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Eagle Claw Kung Fu FAQs

What is the Difference between Karate and Kung Fu?

Karate and Tae Kwon Do are considered ‘hard styles’ whereas Kung Fu is considered to be a ‘soft style’. In hard styles, when executing punches they are isolated to just the upper body and emphasize rigidness of the shoulders to show power. Eagle Claw Kung Fu on the other hand, utilizes the leg stances and twisting of the waist to express explosive power. With the twisting, the power of a punch is emphasized through the legs, waist, torso, shoulder, and finally the arm. Many of the Kung Fu hand movements are not linear and require more indirect applications. Northern Eagle Claw has a very good proportion of upper body and lower body applications which include punching, kicking, jumping, crouching, sweeping, throwing, and chin na (locks), just to name a few.

How does Shadow Fist Kung Fu and Tai Chi structure classes?

Students berfor group warm-ups (kung fu basics, punches, locking drills) followed by stretches and do basic kicking drills as a group at the beginning of the class. After the warm ups, the students will do drills and routines, both forms and weapons, based on the class and rank.

How do I test and what is the ranking set up?

The progress of the student is individually based since when they learn, they learn as an individual and the train as a group. Shadow Fist Kung Fu and Tai Chi follows a school sash system and the student will learn the required material and test under the discretion of the instructor. The sash tests are based on forms and weapon routines. Sparring is required for some, but not all for sash tests.

When would I learn weapons?

There are 6 weapons in our testing curriculum: the short stick, staff, broadsword (sabre), straightsword, spear, and kwan do (great knife). The students will get a chance to learn basic routines of each of these weapons, and then progress to the intermediate and advanced level routines afterwards that include partner sets. The instructor will guide the students in terms of which weapons should be learned first. In addition to the 6 weapons in our testing curriculum, we also teach 7 section chain whip, 3-section-staff, double daggers, fan, double broadsword, double straightsword, and double spear. These forms are often offered as private lessons or seminars.

What other things do you offer, because I see you teach Tumbling as well as Stretching and Conditioning?

Eagle Claw Kung Fu, like many Northern styles, can often be acrobatic with high kicks, kick-ups, cartwheels, handsprings, diving tigers, wagon-wheels, and more. These classes are designed to Enhance your Kung Fu.

What is the age requirement or recommendation that you take in kids?

We normally recommend kids joining our Little Eagle Kung Fu classes at 5 or 6 years old, but we do screen kids at the younger ages and let them participate in a trial class to see how they do with the other kids and instructor.

What is the age breakup of the classes?

In the Little Eagles class, the age ranges from 6 to 13. Once a student in the kids class reaches 13 years old, we allow them to move into the adult classes to train. The age range in the adult classes typically go anywhere from 13 on up with a majority of our students over the age of 18.

Tai Chi FAQs

What is the Difference between Kung Fu and Tai Chi?

Kung Fu is considered an external style and Tai Chi an internal style. Tai Chi moves at a slow meditative pace and focuses on the mind and body and inner energy referred to as ‘qi’ (chi). Tai Chi is known as the ‘ultimate boxing’ and is practiced for several reasons, depending on the individual. Not only does Tai Chi teach theories, applications, and body mechanics, it has also been known to develop coordination, strengthen the body, improve energy levels, improve eating and sleeping habits, reduce joint and back pain, and much more health improvements. When training the Tai Chi forms, the mind and body is relaxed, the joints are slowly moving and the vital organs are being massaged with each movement, improving and balancing the body and mind for optimal overall health.

How are Tai Chi classes structured?

At the beginning of the class, the students do group Qi Gong breathing and basic footwork that are relevant to the Wu Tai Chi system. Drills for each form are practiced to help one learn the sequence.

What about Tai Chi applications, I heard that Tai Chi has applications to it other than being trained for health?

Tai Chi is initially trained to develop coordination and awareness of the body and inner energy. The Tai Chi forms are practiced and eventually lead you to Tai Chi applications and push hands. Push hands applies the movements and mechanics in the forms for offensive and defensive applications. Push hands requires developing the ‘listening skills’, which means that you can detect the opponent’s attack upon the touch of their hands or arms in the drills. The attack or reaction to the attack uses the opponent’s force in equal amounts against them with the intent of throwing them off balance or uprooting them.

Are there any Tai Chi weapons?

At Shadow Fist Kung Fu and Tai Chi, we teach the Tai Chi Straightsword, Sabre (Broadsword) and the Fan. These are generally learned after several other tai chi forms.

What is the age range of the classes?

The classes range from people in the ages of 25 on up and there are occasions when there are younger people in the class, but there are instances when there are younger students in the class, but hardly ever under 15 years old.

General Information FAQs

Can I come in and watch a class or try a class out?

Visitors are always welcome to visit the classes, talk to the instructors, and tour the school. We encourage visitors to let us know when they plan to visit and whether or not they plan to try out a class.

If I wanted to try out, what should I do and what should I wear?

You may sign up here online or call the school and let us know that you will be visiting so we will be prepared to have an instructor on hand to assist you for the introductory lesson. You may wear any type of workout pants that are loose and comfortable, a t-shirt or sweatshirt, and athletic shoes with rubber soles.

Is there a contract that I am obligated to?

No, there are no contracts that bind you to the classes. We encourage a trial class before committing so classes.

Do I start at a certain time or can I come in at anytime?

You can start anytime. If you start in the middle of the month, the fee will be be withdrawn on the same day of the following month.