Various Skills Within The System

Kung Fu Kids

IMG_1021The development of kids, both mentally and physically, is of paramount importance to any parent. However, in today’s technological advanced world, the lack of discipline and physical exercise and training, is contributing to a completely underdeveloped young person. It is not uncommon to find unfit, lazy, bad tempered, impatient children who don’t seem to have any ambition other than playing with video games and cellular phones.

While this is a very generalising statement, the truth that echos for the majority of our modern children is very real.

Kung Fu Kids is a fun developmental program which enforces development, discipline, ability, self confidence, and self defense, in a fun environment.

Bring your kids along for an interview and let them try out a class to see how they adapt to, and enjoy, this traditional system.

Tiger roll

Tiger roll

Dodging sponge balls

Dodging sponge balls

Adult Syllabus

The complete Shun Wu Tang system incorporating all aspects of Traditional Chinese Martial Arts.

tao ke

We teach a complete and holistic syllabus with gradings every 6 months up until Black Sash(there after, the student joins the national Black belt club, with seminars, camps, as well as regular and advanced, weekly, black sash training).  This includes training bare hand forms and applications, weapons forms and applications, body conditioning and development, flexibility and stamina, strength and speed, agility, balance, focus, sparring drills and free sparring, self defense applications and scenarios, military strategy and battle formations, demo and tournament training, national and international camps and seminars, and much more.

Tao Ke 2 (2)

It is important to know that the structure of the classes are alot more relaxed as compared to the regimental approach that is present in most modern forms of martial arts. The Chinese family system environment emphasizes the home environment and encourages and promotes family values, ethics, morality, honour, respect, etc. This is called Wu De.

NO EXTRA COSTS INVOLVED!!!

Khyle takdown

Dragon Dancing

Since the mid 80’s Shun Wu Tang has been performing the traditional Dragon dance for South African audiences. The Chinese Dragon dance symbolizes luck and is therefore performed at festivals and events. During the 80’s Shun Wu Tang was awarded the Taiwanese Dragon, Kaoh Tai, and we were proud to house this magnificent 20 man dragon until 1997 (the year Shifu Ave passed away) when it was borrowed by another school and never returned. Shun Wu Tang are proud to boast that we have performed the authentic Dragon Dance all over the country for various festivals, ceremonies, cultural events, and martial arts tournaments.

Kaoh Tai

Kaoh Tai in procession circa 1990. Shifu Ave carrying the head.

Dragon dancing requires stamina, endurance, agility, coordination, balance, and is a great way to keep you fit! There are many routines and sequences that make this a very fun filled activity with a strong sense if tradition. More recently, 10 man dragons are used, making it easier to conduct the routines and making this shorter dragon alot more energetic and exciting. This require quite a bit of explosive movements with pin point precision and accuracy. In early 2014, a senior team from SA participated in an auspicious ceremony in Taiwan. Two 10 man dragons were used in this amazing cultural festival.

 

Dragon Dance

2014 cultural festival in Taiwan

Kung Fit

 Kung Fit1

Kung  Fit is nothing new! But in this age where so many businesses are being formed, claiming to have reinvented the wheel with regards to physical fitness, we coined the name “Kung Fit” for something that has been around since the inception of all Martial Arts; Physical Fitness.

Currently there are many sales tactics and schemes out there claiming to produce outstanding resutls  , including the term “scientifically proven”. Well, while we do agree that there is always some sort of ground breaking research and development in the fitness world, not all of them are true…especially, when you have to order it online or pay for a “secret”. You want the secret?!?!?! Here it is: Train smart, train hard, eat healthy, eat less.

Even modern gyms seem to be going back to old fashioned body weight exercises and overall core training, coining in on these old methods. Developing the body to efficiently do the tasks at hand, was the reason Bodhidharma created the very first Shaolin exercises. As time went on, martial exercises gave ordinary people, “superhuman” strength and abilities. Bare in mind that there were no gyms back in the day, so the only exercise was actual hard work like farming the land, chopping wood, carrying buckets of water, lifting heavy stones to build structures etc. So martial arts training was the very first form of body building, even though it was for the specific purpose of war and combat.

There are no secrets to Kung Fit. Its plain and simple, age old, tested, exercises that make you fit, and keep you fit. What we do, is put it into nice regimes/routines to make it more ….fun! These exercises and workouts, focus on increasing strength, stamina, endurance, and generally all physical abilities which makes it vital for anyone and everyone, not just martial artists.

San Da

San Da means free fighting and was developed by the Chinese military, based on traditional marital arts, to be used in practical urban and military conflict situations. It combined all four basic martial art techniques i.e

  • Da – Upper-Body Striking – using fists, open hands, fingers, elbows, shoulders, forearms and the head
  • Ti – Lower-Body Striking – including kicks, knees and stomping
  • Shuai – Throws – using Wrestling , takedowns and sweeps, and
  • Chin-Na – Seizing – which includes jointlocks, strangulation and other submissions

It is important to know that there are many different types of sporting codes that are played using Sanda. So Sanda, in modern terms, refers to modern combat or modern sport fighting.

Kuoshu style is one of the oldest forms of combat sports in which the Central Guoshu Institute used the traditional Lei Tai as the fighting arena upon which competitions would be held. In the old days, competitions, disputes and duels were settled on the Lei Tai, often result in fatalities. The sport of Kuoshu Lei Tai was created with safety in mind, were combatants would test their skills based a set of rules. Combining and mixing all the various styles and systems of traditional Chinese Martial Arts, Kuoshu created one of the very first forms of Mixed Martial Arts.  This type of competition and in particular, the Lei Tai was the inspiration for many movies like Bloodsport, and video games like Virtua Fighter, Dead or Alive, and Soulcalibur.

Today there are various forms of sport combat based on Sanda. Sanshou is the most popular. Is is widely accepted as the new sporting code for Chinese Martial Arts to test their combat skills. While there are many different sporting codes including Shuai Jiao (a sporting code for just wrestling, throwing and takedowns), Sanshou remains the most popular due to its combination of the 4 basics (above). Due to Chinese Martial Arts having so many locks, small joint manipulations, breaks and dislocations etc, the Sanshou sporting code employed full boxing style gloves which limited the use the hands, making it more difficult to execute some of the more dangerous techniques. This made the sporting code safer and resulted in a better competition.

However, most Kung Fu schools practice Sanda in many ways including; just hand boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, grappling, trapping, and combinations of all of the above. Protective gear is paramount when training in class to ensure that students get the best, but safest simulation of this combat.

Sach n Kumi

 

Tai Chi & Chi Kung

Tai Chi/Taiji Quan has become a very popular trend today, together with Yoga and Pilates, as a form of relaxation and some physical conditioning. However, the roots of Tai Chi remains a martial art with functional fighting applications and techniques. The spinoff is the added health (both mentally and physically) benefits that come from practicing Tai Chi and Chi Kung regularly.

Today, Tai Chi has integrated itself into almost all Traditional Kung Fu systems. Various aspects of internal training has become a staple in the Chinese Martial Arts. These aspects have even filtered through into various other Martial Arts styles. The idea of “soft over coming hard”, has led many researchers down the path of the Internal styles and indeed fused these aspects with their own styles.

The origins of Tai Chi are very vague and many will argue the viewpoints and half-truths. Irrespective of who really created the concept that we NOW know as Tai Chi, the many stories/histories have led to today’s version on this art. One of the more believed stories is that a soldier in Tai Tzu’s army return home to his Chen village after the war and started to teach what he had learned from his military service. The creation of the Tai Tzu style further adds some merit to this story in that Emperor Tai Tzu fused his fighting knowledge with the knowledge gained from Shaolin’s writings/scrolls and created a new style of combat. One of the chambers of Shaolin Luohan is called Rou Quan (soft style) and shares quite alot with modern Tai Chi Quan.

At the senior levels all three aspects of the internal styles are taught i.e Tai chi, Bagua, and Xing yi.

Lion Dancing

We teach and do two types of Lion Dancing; Cantonese Lion and Hokkien Lion.

The Cantonese Lion Dance is the more famous one that is seen in movies and demonstrations. It is flamboyantly dressed up and employs lots of crowd pleasing antics. It resembles a puppy dog in its motion and is seen as playful and jovial.

The Hokkien Lion is a more traditional Lion that is used in ceremonies and rituals to ward off “Evil Spirits” . It has fierce and vibrant motion and employs the use of martial skills and low stances. It resembles an agile big cat with ferocious sudden movements.

Both these dances requires agility and strength and is a great way to keep fit and practice stances and footwork for fighting. The arms also get a great workout for use in the guard during fighting, as you cannot drop your hands with performing the Lion Dance. Together with the actual dance, comes music. Playing Chinese musical instruments is part of the cultural experience with doing the Lion Dance and so, a team of musical performers is also required. Traditionally the huge Chinese War drum is used. However this is quite cumbersome to transport for small events etc, and so alternatives can be used.

All in all, the Lion Dance is a fun filled activity with double benefits.

 

Chin Na

Chin Na employs techniques of locking, seizing, grabbing, breaking, ripping, and tearing. There are various schools of Chin Na, each with its own small nuances. In modern Kung Fu styles, Chin Na does not feature in its entirety due one simple reason: clothing. Once fancy clothing was regarding as “smart” and society started to frown upon fighting, grappling was seen as “ungentlemanly”. So many of the grappling techniques were discarded not simply not taught and practiced. However, several of the techniques were used to restrain, arrest and nullify opponents (with as little tearing of the clothes as possible). Traditional Chinese Chin Na is a brutal version of modern Japanese Aikijutsu. The objective is to completely nullify your opponent so that he/she does not attack again. In the past this meant, breaks, dislocations, rip and tear, and even kill.

Shuai Jiao

Shuai Jiao is one of the oldest martial arts in the world. It predates the Shaolin temple arts and was used primarily as a military art. Initially soldiers wore horned head gear to gore/butt their enemies, and this became a game/show later on. It evolved into a sport where contestants would use strikes as well as throws to win against their opponent on top of the Lei Tai.

Shuia 5

Today it us used predominantly as a sport that resembles modern wrestling. Also sometimes known as Mongolian Wrestling, Shuai Jiao involves catching your opponent off balance and throwing him/her to the floor. On the surface, Shuai Jiao looks very similar to Japanese Judo and Jujutsu, but it has many differences especially since it involves Chinese philosophy, strategy and warfare. In the Chinese Martial Arts, Shuai Jiao is usually practiced together with other styles to create a holistic or complete system.

 

Shuai Jiao2

Fireman Carry drill

Above is a typical Shuai Jiao throw exercise. The Fireman Carry is one of the basic throws of Shuai Jiao and is found in various forms of Kung Fu.

 

 

Bing Zhen

The essence of Shun Wu Tang lies within the Bing Zhen. This is the true fighting skills that were used on the battle fields during actual battles and wars. Tried and tested and past down as is, the Bing Zhen is a no-nonsense method of military strategy and fighting. There are not many martial arts styles in world that offer this unique aspect. We are the ONLY school in South Africa to teach and offer the Bing Zhen. Bare in mind that Martial Arts were banned in China during communist rule and so systems like this were long lost. Today there is too much “Romance” in martial arts, which starts to skew the initial purpose of the techniques and skills.

Bing Zhen is a military battle formation designed to teach students to work in a group to achieve victory. The skill sets within the Bing Zhen vary from weapons use (ALL weapons….let your imagination run wild here) to agility, endurance, stamina, and overall physical fitness. While there is unarmed aspects to warfare, practically, in a battle with skilled weapon wielders, the unarmed soldier stands little chance.

Kesh and Kumi1