Q. What martial arts styles do you teach in your Adult Classes at the Blue Dragon School?
Our adults learn Ch’iang Shan Pa Kua Chang (Ba Gua Zhang) which includes a fast side (our Kung Fu classes) and a slow side (our Chi Kung, or Qigong classes). Chi Kung is similar to Tai Chi and is very focused on the health side of the practice.
The curriculum is designed to develop a person fully helping them get into great physical shape while also helping them to develop mentally with an emphasis on focus, mindfulness and the ability to stay calm even when faced with adversity.
Q. What martial arts style do you teach in your Children’s Classes at the Blue Dragon School?
Our children are taught a Chinese martial arts style called Shaolin Chang Quan (Long Fist), the fundamentals of which are at the root of all Kung Fu styles. It is a dynamic style to practice and perfect to fully develop the body and mind of children and teens. Both children and teens become physically fit, strong and flexible as well as mentally focused, disciplined and more confident. The program is designed to challenge them, and the way that these children learn to rise to the challenge, is truly impressive.
Q. What benefits can I expect to get from taking martial arts classes?
While the majority of people begin taking martial arts to either get into shape and/or to learn self defense there are actually many other benefits that bring great value to the practice such as:
- Increased Self Confidence & Self Discipline
- Improved Flexibility, Coordination, Balance & Endurance
- Improved Memory and Concentration
- Reduced Stress & Anxiety
- Improved Personal Relationships through increased Self Awareness
- Ability to face Challenges and Adversity with a Sense of Calm
Q. Which martial arts style is best?
There is no one right answer to this question. The reality is that regardless of what martial arts style you practice; you will get out of it only what you are willing to put into it. Many martial arts styles can get you into great physical shape as well as teach you self defense if taught properly. Only you can decide which style is best suited to you. In addition to considering the style, it is equally important to find a qualified teacher and a school where you feel comfortable and where the philosophy is one in which you can embrace and benefit from.
Q. How can I spot a quality martial arts school?
You can begin by inquiring about the curriculum:
- Is it well-rounded, balanced, and effectively teaching both the physical as well as mental aspects?
- Is meditation taught and practiced regularly?
- Is it all about fighting and competition?
- Is the focus all about getting a “black belt”?
- How long have the most senior students been practicing? (This gives you a good indication of the quality of teaching.)
- What are the qualifications of the instructors and who will primarily be teaching the classes?
Additionally, taking a tour of the facility and meeting the staff can tell you a lot about the school:
- Are they willing to take the time to answer your questions or are they more concerned about just getting you to sign on the dotted line?
- Is the dojang (dojo) well kept and clean?
- Take a class before committing to anything (and that shouldn’t cost you anything).
Finding the right school is paramount to having a good experience so make this choice with care.
Q. Do I need to be in good physical shape to start martial arts classes?
No, in fact, our beginner Kung Fu class is specifically designed to safely and effectively get you into great physical shape. Our body-conditioning program helps students develop a more toned, flexible, stronger and more supple body allowing them to progress to the next level of training.
Q. Do I need any previous martial arts experience?
No, in fact, many of our best students have come to us without any martial arts training but with consistent practice and hard work they quickly began to make progress.
Q. What age is too old to begin practice in the martial arts?
It is never too late to start training in martial arts, just ask our eldest student who began her martial arts career at age 72! Naturally, students, who are more advanced in years, may need to start out a little more slowly and gently depending on their previous level of activity. Many begin with Chi Kung classes but in time find the benefits so great that they are willing and able to take on Kung Fu classes. Our eldest students are something we are particularly proud of as they serve as role models for many of the younger students as to what is really possible when one simply decides, “yes, I can”.
Q. Am I (or my child) going to get hurt or injured practicing martial arts?
While it isn’t possible to prevent all injuries in any activity, our martial arts program is designed to help students slowly and safely increase flexibility and strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments. Proper training actually has the effect of making you less prone to injury.
Additionally, we advocate the philosophy of “partners not opponents” amongst our students and we are highly committed to maintaining a safe environment.
Q. What age do you accept children into your program?
Our Little Dragon’s Program is for children’s ages 4-7. Our Shaolin program is for ages 8-17.
Q. Will martial arts classes make my child aggressive or violent?
Quite the contrary. Children who have a positive outlet for their energy, who are taught self control and who participate in activities that boost their confidence and self esteem, have proven to be calmer, less prone to violent outbursts and more easily able to resolve conflict without becoming physical. They also taught to understand that with acquired skill comes responsibility.
Q. Do you spar in class?
Yes, sparring is included in our more advanced Kung Fu classes. Students use protective gear including gloves and pads when sparring. No student engages in this aspect of the practice until after he or she has demonstrated that they have the proper skills and foundation needed.
Q. Are there fees associated with testing for rank?
No, we do not charge our students for testing for rank within our school.
Q. Do you train weapons?
Yes, students have the opportunity to train in traditional Chinese martial arts weapons such as: staff, broadsword, straight sword, spear as well as practical self defense training against knives and other weapons through special classes that are offered at various times of year and also at the annual Ch’iang Shan Pa Kua Chang 5-day Summer Camp, if they wish to participate.
Q. I’d like to try one of your martial arts classes, how do I get started?
You can register online right now for a Free Trial Class and schedule a time that is convenient for you.
Q. What should I wear for my free trial class?
Simply wear a comfortable top and pants that allow you freedom of movement. Then, come in, relax, and enjoy the experience!