Welcome to the frequently asked questions section. We hope to address many of the questions you might have regarding Lau Gar Kung Fu.
If your specific question is not answered here, then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will endeavour to help you.
Why do martial arts?
People do martial arts for various reasons. Some people train in the arts for self defence, fitness, confidence, others for competition or simply because they have a passion for what they practice. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do.
Martial arts can give you a vast array of principles and techniques to work your body and mind. To become good in anything, you need to practise and martial arts can help improve your quality of life .
How is Kung Fu different from Karate, Judo, or Tae Kwon Do?
Judo is a Japanese sport that involves primarily throwing and grappling.
Karate is a Japanese martial art which uses hard hand blocks, straight techniques, lots of power.
Tae Kwon Do is a Korean martial that emphasizes the feet as weapons and is also power oriented.
Kung Fu is a Chinese martial art that has both hard and soft styles. Kung-fu uses hand and foot strikes, throws, grappling holds, locking, weapons, and self defence. It is therefore a more broad and complex system of combat than many other styles above.
Kung Fu is thousands of years old, the styles listed above are relatively new and are said to be derived from Kung Fu.
What is Lau Gar Kung Fu?
A Chinese martial art that uses kicks and punches together with grabs and joint locks to form a well rounded self-defence system. Advanced practice also includes the use of traditional weapons such as swords and sticks.
Kung fu is said to have its origins in the 6th century AD. Lau Gar Kuen is a form of kung fu from Southern China.
What does "Lau Gar Kuen" mean?
"Lau Gar Kuen" in English means:
Lau = The family name
Gar = literally translated as family,
Kuen = Fist. short for Kuen Fa (fist movements).
Hence Lau Gar Kuen translated means "The Lau Family's Fist methods".
Who is Lau Gar kung fu suitable for?
Lau Gar kung fu is suitable for people of all ages, male or female. Our classes are tailored to take account of your age and physical capabilities so there is no need to worry whether you are young or old.
The best approach is to visit one of our registered clubs and speak to the local instructors and they will address your concerns. See Club Directory
Where is the nearest club?
See Club Directory
Should children study Kung Fu?
In general, yes. Some of the possible positives would be control of aggressiveness, instilling self-confidence, self-respect and self-control, as well as the obvious self-defence benefits. Our instructors have all undergone anatomy and first aid courses and therefore appreciate the fact that the joints and connective tissues of children are more vulnerable to injury than those of adults.
Do I have to be fit to do Kung Fu?
Some people are fitter than others but everyone has a base level of fitness which we will help you improve upon. The classes are designed to help individuals become stronger; improve your flexibility and your general fitness. You may also find that you will lose weight, improve your shape and be generally healthier, through practising martial arts. While there are exercises that all students will do, some parts of the training will be catered specifically to the condition and background of each student.
Do I have to be flexible to do Kung Fu?
Basically, no. You don't have to be flexible to start out in martial arts, because you will gain flexibility the longer you practice.
Are there specific enrolment times?
No. The majority of Clubs allow new students to enrol at any time.
What forms of training are available within Lau Gar?
There are really 3 aspects to Lau Gar training:
- Traditional training
- Self-defence training
- Kick boxing and competition fighting
All of which involved some degree of physical contact. The risk of injury during traditional and self-defence training is minimal. The aim of these types of training is to develop your technical skills. As you progress you will be expected to demonstrate your ability to defend yourself.
Sparring is optional in most cases, however you will need to demonstrate a basic level of sparring for intermediate examination. Sparring is kept under strict supervision and is controlled.
Students who really want to pursue the fighting aspect can opt for kick boxing and competition fighting. This type of training offers a higher degree of contact and the risks of getting injured are higher. Again however, levels of contact are controlled and all fighters wear protective equipment such as gloves, foot and shin pads, head guards and gum shields. See Kick boxing
We also undertake a form of fighting which we call 'sticking hands'. This advanced form of fighting is for brown and black belt grades only because there is no protective equipment and a wide range of techniques are permitted. See Chi Sau.
What should I wear at my first lesson?
We recommend a loose fitting t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms.
Foot ware -Given the wide selection of club venues - i.e. Sports halls with matted areas vs. Community halls .each club will have its own policy to ensure students are safe.
Some will accept trainers, some specialist martial arts training shoes or bare feet.
All clubs will ask that your training kit be clean and that you ensure your toe and finger nails and kept short. You are likely to get hot when training so please bring some water or other re-hydrating drink (Please avoid bringing jewellery to the classes.) Members uniform shop.
How regular should I train to get the best benefit?
Put simply “You reap what you sow“, The more regular and harder your work, the better the benefits . Always remember attend class to learn, and practise in your own time to retain, this approach seems to be the difference between those that really make Kung-fu a way of life.
Are there any health benefits?
The combination of mental and physical movements and exercise relieve problems that may result from injury or illness. Kung-fu can help you cope or overcome;
Stress, Poor circulation, Joint problems, Constipation, Fatigue, Abdominal tension
High blood pressure, Back pain , Muscular tension, Muscle spasm, Sciatic pain and more...
Is there a grading system in Lau Gar?
Yes, there is a grading system. There are 8 belts, or rather sashes, from white to black. Beginners have no sash until they take their first grading. Typically after about 12 weeks training. See Grading (log In required)
How long would it take me to get a black belt?
It will take as long as it takes. It depends on how you train - It obviously likely that a person who trains 3 times a week regularly challenging mind and body , is more likely to achieve is belt sooner than someone who does the bare minimum.
That said from our experience 4-5 years to is probably the average time frame to reach 1st degree black.
Is private tuition available?
Private one on one or small group classes are available. These classes can help to advance students that are focusing on a particular area of interest in their study of martial arts, or to work out a problem they feel they have in their training. Students approaching a grading or tournament may also find these classes of importance. They are also useful for people wishing to increase their fitness with a personal training work out. Just ask your Club instructor for details.
Why should I become a member of BKFA?
By becoming a member you are entitled to attend sparring classes, access the members only section of the is site. Have your grades officially recognised. Enter the national tournaments circuit. You will also receive regular newsletters about up and coming events. Members log-in page.
Do you teach weapons?
Weapons training is an integral part of all traditional Chinese Martial arts. The Lau approach is to ensure that students must first have a good understanding of the unarmed aspect of the art before weapons training can commence.
The traditional weapons taught within the Lau Gar Kuen are the Eyebrow Staff, Rat-tailed Staff, Broadsword, Butterfly Knives, Tiger Fork/Trident and Spear. Weapons of Lau Gar.
What is sparring about?
Sparring is controlled fighting - and something we encourage all students to do however is optional. Sparring is an essential element of training .It gives students a practical insight into the effectiveness of their own training and also how people react to certain techniques.
The club lesson the ideal safe environment to experiment and learn. Protective equipment.
Do you have competitions?
Sure – Lau kickboxing is renowned as one of the most effective tournament fighting system. There have been continuous streams of students who have been successful on the world stage. We literally have dozens of World Champions. There is an open tournament circuit this attracts practitioners from various styles , Karate, Tae kwon do and more. The BKFA have recently founded a Junior national circuit to promote tournament and an Annual national Lau Gar tournament packed with competitions, demonstrations, seminars for all.
What is the Lau Gar Lineage :
The Lau Gar Kuen system is headed by Master Jeremy of Birmingham, England, head of the British Kung Fu Association. Master Yau brought the style to Britain in 1961, and in 1973 the British Kung Fu Association was set up.
What or who are the Lau Gar Guardians?
Master Jeremy Yau, the Chief Instructor of the British Kung Fu Association (BKFA), has appointed a 'Council of Guardians' comprising senior members of the BKFA. The Council has been working with Master Yau to see how they can best ensure that the knowledge, skills, principles and values of Lau Gar can be preserved so that future generations of students can benefit just as we have.