mentally powerful (confident), I realized I had some growing to do, in terms of developing my actual physical power.

My teachers gave me the drills and training I needed, and after a couple of months, my ability to generate power shot through the roof! It got to the point where one of my trainers said, “Um, you broke the pad! And, you bruised your hands - you have to take a break for a few days and let your hands heal.”

That was an important milestone, I felt I had reached a level I never had before. It shot my belief in myself to a new height I had not experienced, because there is no way to fake your power in Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu. You can hit a target and feel/see/hear for yourself how much power you have generated.

This is what I want to do with you. I want to help you develop your power. Developing your power is not just a physical journey. There is a mental process to it, as well, which is just as important (and some may argue that is more important) as your physical power.

—If you have trouble with focus, I will help you train your focus, and maximize your power.
—If you have trouble with believing in yourself, I will help you build your confidence progressively, and maximize your power.

Once you have developed your power, I will teach you how to maintain, nurture, and control your power, but that is a topic for another day.

Finding your power is something you could do on your own, but it’s way more efficient and effective when you have a coach by your side, guiding you. That’s where I come in. Let me guide you, to maximize your power.

Once you’re making gains, you should be guiding others, and the cycle continues.

Mental Power Translates Physical Power, which Transfers to Mental Power, which...

YOU ARE POWERFUL.

Yes, you are!

Well, what I’ve found is that when I see a smaller person who is able to generate a lot of physical power, there is this belief in self that is very clear. That belief in self is EVERYTHING.

What if you don’t have a strong belief in self to begin with? Good news, we’re here to help.
We have the techniques, methodology, equipment, to empower anyone. We assume everyone is extremely uncoordinated, so we literally start from zero. Ha! Not good enough for you? Ok, we start from -100. How’s that? We assume your coordination is at least -100.

We have 100% confidence that our methodology will develop your physical power generation potential.

But here’s the big kicker - our techniques, methodology, and equipment are not the X factor, as you might think it is.

The X factor is YOU.
Do you have enough mental resources to be open minded and try?
And when you try, can you devote all of your attention to it?
And can you be patient in your progress?
Can you build it into your routine, and come on a regular basis?

If you answered YES to those questions, then we are very confident that we can make you physically more powerful with our techniques, methodology, and equipment.

We do a very powerful style of Kung-Fu called Choy Lay Fut. One of its key attributes is that it can make people become very powerful in generally a shorter amount of time than many other traditional systems of martial arts. The training methodology is very direct, the concepts are logical. Once you understand those, you just have to put in the repetitions to get it to coalesce.

The power I’ve seen people achieve with Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu has been inspiring. When things start to coalesce, you feel it right away, and something happens to your psychology - you start developing confidence. You start believing in your ability to become powerful. That new mindset starts affecting your physical performance, and you put in even more time and effort!

This is where we begin. Contact us. I want to help make you more powerful today.

Kids Training to Punch Hard to Build Self!

In our style of Kung-Fu, Choy Lay Fut, it is a very hand-striking oriented art. There is a huge focus on developing full body power behind every strike. Historically, every strike was designed to overwhelm and incapacitate the opponent.

Honestly, it is a pretty violent art. Historically, it was not meant to restrain the opponent. It was meant to literally destroy.

But that is not the philosophy we are operating under. Yes, while we are working on maximizing our power generation for each move, and hitting as hard as we possibly can, we are doing this from the mindset of building our power potential, We do it from a growth mindset. Doing the moves, drills and training to build ourselves, not necessarily to destroy others.

When kids discover their power, there is an unshakeable confidence that comes with that. This sense of self is the most important mental aspect we can help kids develop.

We do look at combat situations, but when we do, we’ll actually shift into incorporating Jiu Jitsu, so that they may have a slightly less violent approach towards self defense against an attacker.

But the power kids develop with their strikes, they can imagine that if they landed that on someone, it would do damage, and we make them aware of it.

Our whole focus though is to build your power to build yourself. How hard can you hit the target? We use target paddles that clap, that gives them an audible indication of how effective their power and aim was.

Our moves are very traditional, But our philosophy, perspective, mindset, and attitude towards has evolved into a mode of production as opposed to destruction.

Quotes From Our Kung-Fu Kids!

Six of our kids, who have been with us for a few years shared some of their thoughts of what they think about the Kung-Fu training process. This was an impromptu question we asked, to get the most honest response they could give us! Here’s what they said:

Kid #1 - I like to practice because it pushes me past my limits.

Kid #2 - It gives me a very strong focus, which I like!

Kid #3 - I love the fact that the training is self-guided.

Kid #4 - It makes me feel more energized. Before class I’m really lazy, after class, I have a lot of energy.

kid #5 - I like that I can use it for love and courage, and not out of hate.

Kid #6 - It makes me feel strong and that makes me happy.

Kid #6 - It feels good to do the moves - they are fun!

Kids Kung-Fu: Some Really Thrive with and Crave Structure

Kids are a bundle of energy! And that is beautiful and wonderful thing! The question is, how are the expressing the energy?
While we believe every kid can benefit from Kung-Fu training, we recognize that some kids thrive better in less structured sports, like soccer or basketball. We’re not saying that there isn’t any structure in those sports, but in general, it is all about playing the game, which is a very free-form activity.

Kung-Fu for kids is a HIGHLY structured activity! Practically every step is commanded. Step 1 - move here! Step 2 - move there! Step 3 - move here! Okay, show us the 3 steps! Good job! You get a stripe on your belt! You have leveled up and are now ready for Step 4.

Some kids really love this structured approach. Some kids may not realize that they love it, but then end up doing very well with it, because they can channel all their energy into the steps.

The structured approach builds a lot of awareness and mindfulness. It is a very visceral way to connect the mind and body.

Some kids absolutely love it. Some kids absolutely need it. But……..some kids really hate it. And we understand, and have accepted the reality that this form of learning and channeling kids’ energy is not for everyone. Some kids need to run around. Some kids require a more fluid-free form environment. And that is OKAY!!

Both develop the brain and body, but in slightly different ways. The more free form approach develops problem-solving skills, and a high level of gross motor strength. The structured approach develops more cognitive ability, and higher levels of finer motor strength (kind of like playing an instrument - except the instrument is your body).

Our focus on the structure has been very helpful to kids who may have challenges with attention, because everything has it’s place, and they feel the reward of putting things in their place.

The interesting thing is, after a level of proficiency and fluency has been developed, it can turn into more of a sport, where movements are done in a randomized, free flowing way. However, in Kung-Fu, it takes awhile to get there, because of the complexity of the coordination. Also, because it is combat, it is important that the kids know how to control their movements, before they engage in randomized drills and exercises with each other.

But generally, if someone has practiced Kung-Fu long enough to get to that stage, they already love the structured approach to the training, and crave it! They want more!

The Language of Kung-Fu, For Children

Chinese martial arts (Kung-Fu) can be very complex in its coordination. A lot of these are older movements that are reflective of combat ideas employed during the hand-to-hand battles of the Ching Dynasty of China.

It can be a great challenge to replicate these movements, but that challenge improves our coordination, balance, awareness of body structure & energy.

We really value developing this in our students, but recognized the challenge that this is not how people in the West naturally move.

So, we came up with a system of breaking all the movements down into its finest elements, to help kids develop the “language” of Choy Lay Fut Kung-Fu.

We work on generating power with these elements, so we can feel how to put our whole body behind a technique. It’s much easier to do this one move at a time, than trying to do it with a sequenced string of movements.

Once they learn the basic “alphabet”, we play with them on developing fluency with the alphabet, by hitting targets, in a reflexive-responsive way. It becomes so much fun, that they forget that they are actually learning something!

Before they know it, they are putting together strings of these “alphabet” elements together to make more complex sequences - and they are putting their full body and spirit behind it.

We don’t over-correct on details, at first. We just want them to get a general picture of the idea. As they have fun with the general picture of the move, we may add a “secret detail”, to make it more powerful!

This method has proven quite effective with children - think about teaching them how to speak English (if English is your first language) - do we correct every grammatical and syntax error they make when they are learning to communicate with you? No, you (HOPEFULLY) do not! In fact, sometimes, you might adjust your language to theirs, so they can understand you. As they’re vocabulary increases, you are able to teach them more words, and ideas.

The other thing that’s important is to contextualize everything. We show the kids how all these moves would apply in combat, so they have a picture of what the move was used for. Remember when you were learning new vocabulary words in school? What was the common way to understand the definition - to use the word in a sentence. In other words, context. And that is what understanding the combative application of the moves does for kids - it provides context.

In the world of social media, they say content is king. In the world of learning, CONTEXT is king!

Kids learning Kung-Fu as a language has had a great effect in their overall understanding of the art, and ultimately, themselves!

Kids Believing In Themselves

It’s one thing to do Kung-Fu techniques. It’s another thing completely when you put your mind-body-spirit-heart into each move!

This requires a sense of believing in oneself. We realize that sometimes it takes a little extra motivation and encouragement from coaches, parents, and even peers to give it our 100%.

This is not limited to children! Adults need this, too! Sometimes all it takes is, “You’re doing great, keep it up!!”

This sense of self, the belief in self that enables us to access all of our resources to give our best effort - it takes intentional practice. The more you do it, the more natural it will be to bring it out.

We believe children have the ability to push past their comfort zones, and reach levels they never knew was possible - with the right type of coaching, of course.

This idea of always trying your best, no matter what, is a builder of self esteem. It’s wonderful when children already have it. That’s easy. But when children don’t have it, this is where we as coaches are tested with our ability to engage students, and get them to make an inch of progress, and celebrate even the most modest of successes.

In a culture where we see idealized lifestyles on social media sites like Instagram, it is very easy to get into a mindset that we are not good enough, compared to the perfection we see of people’s lives on social media. We are very adamant on kids coming to our classes, and feel our connection and commitment to them. We want them to build their sense of self, and focus on achieving and improving, and take on a “growth mindset”.

This underlies one of our core mindsets behind our kids Kung-Fu classes.

Mind. Body. Spirit.

One of the most common questions in the world of martial arts:

What is the best style?

Kind of vague. Best at what? Street fighting? Sport fighting? Grappling? Striking? Fitness? Show business? 
And for whom? For kids? For teenagers? For middle aged adults? For athletic college students? For senior citizens? For Men? For Women? 

The bottom line in martial arts, is to build a better sense of self, no matter who you are or why you are doing it. 

When you put your mind, body, and spirit together in the training process, you are able to reach all of your goals. 

In Kung-Fu, one of the ways we synthesize mind, body, and spirit, is through the practice and performance of forms. Sure, there are martial applications in the moves, and sure, it builds some basic attributes of strength and coordination in a progressive way. Those are all wonderful things.

What we love best about them with children is that it is them tapping into their heart and soul, and finding their expression. It can reveal what they feel about themselves. It gives us an opportunity to coach them to dig in deep, and find that warrior spirit. We coach them on using their voice, in conjunction with their movements. There is a cathartic and uplifting quality to it all. This is how we help children build their esteem and self concept. 

Sure, eventually, we'll have them square off with an opponent, and help the develop the mindset of surviving under duress. But, we strongly believe in building them up through their own accomplishments having nothing to do with another person, and really focus on themselves, first. 

Our philosophy operates under the belief that martial arts is very much a self-reflective practice, not unlike a meditation. Watch the above video again, and think about the mindset the children are developing to perform what they did. If you would like your child to develop that, contact us, to have them try a class for free!