“Can you believe it? I’m doing kungfu!” I smiled as one of my students said this last week when we were wrapping up class for the night. I had the same sentiment many years ago when I started training kungfu with Shaolin Wahnam. I had already spent several years before that learning kungfu from a book. As books go, that series was one of the best and I learned some beautiful kungfu forms which I could perform quite well. But when it came to sparring, I was lost. Basically, I resorted to boxing. I couldn’t use any of the techniques I knew. I lacked the right methodology. One of the things that drew me to Shaolin Wahnam was that I was able to use what I learned for sparring in a very short period of time. That my physical, mental, and emotional health improved dramatically was a pleasant surprise, to say the very least.
I’ve been writing a series of blog posts about everything being offered at Shaolin Wahnam Twin Cities this year. Last, but certainly not least, is about the level one Shaolin Kungfu class starting this April. I’m so pleased to be able to offer this class. My kungfu training changed my life for the better, and it’s a joy to spread that to others here in St. Paul, MN. Perhaps you’ve been wondering about this class and what exactly to expect from it.
Like the name says, this is a level one course, so students learn all of the foundational information from the ground up. This means basic stances, how to move in those stances, basic hand patterns and their counters, as well learning proper spacing when working with a partner. And of course, internal force training. These things are very fundamental to Shaolin Kungfu and help the student graduate quickly to working with a partner and sparring. And the best part is that it’s so. Much. Fun. There are some practical fringe benefits to learning these basic skills too, which I’ll save for another post.
I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t require commitment, especially in the early stages. Ideally, students should be practicing between 30-60 minutes every day between class. For all of that hard work, students are rewarded with incredible clarity of mind, confidence, abundant energy, vitality, and happiness. Oh, and a pretty solid kungfu grip for a beginning student. Shaolin Kungfu is, as Grandmaster Wong likes to say, for those who want the best. So, while yes, it is hard work, it’s also the type of hard work that makes you feel really good about yourself, all with a community of like-minded folks striving towards the same goal.
Students who do well in this class will be invited to join the ongoing weekly kungfu class. I likely will only offer this introductory class once in 2019, so if you’ve been curious, now is the time to find out what Shaolin Kungfu is all about! Course objectives, details, and registration can all be found here.