Chiu Lau Kung Fu Wing Chun College

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)



What is kung fu?
Kung fu is Chinese martial arts. More literally, the term "kung fu" reflects the development of expert skill through hard work and practice.

Martial arts requires discipline, focus and consistency in order to develop one's inner spirit, energy, strength and expertise. It is a way of expressing yourself through a series of movements that could be described as action meditation.

Kung fu is a lifestyle and a path to self improvement.

Do I need to have any previous martial arts or fitness experience?
Of course not! New students do not need to have any previous fitness or martial arts experience, and they don't need to be in the greatest shape either. Our classes are perfect for all levels of fitness and experience.

It may take a few months for your body to adjust to your new workout routine. You may be sore after class during this period. After dedicated training the soreness will lessen and you will become stronger, and healthier with improved flexibility and agility!

Is there a children's class?
No, we do not have a children's class at this time. We have a single unified class in which both adults and teenagers all train together.

New students must be 13+ years old. We expect a commitment from younger students and their parents to ensure regular class attendance (at least 2 times per week) and practice at home.

Is there a beginner's class?
No. We have a single unified class in which everyone trains together regardless of age, background, skill or belt level. This provides the maximum benefit in the quality of the kung fu students and improves the overall quality of our school.

Chiu Lau Kung Fu College is a positive, relaxed and friendly learning environment. Everyone in the class was a beginner at one time so they know what it is like and help new students feel comfortable. We encourage new students to develop their skills, subscribe to a kung fu lifestyle and lead by example.

How big are the classes?
At the present our classes are of roughly 30 people.

How often do I need to attend class?
We require students to attend a minimum of 2 classes a week. If you are constantly missing classes you will be starting over every class and will have difficulty keeping up with students who train regularly. The more you train the more results you'll see.

One of the keys to being successful at kung fu is consistency. Make the commitment to yourself and attend every class.

What if I arrive late?
It is important to be punctual. Please arrive to class early in order to change, warm up and stretch. If you are late you will be required to do push-ups before you can join the class workout.

What do I wear to class? Is there a uniform?
All kung fu students must wear the school uniform. The uniform consists of black pants, a black or red Chiu Lau t-shirt and belt. The uniform is available for purchase from the main office.

How long are the classes?
Classes are 2 hours long. Please refer to the contact page to view the class schedule.

What do I call the school Master and instructors?
Master Chiu Lau is to be addressed as "Sifu".

Senior students (i.e. black belts) are to be addressed as "Sehing" (for men) and "Sejei" (for women). As a sign of respect, it is customary to bow when greeting Sifu, instructors and senior students.

What is the workout like?
Typically our kung fu workout will consist of a warm-up routine involving running, jumping, kicking and stretching. We may focus on learning a new form, iron shirt training, Wing Chun techniques, partner drills, sticky hands, sparring, footwork, wooden dummy, weapons depending on what the current focus is for the students. We will then have a warm-down period where we will focus on sit ups and floor techniques, chi gung and meditation.

It is important to follow Sifu Chiu Lau's class structure and follow his instruction in order to provide students with the maximum benefits.

Wing Chun? Like Bruce Lee and Ip Man?
Our school and class structure is focused on the Wing Chun style of kung fu. Wing Chun was the style of kung fu Bruce Lee first trained as a youth under Grand Master Ip Man.

If you've seen Bruce Lee's movies and the more recent "Ip Man" starring Donnie Yen you have seen what Wing Chun kung fu looks like and what it can accomplish. More information about Wing Chun can be found here on our website.

What is sticky hands?
Sticky hands (or "Chi Sau") is a Wing Chun partner training exercise. It is an effective way to practice Wing Chun concepts through the application of techniques. It improves our sensitivity and trains the body to react quickly while relaxed and to be fluid in a fighting situation.

Sticky hands is not about winning or losing but rather a way for you and your partner to improve together. It is a place to observe what techniques work and why and when to use certain techniques in different fighting scenarios.

Sticky hands training will improve your overall level of Wing Chun skill. Speed, reaction, timing, softness, relaxation, are all important elements to success with fighting and developed with Chi Sau...

Is there any sparring? Or does the school only focus on forms and demonstration?
We balance our sparring with the training of forms and drills. This provides a strong foundation and improves techniques. This will help you become better and more confident when sparring and applying techniques.

Sticky hands can progress into a controlled sparring exercise where we can apply the Wing Chun techniques Sifu Chiu Lau has taught us.

Will I get to train any weapons ?
After students reach an intermediate level they are introduced to weapons training. Sifu Chiu Lau will allow you to train weapons when he feels you are ready and will select a weapon that suits your physique, personality and abilities.

We have a large assortment of Shaolin weapons ranging from staffs, swords, spears and chain whips. We also practice traditional Wing Chun weapons such as the butterfly swords and the pole.

Does Chiu Lau Kung Fu college use a coloured belt system?
Yes. Sifu Chiu Lau has noticed in his experience that the belt system is an effective way to motivate his students. The belt is a visual representation of a set goal – to work towards and achieve the next level.

All students start out at Chiu Lau Kung Fu College as a white belt. The white belt is said to be one of the most important and most difficult belt levels for students. It takes a lot of courage to empty one's cup and begin a new journey from scratch.

The belt order is:
White – Yellow – Orange – Green – Blue – Purple – Brown – Brown – Black

How long does it take to receive a Black Belt?
Working towards a 1st degree black belt requires a strong commitment to your kung fu training and improving yourself. Sifu Chiu Lau will guide potential black belt students throughout their journey.

If a student attends class regularly, trains hard (both inside and outside class), takes exams, and demonstrates leadership skills and personal growth, they can anticipate testing for their black belt in roughly 4 to 5 years.

Do I have to take exams? How often does the testing occur?
Sifu Chiu Lau holds belt examinations every 3 – 4 months.

All students are encouraged to take every exam. Exams are a way for the student to focus on Sifu Chiu Lau's curriculum and set short-term goals. It is also a way for Sifu to measure your progress and give you direct feedback on how to improve.

What is the best way to learn kung fu?
Consistency is important to learning kung fu. Attend class regularly and make sure you practice at home and you will be successful with your training. It is important to listen, watch and ask the correct questions.

Train consistently with an open mind and you will surprise yourself with the abilities you will develop!

Bruce Lee said "Be like water, my friend". What does this mean?
Water is soft and flowing. It can take the shape of any container yet be hard enough to destroy rocks. The power of Wing Chun is in its ability to be as soft as cotton and as hard as steel. Softness allows you to go with the flow, feel energy accurately and react with perfect timing. Relax and feel what is happening to react naturally.

How will I be a successful martial artist?
That is a question you must answer for yourself!
We all have different goals and train kung fu for various reasons. Everyone's motivation may be different but we all train hard together. Everyone can expect to become a better individual through kung fu.

In addition to possessing fighting abilities, a successful martial artist is a person of discipline, focus, commitment, confidence and a person of high moral character. Chiu Lau Kung Fu College will help you find and develop these positive qualities within yourself.

OK, I want to start training kung fu! How do I start?
The first step is to walk through the doors of Chiu Lau Kung Fu College. We are located at 15302 Stony Plain Road.

If you would like to observe or tryout a class first, come to the school (back entrance) ahead of the class start times. The class schedule is located here.

Please contact our main office at (780) 487-3333 for more information or to register.