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How to learn Kung Fu by myself
Kung Fu learning: all the steps
These are the steps:
Understand what Kung Fu is and what it requires
Choose a goal and the relative martial path
Prepare the body
Train the instinct
Study the techniques
Train the techniques
Interiorize the techniques
Note - This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
1. Understand what Kung Fu is and what it requires
What is Kung Fu?
Real Kung Fu (Gong Fu if we want to be more precise):
Has nothing to do with most of what we can see on movies, internet (etc.)
Is a path of personal growth, phyisical and mental
Borns inside us, it is not a set of forms, techniques (etc., those are only crystallized derivations)
Is not the result of a mere theoretical study but of a practical and active one
Is forged in hard and daily training
Can I learn Kung Fu completely on my own?
No, it is not possible. Traditional or not (read also ), without any previous experience, it is not possible to learn Kung Fu completely alone.
There are infinite details that go beyond visual understanding and personal discernment.
This does not mean that we cannot learn it remotely (home study, read Online learning and martial arts: is it possible?) but there are a few requirements that we must fulfill (read also Learn Kung Fu online: why it is better and when).
What do I need to learn Kung Fu by home study?
The requirements are:
A space to train always avaliable (read Training area and external people)
At least 1 training partner (this only if we want to truly learn to fight)
A step by step guided path (form beginner to expert, no random materials recovered here and there)
An instructor (even remote, without an expert that periodically corrects our errors, Kung Fu will never blossom in us)
Common sense (to preserve our safety and to understand that no big results cannot be achieved in a few days)
Determination (discipline, prearation, concentration, without no matter where we are or with who we train, after maximum 2 months, we will leave)
What we do not necessarily need:
A gym or enormous spaces (in China, many Grandmasters teach in small apartments)
1000 training partners (the more they are, the better it is but to start, a motivated 1 is more than enough, read 5 effective ways to find a training partner)
Special talent (read Natural talent and martial arts)
Expensive training tools or weapons (in our Kung Fu, most of the basic equipment is already in your home, read The basic equipment for training in 6DKF, only at the end of the path we can choose or not to buy real martial weapons)
A note by Master Kongling - These are the only requirements in our school, all the rest is welcome but not crucial. It is important to stress that no matter if you want to learn Kung Fu online or on a classical gym course: solo training / study are in any case fundamental steps to become experts. Many people think that martial arts development end when the 2-4 hours per week time is ended, well, that is reasonable but only for amateurs, not real practitioners.
What to stay away from
If we do not have previous experiences (at least 1000 hours of actual practice), let's do not waste our money in:
DVD / VHS / Blu ray video courses
Random Youtube / Facebook videos
Low level quality live courses (read Recognize a good / bad master: 5 characteristics)
These are all incredibly useful sources of learning and / or training but for the reasons we listed before, they cannot help us in any way to build real martial skills.
A note by Master Kongling - The fact is that we need reliable guidance to check and correct interactively our progresses (it is with this idea in mind that we have designed our Core Course).
2. Choose a goal and a martial path
A note by Master Kongling - What many people do not know is that Kung Fu is an umbrella name that refers to many things and even limiting to the martial meaning, we always talk about hundreds of different styles (modern and ancient): no one masters or even knows the entire Kung Fu knowledge.
The first question that a serious instructor asks at the first meet to a new student is "what is your goal?", so let's try to do the same thing but on our own:
Do we want to learn for self-defense?
Do we simply want to make some fitness for wellness and health?
Are we looking for a relief valve against stress?
Do we want to participate in combat sports competitions?
Kung Fu can reply to all these requests but we must understand that the way we face the "same" path changes drastically, in fact:
For self-defense we need much more than a few magic street fighting techniques (read Best martial arts for self-defense and Self-defense: why 90% of martial arts does not work)
For fitness we have to follow specific rules to do not over / under stimulate our body
For peace and relaxation we have to be prepared to dedicate ample spaces to our mental preparation
For combat sports we have to accept the idea of pain as in combat, as in training
Even the training intensity is very different, for example:
For self-defense we should be ready to fight (ideally) every day at every hour; this means that we should never be totally out of energies (read Self-Defense: is it possible to always be ready to fight?)
For fitness we have to balance the effort for a constant improvement
For relaxation we must never overcome a certain level of fatigue but maintaining at the same time a certain progress
For combat sports, we must calibrate the periods of maximum effort with the recovery ones in view of a particular type of confrontation in a specific date
A note by Master Kongling - Having established what our goal is, we must ask ourselves if we are able to pursue that path to the end, because in none of the cases mentioned the road has no obstacles to overcome.
3. Prepare the body
To start to practice Kung Fu:
No matter the age (read The right age to start practice)
No matter our actual athletic level
We have to reach a minimal physical shape, read How to start practicing from scratch.
4. Train the instinct
No one can express better martial performances than those who already have a personal combat instinct. As we have started to say previously, Kung Fu borns within us and not as a copy of a copy of a copy
This means that, if we learn to manage dynamic situations freely, when our mind is still clean, we will be able to explore and exploit a kind of potential that otherwise would remain unknown.
This naturally must be done under the supervision of an instructor (as we said even remotely) but only to correct the errors, not to impose a system.
A note by Master Kongling - We are not talking about previous martial arts courses but about a free application of our body in exercises that force and stimulate fast reactions (read [restrict]Basic technical exercises: which and why [/restrict]).
5. Study the techniques
Only after having removed the biggest errors and discovered ourselves, we are then ready to address the study of the real technique baggage:
When our body is basically trained to receive it
When our mind has the basic experience to implement them rationally
6. Train the techniques
No one uses all the techniques that study but each of them must be seen as a precious piece of serious martial preparation:
The didactical ones heps to understand the general principles
The most strange / complex techniques are useful to make the most current ones easier and to discover our weaknesses
The most common helps to learn how to face the most common situations
A note by Master Kongling - In any case, none of them will be exactly the ones that will distinguish our Kung Fu: following the right path we will create a personal method.
7. Interiorize the techniques
The last step is interiorization: the synthesis.
It is here that a practitioner reaches his / her highest level of Kung Fu, the perfect fusion of:
Theory and practice
Personal experience and secular knowledge
Only at this point, Kung Fu really lives within ourselves.
In-depth video courses
Basic 6 Dragons Kung Fu Exercises - A deep explanation of everything you need to gain real martial skills
A scheme to quickly learn any kind of technique - The perfect path to interiorize any combat technique
Measure ourselves with errors - Take advantage of the most increcible source of knowledge
Reply in the comments and share your experience:
Will you start a martial path?