We offer Sil Lum Kung Fu at Blue Ridge Kung Fu Arnis Academy. This art form includes joint locks, kicks, punches, throws, sweeps, take downs, and also the use of traditional Chinese weapons. Basic weapon instruction includes staff and Escrima or "Lightening" sticks. Intermediate and advanced weapon instruction includes knife, nunchaku, sword, swear, walking cane, and fan. In the tradition of martial arts training of old, we are selective when it comes to our students. New students must be of good character and have a sincere desire to learn.
For the beginner, there are basic control moves designed to defend one against certain grabs, holds, and threatening maneuvers. In addition, the student is taught basic kicks, how to do them properly and effectively, as well as how to punch and block an attacker.
The intermediate student learns more complicated techniques. These techniques include many knife attack defenses, intermediate weapons training, sweeps, throws, and take downs. Students also begin light sparring. This trains the student to use the techniques learned, in a fighting situation.
For the long-term student the striving for perfection of form continues. The dedicated will acquire confidence, self-discipline, and build strength of body and character. Also taught is Tai Chi Chuan (The Grand Ultimate Fist), the exercise of choice for a billion people daily. It teaches hand-eye coordination, balance, and relaxation while training effective self-defense movement. This is ideal for maintaining one's health and training one's body to be calm yet responsive.
We have taught students ranging from 3 years of age to students in their eighties. Kung Fu has much to offer everyone due to the adaptive nature of the art. Like the martial arts schools of ancient china, we have a family based school. We teach separate children and adult classes, but families can train together as well. Teaching the values of family and community is important to us. As a special incentive, children must maintain good grades in order to stay in our classes. We work with the parents to determine what grades and behavior they expect from their child and how we can work together to help each child achieve their goals.
Sil Lum Kung Fu is one of the most well-rounded arts in the world. Sil Lum (or Shaolin) Kung Fu originated in Shaolin Temples hundreds of years ago. Although the exact origins are difficult to trace, the birth of Sil Lum is usually accredited to the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who introduced the 18 Lohan movements to Shaolin monks as a form of exercise.
The Lohan eventually gave rise to the five basic animal styles that Kung Fu is famous for: Crane, Leopard, Tiger, Snake, and Dragon. Practitioners of these styles mimic the movements and assume the fighting spirit of these animals. For example, the Tiger teaches clawing techniques and courage. The student does not just mimic hand movements of the animals. They are taught a strategy of defense as it relates to how each animal would hunt or defend itself. Additional styles such as Praying Mantis and Monkey were subsequently developed. Kung Fu was originally taught only to Shaolin monks who could not leave the temple until they passed a life or death test. Graduates were well known for their fighting prowess. The modern Kung Fu student is no longer put to such extremes, but nonetheless has inherited a powerful fighting art laced with a philosophy emphasizing peace and respect for life.
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