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Quotes from Grandmaster Ark Wong


"Kung Fu is a great form of exercise for the human body. It's similar to water; you put water in a bottle and if you don't change the water from time to time it gets dirty, The body is the same. Through exercise the blood flows and feeds the body. "


"You need to know what kind of exercise is good according to your age. It should be different for a 25 year old student that it is for someone over 50."


"My primary training method is still the practice of the traditional forms. I teach six basic forms plus the five animal forms. Many people disagree with the practice of forms, but I believe they are missing the point. All these simply immature comments are from people that never went deep into the art and are simply thinking about fighting. The traditional kuen (forms) not only keep all the traditional techniques for future generations, but also stimulate the heart of the practitioner sufficiently  high for improvement of cardiovascular fitness. Forms have a place in the training of a kung fu practitioner but you need to know what they are meant for."


"The old masters did have some idea of what they were doing, regardless of what some describe as a classical mess. The forms contain very useful fighting information and techniques for those perceptive enought to pull the techniques out and apply them according to the situation. Only someone with a very superficial knowledge will make some sort of derogative statements against the traditional forms. Where do they think they are getting the techniques they are using for combat, from outer space? You have to break the form up for fighting, although the beginner will never be able to figure those things out by themselves. It takes years of training to develop the right understanding to learn from the forms. "


" I know that these days people get tired very easily and instructors need to develop 'newer' and 'fancier' training methods  to keep students coming back to classes. The training methods have evolved radically in the last decades but definitely my training methods are very different. I teach traditional kung fu so my methods can be described as 'traditional'. I would like to advise the new generations to reexamine some of the 'old' ways of training and focus on the ideas behind them."


"I do not like to talk about kung fu, or martial arts in general as a sport because they are not. The main purpose of kung fu training is self defense, and improving health is secondary. For me the sport tourament is not good. That's not fighting and may mislead a student to believe that they can rely on techniques that won't work under real situations. Sometimes they don't even hit and they get points anyway. Many of them are just fancy fighters, jumping around and bouncing in and out without a serious approach to fighting. All you have to do is wait until they get tired and hit them hard and solid. They will go down, I guarantee you. Those fancy movments are useless in a real fight."


"You won't see too much stretching in my classes because all that stretching will weaken a persons joints in the long run. Stretching (to excess) will eventually loosen your tendons and ligaments  and other important tissues  that should be strong when you get older. You have to understand what is good for your body and what is not. All stretching routines are meant to allow the student to kick high. Well, why does he need to kick high? It is better to kick low and punch high! My goal is self defence and believe me, there is no sense in using kicks to the head in a real situation. Kick low... break his 'family' with kicks; kick to the groin. Kicking to the head is as senseless as punching to the feet."


"I don't believe in mats so the floor of my school is a normal surface. We train with shoes because you don't normally walk barefoot in your daily life."


"I believe that practical weapons can be found anywhere if the person has been trained to see them. Anything can be used as a practical weapon; a broom, a chair, et cetera. They may not be considered practical, but if the situation arises and you have been properly trained in traditional weapons, then you will be able to use them."


" A true martial artist not only should have physical abilities but also ethical attributes such as humility and respect for others. I don't talk about other styles of martial arts because I believe all of them are good if properly taught by a competent instructor. In the end, the effectiveness of your art depends on how good you are, not on the characteristics of the style. In short, always respect your teachers and always treat your art with respect. If you do, it will serve you well. The art is not something you can take with you, it is something that I would like to leave to dedicated students."


(quotes above taken from "Kung-Fu Masters" by Jose M. Fraguas)

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