From the Chinese characters for "national" (kuo) and "art" (shu). Kuoshu is the traditional Chinese term for the full range of Chinese martial arts, including what we call Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan. For hundreds of years, Kuoshu was the exclusive practice of the Chinese people. Today, these arts are available in the United States and therefore we call our school the "U.S. Kuoshu Academy."
The U.S. Kuoshu Academy (USKA), one of the finest Chinese martial arts schools in the country, offers group classes for children and adults. Though there are several ways to define Chinese martial arts, probably the most fundamental method of classification defines the arts in the following way.
External Arts (we sometimes refer to this as our Kung Fu program) are all styles of Kung Fu which rely primarily on coordination, power of striking, kicks, throws, sweeps and grappling for self defense. While our principle style of Kung Fu is Tien Shan Pai, our diverse curriculum offers a range of programs for students of varied interest and experience. Our Kung Fu program also includes other Kung Fu styles, weapons training, fighting training, qinna, shuai chiao, iron palm training, pole training, and martial qigong.
Internal Arts (we sometimes refer to this as our Tai Chi program) are styles that cultivate the internal body energy for use in healing the practitioner’s body and for self defense. Our Tai Chi (also spelled as Taiji or Taijiquan) program includes the Yang, Chen Pan Ling and Ancient styles, pushing hands, taijiquan weapons, qigong and optional taijiquan free fighting. We also offer lessons in two other Internal Arts. Group classes are available in Xingyiquan (Form and Mind Boxing) where we focus on forms, weapons and self defense. Instruction in Baquazhang forms and weapons is also available through private lessons. Finally, we also offer instruction in Daoist meditation practices.
If you are unsure of what program is right for you, then this page is a good place to start.
So, what are you looking for?
If you are younger than fifteen, or looking for a program for your son or daughter, then please follow this link to our Kids' Kung Fu program.
Most of our adult students participate in either our Kung Fu or Tai Chi program. Kung Fu is similar to Karate, Judo and Tae Kwon Do and encompasses self defense and exercise. Tai Chi is a martial art that has been well received as an excellent health and wellness program. If you have seen people slowly moving in groups at a park, it is likely they were practicing taijiquan. Tai Chi is sometimes called "moving meditation."
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."
At the beginner level, the Tai Chi program includes stretching and warm up exercises, breathing exercises (called "chi kung" or "qigong"), and pre-arranged sequences of techniques which we call "forms."
Find out more about our Kids Kung Fu program, Adult Kung Fu program, Tai Chi program, or take a virtual tour of our school in Owings Mills, Maryland.
Overview of Benefits
We have found that people seek out martial arts instruction for a variety of reasons: some are interested in the self-defense aspects, others have heard about health benefits of regular practice. For some people, they have the impression that martial arts are generally good for you but are not sure of the specifics.
We have listed below some of the benefits available from participating in our programs. The training provides students with constantly challenges, with new moves and new routines to learn. Many other exercise programs such as running, biking or swimming may become monotonous after months of practice, leaving you unmotivated to continue. Our programs and instructors, however, offer both structure and variety to keep you focused and on engaged whatever your ultimate objective.