What is the difference between Shaolin Kung Fu and other martial arts styles?

Shaolin Kung Fu differs from Karate and Tae Kwon Do in principle and technique. Karate comes from Okinawa and Japan. Tae Kwon Do is from Korea. Shaolin Kung Fu originated at the Shaolin Temple in China. Shaolin Kung Fu is more fluid and makes more use of circular techniques. Power is generated in much the same way as a towel that is being snapped. A towel is loose and soft, yet if it is snapped quickly like a whip, it becomes powerful and rigid at the point of impact.

What are some of the characteristics of Shaolin Kung Fu training?

The Shaolin Kung Fu system taught at our school derives from the Northern School. This method emphasizes quick agile movements, long-range techniques, and a great variety of kicking techniques. It stresses soft circular blocking followed by fast powerful counters. The nature of its techniques increases flexibility, develops balance, and builds endurance and cat-like reflexes.

What is the difference between Tai Chi and other forms of martial arts?

Unlike other forms of martial arts, Tai Chi Quan, also written as Tai Chi or Taiji, can be practiced by anyone regardless of age or physical condition. This is because Tai Chi requires little effort to perform. Slow, even, rhythmical movements coupled with proper breathing are the distinguishing features of its practice.

On your schedule you have Tai Chi for Health and Tai Chi as a Martial Arts System. What is the difference?

Tai Chi is one of the world’s most renowned martial arts systems. It relies on the principles of yielding and redirecting the opponent’s force, and on softness overcoming hardness. These principles are harnessed through specialized training. Both solo and partner practice are required in order to develop the martial aspect of Tai Chi.

Nowadays many people are interested in the proven health benefits derived from Tai Chi. The Tai Chi for Health class focuses on proper posture, the science of correct breathing (Qi Gong), and relaxation techniques.

What it is Shuai Jiao?

Shuai Jiao predates Shaolin Kung Fu. It is a form of grappling that incorporates throwing, sweeps and takedowns as well as joint manipulation techniques. It is superb for close quarters encounters.

What is Qin Na?

Qin Na is the Chinese art of joint locking and it also incorporates choking techniques and knowledge of attacking pressure points. Qin Na is taught in conjunction with self-defense techniques to develop a practical approach to real-life applications.

On your schedule you have classes on Kettlebells and Club Training. What does this class consist of?

In ancient times, Chinese masters used many training methods that included certain apparatus to develop strength and conditioning. The Chinese Stone Locks, which we substitute with kettlebells, were a favorite training tool. The war club was popular in many cultures not for functional use in battle but for developing overall strength. Master Scrima has developed a series of exercises using clubs and kettlebells to increase overall conditioning and develop explosive power while encouraging a full range of motion of the muscles and joints. This is a great class for getting an outstanding workout.

When are your classes?

We offer separate classes for adults and children, as well as Tai Chi classes. We are open six days a week and offer morning and evening classes. You can choose between group classes or private lessons.

When can I join?

We have regular beginning classes so you can start your training any time. However, we do require new students to fill out an application form and go through a brief interview process.

What is required of me in order to start taking lessons?

Beginners are always welcome and our trial program makes it easy for new students of all fitness levels to get started. Beginner classes are geared toward introducing basic Shaolin Kung Fu techniques. Students can progress at their own pace to gradually build a martial arts foundation and improve their physical conditioning.

How much does it cost to take lessons?

We offer several different programs that are tailored to each student’s interests and needs. The cost is determined by the length of the program, the payment options and the number of family members on the program. We strongly suggest that you participate in the trial program; this will allow Master Scrima to recommend the program that is best for you.

How often do students attend classes?

In order to progress at a reasonable rate we recommend that you attend classes two to three times a week.

What if I am not in very good shape?

Typically most people who join my school are looking for a way to improve themselves. As a new student, you will be in a beginner’s class where training is progressive and paced so that you will gradually build up your strength, stamina and flexibility to prepare you for more advanced training

How long will it take to get a Black Belt?

We have Black Belt Programs in Kung Fu, Xing Yi and Tai Chi. Each has its own curriculum and requirements. The average time frame is three years. However, this depends on the individual student’s ability, dedication and type of program he or she is enrolled in. The Black Belt signifies that the student has become proficient in the execution of fundamental techniques, has developed an understanding of the system’s guiding principles, and has acquired a certain level of skill. The Black Belt, while a significant achievement, is only a stepping stone to more profound learning.

How much time will it take before I can effectively use Kung Fu for self-defense?

On the average, at least one year of continuous, dedicated training is required before you have sufficient confidence, and before the techniques you have learned become natural and spontaneous. Physical techniques are easy to learn but mental toughness, quick reflexes, speed and power require time to develop.

I always wanted to learn Kung Fu, but I am now in my forties. Am I too old?

The answer is a resounding no! I offer a diversified program that incorporates both Internal and External methods of Chinese martial arts. I can assure you that we can tailor a program to fit your needs, one that is challenging and rewarding.

Are students in your school required to participate in tournaments?

While Master Scrima has developed numerous National and World Champions, his philosophy is that tournaments should be viewed  as an opportunity to learn and gain experience. A healthy approach to competition can build confidence and self-assurance, aid in mastering nervousness, provide insight to other systems, and build camaraderie and lasting friendships. Although students from our school do compete in tournaments from time to time, we leave the choice of competition to the individual student.

Can I be injured in a class?

Like all physical activities, there is always the chance of injury. However, studies have shown that martial arts have a lower injury risk than many other popular sports. Learning is gradual and classes are separated by skill levels, which further minimizes the risk of injury.

Are students in your school required to participate in tournaments?

While we do participate in tournaments, participation is left to the individual student.

Why do you offer workshops with different Masters?

I bring many of my teachers to the school at least once a year for special training and intensive workshops. In addition, Masters from China also visit the school throughout the year. These are among the most accomplished Masters of our time and learning from them is not only a privilege but an opportunity to hone your skill and advance your martial arts knowledge.

What are some of the benefits I may expect to gain from training?

With dedicated practice, your coordination, confidence, reflexes, speed, strength, and stamina will greatly improve. You will be able to concentrate better and for longer periods of time. You will learn how to defend yourself and have better control of your emotions.

There are many martial arts schools; what sets your school apart?

I have been operating my own school since 1981 and have more than 4 decades of martial arts experience. I have been trained by some of the top Chinese Masters of our time, so you can be assured that the training is authentic. I have produced numerous National and International champions in forms and fighting; my training methods produce results! I personally design each student’s training curriculum and teach all the classes to insure that you receive the best possible instruction and derive the maximum benefits from your training.