An introduction to Kung Fu

kung fu masterKung Fu is a popular term that is often associated with Chinese martial arts. But do you know that it has a different meaning in Chinese? It is a general term for any skill acquired and developed through diligence, hard work and continuous training. Wushu is the more appropriate term for the Chinese martial arts. It means the art in fighting. However, in the twentieth century as the Chinese martial arts became popular in many countries, it was popularly called as Kung Fu.

Kung Fu or Wushu started in the ancient times way back more than three thousand years in China when the art of hand-to-hand fighting was developed. This personal combat involves techniques like kicking, punching, throwing, controlling, pressure points attacks, and so on. Kung Fu training improves physical strength, health, will power and discipline. During the increased need to defend and survive against foreign invaders, Kung Fu was taught generally to fight with or without weapons.

Kung Fu training has played a vital role throughout Chinese history, especially when China rose to power. Their fighters or soldiers were selected through a martial arts contest and got promoted through the competition. Ancient techniques of empty hand-to-weapon combat was first put down during the Han Dynasty around 206 CE and schools for martial arts began around 264 to 581 CE.

Subsequently, various practical Kung Fu training emerged which included the use of weapons in fighting. There are patterned or choreographed trainings for students to gain understanding on how to attack and defend themselves. Ancient trainings also encouraged students for street fights to do the techniques in actual combat. Even so numerous ancient Chinese weapons were available, in Kung Fu there are limited commonly used weapons. These weapons are usually a straight sword, broadsword, staff, spear, dual swords, double straight sword, double hook sword, double ended spear, k-wan sword, nine section whip, rope, chained hammer, 3-section staff, daggers and etc.

Meditation is also considered as the most essential part of Kung Fu training. As this helps the individual to focus, for mental clarity and discipline on when to act during combat.

Originally, Kung Fu is exclusively taught only in China. However, by the end of the Chinese Civil War, when the People’s Republic of China was founded, Kung Fu also became popular to other countries. Training of Chinese martial arts was discouraged in the country to support with Maoist doctrine. As a result, several well-known Kung Fu masters traveled out from China and taught to other ethnic groups.

As Kung Fu training and knowledge spread, over a hundred Kung Fu styles and techniques were introduced by the greatest fighters called masters. These masters have enhanced the harmony of the martial arts with their own ability of fighting for efficiency. Some popular kung fu styles are Hung Gar, Northern Shsaolin, Tajiquan, Xing Yi, Bagua, Lion Dance, Jeet Kune Do and so on.

Nowadays, Kung Fu is considered as a sport. Anyone who engages in Kung Fu training needs sufficient nutrition and dedication for its rigorous, delicate and complex pattern of attack and defense.

Famous Kung Fu Masters

Kung Fu is the most ancient and famous martial arts in China. In the beginning, it was only exclusively taught to and used by the elite people including soldiers. But over time, it has also become popular among the common people, and has also spread out to many other countries.

In fairly recent history, there were several famous Kung Fu masters who introduced and taught the different Kung Fu styles and techniques:

Wong Fei Hung (July 9, 1847 to March 25 1924)

One of the earliest Kung Fu masters is Wong Fei Hung. He was a physician, acupuncturist, a folk hero and a renowned master of Hung Gar style martial arts. He was only five years old when his father taught him Hung Gar. At a very early age, he was able to do the Shadowless kick, which is one of the most difficult stunts. As a master, he is famous for introducing a new version of Tiger Crane Paired Form Fist where he incorporated his famous Ten Special Fist Techniques.

Although Wong Fei Hung died in the early 1920s, his legacy remains because he has been a subject of many movies and television series.

Yip Man (October 1, 1893 to December 2, 1972)

Also known as Yip Kai Man, Yip Man is a famous Kung Fu master in Wing Chun style. He was a martial arts teacher and many of his students became famous teachers as well. The most notable of them are Bruce Lee, Ip Chun and IP Ching who were his sons and Lo Man Kam, his nephew. Yip Man started learning Wing Chun when he was just 13. His most important legacy is the worldwide practice of Wing Chun. He is also key figure in writing the Wing Chun history.

HK Bruce LeeBruce Lee (November 27, 1940 to July 20 1973)

Many people know Bruce Lee as an actor who has great skill in martial arts. He started learning Wing Chun from Yip Man at the age of 13. Bruce Lee also teaches Kung Fu. But because he was not a pure-blooded Chinese, many students are reluctant to train under him.

Bruce Lee is famous for introducing Jeet Kune Do also known as The Way of the Intercepting Fist. This style is also known as “the style of no style.” He introduced this because he thought that Wing Chun is just very rigid and formal.

Huo Yuanjia (January 18, 1868 to August 9, 1910)

Huo Yuanjia is also a famous Kung Fu master and a co-founder of Chin Woo Athletic Association which is a famous martial arts school in Shanghai. He is a master of the martial arts style called mizongyi. Huo is named as one of the heroes of China for defeating many foreign fighters in a number of highly publicized matches during his time.

These are just some of the famous Kung Fu masters in China who left important legacies in their respective styles. Their personal life became influential in the lives of many people not only in China but also in other parts of the world. It would be good to learn more about these people especially if you are interested in Kung Fu because you can learn many things from them.

Kung Fu Coloring Pages: Best Option for Boys

Kung Fu classes are not only for adult people. And they are definitely not only for boys. Kung Fu, in fact, is now gaining in popularity among young boys and girls. Kung Fu is a form of martial arts which originated in China. It is a form of self-defense which does not use any weapons.

Many children are now becoming vulnerable to bad elements even when in school. There are bullies and adult people who take advantage of weak children. Knowing this, many parents support their children if they are interested to learn martial arts. It is a way to protect themselves from those who would like to take advantage of them. And many children who know some form of martial arts become popular in their school. Other children will be interested to also learn a few movements from them. Also, other children will be reluctant to bully them or to hurt them because they can easily defend and protect themselves.

Indeed, there are many benefits of teaching martial arts to younger children especially boys. And there are many forms of martial arts that are suitable for children such as Kung Fu and others which do not use any weapons. Martial arts have become a good avenue to teach discipline, endurance and patience to young children. And they can develop these attributes as they continually learn and master their skill.

Learning Kung Fu does not just start as soon as you enroll your kid in formal training. If you really like your kid to be interested in learning Kung Fu, you should start introducing it to him or her as early as your child can hold a crayon. And yes, you could start introducing Kung Fu through Kung Fu coloring pages.

Many young children including toddlers are enthusiastic about coloring. That is one of the reasons why coloring pages such as Disney’s Frozen coloring pages, Skylanders coloring pages, Disney movies coloring pages, and many others become quite popular. Well, you could buy your kid any of these popular designs plus several Kung Fu coloring pages to slowly introduce this form of martial arts. But you should never force your child to like Kung Fu. Some children may develop an interest in it while other may not. Parents should understand that children have varying interests. Even if you come from a family of Kung Fu artists, you may have children who will not be interested to learn it. But introducing Kung Fu coloring pages at an early age may have some influence on your child.

Kung Fu coloring pages can be bought in bookstores or they can also be accessed online. There are various sites where you can print this kind of coloring page for free. And many of these coloring pages illustrate Kung Fu movements. As your child colors them, he can also learn basic moves.

While you could introduce Kung Fu as parents, it is still your child’s personal choice if he or she will choose to enroll in formal training at a later age. After all, true learning starts with interest. If your child is not interested in it, then it will be difficult for him to learn it and master the skill.

 

Tips to Lose Weight by Learning Kung Fu Exercises

Some people who are on a weight loss program get involved in various physical activities including Kung Fu. Kung Fu is a form of martial arts that requires constant practice to master the skill. Basic Kung Fu normally involves movement of the arms, feet and even the whole body. That is why it is an ideal activity for those who want to reduce weight.

But before you engage in Kung Fu, there are some useful tips that can help you prepare for the physically demanding activities ahead of you:

1. Observe a healthy diet

Prior to learning Kung Fu exercises, it would be good that you observe a healthy diet so that your body will have the needed energy to perform the exercises. It is recommended that you include low carb fruits and low carb vegetables in your diet because they contain the needed nutritional value for your body without letting you gain more weight. Also eat adequate amounts of foods containing calcium and protein for stronger and healthier bones and muscles. You need these foods to resist the stresses of Kung Fu routines.

2. Get involved in other physical activities

Kung Fu exercises require a high level of endurance and if you are not used to physical activities, you might easily give up on it. You could do regular walks or runs or do basic exercises such as pushups and knee bends. You could also learn yoga because it will teach you some meditation and breathing techniques which are important in Kung Fu exercises.

black belt3. Choose a specific style of Kung Fu

There are various Kung Fu styles that you can choose from and it would be good to focus on one specific style. Among the popular styles that are easier to learn are Shaolin Kung Fu, Hung Gar, Wing Chun and Tai Chi among others. Focusing on one style allows you to master a particular type of martial arts skill. But before you choose, read more about the different styles of Kung Fu so that you will know which one is the most suitable for you.

4. Find the nearest Kung Fu school

After choosing your Kung Fu style, find a school, training center or training instructor nearest you. If there is none available, you could also research online for video tutorials. There are many available resources on the Internet which can help you learn a particular style even at home.

5. Practice regularly

You will not be able to learn Kung Fu exercises and lose weight if you will just practice for two to three hours per week. You should make it your daily routine. You need to have patience and discipline regarding practice sessions and in following your practice schedule.

You need adequate preparation if you like to be trained in Kung Fu. It can be a physically tiring and demanding activity but it can also be worth your effort because of its many health benefits. And one of them is weight loss.

Foods to Feed and Foods to Avoid When your Toddler Has Diarrhea

 

When training for Kung Fu, focus is very important. Without focus, it is easy to commit mistakes when doing certain moves or styles. During sparring especially, you are more at risk of being defeated by the opponent if you do not focus. Losing focus is unavoidable among trainees. One could easily be distracted and lose focus because of personal problems or when their minds are set on other things. Others are distracted when their family members suffer from illnesses.

As many Kung Fu trainees already have families, one of the most common reasons why they could be distracted when training is with their family’s health. It normally happens when their small children are sick. Two common illnesses that children may suffer from are toddler constipation and diarrhea in toddlers. But the latter is considered to be more serious because it may result to dehydration if not given enough attention. It is therefore best to stop what you are doing and to attend to your child’s condition first.

Diarrhea in toddlers may be caused by eating certain foods that irritate the child’s bowel. It may also be caused by rotavirus infection. But diarrhea can be easily resolved within 10 days or less, depending on its cause. However, it is still best to see your doctor for advice. A child may die from dehydration if inadequate attention or improper treatment is given.

The most basic treatment for diarrhea is to give your child enough water to replace the lost liquid. Also give your child smaller portions of a meal than usual to allow the digestive system to slowly work back to normal. Also consider the foods to give and the foods to avoid feeding your toddler during this time.

166273511The best foods to feed if a toddler has diarrhea can be easily remembered with the initials BRAT. It stands for bananas, rice, applesauce and toast. These are foods that can help in hardening and firming up the stool when a child has diarrhea. BRAT includes whole wheat grains, bananas, rice and cereals, bread, potatoes, pasta, applesauce and yogurt with its healthy bacteria which can aid in digestion.

There are also foods that must be avoided if your young child has diarrhea. These are the foods that are given when someone has constipation as they are effective in loosening stools. Among them are dairy products with the exception of yogurt. Some fruits must also be avoided such as plums, pears, peaches and prunes, as well as stone fruits such as apricots because they are known to loosen stools.

Other types of foods to be avoided include fatty foods such as those foods that are fried, creamy and greasy or are covered in gravy. Foods with artificial sweeteners including sodas and candies that have a laxative effect which may contribute gas to an already sensitive bowel must also be avoided. Lastly, avoid feeding gas-producing vegetables like broccoli, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, peas and onions to someone who has diarrhea.

When dealing with diarrhea, the key to your toddler’s recovery is to give adequate liquid, feed the right foods and avoid the wrong foods. Once your child is okay, you can now resume your focus in training.

Dogs as Workout Companion

 

If you have to master different skills in Kung Fu, regular training and workout are a must. Training can help you be familiar with the different movements and techniques in Kung Fu. It can also help keep our mind and body alert which is vital during sparring sessions. One the other hand, workouts can keep you physically active even when you are not training for Kung Fu moves. They can also help build your stamina to overcome tedious Kung Fu trainings.

Although the benefits of Kung Fu training and exercises are known to many people, the lack of motivation discourages them to do these physical activities. This is especially true if you have a tiring week and all you want to do on your free time is to sit on your couch and watch your favorite sports program or to simply rest. Having a motivating factor is vital if you like to consistently train and workout to develop Kung Fu skills.

Making time for Kung Fu may be the last thing in your mind if you are always preoccupied with work and feel worn out at the end of the day. One way to get motivation is to find a companion who will inspire and remind you about your schedule of trainings or workouts. A dedicated companion should also help you find out the type of workout that is most suitable for you.

There are many people who can be your companion during physical activities. You can have your spouse, friend, trainer, son or daughter or even your dog.

Having your spouse for a companion allows you to train while spending more time to build quality relationship with your partner. Your spouse can be your strongest motivator if he or she also likes doing physical activities. He can remind you of your activity schedule and drag you out of bed when needed just so you can train as scheduled. However, if your spouse also lacks interest in physical activities or has a busy schedule to accompany you during training, you may have to find another training buddy.

If you have friends who have the same interest in Kung Fu as you are, you could both become a training companion for each other. You could both schedule a time and day when you could both workout and develop your skills. At the same time, you could also share whatever skills you have that your companion may not know.

Your children could also serve as your training companion. Bringing them during training or practice allows them to develop their interest in Kung Fu and help them learn basic skill and movements even before they begin to have formal trainings.

Lastly, if you cannot find anyone else, consider having a pet dog who can accompany you during outdoor trainings. Dogs are naturally playful and active and they would gladly accompany you during workouts. But choose a bigger breed of dogs for this purpose. For instance, if you already own poodle mixes such as Bichon Poodle, you may want to find a bigger dog that is more suitable for physical activities. Poodles are small dogs that are good as lap dogs but not as training dogs.

It is important to remember that if you lose interest in training for Kung Fu, a companion who can motivate you to go on with your training may be all that you need. Find your Kung Fu companion now and be inspired to train again.

Top 5 Early Signs of Pregnancy

 

7482102Kung Fu is a popular martial art not only among men but also among women. While men can continue on with their training as much as they want, some women may be limited by certain circumstances such as during their monthly menstruation or when they are pregnant. Although it is still possible to train during pregnancy, it may not be suitable to women who have a high risk of pregnancy. High risk pregnancies are more likely to experience complications or problems than other pregnancies. This condition is common among women who are 35 years old and older, or women with medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes.

If a woman has the tendency to have a high risk pregnancy and she is also very active in sports or in martial arts, early detection of pregnancy is very important. Normally, it would help if both the woman and her partner will use implantation calculator, you can find one here, and look for signs of implantation to detect pregnancy at the earliest stage. This way, further involvement in physical activities that can endanger the pregnancy can be avoided. There are five common signs of pregnancy or implantation:

1.  High Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

Your BBT will normally rise during ovulation and will drop once ovulation is finished. However, if you are pregnant, your BBT will continually soar high after ovulation. Of course, you will only know any changes in your BBT if you are periodically monitoring it during regular cycle.

2. Missed Period

If you have a regular monthly period and you notice that you missed your period when it should have already arrived, then you might be pregnant. However, if your only basis for detecting pregnancy is a missed period, it may not give you a conclusive answer because there are many other factors that can affect menstruation. Among them are illness and stress.

3. Morning Sickness

Many pregnant women experience morning sickness during their first trimester. And some women even experience this condition throughout their pregnancy. There are varying symptoms of morning sickness, the most common of which is nausea or vomiting.

4. Fatigue

Pregnancy may cause your metabolism to work faster than normal. As a result, your body may feel overloaded. You may get easily tired even if you did not work that much. You may also have more urge to rest or sleep than to do your regular routine.

5. Changes in taste

During pregnancy, the hormones in your body tend rise, affecting your saliva. This in turn may alter the taste of the foods you are eating. It is one of the reasons why some pregnant women avoid eating certain types of food while also craving for others.

These early symptoms of pregnancy are not all-inclusive. There are many other signs of pregnancy and sometimes you may fail to notice them because you may be preoccupied with other things. For safety, it is best to learn how to identify the changes in your body and to consult your doctor about them.

Neutropenic Precautions while Engaging in Kung Fu Exercises

Neutropenia is a condition when a person has an abnormally low level of white blood cells that protect the body against infections. People who have neutropenia are normally advised by their doctors to be on neutropenic precautions. That means, carefully watching your diet, the clothes you wear and the places where you go because you can easily contact infections from food, dirty clothes and dirty surroundings.

A person with neutropenia does not necessarily need to refrain from doing physical activities. In fact, there are many neutropenic people who are also engaged in various activities including Kung Fu exercises. However, you need to observe some precautions to safeguard your health and avoid getting any infection.

Proper personal hygiene is of utmost importance among people with neutropenia. You should take a shower every day and wash your hands on regular intervals especially before and after eating and after you go to the comfort room. Also part of personal hygiene is oral hygiene. You have to brush your teeth regularly. After brushing, gargle with mouth wash or warm water with salt. You should also maintain a hygienic environment at home. Be sure that your home is well dusted and regularly cleaned. And if outside the home, avoid going to dirty places or construction sites as well as near hospitals.

You should also regularly monitor your body’s condition. Check your body temperature every day. If you are not feeling well and your temperature is higher than 100.9 degrees Fahrenheit, you should call your doctor immediately. Also, to ensure that your health condition is under control, have a regular urine and stool test. This will also let you know if there are any improvements in your condition.

Your diet also plays an important role in your health. Strictly observe a neutropenic diet which involves avoiding undercooked and uncooked meat, vegetables, eggs and fish, and certain foods such as honey and unpasteurized milk.

If you are doing certain activities, be careful not to get cuts on your skin. Even small cuts can be a potential entry point for infections. If you have existing cuts or wounds, replace your bandages and dressings regularly and keep them dry when you have them. Check also for any swelling or redness because it could be a sign of infection.

Since your body is low in white blood cells that can fight off infections, you should avoid contact with people with infectious or transmissible diseases including colds and cough among others. You are more at risk of contracting their diseases. And if you are in crowded places, you could wear a surgical mask as a safety precaution.

Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may also recommend that you avoid engaging in Kung Fu sparring and other physical sports for a period of time until your health improves. But you may still be involved in low-risk sports and activities. You can seek your doctor’s advice if you can still do Kung Fu exercises.