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Kung fu training advice

Training for Chinese martial art Kung Fu includes learning the basic moves and different forms, as well as training in different applications of Kung Fu, and the use of weapons in the martial art. Different martial arts styles place varying emphasis on these training components, but Kung Fu shares with other martial arts a focus on philosophy, ethics, medical practice and Chinese culture which is common to all martial arts.

Developing strong and flexible muscles is one of the first goals of initial kung fu training. Another key element is learning to manage "chi", meaning breath, or energy. Without strength, flexibility, and good management of chi, many martial arts moves are impossible to perform correctly. Basic training involves repeating a series of simple movements, such as basic kicking and punching techniques, as well as stretching, meditation and work on stances.

All Chinese martial arts place emphasis on stretching, because it enables greater speed and power, and reduces the risk of injury, by increasing the body's range of motion. Stretching exercises include joint rotations, static stretching and dynamic stretching, and can be performed individually or in pairs.

Stances are postures designed to represent different fighting positions, and involve different foot positions, weight distribution and body alignment. These stances are generally practised statically.

Meditation is used to develop focus and mental clarity and is an important element of basic training.

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