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Four Reasons to Learn the Art of Kung Fu

The essence of Kung Fu is not only about throwing punches and kicks. Actually, the essence of Kung Fu is difficult to put into words. Indeed, Kung Fu must be felt, practiced, intellectualized and shared. Above all, one must make Kung Fu a part of his or her daily life to truly appreciate its depth, richness and authenticity. For one who trully understand this art - it is a way of life.

Self defense

1Combat efficiency is the first and foremost aim of all kung fu training. Each movement in Kung Fu is functional and can be used to hinder and to produce an attack in the same time. But, Kung Fu training is more than just techniques. As you learn Kung Fu you train your mind along with your whole body, you enhance coordination and self-assurance, and you develop awareness. These elements are essential when dealing with any scenario.

Health and fitness

2Tired of the standard gym routine and the latest craze in fitness that is just like all the others? Why not try some Kung Fu training. When people think about Kung Fu they could picture high kicks or acrobatic forms but that is only one part of what Kung Fu is. All styles (soft and hard) have exercises for improving well-being, flexibility, and for conditioning and strengthening different parts of the body. It strengthens not only the body, but also the mind. You will derive the radiant health a typical kung fu exponent of classical kung fu literature manifests, only if you practice kungfu as a martial art. If you practice kung fu as a dance/gymnastics, you will only get the type of health benefit that a dance/gymnastycs can give.

Character development

3Kung fu training itself is a process of character development. Qualities like tolerance, endurance and perseverance are developed if you practice kung fu the way past masters did, such as practicing the forms and its different techniques everyday for years. Qualities like mental freshness and calmness are pre-requisite if you wish to be good in kung fu. It is more than a mere fighting art - it expands the mind and leads ultimately to spiritual fulfillment. Meditation, known as chan (zen), is an essential aspect in all levels of this art, although it is emphasized at the advanced levels, and although not many people today may be aware of this fact. Actually, the original aim of Bodhidharma when he first initiated the art, was spiritual cultivation.

Enriching our lives

4Setting objectives like increasing our endurance and perseverance levels from a minute to five minutes over a period of six months, for instance, in stance-standing training can be readily combined with the objectives of developing internal force. It will be useful to check whether we have also transferred these qualities to our daily life, such as examining ourselves to see whether our disciplined kung fu training has made us more tolerable to other people and more capable of facing demanding tasks. The various meditation methods in kung fu enhances our mind and spirit. (In eastern philosophy the mind and spirit are often regarded as one.) We may, for example, set objectives like enhancing our mental clarity so that we can comprehend a problem in five minutes when it took half an hour in the past. Hence, if we are clear about what we intend to achieve in our kung fu training by setting aims and objectives, we can not only get more benefits from our practice in shorter time, but also enrich our as well as other people's lives.