You don’t empty the mind just to lobotomise yourself; it’s not mindlessness.

You empty it so that it can be refilled by what you’re experiencing. It’s empty of the chatter, it’s empty of the neurotic anxiety, it’s empty of preconceived notions, it’s empty of opinions, it’s empty of politics, it’s empty of social conventions, and if you empty your mind of all that, it’s a cleansing process.

Then you can allow it to be filled by the true experience of what you’re doing.

(Paul Gale)

Classes resume Monday 20th October


The form itself teaches the body how to move in an internal way.
Ideally, this is how your body should move in combat.

Form literally means ‘shape'; and the aim is to re-shape your movements and structure into something martially viable.

The complexity of form means that a student has countless layers of skill to add to their form, and it will take decades to understand it deeply.
This learning process is what training an internal art is all about.


The fundamental qigong/neigong exercises were designed to build-up the strength and coordination required to practice form.
Instead of moving in a tense, sloppy, disconnected way, students learn how to move slowly and smoothly.
In time, the entire body moves as one unit.

When the form is practiced correctly, it is quite demanding.


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The way and its power

Tao Te Ching teaches us many important lessons.
In terms of combat we recognise that the ‘power’ can only be used if the student adheres strictly to the ‘way’ of the event.
Blocking the incoming force, struggling, resisting, postural instability… these bad habits prevent the student from having any power.

Instead, it is necessary to harmonise, accord, blend with the attack.
Neutralise, and counter-attack by borrowing power from the opponent and adding it to our own.

This is harder than it sounds, for the student must set aside their own pride and ego, and follow the parameters of the art exactly.

New starters

A new starter’s response to attack is random, sloppy and untrained.
The individual is usually poorly coordinated, with little sense of balance, rhythm and timing.

What you bring with you into a kung fu class is worthless: physical tension, bad postural habits, aggression, fear, clumsiness…
Even skills from other martial arts tend to be an impediment.
You must unlearn.

Our aim is help you to become responsive, spontaneous, adaptive. Capable of changing instantly in accordance with circumstance.

Dismantling the sets

Experts learn to take the 2-person sets apart and gain a comprehensive understanding of the biomechanics involved.
They can also make connections and associations between patterns, themes and form movements.
Hidden applications become apparent.

Every combat set contains countless chin na, shuai jiao and variations on a movement.
A skilled student can easily recognise viable follow-ups and explore these.

At this stage, the combat set pervades the student’s consciousness and can be used readily in self defence.


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