Yes. Most Martial Arts including Kung Fu have numerous techniques you can use to defend yourself. It is important to realize that there is a distinction between sparring and self-defense. Sparring has many rules associated with it, whereas people focused on causing you harm will not follow any rules. If you want to learn self-defense it is better to find an Academy that focuses on that rather than sparring. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can learn useful techniques fairly quickly; however, to be able to pull on that knowledge in an adrenaline state or in an attack situation requires consistent training over an extended period of time. Therefore, you will need to make a long- term commitment to your training to gain the full benefit of the self-defense techniques.
Yes. We have had numerous students with anxiety issue train and experience a reduction on how anxiety negatively affects their lives. One of the reasons Kung Fu training helps with anxiety is that it requires you to be in the moment. Any time we suffer from anxiety, we are not in the moment. Another reason is that certain styles of Kung Fu like Tai Chi, focus on more slow, gentle movement and breathing techniques – both of which help with your relaxation and thus contribute to reducing anxiety. In addition, the confidence you gain from training Kung Fu impacts other arenas in your life and empowers you to engage in the challenges you encounter with less anxiety
Since training Martial Arts or Kung Fu involves physical exercise, it has the same impact as other physical exercise which reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, as well as stimulate the production of endorphins – which are natural painkillers and operate to elevate our mood. In addition, the necessity of remaining in the moment helps to dissipate stress. Many of our students have reported that not only do they feel less stressed in their lives as a result of their training; they have also said their training is helping them to sleep longer and better!
Yes. There are a number of ways that training Martial Arts or Kung Fu help children become more confident. First, they learn techniques they can use to defend themselves against bullies, which empowers them to stand up for themselves. Second, the challenge of learning the techniques and meeting that challenge helps to build their confidence to engage in challenges in their everyday lives.
At United Kung Fu, the curriculum is structured so the challenges are progressive. That means that the beginning curriculum is relatively easy to learn, the intermediate curriculum has a higher level of difficulty, and then even more so the advanced curriculum. This helps our students to gain confidence through every part of their training to their Black Belt and beyond. In addition, we include life skills like Courage in the Black Belt and Masters’ Path programs, which further helps our students to become more confident in everything they do.
Yes. Courtesy and respect are two qualities that we focus teaching our youth students starting with their very first class. Our youth students learn how to be polite with each other, and respect themselves, their instructors, their parents and grandparents and their teachers. In fact, one of the first things we ask them to do as students at United Kung Fu is whenever their parents ask them to do something, they stop what they are doing, say “Yes, Sir” or “Yes, Ma’am”, and then do what their parents have asked them to do right away. This is reinforced by their training in every class, and it eventually becomes a habit that will help them be more successful in their lives.
No, not in our experience. As with many Martial Arts, our focus at United Kung Fu is on self-defense. Therefore, it is emphasized from the very first class that our students are not permitted to use their Kung Fu to pick on someone else, including their siblings, and they can only use the techniques they learn in self-defense. There are significant consequences if a student chooses not to follow this rule, which in turn reinforces the importance of choosing not to be physically aggressive. Furthermore, the training gives them an appropriate outlet for aggressive tendencies, and for their extra energy. This reduces the likelihood that they will be physically aggressive outside of the Academy.
The main way training Kung Fu with United Kung Fu, and other styles of Martial Arts, deal with bullying is to help our youth students develop certain character traits that will make them less of a target for bullying. Though the training, our youth students learn to stand up tall and make direct eye contact. From their very first class, they also learn how to use their voice with volume and power. The confidence they gain helps our youth students to believe in themselves; and not believe negative comments by bullies aimed at drawing them into a physical confrontation or give into peer pressure to engage with bullies instead of walking away.
Although we also train our students to defend themselves, most schools have a “zero tolerance” for violent behavior, and it is not appropriate to respond to verbal bullying physically. Therefore, we encourage and support our youth students to walk away from confrontations; enlist the aid of teachers and other adults if they are being bullied, and only use the techniques they learn if the bullying becomes physical and they need to physically defend themselves.
The length of time it takes to get a Black Belt depends upon a number of factors, including: the style of Martial Arts being studied; how the curriculum is structured; the skill of the instructors; the training program the student chooses to follow; and the discipline, commitment and follow through of the student. Therefore, the range is between 3-7 years. At United Kung Fu, unlike many other Martial Arts schools, we have implemented a repetition and rotation structure to our curriculum. This means that you will have an opportunity to train certain parts of the curriculum on a regular basis; that you will be able to hone and refine what you have learned to make it better; and you will not forget what you have already learned as you continue to advance towards your Black Belt and Self Mastery.
Yes. Some styles are better for this than others. You will want to make sure that the classes where you train help you raise your heart rate, and work on your strength and flexibility. At United Kung Fu, one of our focuses is to ensure that our students are in great physical condition, as well learning the curriculum. Our Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced classes all include flexibility, strength and conditioning elements, which creates a balanced approach to better health and longevity.
Once our students start training with United Kung Fu, they are often inspired and motivated to eat better and sleep better as they start to experience the physical benefits of their training. Therefore, we have had numerous students lose anywhere from 20 to 100 pounds during their training with us.
Yes. Currently our students range in age from 4 to 92. We have a terrific Little Tigers program which was developed for youth students from ages 4-7. Our Family Kung Fu program includes students from age 7 to 82, depending on their physical abilities. Our Untied Tai Chi and Wellness branch also has a Recouperative and Regenerative Chi Gong and Tai Chi program that is excellent for those adults who may have health issues that would prevent them from training a more rigorous style of Kung Fu. Most students in that program are 50 – 70 years of age, with the youngest being in their 40’s and the oldest in their 90’s.
Yes. Once children are above the age of 7, they are usually ready to enter into our Family Beginning Basic Training Program, and they are able to train with their parents in that program.
In fact, we encourage that the parents and children train together as a family as much as possible so that they share the experience and develop deeper familial bonds as result. They will go through their challenges together and be able to support each other through them, and cheer on their successes. In addition, children will do what we as adults do – not necessarily what we tell them to – especially if there is an inconsistency between what we say and do. It gives children a great environment to learn from the example of their parents.
When children see their parents also training, being respectful, working hard – they are much more inclined to do the same and often progress faster than if they train without their parents.
Yes. Training Kung Fu with us will help your child to develop better focus and more discipline. We have had numerous youth students with focus and discipline challenges improve their performance at school significantly, as well as treat their teachers and parents with more courtesy and respect. Through their training, children learn to apply themselves consistently towards learning their forms, the accompanying applications, and accomplishing their belt rank goals, which then transfers over into scholastic goals and other personal goals they set for themselves outside of their Kung Fu training.
Being disciplined also involves self-control. One of the goals of training Kung Fu is to develop more self-control over our mind, body, and emotions. Students often experience different mental and emotional challenges during their training. We help them work through those challenges and get to the other side so they learn that their mental and emotional challenges do not have to rule their life or stop them from achieving their goals. Through consistent training, we become less at the effect of our emotions, mood swings or negative self-talk, and develop the discipline to not act out or take out our frustrations on ourselves or others. It also helps us to focus more on meaningful goals that take longer to attain, than get distracted with short term gratifications.
Kung Fu and Martial Arts Academies and Instructors are all different in how they structure their programs and tuition. The tuition can range from $ 85 to $ 450 per month depending upon the programs offered, the level of experience of the Instructors, and the costs associated with running their school or Academy. It is rare that you will be able to pay per class at a retail location because of the overhead involved in running a school or Academy and the need for a consistent income to pay that overhead. If an Instructor is teaching out of their home, they can have more flexibility in how they charge tuition.
Some Instructors will offer private lessons, and the cost of those will depend again on the experience level and success rate of that Instructor. What we have learned, however, is that most students learn better in a group with other students because they also learn from watching other students and being in an environment where everyone is learning together. They benefit further from being able to encourage each other through their challenges and celebrate their successes together. Therefore, we encourage our students to use the group classes as much as possible and to only train privately if they are stuck or approaching their Black Belt testing.
One thing to remember as you are looking for a place to train – you will often get what you pay for. We have talked to many people who start their training at the cheapest option they can find, only to have the Instructor disappear after six months, or experience little progress and then quit because of the poor quality. This is not always the case – it is just something to keep in mind in your decision making process.
There are a number of fundamentals you want to see in place before you consider an Academy.
Look for those Academies that focus on their students in their social media posts, because then you know that they care about their students progress and success. If the posts are all self-aggrandizing about the Instructor, then they might not be the best Academy for you.
Check the Website for information on the style, lineage, and for student testimonials. The look and feel of the Website will reflect the level of professionalism you can expect from the Academy. The pictures, like the social media, will reflect on the culture at the Academy and how important the students are to the Academy. Beware of those sites that use stock photos instead of photos of their own students and Instructors as this may make an impression that does not prove to be accurate when you go into the Academy.
A traceable lineage can help you to see how reliable the curriculum will be, and whether the curriculum will be based on long existing, tried, and tested techniques and forms.
The testimonials will give you an idea of the types of students participating in classes at the Academy and whether it might be a good fit for you.
Then you want to see if there is evidence that the Instructors are continuing to train and learn and improve upon their knowledge on a regular basis. One of the ways you can do this is again, check their social media and Website. See if you can find pictures from a few years ago where the same individuals are still appearing in pictures today with increased belt ranks and instructor ratings.
Although this is not always the case, the longer an Academy or school has been in business, the better chance there is that the Academy will still be around in 3-7 years when you graduate to your 1st Degree Black Belt. If they have been around 10 years or more, you can be assured they have probably weathered some tough times, and have stayed committed to their students and to delivering what they have promised. For newer schools – presence of a lineage that will stand behind them and support them as they continue to grow their situation is a strong indicator of the potential success of that Academy – or places to go as an alternative that will cover the same curriculum should that Academy close down in the future.
Is the Academy or School clean? The Academy is a reflection of the Instructors who own and operate it. We have received many compliments on the cleanliness and appearance of our Academy, and how that is one of the factors that has helped some of our students choose to train with us instead of elsewhere.
Then make sure you are able to take a trial lesson. Don’t just go and watch. Watching will only tell you a fraction of the information you need to make a solid decision. By participating in a class, you can see how the Instructors interact with the students, including yourself, and how that makes you feel. You will be able to determine whether their style of teaching will work for you. Also, you will be able to feel in your body whether the training is something you can do, or you can grow into doing on a regular basis.
Finally, follow your intuition, your inner knowing. We have had so many of our students say to us that they had other choices, but their gut said our Academy was the right place for them, and they were very happy that they followed their intuition and enrolled with us. Your intuition will be clearest after you have done a trial lesson – not just by watching or checking out their Website and social media.
The benefits our students have received from their Kung Fu training are extensive, and include improved health and longevity; greater strength and endurance; an enhanced ability to persistent through challenges to accomplish a goal; better ability to focus and have stronger discipline; more emotional, mental and physical self-control; peace of mind; improved balance and coordination; increased confidence; greater courage; higher energy levels and more consistent energy; greater flexibility; better awareness and enhanced ability to defend oneself; more courtesy; greater self-respect and ability to respect others; and more integrity. With the younger students especially, they develop the attitude and skills to be more successful in their adult lives.
The testimonials on our Website are only a small sampling of the hundreds of testimonials we have received from our students since we opened our Academy speaking into the benefits they have received and continue to receive from their training. They are truly inspiring.
All of the benefits, including learning self-defense, do require consistent training over an extended period of time to manifest. They will not appear in your life overnight. The longer our students consistently train, the more benefits they experience. That is why we have so many students still training with us after 10 years or more. The benefits just keep on manifesting.
Some schools have sparring and others do not. Sparring is governed by a set of rules. Since attackers do not follow rules, at United Kung Fu, we choose not to do sparring. Instead, we focus on the self-defense applications of our form work, some of which would never be allowed to be used in sparring and have been used by our students effectively in defending themselves. We also have students train on Body Opponent Bags to work on proper striking and targeting; and on a Wooden Man to ensure proper blocking techniques so there is less likelihood of them being seriously injured should they need to protect themselves from an attack.
Many systems include a requirement to participate in tournaments to be able to advance in rank inside of their schools. Our most senior Instructors have participated in tournaments as students and as witnessing Instructors. Based on our experiences, we have chosen not to require our students to participate in tournaments for a number of reasons. First, tournaments can be quite expensive endeavors, especially if they require travel to a different city. This can cause a significant financial burden on the student and/or their families, when they can possibly put those funds to better use elsewhere in their lives. Second, requiring a student to participate in a tournament when that is not their heart’s desire is not necessarily in the best interests of that student, and can be harmful to their self-esteem. Third, we have witnessed or participated in tournaments where the categories allow almost everyone to win a prize, and thus dilute the value of winning a prize. Fourth, some tournaments are structured by a system or set of schools in a way that highlights what their students train and can do, so their students have the best chance of winning. Then it becomes about the success of the Academy, not the students.
However, if it is the heart’s desire of one of our students to participate in a tournament, we will support them in their choice and train them in a way to support their success. For us, it is about the student.
No, you do not have to be athletic to be able to successfully learn Kung Fu with us. We have had students who have never done other athletics successfully train to Black Belt. We have had students with particular physical challenges train to their Black Belt. The depth of our experience, and the challenges that some of our Instructors have had to overcome in their own training helps us to be patient, and to find ways to help our students accomplish the techniques in a way that is safe for them, and still effective.
As long as your doctor says you can do physical training, you do not have to be in “good” physical condition to train Kung Fu with us. In fact, one of the goals inside of our curriculum is to help you get into good physical condition as a part of your training. In addition, our Beginning Basic Training classes are structured in a way that can help complete beginners who have never done Kung Fu or Martial Arts before, or who do not do regular physical exercise, to get in better shape safely.
Class sizes vary depending upon the time, and the level of the class. Pre-Covid, our largest classes had 12 -14 students per level, for a combined total of 10-24 students in the Academy at one time. Currently, because of the option to do classes virtually, most of our classes have an in-person attendance of 1-6 students, and then virtual attendance at a similar level. Our largest class is usually our Advanced Weapons classes, which we do outside. Those classes usually have 10-12 students in person plus a few via Zoom.
In addition, we usually have a minimum of two Instructors present for each class. Therefore, our class size and number of Instructors present ensures that our Instructors can assess what is needed by the students present, and they can work on the details in the curriculum needed by those students for them to be able to continue to progress in their training.
No, you do not need any previous Martial Arts experience to successfully train Kung Fu with us. Our Beginning Basic Training Classes are structured to enable people who have never thrown a kick or punch before to learn basic fundamentals, build their skill and confidence, and eventually embark on the journey to their Black Belt and Self-Mastery.
Training any style of Kung Fu or Martial Arts will benefit you in many ways. The particular style you study depends upon what you would like to accomplish, your physical capabilities, and what “feels right” to you.
After training numerous different styles of Martial Arts, the owners of United Kung Fu decided that the many different forms of Kung Fu provided the broadest range of benefits for themselves and their students with the least potential for injury that would impact a student’s progress. We have also found that Kung Fu is the best style to be able to train well past retirement age and contribute to an enhanced quality of life.
Of all the forms we teach at United Kung Fu, experience has shown us that Southern Shaolin Tiger & Crane (also known as Five Animal Kung Fu) is a terrific form for establishing strong fundamentals in stance work, strikes and blocks with the least potential for injury, and it provides a foundation for training many of the other forms of Kung Fu.
Each of the remaining forms (Yang Tai Chi, Chen Tai Chi, Northern Shaolin Longfist, Xing Yi, Wing Tsun, Sun Style Bagua, Emei Bagua, 9 Gates Bagua, Eagle Claw, Mantis and many others) further increase our vocabulary of movement which in turn contributes to greater health and longevity, as well as providing a rich repertoire of techniques for self-defense.
It is for these reasons, and many others, that we have chosen Kung Fu as the primary style of Martial Arts we train at our Academy.
What is important is that you start training. You may find the style that resonates with you right away, or it may take training a few different styles for you to find your niche. The best way to find the one that works best for you right away is to do a trial lesson at the Academies you are interested in, and then listen to your body – how it feels – and your intuition. It will guide you to make the decision that is right for you at that time.
Most Kung Fu and Martial Arts schools or Academies will allow you to do a trial lesson at their beginning level at no cost to you. That is the best way to see if that style and school is the best place for you to start your training.
- For us, it is about the success of the students, not about how cool we are because of the styles we know and how good we are at them.
- We have a strong, caring Kung Fu community that will make sure you are supported in your training.
- Unlike many other schools and academies, we encourage our families to train together for additional bonding and support as a family unit.
- The self-defense techniques in the forms we teach have been used effectively for centuries, and still work well today.
- All of our Instructors go through and extensive training program, with constant updates on teaching techniques, and are not permitted to teach without supervision until after they have logged over 200 monitored teaching hours.
- Most of our Instructors have been training with us between 8 – 17 years, and work on their forms and techniques for their own progress on a weekly basis. Their ongoing training helps them to also continue to improve how they teach the curriculum and keep the students up to date on any upgrades.
- It is important to us that our students are in good physical condition as well as learn their techniques and forms, and the classes are structured accordingly.
- We teach our curriculum in repetition and rotation so you will not forget what you have already learned and will continue to get better at it. This also ensures a more consistent progress through the relevant belt ranks.
- Many of the Kung Fu forms we teach can be used to enhance our health and longevity well into our 80s and 90s, as evidenced by the practitioners of these forms in China, as well as many of our Instructors in their 50s and 60s who are still teaching and training at full capacity.
- The wealth of Kung Fu forms we teach, plus our determined commitment to continue to gather curriculum that is beneficial to our students, means you can make Kung Fu a part of your healthy lifestyle for many, many years. There is always something new to learn at United Kung Fu.
We are located at 8279 W. Lake Pleasant Parkway, Suite 108, Peoria, AZ, 85382. That is on the Southwest corner of 83rd Avenue and Lake Pleasant Parkway. We are in the suite with the big red KUNG FU sign.
Due to the current restrictions impacting our type of business due to Covid 19, we are doing our full class schedule in person - inside with masks or outside without masks - and virtually. So you can also now do your training in the comfort of your own home as well as with us at the Academy.
If you have any questions about which classes would be most suitable for you or would like to arrange for a complimentary trial lesson, please call us at 623-972-7900.
The different systems of Martial Arts that are most commonly practiced originate in different countries. Their forms and techniques often reflect their culture, as well as the type of combat the found most effective in those countries and cultures.
Kung Fu is the umbrella term for all of the styles that originated in China. The English translation for Kung Fu means essentially “hard work”. Kung Fu is also a term used to denote great skill in any achievement. The people in China have been practicing their Kung Fu for centuries, and this has resulted in a very rich and extensive repertoire of numerous open hand and weapons forms – so many that you could potentially be studying Kung Fu for 30 years and still be learning something new. There are as many significant differences between the different styles of Kung Fu as there are differences between the different systems of Martial Arts that originate in other countries.
Many of the martial arts that developed in the Asian hemisphere can trace their roots back to Shaolin Kung Fu in China. For instance, the work Karate literally means “Chinese Hands”. Armies from other countries would attack China and get pushed back out of the country, and then take what they learned in the martial arts back to their own countries. Then the styles evolved from there into the systems of Martial Arts now associated with their country.
Some Martial Arts systems share certain common elements, like punching, kicking and blocking. A number of styles of Kung Fu share some of these common elements. However, there are differences in how the techniques are executed and put together in the forms. Then the types of weapons more commonly practiced in the different styles vary greatly. Of course the Grappling systems of Martial Arts are significantly different and involve wrist locks, arm bars, take downs and throws.
One of the more obvious ways that Kung Fu differs from the systems from many other countries is that a number of the styles are based on the observation of animals. For instance, Southern Shaolin Tiger & Crane includes movements and self-defense applications that are based on the Leopard, Snake, Tiger, Crane and Dragon. Xing Yi has a 12 Animal Form, and Sun Style Bagua is also based on movements characteristic of certain animals. This makes learning the forms more interesting and fun.
All the systems and the styles within those systems have value and effectiveness. Some work better for certain cultures or body types. Training Martial Arts it is a fascinating journey that we encourage everyone to embark upon. If Kung Fu calls to you, we welcome you join us at United Kung Fu for your journey. Just call us at 623-972-7900, or e-mail us to set up your complimentary Trial Beginning Basic Training Lesson.