|Martial Arts Feature Article
Training in Wu Dao Gong, Natural
Style Kung Fu
Chief Instructor Brett Wagland
Wu Dao Gong is a traditional Chinese kung fu training.
It has been introduced to Australia through
traditional Chinese medical practitioner. When Fei first
introduced this training method, students could not quite grasp its
Fei began by teaching us a punching method, something we
all thought we could master in no time. After the first six months and
many questions later, we were still doing punching. However, we then
realised that there was still a long way to go. There is a lot more to
punching than what meets the eyes. It is a tool employed to change our
bodies and challenge our minds. Four years on and we are still doing
punching. However, people observing our group punch can see, hear and
feel the difference in quality from what is generally regarded as
punching. Fei says that now our punch is what he calls a martial punch;
it has martial force. Many of the students in the advanced class with
Fei have studied other martial arts. They all realise the quality and
depth of Feiís knowledge and teachings.
Fei learnt his kung fu
China. This type of training is referred to as an art. It
takes a lifetime to perfect. Chinese martial arts are ultimately
about the Tao or living a good quality life, one that is rich
physically, mentally, philosophically and spiritually. The arts
are steeped in ancient Taoist and Buddhist wisdom. Behind
the physical movements is a wealth of philosophy, meditation, military
strategy and traditional Chinese medical theories. Because
westerners have a different cultural reference, it takes time for them
to fully appreciate the profundity of the art. It is for this
reason that most people never really understand Chinese martial arts.
Some people think of martial arts as something vulgar and base.
Many high level practitioners in China were scholars and their martial
arts skills were only known to their peers.
In traditional Chinese martial arts, there are no gradings or belts. However, there are levels. In our system, the
first level comprises of chicken legs, punch and chop. Passing the
legs, that is walking for 15 min. with thighs parallel to the ground, is
a basic and important level. Building leg strength improves oneís
health and is an essential foundation for martial arts. For
health, it strengthens the joints and muscles and builds stamina and
internal energy. For martial arts, it connects the legs to the
upper body. As the legs become stronger, it adds power to your
kicks. Having leg strength will enable you to move quickly, with
the feeling that you have springs under your feet. At a higher
level, the practitioner will develop ground force. He will only
have good ward off force when he has built up leg strength. In our
system, we say, ďIf you donít have legs, you wonít achieve a high level
of kung fu.Ē This leg training is one of the keys to developing
traditional martial arts skills.
practice of Wu Dao Gong has many levels and will always challenge you.
However, the journey is very enriching. Many students have commented
how much stronger they are physically, mentally and emotionally. People
who havenít seen them for some time are also surprised and amazed by
their progress. Through the training, the practitioners gain confidence
in themselves and in their abilities to deal with lifeís difficulties
more effectively. Gradually, the training becomes a way of life, having
a positive influence on our thoughts, emotions and spirits. We wish all
students every success in their endeavour to develop and master
themselves through the art!
What is Wu
Dao Gong, Natural Style Kung Fu?
with Fei Wang