Resources from sifuvince

scrapbook iconCYK presentation

This is a small presentation of what sort of thing you can expect from the adults and childrens Kung fu as well as Tai Chi.
The video was uploaded in 2009, we have since updated the school name to CYKadults Kung Fu, CYKjuniors Kung Fu and CYK Tai Chi

With regard to the music....marmite!!!


scrapbook iconHistory of Tai Chi

The term Tai Chi Chu’uan translates as "supreme ultimate fist".
The concept of the Tai Chi appears in both Taoist and Confucian Chinese philosophy, where it represents the fusion of Yin and Yang into a single Ultimate, represented by the Yin / Yang symbol also known as taijitu. Thus, tai chi theory and practice evolved in agreement with many Chinese philosophical principles, including those of Taoism and Confucianism.
Tai Chi training involves five elements, nei gung, tui shou (response drills), sanshou (self defence techniques), Weapons, and solo hand routines, known as forms (taolu). While the image of Taijiquan in popular culture is typified by exceedingly slow movement, many Tai Chi styles (including the three most popular - Yang, Wu, and Chen) - have secondary forms of a faster pace. Some traditional schools of tai chi teach partner exercises known as "pushing hands", and martial applications of the forms' postures.
Since the first widespread promotion of tai chi's health benefits by Yang Shaohou, Yang Chengfu, Wu Chien-ch'uan, and Sun Lutang in the early 20th century, it has developed a worldwide following among people with little or no interest in martial training, for its benefit to health and health maintenance. Medical studies of tai chi support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy.
It is purported that focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. Besides general health benefits and stress management attributed to tai chi training.
Some martial arts, especially the Japanese martial arts, require students to wear a uniform during practice. In general, tai chi chuan schools do not require a uniform, but both traditional and modern teachers often advocate loose, comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes.
The physical techniques of tai chi chuan are described in the tai chi classics, a set of writings by traditional masters, as being characterized by the use of leverage through the joints based on coordination and relaxation, rather than muscular tension, in order to neutralize, yield, or initiate attacks. The slow, repetitive work involved in the process of learning how that leverage is generated gently and measurably increases, opens the internal circulation (breath, body heat, blood, lymph, peristalsis, etc.)

The study of tai chi chuan primarily involves three aspects:
• Health: An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use tai chi as a martial art. Tai chi's health training, therefore, concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on tai chi's martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.
• Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of tai chi is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health (in the sense of relieving stress and maintaining homeostasis-standing still) and in application of the form as a soft style martial art.
• Martial art: The ability to use tai chi as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student's understanding of the art. Tai chi chuan is the study of appropriate change in response to outside forces, the study of yielding and "sticking" to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force.
Pushing hands is a name for two-person training routines practiced in Tai Chi Ch’uan.
In Tai Chi Chüan, pushing hands is used to acquaint students with the principles of what are known as the "Eight Gates and Five Steps," eight different leverage applications in the arms accompanied by footwork in a range of motion which proponents say will eventually allow students to defend themselves calmly and competently if attacked. Also known as the "13 original movements of tai chi", a posture expressing each one of these aspects is found in all tai chi styles.
The Eight Gates (bā mén):
• P'eng - An upward circular movement, forward or backward, yielding or offsetting usually with the arms to disrupt the opponent's centre of gravity, often translated as "Ward Off." Peng is also described more subtly as an energetic quality that should be present in every Tai Chi movement as a part of the concept of "song" - or relaxation - providing alertness, the strength to maintain structure when pressed, and absence of muscular tension in the body.
• Lü - A sideways, circular yielding movement, often translated as "Roll Back."
• Chi - A pressing or squeezing offset in a direction away from the body, usually done with the back of the hand or outside edge of the forearm. Chi is often translated as "Press."
• An - To offset with the hand, usually a slight lift up with the fingers then a push down with the palm, this can appear as a strike if done quickly. ‘An’ is often translated as "Push."
• Tsai - To pluck or pick downwards with the hand, especially with the fingertips or palm. The word tsai is part of the compound that means to gather, collect or pluck a tea leaf from a branch. ’Tsai’ is often translated "Pluck" or "Grasp."
• Lieh - Lieh means to separate, to twist or to offset with a spiral motion, often while making immobile another part of the body (such as a hand or leg) to split an opponent's body thereby destroying posture and balance. Lieh is often translated as "Split."
• Chou - To strike or push with the elbow. Usually translated as "Elbow Strike".
• K'ao - To strike or push with the shoulder or upper back. The word k'ao implies leaning or inclining. Usually translated "Shoulder Strike”.

The Five Steps (wǔ bù):
• Chin Pu - Forward step.
• T'ui Pu - Backward step.
• Tsuo Ku - Left step.
• You P'an - Right step.
• Chung Ting - The central position, balance, equilibrium. Not just the physical center, but a condition which is expected to be present at all times in the first four steps as well, associated with the concept of rooting (the stability said to be achieved by a correctly aligned, thoroughly relaxed body as a result of correct Tai Chi training).
The Eight Gates are said to be associated with the eight trigrams (Bagua) of the I Ching, the Five Steps with the five elements of the Taoist Wu Hsing; metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. Collectively they are sometimes referred to as the "Thirteen Postures of T'ai Chi Chuan" and their combinations and permutations are cataloged more or less exhaustively in the different styles of solo forms which Tai Chi is mostly known for by the general public. Pushing hands is practiced so that students have an opportunity for "hands-on" experience of the theoretical implications of the solo forms. Traditional internal teachers say that just training solo forms isn't enough to learn a martial art; that without the pushing hands, reflex and sensitivity to another's movements and intent are lost. Each component is seen as equally necessary, yin and yang, for realizing the health, meditative, and self-defense applications.
Pushing hands trains the technical principles in ever increasing complexity of patterns. At first students work basic patterns, then patterns with moving steps coordinated in different directions, patterns at differing heights (high, middle, low and combinations) and then finally different styles of "freestyle" push hands, which lead into sparring that combines closing and distancing strategies with long, medium and short range techniques.
These exchanges are characterized as "question and answer" sessions between training partners; the person pushing is asking a question, the person receiving the push answers with their response. The answers should be "soft," without resistance or stiffness. The students hope to learn to not fight back when pushed nor retreat before anticipated force, but rather to allow the strength and direction of the push to determine their answer. The intent thereby is for the students to condition themselves and their reflexes to the point that they can meet an incoming force in softness, move with it until they determine its intent and then allow it to exhaust itself or redirect it into a harmless direction. The degree to which students maintain their balance while observing these requirements determines the appropriateness of their "answers." The expression used in some Tai Chi schools to describe this is "Give up oneself to follow another." The eventual goal for self-defense purposes is to achieve meeting the force, determining its direction and effectively redirecting it in as short a time as possible, with examples provided of seemingly instantaneous redirections at the highest levels of kung fu by traditional teachers. Pushing hands also teaches students safety habits in regard to their own vital areas, especially acupressure points, as well as introducing them to the principles of chin na and some aspects of tui na also taught in traditional Tai Chi Chuan schools. At a certain point, pushing hands begins to take on aspects of chi kung, as the students learn to coordinate their movements in attack and defense with their breathing.

scrapbook iconHistory of Kung Fu

Chinese martial arts, also referred to by the Mandarin Chinese term Wushu and popularly as kung fu (Chinese: pinyin: Gong Fu), are a number of fighting styles that have developed over the centuries in China.
These fighting styles are often classified according to common traits, identified as "families" "sects" or "schools" of martial arts. Examples of such traits include physical exercises involving animal mimicry, or training methods inspired by Chinese philosophies, religions and legends. Styles which focus on Chi manipulation are labelled as internal, while others concentrate on improving muscle and cardiovascular fitness and are labelled external. Geographical association, as in northern and southern is another popular method of categorization.
In Chinese, kung fu can also be used in contexts completely unrelated to martial arts, and refers colloquially to any individual accomplishment or skill cultivated through long and hard work. Wushu is a more precise term for general martial activities.
According to legend, Chinese martial arts originated during the semi-mythical Xia Dynasty more than 4,000 years ago. It is said the Yellow Emperor Huangdi (legendary date of ascension 2698 BCE) introduced the earliest fighting systems to China. The Yellow Emperor is described as a famous general who, before becoming China’s leader, wrote lengthy treatises on medicine, astrology and the martial arts. One of his main opponents was Chi You who was credited as the creator of jiao di, a forerunner to the modern art of Chinese Wrestling.
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century and is traditionally credited as the leading patriarch and transmitter of Zen (Chinese: Chán) to China. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan.
Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, but most accounts agree that he was a Brahmin from southern India.
After becoming a Buddhist monk, Bodhidharma traveled to China. The accounts differ on the date of his arrival, dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557).
The Shaolin style of Wushu is regarded as amongst the first institutionalized Chinese martial art. The oldest evidence of Shaolin participation in combat is a stele (a stone or wooden slab) from 728 CE that attests to two occasions: a defence of the Shaolin Monastery from bandits around 610 CE, and their subsequent role in the defeat of Wang Shichong at the Battle of Hulao in 621 CE. From the 8th to the 15th centuries, there are no extant documents that provide evidence of Shaolin participation in combat. However, between the 16th and 17th centuries there are at least forty sources which provide evidence that not only did the monks of Shaolin practice martial arts, but martial practice had become such an integral element of Shaolin monastic life that the monks felt the need to justify it by creating new Buddhist lore. References of martial arts practice in Shaolin appear in various literary genres of the late Ming: the epitaphs of Shaolin warrior monks, martial-arts manuals, military encyclopaedias, historical writings, travelogues, fiction and poetry. However these sources do not point out to any specific style originated in Shaolin. These sources, in contrast to those from the Tang period, refer to Shaolin methods of armed combat. This include a skill for which Shaolin monks had become famous—the staff. The Ming General Qi Jiguang included description of Shaolin Quan Fa and staff techniques in his book, Ji Xiao Xin Shu, which can be translated as "New Book Recording Effective Techniques". When this book spread to East Asia, it had a great influence on the development of martial arts in regions such as Okinawa and Korea.
Chinese martial arts training consist of the following components: basics, forms, applications and weapons; different styles place varying emphasis on each component. In addition, philosophy, ethics and even medical practice are highly regarded by most Chinese martial arts. A complete training system should also provide insight into Chinese attitudes and culture.
The Basics are a vital part of any martial training, as a student cannot progress to the more advanced stages without them; Basics are usually made up of rudimentary techniques, conditioning exercises, including stances. Basic training may involve simple movements that are performed repeatedly; other examples of basic training are stretching, meditation, striking, throwing, or jumping. Without strong and flexible muscles, management of Chi or breath, and proper body mechanics, it is impossible for a student to progress in the Chinese martial arts.
External training includes the hands, the eyes, the body and stances. Internal training includes the heart, the spirit, the mind, breathing and strength.

Stances: Stances are structural postures employed in Chinese martial arts training. They represent the foundation and the form of a fighter's base. Each style has different names and variations for each stance. Stances may be differentiated by foot position, weight distribution, body alignment, etc.
Stance training can be practiced statically, the goal of which is to maintain the structure of the stance through a set time period, or dynamically, in which case a series of movements is performed repeatedly. The horse-riding stance and the bow stance are examples of stances found in many styles of Chinese martial arts.

Weapons: Most Chinese styles also make use of training in the broad arsenal of Chinese weapons for conditioning the body as well as coordination and strategy drills. Weapons training are generally carried out after the student is proficient in the basics, forms and applications training. The basic theory for weapons training is to consider the weapon as an extension of the body. It has the same requirements for footwork and body coordination as the basics. The process of weapon training proceeds with forms, forms with partners and then applications.
Forms or Taolu in Chinese are series of predetermined movements combined so they can be practiced as one linear set of movements. Forms were originally intended to preserve the lineage of a particular style branch, and were often taught to advanced students who were selected to preserve the art's lineage. Forms were designed to contain literal, representative and exercise-oriented forms of applicable techniques which would be extracted, tested and trained by students through sparring sessions.
Today, many consider forms to be one of the most important practices in Chinese martial arts. Traditionally, they played a smaller role in training combat application, and were eclipsed by sparring, drilling and conditioning. Forms gradually build up a practitioner's flexibility, internal and external strength, speed and stamina, and teach balance and coordination. Many styles contain forms using a wide range of weapons of various length and type, utilizing one or two hands. There are also styles which focus on a certain type of weapon. Forms are meant to be practical, usable, and applicable as well as promoting flow, meditation, flexibility, balance and coordination. Teachers are often heard to say "train your form as if you were sparring and spar as if it were a form."
There are two general types of forms in Chinese martial arts. Most common are "solo forms" which are performed by a single student. There are also "sparring" forms, which are choreographed fighting sets performed by two or more people. Sparring forms were designed both to acquaint beginning fighters with basic measures and concepts of combat, and to serve as performance pieces for the school. Sparring forms which utilize weapons are especially useful for teaching students the extension, range and technique required to manage a weapon.

About the author

Don't be shy, say hello. We'd love to hear from you.

[email protected]