An Introduction to Kung Fu

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The term ‘ Kung Fu’ actually refers to any skill that has been developed over time through the endeavour of the individual. We in the west tend to associate it only with martial skill. Because most people equate ‘Kung Fu’ with martial art, at the Institute of Personal Development Arts (IPDArts) we have continued to use the term, rather than the more accurate term ‘Wu Shu’, which to most has more connection with martial gymnastics or performance martial art.

The system taught at IPDArts is unique. It is a synthesis of the tactics and principles of three styles of Kung Fu. They are:

Wing Chun. (Also spelled Ving Tsun, Wing Tsun, and countless variations thereof):

According to legend, Wing Chun is the only Kung Fu style to be founded by a woman. It was initially made famous in the west by Bruce Lee, who used it’s principles as the core of his Jeet Kune Do. The style’s specialities are close quarter fighting, domination of the opponent’s centreline and explosive,continuous attacks. Tactile sensitivity (sensitivity to forces generated by the opponent) is trained extensively, enabling the practitioner to exploit weaknesses in the opponent’s defence and body structure and to use their force against them.

Xingyiquan. (Also spelled Hsing I Chuan):

A system based on the use of the spear and characterised by powerful linear attack – Xingyi’s main tactic is to smother the opponent , giving him little or no chance of counter attack. The style shares many principles with Wing Chun – centreline defence, attacking and defending simultaneously and control of the opponent’s centre. The style teaches sophisticated internal body mechanics to produce devastating power, for which Xingyi practitioners are famous.

Yiquan ( also spelled I Chuan, and also known as Da Cheng Chuan):

A system founded by Wang Xiang Zhai, one of the greatest martial artists in China’s history. After training for many years with the famous Xingyi master Guo Yun Shen, he travelled widely, absorbing influences from various other masters. In formulating Yiquan, he turned traditional martial arts on it’s head by applying scientific principles and testing to an area which was previously steeped in superstition, blind tradition and misinformation. He clearly explained , for perhaps the first time, the mechanics of internal power without recourse to explanations of mystical forces. He popularised a system of self cultivation known as zhan zhuang (pronounced jan jong) or ‘post standing’, which has immeasurable benefits for physical health, the development of martial power and cultivation of ‘no-mindedness’, where attention is solely on ‘here and now’.

The Kung Fu of the Institute of Personal Development Arts was formed by taking the common principles of these martial styles and putting them into a coherent, logical system. It is simple, direct and extremely effective in it’s techniques and contains no acrobatic or unnatural movements, making it easy to learn and suitable for any age (16+ ), either sex and any level of physical ability. Strong emphasis is put on standing exercises to improve the posture, health and strength of the student. At more advanced levels students are shown how to develop explosive internal power, and are encouraged to enquire into the nature of their own minds.

IPDArts training is offered exclusively on a private basis, either one to one or in pairs and all teaching is from our headquarters in the South of England, United Kingdom.. In this way we can tailor the training to suit the individual, thereby greatly accelerating progress when compared to a large class environment. Many students travel great distances to train with IPDArts.