What are the classes like?
Beginner’s classes last an hour. A short warm up and stretch is followed by the beginning sets and basics. Normally, a group class will cover several areas of the training. Depending on your level, you will spend time sharpening technique solo or with another classmate. The bags will be used frequently to develop speed, power and timing with the various motion of Choi Lai Fut.
What can I expect to get out of the training?
Like anything, you get out what you put in. Sifu Jason will provide you with the tools to execute the kung fu correctly, and the classes are an excellent cardiovascular workout. One of the great aspects of the kung fu is that once you have the tools, it is entirely up to you how you use them.
I just want to get in shape. Why can’t I just join a gym?
You can! The difference between kung fu and a gym, however is that the kung fu is a complete system, developing all the major muscle groups as well as the core muscles. It also gives you a valuable self defense tool while improving yourself in an environment of like-minded people.
What about rank?
While there are levels, or sashes awarded at the successful completion of each level, the focus of the training is on absorbing the kung fu and self improvement with continued training. The sashes are a personal marker, like a bookmark.
Some schools use weapons. Does Choi Lai Fut use weapons?
Choi Lai Fut’s curriculum is one of the most varied in the martial arts world. In addition to one and two person open hand sets and sand bag and dummy sets, you will work with one and two person weapon sets. The staff (gwun), broadsword (dandao), as well as the butterfly swords, short staff, fan, and the double steel whips are among the curriculum beginning at the blue sash level. Also, the techniques from the staff are applied using the padded staff for safety, as well as staff sparring.
What about sparring? Will I get hurt?
The hallmark of a martial arts style is the ability to use what you have learned on the fly, or improvising. Sparring is a gradual process that progresses from solo exercises, slowly to stop and go, a basic form of sparring. Adequate padding and safety gear are used throughout this training as the student progresses.
Why are applications so important?
The application of a technique and the ability to utilize that technique with confidence is the heart and soul of a martial art. Without knowing the purpose for the motion, you are only scratching the surface of what there is to learn.
What can I expect for costs?
Currently, attending once a week is $40 per month, twice a week is $70 monthly. As you move to your first rank, the testing will cost $20. At your second level, a basic set of gloves will be required as protection for you and your classmates. These normally cost between $20 and $40.
What does the schedule look like?
Currently, classes meet twice a week: Monday night from 7:30-8:30 pm and Thursday night from 8:30-9:30 pm.
How do I get started?
Call Sifu Jason Mann at 203•494•3850, email him, or drop by the studio to watch or participate in a class. Choi Lai Fut Kung Fu school is located at 869 West Main Street, Branford, inside of Raven’s Wing Yoga studio.