Updated: Feb 2
The training in longfist will cover three stages: conditioning training, techniques training, and forms training. You will train from elementary to advanced, from empty hand to weapons, and from solo to partner work.
After acquiring basic physical skills and qualities such as stretching, flexibility, agility, and strength in basic training, it is time to grasp the various movements and techniques of longfist that will prepare you for practicing the empty hand as well as weapon forms. Through these forms, you will further develop coordination, flexibility, speed, and muscle elasticity, as well as the ability to retain balance while in motion, and to control or utilize inertia in motion.
The forms are the essence of longfist kung fu, but their true value doesn’t lie in their outer artistry that one can see, but in the hidden secrets within them. If you are simply caught up in the surface level (the choreograph) of the forms and don't delve into their deeper qualities, then you will miss the real value within the forms and the changes they create in the way you move your body. The "moves" in every form develop a type of habit over a long period of practice—habits that transform unsafe habits of movement into new habits of movements that you can use to defend yourself effectively. The development of these “new habits” depends on your diligent practice and understanding of each move.
Don't get caught up in the mind set of just learning new moves and trying to remember as much choreograph of forms as you can. The real training is in the methods and drills you learn in class and the understanding you get from those methods and drills. The choreograph of forms is just a sequence of movements that have no real meaning without these methods and drills. In order to get Kung Fu (not just do it) you must learn, understand and practice these methods and drills.
To fully understand the purpose of each move learned you have to know and understand what you are doing. Since the purpose of what you are doing is usually hidden within the form, it requires the Sifu to teach the real essence of the form and the missing links that reveal the true purpose of the form. Only with full and correct training, delivered within a systematized, traditional program, that guides you step by step will you be able to reach the higher levels of training. Once you reach these higher levels of training and understanding of the purpose of each form you learned, can you then say "you have Kung Fu."