I was listening to a pod cast the other morning, where they were discussing the 10 Components of Fitness. As they discussed each of them it made me think of how they relate to Kung Fu and Tai Chi. You often hear Daniel talk about how 8 Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu is a complete system. We learn physical techniques, combine them with mental strategy, and add in our Spirit for a three part knockout.
When people think of Kung Fu, or really any martial art they think of all the kicking, punching and fighting. Which is a lot of the reason that people walk into the school to begin with. They want to learn these things. These are hugely important to Kung Fu. We spend a lot of time refining these movements until we know them in our bones, and they become second nature.
The other part of the physicality of Kung Fu is the strength that is required. We can know how to punch but if your arm and shoulder are weak, the punch isn’t as effective as you would want it to be. This is where the endurance training comes into play. We need strength to be effective martial artists.
At this point you are probably wondering what this has to do with the 10 Components of Fitness. A quick internet search will give them to you, they are as follows:
Kung Fu has all ten in every class. Take for example a Saturday Morning Traditional Kung Fu class. We do a quick warm up, working the major joints through a full range of motion. We progress into strength as we complete push-ups, leg raises and stance training. Power, agility, speed and balance are trained once we get into our techniques. The better your technique, the faster you can go, which will help increase your cardiovascular ability. We train hard so we have the stamina to do it again. We finish up with stretching. Everything we do in class creates over all fitness for the rest of our lives. It’s hard work but the rewards are infinite.
I was also thinking about how this can be rather intimidating to someone new or someone who is thinking about getting back into “something”. I can answer that simply. Start! Now! It doesn’t matter what “shape” you are in. Start! Even if you can only come one day a week. Start! If you have not done a push up in twenty years… Start! Maybe you don’t know what a leg lift is… Start! We will be there every step of the way to help you meet your goals. Community is everything at AFC716. We work hard together. We show up, we all put in the work, and we will be awesome together.
One more thing for my Tai Chi friends… We meet 9 of the 10 components… I will give you are really slow high five if you can guess which one we miss!!