Frequently Asked Questions
We welcome you to Kungfu Dragon USA. Thank you for visiting our website. Please look through this section and see if we have answered your questions and contact us for more information.
Q: Why us?
A: The martial arts style that we teach is highly suitable for kids, for the way it exploits the entire body’s widest range of motion and helps them develop and refine their motor skills, coordination, focus, and self-discipline. They begin by learning the martial arts code of conduct and morals to cultivate fine manners and character, basic stretching to develop flexibility; calisthenic exercises to condition their body and make them stronger, healthy, and fit; stances to strengthen their legs, improve mobility, balance, and weight distribution to generate explosive power; drills, combinations, and repertoire (empty hands and weapon forms), and Wushu acrobats to build their body coordination, agility, speed, alignment, control, and precision.
We have developed an effective comprehensive teaching method/system that is highly energizing, thoroughly productive and fun. Kids will gain a keen awareness of their bodies full capability. They will become more versatile physically, mentally and spiritually. The skills they acquire will help them become a better athlete and more healthy, fit, and prepared for any life encounters.
Q: What’s the difference between “Kungfu” and “Wushu”?
A: Essentially nothing, they are both used to describe Chinese Martial Arts. Technically Kungfu (Gongfu) actually means “a skill developed over time through hard work”, while Wushu actually means Martial Art (Martial = Wu, Art = Shu). Some people have started to use the word Kungfu to mean traditional Chinese martial arts and Wushu to mean modern Chinese martial arts for sports performance and competition. At KFDUSA we practice both.
Q: Why Wushu?
- Physical fitness: For thousands of years, medicine, philosophy, religion, and martial arts, have been combined and modified in order to create wushu, a style that is intended to provide the ultimate in all-around well being. Wushu provides its practitioners with a high degree of flexibility, balance, and strength. Because of its emphasis on physically relaxing instead of brute force, wushu is very good for increasing blood circulation and lowering blood pressure. Kungfu Dragon USA adapts its stretching, training, and conditioning routines from that of the Beijing Wushu Team (Jet Li’s former team), and is thus adapted from the regimen of some of the best athletes in the world.
- Mental Discipline: The majority of the masters that have contributed most to wushu over the past few thousands of years have approached it from a martial perspective. Thus, wushu comes from a tradition that requires intense focus because throughout its history, training was literally a life or death matter for many of its practitioners. At Kungfu Dragon USA, we stress the importance of having a complete understanding of, and intention behind, every movement. This high level of mental discipline and focus translates into all areas of one’s life, and has proved especially useful for all of us in the motivated atmosphere at Kungfu Dragon USA.
- Self Defense: At Kungfu Dragon USA we teach the martial application behind each movement. As aforementioned, the sport of wushu has been aestheticized, which means that certain moves are not as effective as they were originally, because certain moves have been modified to look more beautiful. We do not encourage anyone to use their martial arts training in combat situations, but wushu can be effective in self-defense situations. If you are looking to practice a martial art solely for combat or solely for self-defense, we would recommend our traditional Shaolin Kungfu class. Again, although contemporary wushu can be effective for self-defense, it is a performance art.
- Community: Our team is like a big family. We all do our best to help each other out, inside and outside of the school.
- Self-Expression: Wushu is a performance art that allows for the highest possibilities of self-expression. It combines the grace and beauty of ballet, the exciting acrobatics of gymnastics, and the flashiness, lethalness, and focus of martial arts.
- Competition: Wushu is also a competitive sport. Judges score competitors’ forms based on certain standardized criteria. Tournaments are hosted all over the country and all over the world, so there are plenty of opportunities to compete, if you wish to.
Q: What will I learn at Kungfu Dragon USA?
- Wushu stances, kicks, punches, acrobats (balances, jumps, flips, falls, sweeps and throws…)
- Wushu drills, combinations, and assorted weapons; stretching, warm-up, strength, endurance and conditioning exercises, health & fitness, and self-defense.
- Martial arts ethics and virtues; discipline and character development.
Q: Who teaches the classes at Kungfu Dragon USA?
A: Sifu Long will mainly be the one teaching the classes.
Q: How old can children start Wushu training?
A: This largely depends on the individual, although we have children as young as 5 starting with us. We advise that they have abilities to listen, concentrate and get on with others.
Q: What’s the difference between traditional Wushu and modern Wushu?
A: If your main concern is practical applications, self defence and fighting, then traditional style may be what you are looking for. If you are looking for something athletic and acrobatic for the purpose of sports performance, then modern Wushu would be more suited to you.
Q: What is the teacher to student ratio (how big is your class)?
A: Right now we have the Master who is teaching full time, and another instructor teaching part-time. We also have advanced students helping out in the class. We are in the process of getting another instructor. Our fullest class can be 12 students to 1 master, and 1-2 assistants. We are planning on opening up more classes starting at the beginning of the year 2014.
Q: How does your belt system work – what criteria do you look for to determine your student is ready for the next level?
A: We have a curriculum with established benchmark for each belt level. Students will be taught the skills listed in that curriculum. The necessary skills set by the curriculum have to be accomplished by a designated time frame per belt level with a satisfactory grade in order to pass. Overall grade will be judged based on students’ martial arts skills, efforts and motivation, and noble conduct inside and outside of school. Students will receive a belt test form to prepare for their tests once the Master feels that they are ready. Students can also request for a belt test if they feel that they are ready themselves and are determined to step up.
Q: Do you set a time/goal?
A: Yes. We have a specified time/goal and milestones set according to each belt level as mentioned above.
Q: In a typical class, how much time is spent on exercises and learning the actual art?
A: That depends on the class level and class duration. For beginners, we mainly focus on establishing a solid foundation for training to condition the body and to prevent injury. With that said, there will be more time spent on exercises and less time learning the actual art, however, you will find that some of the exercises are integrated from the actually art.
Q: What is your fee schedule? Also, can you tell me more about the free trial (I.e. How many days, how long per class, etc…)
A: We have various plans to suit your training schedule. Our goal is to deliver the highest quality lessons so you will get the most benefits out of your investment, time, and effort. I suggest that you schedule an appointment to come in for a chat with Sifu Long (Master) to discuss over the details. He will be able to offer you the professional recommendation and guide you in the right direction.
We hope we answered all your questions. Please come in and give us a try. There is nothing to lose. You will know whether your kid(s) like it or not after the 2 free trial lessons. Even after a month being with us, if for any reasons they don’t feel it’s right for them, they can quit without further obligation.