Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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 require discipline, focus, and consistency 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.
Of course not! New students do not need to have any previous fitness or martial arts experience. 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, and you may be sore after class during this period. After dedicated training the soreness will decrease and you will become stronger and healthier with improved flexibility and agility!
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 proud to provide a positive, relaxed, and friendly learning environment. Everyone starts class as a beginner, so they know what it is like and are happy to help new students feel comfortable. We encourage new students to develop their skills, subscribe to a Kung Fu lifestyle, and lead by example.
At the present our classes are of roughly 40 people.
Yes, we do have a children's class. This class is for children ages 2 through 4 and is held weekly on Sundays at 10am-11:30am. We also have a single unified class in which both adults and teenagers all train together. New students must be 13+ years old for the unified class. 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.
We require students to attend a minimum of 2 classes a week. If you frequently miss 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.
It is important to be punctual. Please arrive to class early 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.
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.
Classes are 2 hours long. Please refer to the home page to view the class schedule.
Master's Michael Gubbels, Eric Budd, and Donna Manca are to be addressed as Sifu. Senior students (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.
Our typical Kung Fu workout consists 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, or weapons. We then have a warm-down period where we focus on sit-ups, floor techniques, Chi Gung, and meditation. It is important to follow the Sifu's class structure and follow their instructions to receive maximum benefits
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.
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 sensitivity and trains the body to react quickly while relaxed and to be fluid in a fighting situation. Chi Sau 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, and relaxation are all important elements to success with fighting and developed with Chi Sau.
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.
After students reach an intermediate level, they are introduced to weapons training. The Sifus will allow you to train weapons when they feel 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.
Yes. Sifu Chiu Lau believed that the belt system is an effective way to motivate students. The belt is a visual representation of a set goal; something 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 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
Working towards a 1st degree black belt requires a strong commitment to your Kung Fu training and improving yourself. The Sifus will guide potential black belt students throughout their journey. If student attends class regularly, trains hard both inside and outside of class, takes exams, and demonstrates leadership skills and personal growth, they can anticipate testing for their black belt in roughly 4 to 5 years.
Chiu Lau Kung Fu College holds belt examinations every three to four months. All students are encouraged to take each exam. Exams are a way for the student to focus on the curriculum and set short-term goals. It is also a way for the Sifus to measure your progress and give you direct feedback on how to improve.
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 questions. Train consistently with an open mind and you will surprise yourself with the abilities you will develop!
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.
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.
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 try a class first, check the class schedule, and then contact our main office at (780) 487-3333 for more information or to register