Questions & Answers
1Q. How many students are at Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute (BSKFI)?
1A. It varies from time to time but regardless of the amount of students, we accommodate them all through giving them the adequate attention they need!
2Q. It will be my first time doing Martial Arts; if I do Kung Fu will everyone stare at me?
2A. No, everyone will be to busy focusing on their own training!
3Q. Will I be able to learn enough Kung Fu in a month to protect myself on the streets?
3A. Yes, but one month is not enough to retain what you’ve learned in order to perfect it! Kung Fu is a very effective means of self-defense. BSKFI’s Kung Fu Systems is completely rounded with the elements of: take downs and throws, sweeps, hand strikes, kicking, blocking, grappling, wrestling, empty hand forms, weapon forms, and close quarter fighting.
4Q. What’s the difference between Kung Fu and Karate?
4A. Karate utilizes rigid or tensed dynamic movements to develop one’s blocking and striking power. Kung Fu also has dynamic tension but it utilizes soft fluent movements to develop one’s blocking and striking power. (Karate is like a solid piece of ice destroying whatever is in its path wherefore Kung Fu is more like water in the form of a Tsunami). (Karate is like a hard stick or a hard bow staff whereas Kung Fu is more like a whip with small spikes attached to the ends of it). Although both are different, you don’t want to get hit by either one of them! There both great to learn if you have a good school that offer a great program without the con, and teachers that can really teach.
5Q. How long does it take to get a Black Belt?
5A. It takes an average of 5 years which is approximately 720 hours. For kids, it will take longer. We simply don’t give kids black sashes because there’s a greater meaning to become a Shaolin black sash at BSKFI. Kids can earn a junior black sash which is the equivalent of our adult red sash. Having a black belt does not only signify discipline, courtesy, honor, and respect for others but it also means being aware of one’s surroundings at all times, being able to protect against any average attacker, and being able to avoid potential confrontations. Finally, it indicates the ability to defend one’s-self and others against hostile attacks, until an escape is possible. When a child continues Kung Fu training into late adolescence, he/she truly exemplifies black sash standards when the sash is earned.
6Q. Will I be able to improve my flexibility?
6A. Yes, we really work on different stretches at the beginning of every class!
7Q. What is the starting age for kids?
7A. 5 years old although we do take them at 4 years old if they do 3 free trial classes to see if their ready!
8Q. Does Bei Shaolin have a ranking system?
8A. Yes, BSKFI has 8 ranks (white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, and black)!
9Q. Will I be able to compete in a tournament if I have never been athletic?
9A. Yes, BSKFI train people how to win in competition!
10Q. Can I lose weight doing Kung Fu?
10A. Yes, through calisthenics which burns fat, and targets every type of muscles in the body!
11Q. Does Bei Shaolin teach those interested how to lose weight safely and how to keep it off permanently?
11A. Yes, BSKFI helps those who are ready to make that change through better eating habits, enlightening them on; what causes weight gain, what foods and drinks that can burn fat, and through proper exercise!
12Q. I’m a small person; can I be able to protect myself against a large person?
12A. Yes but only if you are committed to your training so whether you are only 5ft. and he’s 6ft.; size doesn’t matter!
13Q. I’m a female over 40 years of age; am I to old to take Kung Fu?
13A. No age is too old because we always encourage students in the beginning to work at their on pace while we help build them up!
14Q. I’m not in very good health; is there something I can do now other than tradition Kung Fu to improve my health so that I could someday do traditional Kung Fu?
14A. Yes, our Tai Chi program is the opposite of our Shaolin Kung Fu program! It is a slow practiced art that helps the flow of Chi through breath control and body movements.
15Q. I’m sick all the time; can you suggest something that I can start taking that will improve my health?
15A. Yes, we have a section on intake for healing the body naturally on our web-site, and we recommend you receive advice from the head instructor of BSKFI concerning this issue!
16Q. I’m a Christian; are your students expected to bow down or worship Buddha?
16A. NO! We highly recommend that you read the “Head Instructor’s Belief” section of the web-site!
17Q. I can’t kick above my waist line; will I ever be able to do high kicks?
17A. Yes, if you have know problems with standing or with your knees!
18Q. I’m a slow learner; how will I be able to keep up with everyone else?
18A. In the beginning we recommend that you work at your own pace and gradually pick up your pace from there!
19Q. Does Bei Shaolin offer daytime classes?
19A. Yes but you have to call in advance to get put on the list!
20Q. What age do you have to be in order to do Kung Fu?
20A. It doesn’t matter as long as they are in good health and has permission from their doctor if over 60 yrs old and had a history of health problems! Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute (BSKFI) start kids off at the ages of 4 years old and up. Sometimes BSKFI will accept a child at the age of 4 years old provided they pass the trial class with the instructor. The trial class simply assesses if the child can be obedient, follow directions, and focus on the teacher, without being disruptive. Kids and adult classes are separated. However, adults start off at all ages! It is a Myth to believe that you have to start doing Kung Fu before you reach the age of 30 years old. Many 50-80 year olds begin the Martial Arts and achieve a black belt in 5-10 years. Certainly, 49 year olds and under can do the same. It doesn’t matter what age you are! We are considering starting 2-3 years old classes soon so please call us now to be put on the list if you’re interested (mainly for teaching them flexibility, balance, response, coordination, etc., and getting them to mimic their instructors all in a fun way)!
21Q. Does Bei Shaolin offer private group lessons at your school?
21A. Yes! Check out our private and group section!
22Q. When do I get my first rank?
22A. Student receives their first rank after attaining 12 class hours or after their first month of basic training in the beginner class. Every sash, including the first white sash, must be earned. Adults are not required to test for their first rank but kids must pass a 15 minute test administered by the instructor or coach. Requirements for advancement are posted in the school. Your Sifu (Head Instructor/Head Teacher) will decide when you are eligible for testing.
23Q. Why do some people wear 2 sashes?
23A. There are 8 sash colors (white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, and black), indicating different levels of mastery. Students are awarded intermediate sashes by their Sifu based upon performance effort. Higher beginner, intermediate, and advance sashes consist of 2 sashes worn together. The first is the current level of the student, and the second is a lower sash added like another degree. For example, at some point after a student attains a green sash, the head instructor will allow him/her to wear a white sash with the green one, indicating a higher level of expertise. This is followed up with another promotion 2 months later which is symbolized by wearing a green & yellow, and finally a green & orange sash together. After this process they are prepared for testing up to a blue sash.
24Q. When do students begin competing?
24A. A student must first understand the fundamentals of proper techniques such as stance structure, punching, kicking, blocking, sparring, and a 5 step drill. After learning the fundamentals, a student can begin competing in tournaments.
25Q. I’m concern about the safety of my child learning to fight; is it safe?
25A. Sparring (controlled fighting), and grappling (wrestling) are integral to the Kung Fu program taught at Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute. These skills are taught with heavy emphasis on discipline, control and safety. All participants wear protective gear during sparring. Grappling takes place on mats. Both activities are closely supervised. Pairings are often made on the basis of equal skill level. However, a more advanced student may also be paired with a beginner, both to encourage the novice, and to emphasize control from the experienced child.
26Q. I am concerned that my child will hurt someone if he/she learns to fight. Is it wise?
26A. Children are taught the necessity of discipline and self-control, as well as respect for others and self. Every child who uses Kung Fu techniques to bully or hurt other children, whether within the school or elsewhere, will be disciplined. Additionally, children who are disrespectful to their parents or teachers, or others in authority will be disciplined by the head instructor. All Martial Arts Styles are positive influences on kids, no matter what their ages. The Martial Arts help to mold children into the great leaders of tomorrow, provided they have a teacher they can respect, who truly cares about them. In addition to teaching positive values and attitudes, active participation in Martial Arts keeps kids off the streets and out of trouble. Our school strives to help students stay focused on the things that really matter in life, including the attitudes and skills that will lead them to a better future! We believe that their Attitude determines their Aptitude, and their Aptitude determines their Altitude (their highest level).
27Q. Are students expected to make it to class everyday?
27A. The Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute (BSKFI) in Memphis has adjusted our schedule to meet the needs of our students. Most beginning traditional students, both children and adults, are eligible to attend class 3 to 4 days a week. For students who only want to learn a little about self-defense, or to improve their health and body, we recommend attending class at least 2 days each week. On the other hand, we offer classes 4 days a week to suit the needs of the more serious practitioner who loves to train and work-out, whether it is traditionally, competitively or both.
28Q. When do I get to learn weapons techniques?
28A. After first learning the basic fundamentals of training and moving up to yellow sash beginner, a student can begin learning the principle and usages of Chinese weaponry. The student must first learn to respect the weapon and its usages.
29Q. How many weapons can I learn?
29A. BSKFI teach over 18 different weapons but you have to be completely dedicated years after black sash to learn them all.
30Q. Will I have to work very hard in order to learn Kung Fu
30A. The word Kung Fu translated means “hard work” or “time and energy” or “to master”. In order to become proficient with Kung Fu, the student or practitioner must focus on making this meaning his or her goal. Today’s way of doing Kung Fu is not the same as it was centuries ago. Practitioners (monk) at the Shaolin Temple in ancient China would begin training at first day break. As part of their discipline, they would have to carry 3-5 gallon buckets of water in each hand with their arms stretched out, shoulder height, up and down hills and over streams of water to build their strength, balance, and stamina. Another part of their discipline was to hold a horse stance (a wide legged squat with the thighs parallel to the ground) for hours a day while positioned on top of plum flower posts that were 3-10 feet off the ground. They would do these types of disciplines before being taught how to kick, punch, block or practice weapons training. Shaolin practitioners were required to train from morning until hours after sunset. To this day, the Shaolin Temple (China) strives to continue this legacy.
In today’s modern day western society, the Martial Arts schools have learned that the old ways of training do not meet with the working class families of today’s life schedule. Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute’s (BSKFI) program is a very dynamic system that is designed to meet the consumers’ needs. The Instructors and leaders at BSKFI encourage new students to work at their own pace of learning so that they can really understand and grasp the techniques given to them. Yes, you have to put in time and energy as you work hard to develop and master the techniques given to you! However, any able-bodied person can do Kung Fu. We cater to you, no matter if you have years of experience, or no experience at all. You’ve taken the first step by inquiring about Kung Fu! Now you’re ready to make the second step by calling and making an appointment to try your free lesson for you/your child or your whole family! After doing so, we’re sure you’ll be inspired to take the third step by signing up with us to begin training!
31Q. Will martial arts make my child violent?
31A. No. Martial arts are used for self-defense and as a last resort. The core principles of Bei Shaolin Kung Fu Institute is solving problems by peaceful resolution and having the self-confidence to not rely on violent behavior.
32Q. My child is not very athletic. Can they still benefit from martial arts?
32A. Certainly. We teach them skills that will help with their coordination, flexibility and strength. We make sure that the activities we assign are appropriate for the child’s athletic level.
33Q. Will my child be injured if they practice martial arts?
33A. There is a chance of physical injury with any form of exercise. We take very special care to supervise all exercises to see that the students are performing them correctly. Sparring is only performed at higher levels by those who wish to participate and we feel have the skills to spar in a safe manner.
34Q. How fit do I have to be to take an adult martial arts class?
34A. We have people of almost all levels of fitness attend our classes. Your level of fitness is not that important a factor because we work on improving your level, no matter where you are in terms of physical fitness
35Q. I have a past injury or medical condition. Can I still train in martial arts?
35A. You will need to talk to your doctor about the risks you may incur by performing rigorous exercise. They will know best about what your body can safely handle.
36Q. What should I wear for my first class?
36A. Bring a top and pants that are comfortable and easy to move in.