Kung Fu, which means "hard work," is a ancient Chinese Martial Art that has been in existence for over 4,000 years. Many different styles of Kung Fu were inspired by the movements of animals, birds, and insects. As the various styles developed in different regions in China, they began to possess their own distinct characteristics. The Southern region emphasizes upper body and hand techniques, whereas the Northern styles incorporate low stances and acrobatic kicks.
Wah Lum Tam Tui Northern Praying Mantis System
Master Wong Long created the Praying Mantis System over 300 years ago at the Shaolin Temple in the Shantung province of China. Several branches of the Praying Mantis style developed, one being the Wah Lum Praying Mantis System, named after the Wah Lum Temple in China. Master Lee Kwan Shan, who was a student at the Temple, combined his family style, "Tam Tui," with the Wah Lum Praying Mantis style to form a well-rounded and effective system known as the Wah Lum Tam Tui Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu.
Students of Wah Lum Kung Fu will learn exercises and forms that will improve their overall physical fitness, with a focus on health and wellness. The training in these disciplines will enhance strength, stamina, and speed, while focusing on the Wah Lum values of respect, kindness, fellowship, self-control, and patience.
Kung Fu Basic Exercises
Basic exercises are the most important part of Kung Fu training. They are essential for the development of a strong foundation and lead to proper form and techniques. The basic exercises help to improve a students's balance, coordination, flexibility, and endurance.
Empty Hand Forms
Empty hand forms are set patterns of choreographed movements designed to build strength, speed, stamina, rhythm, and precision. Hand forms are based on the Northern Chinese long fist forms which are strong, fast, and long in reach with the influence of the deadly mantis hook hand.
In Kung Fu training, weapons are considerd extensions of the human body. The Wah Lum style incorporates the use of over 30 different types of weapons: long (spear), short (broadsword), flexible (three sectional stick), and double (double daggers). Weapons are taught after a student has learned the basic exercises and forms.
Practical and effective self defense techniques such as blocks, holds, throws, sweeps, kicks, and take-downs are taught to develop the student's ability to defend him/herself.
Sparring is an optional part of the curriculum and is matched to the student's ability. Students will work to improve their fighting capabilities while simultaneously developing endurance, strength, body conditioning, speed, and reaction time. Sparring gives students the opportunity to apply Kung Fu techniques against an opponent in a controlled and supervised environment.
There is no belt ranking system in traditional Chinese Kung Fu and all students wear the same color sash. The Wah Lum curriculum is composed of a level system, and students may test up through the levels at the Sifu's discretion.