The Martial Arts styles listed below are the primary programs offered here at the Academy of Martial Arts. Each of these programs is considered to be basic, or foundational. What this means is that they can be taught to anyone without any prior martial arts experience, and are meant to bring someone from the novice level all the way to advanced levels of ability & understanding.
Perhaps one of the most well known arts worldwide with the most variations, we of course offer Kung Fu. Many people are familiar with the idea that there are more than one type of Kung Fu, with people being versed in various styles.
Here at the Academy we offer training in Northern Shaolin Long Fist to accomplish the basic foundational training of the arts. Northern Shaolin focuses on developing strength, speed, flexibility and endurance from a health perspective. From a self defense perspective it initially teaches one how to strike effectively with the “Seven Stars”.
As a student’s knowledge grows, they are taught the inner workings of each movement, learning how to effectively grapple, throw, and lock with the movements they learned in their Kung Fu. During this period a student is also introduced to the standard weapons of Kung Fu: The Staff, The Broadsword, the Straight Sword, and the Spear, in order to acquire basic proficiency with them.
Once a student completes their foundational training in this art it is recommended that they move on to the study of another art, to help round out their training and understanding, or may pursue higher level Kung Fu. Our higher level Kung Fu Program consists of Northern Praying Mantis for their primary curriculum, as well as side study of other popular styles such as Ba Ji (Bodyguard Style), Red Fist, and the Cha System.
Tai Chi Chuan
“Great Ultimate Boxing”, Yang & Sun Styles
Yang Tai Chi is the most widely practiced “internal” or “soft ” martial art in the world. Here at the academy it is primarily taught to those who are looking for a way to improve their internal health and calm their minds.
It is initially taught as a slow moving system with a focus on Qigong (Breath Work). Of the many goals of the art is teaching one how to move slowly, and with adaptability to a situation. It helps practitioners develop focus and clarity.
There are many modern studies that confirm the truths of yesterday of its many health benefits. Tai Chi helps one to develop good balance both physically and mentally. When it comes to physical conditioning, Tai Chi accomplishes over time what Kung Fu tries to accomplish quickly. The theorem of Tai Chi is that it starts from the “inside-out”, rather than “outside-in”. What it accomplishes more quickly than Kung Fu however, is learning how to react calmly and smoothly.
Tai Chi is less physically demanding in general(but not always) than other arts, it focuses on structure, health, and understanding. Students are always recommended to begin their training with Yang Tai Chi to develop these concepts and further their understanding of the arts. Tai Chi is often seen as a martial art with little to no effectivity in today’s world. For those who are interested in the combat value of Tai Chi, rest assured the Tai Chi taught here is indeed very useful when it comes to self-defense, coming from the pre chinese communist era.
Students who wish to learn how to use the art for self-defense will embark on a slightly different path than those studying purely for health or aesthetics, although the initial program is the same. Yang Tai Chi is taught to all beginners, and upon completion of their basic Yang study, then the Sun style.
“Breath Work” (Chi Kung), Wei Kung, Nei Kung
Qigong is a series of exercises used to help promote good circulation in one’s body, improving immune & organ health, through breathing exercises while promoting relaxation. Good Qigong Practice promotes improved posture, strengthens the mind, and strengthens the body.
Nei Kung is closely related but focuses on using exercises that also more strongly develop the tendons & ligaments, getting ‘down to the bones’ ‘ through what is called marrow washing. Nei Kung seeks to ‘wash the marrow’ reenergizing the body. It is said well developed Nei Kung works its way through the spine and to the brain for greater health benefits.
Wei Kung is the development of the outer parts, usually seen first as muscle development. Wei Kung seeks to develop one from the outside in. People who are interested purely in health practices can enroll to study these, however each of these is also directly found in various martial arts that we teach. For example Qigong is focused heavily on in Tai Chi, Nei Kung in Xing Yi, and Wei Kung in Kung Fu. What better way to improve one’s health than by also coupling it with the ability to defend yourself?
For those who are more interested in wrestling and grappling, we offer Shuai Jiao(Big Throw). Shuai Jiao is one of the oldest martial arts in the world, perhaps dating back 4,000 years. The emphasis in this art is on grappling, and throwing.
Our program consists first of initial falling and rolling training so that one learns to fall “safely” and minimize injuries. Initial training afterwards focuses on conditioning, learning the fundamental movements of the art, and then their applications. Much of Shuai Jiao’s skills are learned in the application, and the art proves to be very popular.
Shuai Jiao is taught as an ancillary system to Kung Fu, to help students understand their Kung Fu better, but can also be taught on it’s own. It is a short system with a focus on application.
Xing Yi Chuan
Xing Yi is a system that focuses on simplicity. The system consists of 5 element (foundational) fists, and 12 animal fists, and a handful of forms. What it lacks in flair it makes up for with efficiency. Xing Yi focuses on ending encounters as quickly as possible via direct & deadly attacks and well developed footwork. It is well known for its explosiveness, and practitioners are known to acquire proficiency in nearly any weapon they pick up due to its methods.
A simplified version of this system was taught to the Chinese military for many many years. The system is purported to have been developed by the famous General Yueh Fei in the 12th century. The modern founder is considered to be Li Luo Neng.
Xing Yi is an art that can be taught both “hard” and “soft” developing both internal and external ability, and is often considered a gateway art to being able to develop a deep understanding of the arts. As testament to its efficiency Xing Yi boasts many of the most feared and effective martial artists of the Classical period. There are a few primary styles of Xing yi, and here at the Academy, students are taught in the Sun style.
“Gentle Art” & Di Shu Quan “Ground Boxing”
Here at the academy we teach the essentials of groundwork through a combination of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Ground Boxing techniques. The emphasis is in teaching people how to safely move, control, and defend themselves when grounded, and how to fight from any position. Emphasis is on finishing ground encounters quickly or standing up quickly.
Techniques that are taught employ Chin-Na (joint locks) and various Catch Wrestling style submission holds to end encounters, as well as effective strike and point manipulation(Tien Shou). For those who are interested in deeper study of ground arts expressly, higher level training that focuses purely on ground is offered. For those who wish to disregard ground training, it is highly suggested to help even out your training and overall understanding of the arts.
As part of our programs, we introduce students to the various weapons as they relate to the arts that they practice. The vast majority of fighting styles in the world are derived first from weapons and their usage, and then relegated to empty hand styles. Empty meaning weaponless.
At the academy we offer primary training in both the Long Staff and Short Staff, Chinese Long & Short Spear, The Chinese Broadsword and Straight Sword, Nunchaku, The Iron Ruler (Sai), the Stick, & Knife. Training is available in other more esoteric weapons as well at advanced levels. We do not offer HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts) at this time.