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Throughout man’s long history of unarmed combat, you would think there would be one standardized fighting style. With the fighting experience and background that fills each country’s history books, man should have found the best method of dealing with assailants and made it popular throughout the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Not all fighting systems use the same self-defense techniques with some radically different from others. Some employ techniques that imitate fighting animals while others believe that the best defense is to directly withstand the blow, rather than block it. There are those who prefer long, circular hand movements, while others claim that only straight, direct, short hand techniques are truly effective.

Chinese martial arts are a perfect example of differences in successful fighting styles. Southern Chinese kung fu systems typically use many short hand movements, with straight punches predominating. At the other extreme, northern styles prefer long hand actions along with relaxed flowing circular power.

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How you do the little things, is how you do everything.

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White Dragon Martial Arts Kickboxing San Da

It is estimated that more than 5 million people in America participated in some form of martial arts training last year making it one of the most popular forms of recreational exercise. There are many benefits to training in martial arts such as improved strength, balance and coordination. Martial Arts training is also a great way to build confidence, discipline and an overall sense of well being.

However, what is not clear are the risks involved in regular practice. Although rates of injury in marital arts participation are significantly lower than in other sports like football or soccer, there still remains a chance of getting hurt.

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If you know much Karate history, you know the martial art came to Okinawa by way of traders from China’s Fukien province. You will also know that, until recently, Japanese and Okinawan karate styles contained only two or three types of kicks-front kick, side kick and sometimes a cross between the two similar to a roundhouse kick. All the jumping, spinning and hooking kicks seen in present day Korean and Japanese systems didn’t exist. I mention this because traditional southern Chinese martial arts still have only a few kicks (Fukien is considered southern China). Even some northern Chinese systems that do have a few more types of kicks do not have the Tae Kwon Do style of roundhouse or jumping and spinning kicks. Today’s Karate and Mainland China’s wushu styles have borrowed those kicks from their Korean neighbors.

Choy Li Fut Kung Fu KIckThe old saying that northern Kung-Fu styles kick high and southern systems kick low is not always true. We kick just as high in Choy Li Fut as do practitioners of northern Shaolin styles. The real truth is that if you can kick high, you can easily kick low. However, just because you can administer devastating low kicks doesn’t mean you can successfully kick high. You don’t need to be flexible to kick well. But you must be flexible to kick high.

Many northern Kung-Fu styles apply their kicks to the lower parts of an opponent’s body. The highest Tai Chi kicks are to the point of an opponent’s hip. Hsing-I and Praying Mantis also direct their kicks low. It’s just common practice to kick as high as possible in the forms for maximum flexibility and strength development.

Although the applications of most traditional Chinese martial art kicks are low, for training purposes we do them as high as possible, while still maintaining maximum power.

There are four basic kicks in the Choy Li Fut system. These are versions of the same kicks employed by the most traditional Chinese martial arts styles. The four techniques are front kick, side kick, a kick called ding guek that looks like a short roundhouse kick that some call a slant thrust kick. They are all low kicks, aimed below waist level. Kung-Fu front kicks use the toe for kicks to the opponent’s groin, the ball of the foot for stomach targets, and the heel against the opposition’s hip joint. There are two types of front kicks. One is a straight thrust kick, using the ball of the foot or heel as a striking surface. The other is a lifting kick, such as a groin strike where the toe or top of the foot lifts upward into the target.

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Most people think of their martial arts in terms of close-range or long-range styles. For instance, in Chinese martial arts Wing Chun is said to be a close-distance fighting system, while White Crane is thought of as long range. Actually both are long-distance styles, as are many Japanese and Korean martial arts.

There are two ways to fight - close and from a distance. All punching and kicking, even if the arm is not fully extended, represents distance fighting. For example, Tae Kwon Do relies heavily on kicks and is a distance-covering style. However, so is Wing Chun, which is primarily a short-hand punching system.

Long-range martial arts are those which bring you from out of the opponent’s grabbing range into your kicking or punching range with no contact. For instance, Wing Chun’s short-arm fist contacts its target after the stylist steps forward into punching range.

If you don’t have the right training, your opponent has an advantage.

Training for Life Doc Fai Wong

Close-range defense involves grappling or grabbing. China’s Shuai Chiao and Japan’s Jiujitsu and Judo are good representatives of close-range martial arts. Close-range fighters will typically grab you and try to take you to the ground where they have control. Close-distance martial artists use counter-grabs, joint-locks, and throwing techniques to avoid being restrained. If they go down, they are usually prepared with wrestling techniques.

There’s no doubt that each type of defense has its benefits. However, you don’t know what kind of attacker you’ll see on the street. What happens to those who have trained in a long-range system, and suddenly find themselves assaulted by someone who is attempting to throw them down? What if you miss your punch and are grabbed by your opponent? Can you still fight with only a knowledge of distance fighting?

If you don’t have the right training, your opponent has an advantage. If you don’t have close-distance grappling techniques in your martial art, you might learn Aikido, Jiujitsu, Judo or wrestling to make up the difference. However, be aware that wrestling differs from Aikido or Judo. Wrestling is geared more toward force against force, meaning the bigger person as an advantage. If you learn Judo, Jiujitsu, or Aikido, using it as a soft, relaxed martial art, you should handle someone larger than yourself.

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GM Seminars 2016 White Dragon Martial Arts

Join White Dragon on October 8-9, 2016 for our annual seminar series with World Reknown Choy Li Fut Kung Fu and Yang Style Tai Chi Master Doc Fai Wong. This opportunity comes only once a year so reserve your spot today!

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patina:  noun |pa·ti·na |\pə-ˈtē-nə : a surface appearance of something grown beautiful, especially with use or age.

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Grandmaster doc fai wong seminars

Join us Saturday & Sunday, October 11 & 12 , 2014 for our annual seminars with Grandmaster Doc Fai Wong. This year Grandmaster will be teaching two Choy Li Fut Kung Fu hand forms, the Gung Ji Pattern Fist and the Supreme Ultimate Fist. He will also be teaching the rare Choy Li fut Twin Butterfly Knives. The final topic will be the Tai Chi Staff Form. 

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Our Mission & Values...

At White Dragon Martial Arts, our mission is to be the best in the world at improving the lives of our students through the practice of martial arts. We accomplish this mission through our unique training method and by instilling core values. By teaching important values like discipline, humility, positive attitude, and respect for self and others our students learn that martial arts is a complete way life, not just a system of self-defense. The White Dragon method focuses on building a stronger mind along with a stronger body in the hope of producing confident and well rounded individuals, capable of reaching excellence in all areas of life.

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White Dragon pairs every student with their own individual instructor to provide the most complete personal and group training available anywhere. Our unique combination of Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Kickboxing & MMA creates the most effective, well-rounded training experience which will help you get fit, teach you how to defend yourself, and improve your life in ways you didn’t know were possible. We’re dedicated to providing you with the highest quality martial arts instruction through a positive, values-based environment along with the most availability and flexibility to accommodate your schedule. Our vision is to help you build physical fitness and develop total self-confidence through studying martial arts so that you can excel in all aspects of life.
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