Kung Fu classes: What to expect
Students at Manitou Center are trained in a system that promotes health and longevity as well as becoming proficient in a highly effective system of self defense. Students start by learning Kung Fu forms (sets) and techniques that open and stretch the body as well as condition the muscles, bones and cardiovascular system. Students learn to use their body to generate power through relaxation and fluidity rather that stiff muscular force.
Emphasis is placed upon students working together as as a community rather than attempting to out compete one another…we strive to create a learning community. As a community, our main goals are to develop ourselves holistically in a manner that supports sustainable wellness for all as individuals and as responsible members of a martial arts family. Martial arts techniques and life practices are a mechanism by which we aim to accomplish this goal.
The Kung fu curriculum of Manitou Center is directed by Paul Stern. He draws from his kung fu community to bring you traditions from the Winnipeg Plum Blossom Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy Choy li Fut system under the supervision of Tai Sifu Neil McRitchie and Tai Simo Peggy McRitchie in Winnipeg and Sifu Eric Muchowski at Golden Leopard Martial Arts in Minneapolis. The Miao Kong Martial Arts Association in Taiwan is under Master Lee Chang Ren and Master Lee Chang Chih.
Choy Li Fut is a system that can provide a lifetime of learning. There are over 150 forms (sets) in the Kung Fu System of Choy LI Fut. This includes hand, weapon, partner, and internal sets. You may ask why such a large system? It’s not a system of Kung Fu that is meant for any one person to learn and master it all. Rather it provides the opportunity for persons with different body types and abilities to improve their health, become proficient at many techniques, and continue to learn and challenge themselves.
Choy li fut is a system that was founded by Chan Heung to suit the average person. Many martial arts styles have forms and techniques that are suited for specific body types and abilities. Students practicing with Manitou Center are trained in a tradition of martial arts systems that promote health and longevity as well developing proficiency in a highly effective system of self defense.
Historically, around 1928, the Koumingtang in China established Zhong Yang Guo Shu Guan. Within this organization, the dream was to establish a national martial arts school that would bring famous teachers from across China together in one place. This would offer students an opportunity to study that had never been achieved before that time.
As the Kuomingtang was forced to move to Taiwan, part of the student population from this school moved across the strait as well. In approximately 1983, a cultural university was opened in Taiwan with the idea of again offering interested students a venue to step into this cultural tradition. Within this university, students studied over 100 forms with that idea that in doing so, they could distinguish and hold fundamental knowledge regarding the myriad of kung fu styles they may encounter as they went on to become martial arts coaches in their own right. Mr. Lee Chang Ren was a student within that Zhong Guo Wen Hua Da Xue.
In 1998, the Miao Kong Martial arts association was formed by Lee Chang Ren and Lee Chang Chih. The main focus of kung fu within this system was Bei Quan, or Northern Fist Kung fu. Other styles were also included, such as suen bing, nan chuan, ba ji, and zhan quan. The decision of what styles are included within a particular course of study is taken from these traditions.
Paul Stern came into contact with Miao Kong and Lee Chang Ren and Lee Chang Chih in 1998 when he moved to Taiwan. During his time in Taiwan, he became a student and disciple (徒弟) of Lee Chang Ren and his brother Lee Chang Chih. He is a licensed instructor and coach within the Miao Kong Martial Arts Association.