Sifu Cristina Prudencio-Brunello

Youth Student’s Corner

Have you ever heard an instructor say, “no Kung Fu at school,” or “don’t use your Kung Fu on your siblings”? That is because we train martial arts in the hopes that we never need to use our skills. Seems kind of backwards, right? What is the point of putting so much time and effort into something we are not even allowed to use once we leave the academy? Well, believe it or not, there are many aspects of martial arts that you can practice outside of the kwoon.

It is important to remember that Kung Fu is not just a physical sport like soccer or hockey – it is also a lifestyle. Just think: every month we have two themes – a physical one for our bodies, and a mental one for our actions. This means there are valuable Kung Fu skills that we DO want you to use outside of the kwoon:

Spirit: While it would be silly to say “yes Sifu!” when your parent asks you to clean up your toys, you can use this positive attitude and work ethic to motivate you during daily activities/chores – especially when you don’t feel like doing them…

Respect: Kung Fu is built on respect for others. For example, the third bow to everyone in class is a promise to treat them as we want to be treated, and we can apply this concept to people in our lives outside the academy (friends, family, teachers, etc.).

Patience: It takes time to learn and progress through the ranks in Kung Fu, which can be frustrating at times. However, we can try to appreciate the journey instead of focusing on the destination, and be happy with the little goals and successes along the way.

…and this is just a short list. Kung Fu has many applications that go beyond punching and kicking. Our hope for you as instructors is that by training martial arts, you also develop important life skills, and use them outside the kwoon to become a better person every day.