A Few Frequently Asked Questions:
1. "What is the difference between Kung Fu and Karate?"
Basically, Kung Fu was developed in China whereas Karate comes from Japan and Okinawa. It should be noted that kung Fu is considered the "mother" system of many styles of combat (including Karate) because many dynasties ago the Shaolin monks fled China due to execution by a fearful emperor and went to other countries like Japan, Okinawa, and Korea. The monks then taught people some of their techniques, but their art was simplified into a basic form of self-defense known as Kara-te (or “empty hand”). Karate is characterized by simple (yet effective when mastered) linear movements. Tae Kwon Do tends to utilize kicking techniques as its primary weapon of defense. Kung Fu is much broader in scope in that it is a complete system having hand and foot techniques as well as healing and diverse weaponry. Karate is rigid and linear whereas Kung Fu is hard and soft, linear and circular. Thus, Kung Fu is more complex and involved than Karate and the newly developed Tae Kwon Do.
2. "Are there belts in Kung Fu? If so, how many?"
Technically, there are no belts in Kung Fu. Belt levels were designated in Japan and the U. S. for Karate and Judo practitioners as a means of rank. In traditional Kung Fu, there is simply Teacher (or Master) and Student. However, in modern times, many Kung Fu instructors have employed the use of belts or sashes (more common) as a means of rank or goal for the western students. Every Sifu (Kung Fu Instructor) has his/her own method of ranking . . . there is no universal method.
3. "How long does it take to master Kung Fu?"
This question is almost impossible to answer in that every individual learns differently. Also, it depends on the work ethic of the student. Proficiency comes to those who work hard and to those who have a good, qualified teacher. The choice of Kung Fu style may also play a significant role (some systems may be more intricate). However, the bigger question is: Can Kung Fu truly be mastered? It is said that “learning Kung Fu takes a lifetime.”
4. "Can Kung Fu help my ADHD child?"
Kung Fu has been shown to greatly improve the focus of many children with Attention Deficit Disorders including ADHD. This type of child needs a well structured environment and a well structured program such as ours at American Kung Fu Academy. Our qualified instructors will help the individual learn to concentrate and FOCUS. Many of today’s youth need discipline and self discipline to function as productive members of our society. Kung Fu training can help!
5. "Do I have to spar and compete in Tournaments?"
Not at all. We are not considered a “tournament school,” however, we may occasionally participate in some (the youth tend to enjoy the competition). Please note that sparring and tournaments will not save you on the streets! Yet, sparring can help you with timing, blocking, and striking better than almost anything . . . which could be useful in a self-defense situation.