Kung Fu: Bring out the inner warrior in you
Kung Fu is the new fad in town, thanks to the adorable 'Po' who made this form of martial art extremely fashionable.
The endearing ‘Po’ has once again besotted the audience worldwide. His martial art skills is the talk of the town and his Kung Fu moves are to die for. Kung Fu is the latest buzz word and certainly creating a thirst among masses of all ages to learn the art. So we at MyBangalore.com decided to give you a low down of what Kung Fu is all about. Though martial arts had its origin in China, you will be surprised to learn that Kung Fu was originated in India by a monk called ‘Bodhidarma’. Kung Fu is the mother of all martial arts which refers to ‘hard work’ and ‘effort’. But there are various forms of martial arts like Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Tai Chi to name a few. Judo is a sport that involves primarily throwing and grappling. It is very similar to western wrestling, and was invented in the late 1800s by Jigoro Kano, in Japan, specifically as a sport.
Karate was originally an Okinawan method of combat that almost completely dispenses with throws. Its blocks are hard and it is a power oriented style.
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean art, similar to karate, which emphasizes the feet as weapons and is also very power oriented. “Kung Fu has both hard and soft styles. All styles teach the use of throws, grappling holds, weapons, and self defense. It is therefore a more broad and complex system of combat than many other styles,” says Raj Mohan Rao, a Kung Fu practitioner who is inspired by Jet Li, whom he considers as the greatest master and he is also a big fan of Simon Yeun who has shown his stunts in the movie Drunken master.
“When a person enrolls for Kung Fu training we first observe their behaviour. And over a period of time we figure out their inclination towards a certain style depending on their dedication,” he says who thinks that there are four factors such as strength, flexibility, stability and capability that counts. “You might have come across the normal pushups. But what we do in Kung Fu is very different. For example, we do a dragon style (finger pushups) say about 60-70 at a go and we do that regularly. Then we move on to the knuckle pushups. It’s extremely tough initially,” says Mohan who was trained under grand master Shiva Kumar.
The main arena of Kung Fu is its focus on animal behaviour and their style of stunts. During the course one gets introduced to the concept and later practices a certain animal style. “Each style has its own uniqueness and meaning,” says Venkat Shekar, the chief instructor at Indian Martial Arts Kung Fu.
There are 5 major animal styles practiced in Kung Fu. The animal activities with styles are
1) Tiger Style (simplicity, directness and honesty; the 'only' way for a Tiger stylist)
2) Leopard Style (leopard Style promotes thinking, strategy and cunningness)
3) Dragon Style (powerful and quick movements)
4) Crane Style (crane stylist have the power of elegance, patience and evasion)
5) Snake Style (snake style is one for wisdom, knowledge, precision, experience and clarity).
“Self-defense is the essence of Chinese martial arts. True Kung Fu teaching always instructs students to be tolerant. It’s all about learning and never about fighting. It’s about respecting nature, the (martial) art and the teacher,” says Venkat. There are two main areas of focus when in Kung Fu. The first one is the 'external' where one learns the hard way of fighting. The second one is 'spiritual' where one is taught meditation and various other practices to channelize their energy to focus in one direction.
Well every martial art has its unique way but Kung Fu is highly popular in our country but the irony is that the number of classes is less in number, "Because one has to practice it everyday and it is extremely hard to learn. In our institute it takes a minimum of 6 years to become an instructor. We have a minimum requisite of 5 years before applying for masters. One has to learn three animal styles and a minimum of 4 weapons,” says Venkat.
"To have a better understanding of Weaponry and how to use it one has to find something that incorporates reality together with the nature/function of a particular weapon. There are several ways of looking at this," he explains.
Length (as with the Long and Short)
Function (killing, hurting, damaging)
Material (metal, wood and combination)
Kung Fu is a poor man’s art and the fee is just Rs 250/- for one month and the admissions are open to anyone from age group 6 to 60. For details contact: Mohan at 9886384213 or log on to www.indianmartialartkungfu.com