LEVEL 1 LEVEL II
General InformationThe classes in the Institute’s Kung Fu program generally combine three different aspects of training in order to create well-rounded martial arts athletes. First, we begin with strengthening and conditioning during the warm-up phase of class. Next we do line drills, the method used to train professional martial artists in China today. These drills are typically followed by application work, practicing the martial techniques found in the various styles taught, involving partner work and sparring. Finally, the focus leads to the Kung Fu forms themselves. At each of the program’s levels, students will learn several hand forms as well as weapons training in both Traditional and Wu Shu styles.
Wu Shu, literally meaning "martial art", is the term used for forms designed for international training and competition. Traditional Kung Fu comes from the lineage of classical fighting forms going back several centuries.
Yao Li teaching Rope Dart
LEVEL 1 - taught by Yao Li and other instructors
The Boston Kung Fu Tai Chi Institute’s Kung Fu curriculum begins with 4 basic forms. These routines include Northern and Southern styles, as well as an introductory weapon form. Northern styles tend to rely on using the body’s reach, with extended kicks and strikes. Southern styles typically focus on shorter-range combat techniques with quick responses. Beginning with these fundamental forms, practitioners will develop strength, flexibility and an understanding of martial applications.
Lian Bu Quan (Continuous Step Fist)
This traditional Northern Shaolin Kung Fu form is easy to learn with simple and effective self-defense techniques making it an excellent form for beginners. Lian Bu Quan is characterized by large sweeping movements and footwork.
Wu Shu Junior Chang Quan (Long Fist)
This simplified Long Fist form, also a Northern style, includes crisp and extended movements, making it an excellent starting point for beginning students interested in Wu Shu training. Yao Li learned this set from the Beijing Wu Shu Team’s coach Dong Hung Lin, a former teammate of Jet Li.
Nan Quan (Southern Fist) 1
This routine draws together the forms of Hung Gar, Wing Chun, and Choy Li Fut into a basic set. These three styles derive from the Southern Shaolin Temple, thus the use of the name Nan Quan. Typically the Nan Quan forms use close-combat tactics, with steady footwork, quick kicks, blocks, punches, and "sticky hands".
The staff is considered to be the grandfather of weapons in Kung Fu. The Short Staff form consists of basic staff fighting techniques that introduce students to the techniques of weapons work. With its length of 3’ to 4’, the Short Staff lays the groundwork for both the various long weapons and sword forms that are offered at the higher levels of training.
LEVEL II -
taught by Yao Li and other instructors
At the intermediate level the student is encouraged to pursue a path of either Wu Shu or Traditional Kung Fu. The Level II Wu Shu Focus offers a selection of five common training forms. The Traditional Focus in this level concentrates on forms from two Southern styles and one Northern.
* Wu Shu Focus
This curriculum features one hand form and four basic weapons forms. These forms are from the 32 movement series of standardized sets created in Mainland China. Representing the essential characteristics and techniques for each routine, this course advances the student’s ability for more complex forms. The routines for this Focus are:
- 32 Movement Long Fist Form
- 32 Movement Staff Form
- 32 Movement Broad Sword Form
- 32 Movement Spear Form
- 32 Movement Straight Sword
* Traditional Focus
This path of study is comprised of an introduction to three classical Kung Fu styles and an additional weapon form. Students will learn intermediate forms including Long Fist, Choy Li Fut, Hung Gar form, and a staff form. These routines are detailed below:
Plum Flower Fist
Plum Flower Fist originates from the Southern Choy Li Fut system, a long-range style of Kung Fu. The trademarks of this style are solid footwork, particularly the horse stance, the back fist, the downward scraping swing, and the knuckle fist, as well as many joint-locking techniques.
Tiger Crane is part of the Hung Gar Kung Fu style. A synthesis of the two animal forms for which it is named, Hung Gar was created in the late 1700’s in Southern China by Master Hung. This system’s techniques are swift and powerful, with solid stances. It has a combination of short-range tactics for defense and long-range movements for offense. Using strength like a tiger, its blocks and counters are solid while at the same time techniques are also as soft and graceful as the crane.
Lo Han Fist
Lo Han Fist is a Chang Quan style that comes from the Northern Shaolin Temple. As the people of Northern China tended to be taller than in the south and with open plains, Long Fist forms like this one capitalize on greater fighting space. The Lo Han routine features extended kicks and reaching strikes. All Chang Quan forms require a high degree of athleticism, flexibility, and conditioning.
LEVEL III – taught by Yao Li
Building from the foundations of the Level I and II programs, the forms at the advanced stage include the most complex and intricate routines offered in the Kung Fu program. As with Level II, there is both a Wu Shu and a Traditional Kung Fu Focus. All of these forms feature greater challenges with elements such as flexible weapons or 2-person fighting sets. Mastery at this level rewards students with wonderful and fascinating forms.
* Wu Shu Focus
Based on interest and skills, a selection of the following forms will be taught in the various categories. These sets are specifically designed for competition by the