At the U.S. Kuoshu Academy, we teach a complete program in traditional Chinese martial arts. In the United States, these practices are sometimes called "kung fu."
At the beginner level, the Kung Fu program includes stretching and warm up exercises, kicking and punching techniques, and pre-arranged sequences of techniques which we call "forms." After developing skill in the beginner level, students start to take on sparring practice and weapons training. Later, some kung fu students elect to participate in the school's tai chi curriculum, in order to develop a fuller perspective of the Chinese martial arts.
In the background of our instruction, we emphasize the philosophies expressed in the Tien Shan Pai Motto "Virtue, Wisdom, Humility, Martial Arts". Students are expected to exhibit these qualities both inside and outside of the school.
Our principle kung fu style is Tien Shan Pai, a northern style which originated in the Tien Shan mountains of northwestern China. It is well known as an effective fighting style. At the same time, Tien Shan Pai also contains graceful empty-hand and weapons forms stressing rhythm and "ing shou" the demonstration of power accentuated by solid thuds made by the hands. Tien Shan Pai self-defense is characterized by attacks from the side coupled with multiple blocks, so that if one block fails, the second can cover. Footwork is considered essential to countering attacks; Tien Shan Pai focuses on low, steady steps to the side, along with swift "hidden" steps to trick the opponent.
2-Man Set at Grandmaster Huang's 35th Anniversary Charity Demonstration
Our kung fu program also features forms from the Nanjing Central Kuoshu Academy, a martial arts university created in the 1930s in China. Other kung fu styles include Ground style, Monkey style, Sun Bin boxing, and so on.
We train in a variety of Chinese weapons, including broadsword, straight sword, long staff, short staff, spear, steel whip and big knife (Kwan Dao). Double weapon training (double straightsword, double broadsword, double hooksword) and weapon two-person sets are also included in the standard curriculum.
Students are also trained in qinna (joint locking and grappling), shuai chiao (Chinese wrestling/throwing), and san da (fighting techniques). For advanced practitioners, power training in iron palm, pole and martial qigong is possible.
Our Adult Kung Fu program is appropriate for physically fit adults or those who wish to be. Our students range in age from fifteen to approximately 55 years old. In the past, some of our students have been 55 years or older, and still participated in kung fu. The level of physical activity required in kung fu is similar to the requirements for sports such as basketball, running, and tennis. The Kung Fu program, as with other sports, is generally progressive with respect to the difficulty of the skills and techniques used. This means that beginner students are not required to perform overly complex or difficult techniques until they have a skilled foundation and the stamina needed for advanced Kung Fu. While kung fu is an excellent training method to reach or maintain a high level of physical fitness, it is nonetheless a vigorous form of exercise. As with any form of exercise, we recommend that you discuss any physical concerns you have with your doctor or medical advisor prior to beginning the program. Within our Kung Fu program, students are taught a complete body warm up system that promotes flexibility, balance, and muscle tone and warming to minimize the potential for injury. Additionally, our students have reported that certain chronic ailments have improved through the regular stretching and exercise or our Kung Fu program.
Adult Kung Fu, What is next? Kick or a Punch?
If you are concerned that this program is not well suited to you, we suggest that you explore the Tai Chi program offered at U.S. Kuoshu Academy. You may also meet with one of our instructors for an introduction lesson and discuss your concerns at that time. If you are still concerned about your ability to participate after your first Introductory Lesson, we can arrange for an introduction to Tai Chi with your remaining lessons.
The overall USKA curriculum features rich and diverse offerings, providing for extensive training in Kung Fu, Taijiquan and other Chinese martial arts systems. Portions of this curriculum were taught by Supreme Master Wang, Cheuh-Jen, 63rd Generation Grandmaster of Tien Shan Pai, and have been updated and supplemented by Grandmaster Huang, Chien-Liang, based on his extensive training and personal instructional experience.
The curriculum addresses training in a progressive manner each level makes available the skills necessary for advancement to higher levels of accomplishment. Below, we have featured details on some of the major programs offered, including Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Xingyiquan and Baquazhang. Additional training opportunities are featured as well.
Note: Displayed below is the Adult Kung Fu curriculum up to 5th Degree Black Sash. Not all elements of the curriculum are shown, and the curriculum is subject to change without notice. Slight variations and adjustments have been made to this curriculum for our youth program.
1st Degree Black Sash
White Sash - Grade 6
- 初級拳 Chu Ji Quan (Primary Fist)
Orange Sash - Grade 5
- 小武花 Xiao Wu Hua (Little Martial Flower)
Green Sash - Grade 4
- 梅花拳 Mei Hua Quan (Plum Flower Fist)
Blue Sash - Grade 3
- 盤龍鞭桿 Pan Long Bian Gan (Coiling Dragon Whip)
Purple Sash - Grade 2
- 中級拳 Zhong Ji Quan (Intermediate Fist)
- 梅花連環腿 Mei Hua Lian Huan Tui (Plum Flower Kick Combination)
Brown Sash - Grade 1
- 小武花對練 Xiao Wu Hua Dui Lian (Little Martial Flower Two Man Set)
- 中級拳對練 Zhong Ji Quan Dui Lian (Intermediate Fist Two Man Set)
- 梅花單刀 Mei Hua Dan Dao (Plum Flower Broadsword)
- 小虎燕 Xiao Hu Yan (Little Tiger Swallow)
- 白眉棍 Bai Mei Gun (White Eyebrow Long Staff)
- 天山槍法 Tian Shan Qiang Fa (Tien Shan Spear)
- 鴛鴦譜 Yuan Yang Pu (Mandarin Duck)
- 燕形劍 Yan Xing Jian (Swallowtail Straightsword)
- 散打 San-Da 1-10
2nd Degree Black Sash
- 突擊 Tu Ji (Sudden Attack)
- 短棒對劈 Duan Bang Dui Pi (Short Staff Two Man Set)
- 單刀對槍 Dan Dao Dui Qiang (Broadsword vs. Spear)
- 梅花雙劍 Mei Hua Shuang Jian (Plum Flower Double Straightsword)
3rd Degree Black Sash
- 九節鞭Jiu Jie Bian (Nine Section Whip)
- 擒拿對練 Qin Na Dui Lian (Chin Na Two Man Set)
- 單刀對劈 Dan Dao Dui Pi (Broadsword vs. Broadsword)
- 叉腿 Cha Tui (Crossing Leg)
4th Degree Black Sash
- 小紅拳 Xiao Hong Quan (Little Red Boxing)
- 猴拳 Hou Quan (Monkey Boxing)
- 大刀對單刀 Da Dao Dui Dan Dao (Big Knife vs. Broadsword)
- 三節棍 San Jie Gun (Tri-Sectional Staff)
- 梅花雙刀 Mei Hua Shuang Dao (Plum Flower Double Broadsword)
- 盤龍棍行槍 Pan Long Gun Xing Qiang (Coiling Dragon Long Staff vs. Spear)
5th Degree Black Sash
- 禦步連環鴛鴦腳 Yu Bu Lian Huan Yuan Yang Jiao (Mandarin Kick Combination)
- 醉拳 Zui Quan (Drunken Fist)
- 虎頭雙鉤 Hu Tou Shuang Guo (Tiger Head Double Hook)
- 雙刀破花槍 Shuang Dao Po Hua Qiang (Double Broadsword vs. Flower Spear)
- 斬馬刀對槍 Zhan Ma Dao Dui Qiang (Horse Knife vs. Spear)
Additional Curriculum Elements
- Empty Hand Forms
- 孫臏拳 Sun Bin Quan (Sun Ping Boxing)
- 地公拳 Di Gong Quan (Ground Style)
- 白馬下山 Bai Ma Xia Shan (White Horse Descends Mountain)
- 螳螂拳 Tang Lang Quan (Praying Mantis)
- 查拳 Cha Chuan
- Weapons Forms
- 春秋大刀 Chun Qiu Da Dao (Spring Autumn Big Knife)
- 三才劍 San Cai Jian (Three Power Straightsword)
- 奇門劍 Chi Men Jian
- 穿心劍 Chuan Xin Jian
- 天罡寶扇 Tian Gang Bao Shan (Fan)
- 走線飛錘 Zou Xian Fei Chui (Flying Steel Ball)
- 雙頭槍 Shuang Tou Qiang (Double Head Spear)
- 梨花雙劍 Li Hua Shuang Jian (Pear Flower Twin Straightsword)
- 雙環 Shuang Huan (Double Ring)
- 鋪地錦滾螳雙刀 Pu Di Jin Gun Tang Shuang Dao (Ground Brocade Double Broadsword)
- 雙匕首 Shuang Bi Shou (Double Dagger)
- 太極拳 Tai Ji Chuan
- 摔跤 Shuai Jiao
- 八卦掌 Ba Gua Zhang
- 摔跤 Shuai Jiao
- 道家靜坐 Dao Jia Jing Zuo (Tao Meditation)
Adult Kung Fu Benefits
There is a growing recognition that regular exercise program 30 minutes per day for five days a week is important for people of all ages. Kung Fu can be a cornerstone of your fitness program or can complement your other activities, providing a much needed diversion from the monotony of other exercise programs.
A recent Washington Post article describes the appropriate level of physical activity for both adults and children.
Some of the physical benefits reported by studying the martial arts include:
- Managing weight
- Strengthening cardiovascular system
- Combating chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, type 2 diabetes
- Increasing flexibility
- Improving muscle strength
- Increasing agility
Some other benefits from martial arts practice include improvement of overall well-being in areas such as:
- Improving mood
- Promoting more restful sleep
- Reducing stress
Please follow this link for additional information on the benefits of a regular exercise program, as reported by the prestigious Mayo Clinic.