Laurie Dibble, Master Instructor 6th Degree Black Belt United Kung Fu, Peoria, AZ Many potential students have asked me what the difference is between Kung Fu and other styles of Martial Arts, and why should they train Kung Fu instead of one of the other styles of Martial Arts? Just like other styles of Martial Arts, in Kung Fu, you learn how to kick and punch, you learn self-defense, and you can get into better shape. Many of the benefits you receive in Kung Fu can also be achieved in other styles, for instance, greater strength, flexibility, coordination, endurance, focus, confidence, discipline, balance, increased energy, safety and awareness. So why Kung Fu? There are so many different forms of Kung Fu that it can keep you learning for many, many years. Studies have shown that continuing to learn and exercise our brain helps us to stay happier and more engaged in life, and can prevent, delay or reduce the onset of symptoms of degenerative neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Second, each of the forms requires you to move in a different way, which expands your vocabulary of movement. So our ability to move increases as we train instead of decreasing as we age, which enhances our quality of life. We can continue to do the things we love to do for longer, and better. Our students who hike or run, or participate in sports like baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics and dance have found that training Kung Fu has made them better at their chosen activities. Third, training Kung Fu brings with it a calmness and peace of mind that helps us to stay less stressed and lose less energy when faced with the challenges we all face in our lives. The energy we save helps us to live longer and happier lives. Finally, training Kung Fu is fun! We spend much of our time doing things that we do not enjoy. Kung Fu can re-spark our joy for life. And this will trickle out into the rest of our life and help us to stay positive and joyful.