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Kung fu classes for fitness

Several Chinese martial arts come under the banner of Kung Fu, and they are generally styles which involve sharp blows and kicks. Kung Fu's origins date back to around 200 AD, when physician Hwa Tuo devised a series of exercises based on the movements of five animals: the tiger, monkey, stork, deer and bear. Later, Shaolin monks developed movement and breathing exercises designed to strengthen their bodies and minds to give them greater stamina to pursue their spiritual quest. Traditional Kung Fu integrates both physical exercise and meditation practice, reflecting its original connection to Buddhism. The martial art developed into a fighting discipline as monks and merchants travelling between India and China had to learn to defend themselves on the journey.

Martial arts provide effective all-round fitness training for all ages. At the same time as improving co-ordination, flexibility, speed and stamina, they also help develop muscle strength. What's more they are an excellent means of weight control, and help create a lean, toned body. The emphasis on all round holistic training also helps with relaxation, enabling better sleep, clearer thinking, and calm alertness, all of which help practitioners to react quickly, endure hard work, and concentrate without getting tired.

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