Lost Track Kung Fu 1: Mondays and Wednesdays at 6:30pmOur recommended class for new kung fu students, this conditioning-based class improves flexibility, strength, cardiovascular endurance, and coordination while developing power, proper alignment, and reaction time through forms and partner drills. Material covers stances, kicks, punches, combinations, and applications for forms and techniques. Students learn three Lost Track (My Jhong Law Horn) style forms over the course of 6-to- 12 months. A year spent regularly attending this class will prepare practitioners for the Lost Track Level 2 class, and also provides a high-quality skillset that will serve you well in nearly any style of martial arts.
Lost Track Kung Fu 2: Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30pmA techniques-based class that builds upon the skills learned in Kung Fu 1, proceeding at a higher intensity and introducing more challenging techniques and combinations specific to the Lost Track style. Students continue learning empty hand forms, and learn a saber form and a staff form. Sparring may occur in drill, single-point, or continuous format. All students in Kung Fu 2 should be at least orange belt unless otherwise approved by the instructor.
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7pmAn all levels class specializing in the orthodox Bak Sil Lum (BSL) style of Kung Fu and taught by Sifu Kisu Stars, legendary martial arts consultant for Avatar: The Last Airbender. Northern Shaolin and Lost Track are closely related styles of Kung Fu that complement one another.
Sparring Practice: Saturdays at 10amWhile partner drills and sparring occur within the normal course of kung fu classes, some students prefer more in-depth practice and instruction on this element of training. The class is especially effective at helping students who experience anxiety related to sparring, and provides them with the knowledge, strategies, and confidence to genuinely enjoy the practice.
Open Kung Fu: Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon, and Saturdays at 11:30amAn all-levels, open-training- hall class. A great way to get individual help from more experienced practitioners in a casual, stress-free environment.
Program OverviewOur adult kung fu program emphasizes the Lost Track (Mandarin: mizong; Cantonese: my jhong) tradition, part of the “northern long fist” family of martial arts that draws its name from both geography (Northern China) and a common set of movement principles shared among the many styles that it encompasses. Northern long fist is perhaps best known as the foundation for the standardized martial arts curriculum established by the Jing Wu Athletic Association of Shanghai (f. 1910). Jing Wu’s honorary founder, Huo Yuanjia, was a mizong master who rose to fame by defeating foreign fighters in competitive matches. The Jing Wu curriculum forms the basis of our beginning and intermediate level kung fu classes, though we teach it with a distinct mizong flavor, focusing on waistline power generation, open shoulders, and swift, deceptive footwork that are the defining characteristics of the mizong school. We’ve also updated the pedagogical model according to modern advances in physical education and learning theory. You won’t just stand in the back and follow along at West Gate. You’ll know what you’re doing, how it should feel, how it works, and why it matters. Over time, we’ll help you build a skill-set from the ground up that makes you strong, fast, light on your feet, highly coordinated, and able to decode classical martial arts movements into effective and practical applications. As students progress, we introduce them to material from the mizong luohan style (Cantonese: my jhong law horn), a rare and challenging branch of the mizong school characterized, as Grandmaster C.H. Marr puts it:
…by the peculiar versatility of the hand movements and foot work involved. With markedly fleeting movements and nimble jumps, a typical My Jhong Law Horn form metamorphoses from a side-blow to a flying kick in mid-air, or to a sweeping stroke beneath the legs. In the face of such unpredictable moves, now upwards, now downwards, the opponent is often left at his wits’ end. To top it all, every maneuver is so minutely devised that it transcends prediction. With the hands, eyes, body and feet in one coordinated motion of agility and swiftness, the practitioner can deal far-reaching blows. Designed to strike from a wide range, the form has a flexible and extensive stretch. Beneath the ostensibly fragile stance lurks a tremendous force from which the very potency and strength characteristic of this style generates.While the mizong school originated in Northern China’s Hebei Province (then called Zhili Province), the Mizong Luohan branch migrated south to Hong Kong in the early 20 th Century, where Grandmaster Yip Yu Ting would establish the style as part of the unique Hong Kong martial arts community that blended and shared insights among a rich collection of masters from many different regions and traditions. Mizong Luohan thus retained the distinctive movement signatures and strategies of Hebei Province, but also engaged with a variety of other approaches and adapted to a cosmopolitan martial arts culture. Such experiences produced some of the world’s most famous kung fu styles, such as Yip Man’s evolution of the Wing Chun style and the Hung Gar and Choy Lay Fut schools. Undoubtedly, the sharing and openness of that environment encouraged all styles involved to adapt, improve, and expand.