AimsOur work is balanced around three interconnected aims: • Fostering a supportive environment for the flourishing of rare martial arts traditions through enthusiastic study; • Developing presence, compassion, and resolve in martial artists; and • Providing fulfilling pathways to the next generation of kung fu practitioners.
A radically different way to study traditional martial arts
West Gate Kung Fu opened in Boulder, Colorado in 2010. Since then, we have developed a reputation for our friendly, inclusive culture as well as our detailed instruction, high quality kung fu, and uniquely beautiful movement styles. All are welcome: we are culturally diverse, LGBT-friendly, and come from a variety of professional backgrounds and life circumstances. We form profound and lasting friendships, have far-flung adventures together, and love sharing what we do with others. We believe that a strong community is integral to the fruitful study of martial arts, and fulfills a deep human need for connection and fellowship.
You will find rare and intricate kung fu and tai chi styles at West Gate, from recognized, historical lineages that stretch back over a hundred years and represent the intangible cultural heritage of the martial arts renaissance of late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century China and Hong Kong. We are devoted to the faithful transmission of those art forms, but also feel that exploration and innovation within the discourse are vital to the aliveness that is at the core of true art.
There is an indescribable depth and substance to traditional kung fu. Those who are drawn to that depth tend to be people with a depth of their own. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them. That collection of people has formed a community that is, we think, unique among martial arts schools. We hope you’ll add to it as well.
Culture and Principles
Students at West Gate represent a wide variety of skill and experience levels both within and outside of the systems we study, and so our social norms are non-hierarchical. Formal uniforms are optional for adult classes, as is the wearing of belt ranks. Questions and discussion directed toward better understanding are welcomed. We encourage students to create a lively practice atmosphere with cheering and positive reinforcement of one another. Balanced against this more relaxed approach to formal protocol is a high bar for personal behavior and attitude. As a community, we adhere to a code of ethics, with particular emphasis on the following principles:
We are honest and forthright with one another, and deal with conflicts directly and openly.
We support, trust, and care for one another, even when we do not agree.
We practice in service to each other and our ancestors, and not in the service of self-aggrandizement.
We recognize that there are many paths to the truth, and are open to differences of interpretation and the value of other approaches.
We remember that everyone is equal at the core of their being, irrespective of age, physical ability or achievement, and deserving of our attention and compassion.