What is Kung Fu?
First and foremost: Kung Fu is not a style of Martial Arts. Most English-speakers use the term to mean Chinese Martial Arts or CMA or `a bit more specific, Traditional Chinese Martial Arts or TCMA.
Although this does indeed help to distinguish it from other Martial Art systems like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, JuJitsu, etc. However, it actually says very little, other than a slight reference to the martial art system’s country of origin. In fact, like the other martial arts mentioned, there are actually many different styles of Kung Fu, like ours, Northern Shaolin.
And oddly enough, the term “Kung Fu” is the Romanized version of the Chinese term 功 夫, and refers to any discipline or skill achieved through hard work and practice, not necessarily martial arts.
Perhaps even more strange is the fact that there are many different Chinese words for the term Martial Arts. But a popular one is 武 術 or Wushu, which also commonly refers to the Chinese competitive sport of Wushu, which is not what we do.
Kung Fu: An Atlanta Tradition
Kung Fu has been in Atlanta, GA, for many years. Northern Shaolin is our flagship style. It’s been an offering of Kung Fu in Atlanta since the early 1980’s.
Furthermore, it’s been in the Southeastern region of the USA since well before.
Chin Woo, Hung Gar, Southern & Northern Praying Mantis, Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan), Ba Gua Zhang, Xing Yi Quan, Chang Quan, Eagle Claw, Hop Gar, Jow Gar, Lama Pai and other styles of Kung Fu have made appearances in the area.
The PATHS Atlanta Kung Fu of today and the PATHS of its founding in 2007 are indeed two very different animals. Learn more About PATHS Atlanta Kung Fu.
Sifu Kiessling‘s Northern Shaolin Kung Fu classes of yesteryear and the classes of today are vastly different as well.
Our classes have always been conveniently located near downtown Decatur, Georgia, just minutes outside of Atlanta and accessible via major highways, roads and MARTA. See our Class Schedule & Locations for details.
Unlike many other martial arts schools, we specialize in Adults and Teens.
All classes are Teens and Adult Martial Arts Classes, with varying ages all together in one group.
Teens and Adults, Ages 15 – 40 is what we consider to be the sweet spot.
After many years of teaching traditional Chinese Martial Arts outdoors, many years of “work hard play hard,” we’ve noticed a trend that it is those within this age range that tend to do well.
And, unfortunately, we simply do not have the resources to run proper children’s classes, adaptively-abled classes, and the like, however much we’d love to.
That being said, every individual is unique and the final decision is up to Sifu.
We’ve seen youngsters come in and grow through their Kung Fu training. So why not give it a shot? Because you truly deserve this opportunity!
You want to be a Martial Artist and might want to learn practical, effective self-defense.
Perhaps you want to master your physical art, to really develop Kung Fu and not just Wushu.
In a buy-your-belt type of martial art school, how on Earth is that supposed to happen?
As you may have guessed, it won’t. And we do not foster that type of environment.
Instead, we focus on YOU, the individual. Someone with their own goals, weaknesses & strengths.
Additionally, we break things down into minute detail – lengthen the spine, pivot on the heel of the foot, coordinate breath with movement, alignment of the joints – and so much more.
We work on Anatomical Intelligence or Body Awareness through direct experience, creating experiential wisdom. How to strengthen this part of the body, how to use gravity plus XYZ muscles to develop power, and so on.