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What is Kung Fu?

Kung Fu is a term that’s synonymous with the martial arts, but how much do you actually know about its meaning, history, and practices?

Kung Fu is one of the most well-known and commonly studied styles of martial arts, second only to karate.  Originating in ancient China, Kung Fu served as a means for self-defense and survival in the hostile environment of the time.  With the only weapons available being rudimentary implements made from wood and stone, it became essential to utilize the human body to it’s full potential.

More than just a set of fighting techniques, Kung Fu consists of deeply rooted philosophies that guide the fighter in how to approach their opponent and fully encompasses how to train the mind, in addition to their body.

A common saying related to basic Kung Fu training is:

“Train both internal and external.”

External training focuses on the hands, eyes, body, and stances.

Internal training focuses on breathing techniques, the mind, the heart, and overall strength.

Meditation is also utilized in Kung Fu, as well as many more of the martial arts, as a way to develop focus, mental training, and proper breathing.

Also essential to Kung Fu training is a set of stances designed to establish a foundation for the fighter’s base.  The varying styles of Kung Fu differentiate in the details and names for the stances, but the basic tenets stay the same. Stances dictate the fighter’s structural posture, including foot position, weight distribution, and body alignment.

Over centuries of practice and development, Kung Fu has branched out into countless schools or sects, with some experts estimating that there are currently over 300 distinct styles being practiced today.

If you live in the greater New York area and are interested in learning Kung Fu, you’ll want to visit the award-winning New York Martial Arts Academy, named the most outstanding martial arts school in North America.  Contact us today to learn more about how Kung Fu can change your life,