What is the meaning of our lives? What is our individual purpose for being here? What can we achieve with the right motivation? These questions are the big ones, and many people struggle with answering them throughout their whole life. Many of them will never find a satisfactory answer. But that journey towards understanding our own value – finding self-mastery – is one of the most important journeys we can go on, even though it may require years of patience, discipline, and introspection.
The reason that it takes so long is that you must truly come to understand the relationship between your mind and your body. You must realize how your emotions and desires affect your behaviour, and balance them in harmony. To do this effectively, let’s look at five obstacles identified by the Shaolin Master Shi Heng Yi that often get in the way of our goals, called the “Five Hindrances to Self-Mastery”. By overcoming these, he says, you can make good decisions, help achieve your goals, and live a happier life. While these teachings are not fully within the realm of kung fu, the underlying message will definitely be helpful to all.
Kung Fu vs Karate
It’s a topic that comes in conversation in playgrounds and pubs, offices and the great outdoors. It’s a debate that’s been going on for decades, across all ages: “Which is better, kung fu or karate?”
The truth is, when it comes to martial arts, there’s no such thing as better or worse. There’s only different. And those differences in styles, gear, and moves are what gives each form its distinct look and feel. So, when we talk about kung fu versus karate (or any other martial art), they’re both just different expressions of the same concepts and ideas, and they are each fully capable in their own right. Here, we’ve laid out some of the main differences and similarities between the two.
The Martial Art of Hapkido
For anyone interested in getting into martial arts, there is certainly no shortage of choices on what to study. Over the last year we’ve talked about some of the more “famous” forms – like karate, tae kwon do, and ninjutsu – but there are many others that are less well known. One of these is hapkido.
BJJ - Brazilian Jui Jitsu
The history of martial arts is often richly layered and deep, with many different forms coming from the same original set of teachings. We’ve covered some of these in the past, and even in the modern age, many of these forms come into being as variations of more traditional forms. Today we’re going to be talking about one that is very popular in modern sports: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, also known as Gracie jiu-jitsu.
Kung Fu Studio Rules
In order to keep a safe and educational environment, at Kung Fu For Life we promote a healthy respect for others, ourselves, and our facility. To make sure everyone is treated fairly, we have a set of rules for our space, broadly split up into several different areas. These are quite standard across martial arts studios, and help protect our students, teachers, and equipment as we all take part in this journey together.
The Martial Art of Tai Chi
The words “martial arts” conjure up all kinds of imagery – and it’s usually Hollywood-style, over-the-top fight scenes that just barely jive with the laws of physics. But the truth is, the disciplines of different martial arts cover a wide range of activities and goals, and many of them are not focused on fighting. In fact, some of them have historically prioritized form, meditation, focus, balance, and other “inner” qualities. Tai chi quan, meaning “supreme ultimate boxing” and simply known as tai chi in most of pop culture, is one of them.
The Martial Art of Kendo
We’ve spent a lot of the last few months talking about different martial arts – karate, tae kwon do, kickboxing, and so on – but for the most part, those have all focused on disciplines that prioritize body movement over weapons. While some, like ninjustsu, allow for the use of weapons like staffs, the majority of the training is on how to strike, block, and counter with your own body. Today let’s talk about a martial art that goes the other way: the Japanese school of kendo.
The Martial Art of Ninjutsu
Of all the different fields of martial arts that we have already looked at, or will look at more closely in the future, perhaps the most misunderstood one is that of ninjutsu – the art and techniques of the nearly-mythical hidden attackers known as ninjas. From its ancient roots to its explosion in popularity during the last few decades, mostly thanks to pop culture phenomena like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the idea of what ninjutsu is and what its practitioners do has always walked the line between legend and reality.
The Martial Art of Wing Chun
A lot of people will ask about martial arts as if it’s a competition – which one is the best, which one is better for winning fights, and so on. But one of the best things about all martial arts in general is that they are all different expressions of the same underlying philosophy: that through training, discipline, meditation, and practice, anyone can become more in tune with themselves and their environment, and live a better life. And when we’re talking about styles as different as kung fu and wing chun, that distinction makes a big difference.
Why Kung Fu Loses Against MMA
If you go to any bar on a Saturday night, you might encounter a room full of people glued to the TV, watching Pay-Per-View coverage of the latest big-name title fight. From humble origins, mixed-martial arts (MMA) fights have come up to be hugely popular, often getting tons of attention from people around the world – and more often than not, drawing parallels with the more traditional martial arts from which MMA is descended.