4713 - Year of the Monkey (2016)
- All over the world, people are celebrating the Lunar New Year, and Kung Fu of Golden Dragon is no different. This year we are glad to be ringing in the Year of the Red Fire Monkey. The Monkey is a highly revered and celebrated figure in Chinese culture. The Monkey is said to symbolize cleverness, agility, and a high intellect. Those born in the year of the Monkey are said to excel in politics, public speaking, language arts, and numerous physical sciences, including biology. This, among other reasons, is why many families strive to have their children in the year of the Monkey. It is also customary for friends, when learning that a friend has moved into a new home, to gift a monkey-shaped relic or talisman to bestow blessings of happiness and serenity upon the new household.
- The legend of the Monkey King Sun Wukong is among the most celebrated of Chinese literary tales. His acclaim and stories of his celestial powers are known all across the land, which is in part why Wukong is so frequently emulated in Chinese culture. Known for his strength, wile, speed, and martial skill, it is said that the Monkey King was mighty enough to hold his own against the mightiest warriors of Heaven. Sun Wukong is fabled to have been born from a magic stone, and gained both his powers and his kingship after bravely jumping into a waterfall that flowed between Heaven and Earth. Many believe that if a person is given a divine blessing by Sun Wukong that they will always have safe travels and relations with friends.
- Kung fu practitioners of old did not overlook the martial abilities of the Monkey either; monkeys are not only strong (about 3-4 times stronger than the average human, in comparison to size and stature), but incredibly agile and swift, and use deception quite aptly when engaged in combat. These attributes can be seen in the developed Monkey Style of kung fu. Renowned for its complex footwork, wild rolling and tumbling maneuvers, and almost-imperceptible parries and open-hand strikes, Monkey style has no aversion to attacking vital spots to gain advantages over opponents. It is a fun style to watch and study, and difficult to master.
- This new year, while potentially loaded with fun social activities and new meetings, could hold some hardships concerning career and love endeavors, especially for those born under the sign of the Monkey. The Chinese advise Monkeys to cultivate the relationships they already have and strengthen bonds, and to make prudent financial choices as far as saving and investing. While Monkeys are generally healthy due to their active lifestyles, they should be wary of accidents and maladies, even more so than other signs. Self discipline and proper habits will definitely pay off in the long run. Here's wishing all of our friends and students a safe and happy Lunar New Year!