Gun Fa: Methods of Body Development
Gun Fa: Techniques of Body Development
*This is an imperative part of Chinese Martial Arts, and one of the main secrets of the Chinese masters. The quality of your technique is directly dependent on your level of body development. Without the development of such parameters as speed, flexibility, power, strength, endurance, and coordination – its impossible to attain success in Mastering the Martial Arts.
Every Kung Fu and Tai Chi class at The Golden Dragon is composed of three parts:
Chi Gong, Gun Fa, and Technique.
Our initial Chi Gong exercises set the tone for the rest of the class: We establish a focus on breathing and prepare the internal organs (and the body as a whole) for the demanding work that we are about to do.
Second, we do Gun Fa.
Gun Fa is a real “warm up”—thorough and comprehensive exercise — with the purpose of preparing, stimulating, and developing the body as a whole.
Gun Fa is for development. We develop our body, our feeling, and our body control. We do not practice punches and kicks during Gun Fa, but every exercise we do lends itself to better understanding and better movement in our technique.
These exercises are arranged in carefully organized sequences. Genuine effort and attention during Gun Fa is imperative to understanding and improving our physical condition.
During Gun Fa, we do power work (various pushups, squats, and core exercises) to stimulate the body, increase endurance, and improve the body’s ability to function as a coordinated whole.
Gun Fa training also pays great attention to the conditioning and development of all of the body’s joints. Our necks, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waists, hips, knees, and ankles will be the focus of many exercises during Gun Fa. Our joints allow for all of our dynamic movement. Healthy joints allow us to move in balanced and unimpeded ways. Most people complain of a “bad shoulder/bad knee/bad hip/bad ankle, etc.”—one side of their body, one joint which handicaps their every movement. At our school, we pride ourselves on developing every joint—curing and rehabilitating problem areas, while ensuring the prolonged health of all of the joints.
Flexibility is also a focus of Gun Fa. We dynamically stretch every tendon and ligament, as flexibility is key to your health and your ability to perform the complete movement that every punch, block, kick, step, and handshake demands.
Kung Fu is the perfect system for development because there is nothing neglected and nothing superfluous. Our work during Gun Fa is often challenging and always rewarding—it is the work we must do to bring the best out of ourselves.