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Which kung fu style should I learn, and what is chi?


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I asked a similar question earlier and I got a good answer. However, I still need help. I'm fifteen, tall, rather skinny (not alot of muscle) and I need to choose a kung fu style to learn. I need it to be practical, but I'd like it to also have a focus on building/utilizing "chi." Also, I'd like a better "real-world" explanation of chi. I know it's a sort of essence or breath, like our body's energy, but what, practically, is it USED for, especially in the case of martial arts? Can it be used to enhance strength/speed etc? Things like that. Back to my question on styles, which should I pick? I really seem to like Northern Praying Mantis, and recently I'm also starting to like Eagle Claw. I need a style that fits me, and also utilizes speed more than strength, along with chi. I don't really like the look of tiger (too strength-oriented) or Tai Chi Chuan. Any resources someone could provide would be useful, as well as a recommendation on what style for me to choose or more information on each style so I can choose. AN explanation of chi as stated above would be nice too. Anyone who can help me with this, please do. I really appreciate it. My primary reasons for learning are increased fitness/health, peacefulness and self-enlightenment (I also plan to learn more of Buddhism and the Tao later on) and of course self-defense. That's opne of the reasons I like Praying Mantis. Thank you very much. Here's a link to my earlier question if you need to refer to it.;_ylt=At.sCbEdtz0KsPnPosYd3h_sy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20100214032726AAaNpxR

3 Answers
Community Member

Studying real Tai Chi is one of the best ways tho build chi, in my opinion, although like you, I'm not so fond of practicing it :).
I've been studying Wing Chun for about 10 years now, and i love it. I'm a 5'8" athletic girl, and I can hold my own against 220 lb guys. I've also had a mix of jujitsu training and American boxing.
Look into it, if you're interested. Google PA Wing Chun, and you'll probably find my school.

Community Member

Try looking into a Xingyiquan style. Very practical and straight forward. You need to be able to do a lot of standing posture training though to generate xingyi power. Be sure to be willing to practice and refine for a very long time if you want to be very good. And if you're going to train chi, or as it is spelt as Qi, then here's how it will help you in fight situations. Basically if you sink your body into Dantien, shen in the mind will be raised. Once Shen is raised, the Qi will mix into the mind and rewires your senses and abilities to quickly take action upon a situation. You have to find a good Xingyi teacher though in order to receive full benefits of the training and most of all, you have to be consistent in your training.You'll also get to know more about chinese culture and such if you want to improve your kung fu.

Community Member

Well for Chi, obviously you can learn Tai Chi. For another art for Kung Fu, Try looking into Choy Lei Feut. It is a very effective art that teaches you how to fight, as well as fight multiple attackers and does work on speed. Bruce lee himself even said "Choy Lei Feut is the most difficult style to attack and defend against, and was the only style that traveled to Thailand and was able to defeat the Thai boxers"

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