The first class might seem intimidating for a new student seeing as they won't know what to expect. It is good to remind ourselves that all the other students and instructors have been in the same position. It is one of our goals to make sure new students are welcomed in the best way possible. Our classes are mixed with students of all ages and experience.
You are welcome to attend and watch a class in order to judge if martial arts is something you wish to pursue. If you wish to take part in a class, make sure you wear suitable clothes. A large pair of trousers and t-shirt is sufficient, preferably without flashy designs. Normally, class is carried out bare-foot but suitable footwear is permitted. Jewellery must be removed and anything that cannot be removed must be covered for safety reasons. Long hair must also be tied back. Don't forget to bring water.
As Gao Can Mun Nam Pai Chuan is a very vast and varied style of Kung Fu, it is unlikely that a specific class will be repeated on several occasions even if techniques will recur. All classes begin with a warm up adapted to the techniques that will follow. The warm-ups include cardio exercises, stretching, strengthening, conditioning and Chi Gung breathing techniques.
Following the warm-up, students will begin to practice basic techniques of the System (punches, kicks, blocks), traditional forms, sparring drills, self-defence techniques, take-downs, ground work, traditional weapons (staff, knives, swords etc.), conditioning and applications focusing on the vital points (Chi Na). Training is often carried out in pairs to help students understand techniques properly when applied upon an attacker or towards an opponent.
Gao Can Mun Nam Pai Chuan also involves free fighting where different techniques are put to use. Not immediately, but after a while students will begin to take part in sparring and build their confidence. Only the students with adequate safety equipment (mouth-guard, groin-guard, helmet, body plate, gloves and shin guards) can take part in sparring. Combat is not the foremost priority of our classes, but as Sigung Lai says "practising martial arts without fighting is like learning tennis without playing a match".
With regular training, the student should start to feel the benefits of martial arts, notably better physical stamina, increased flexibility, better coordination, improved balance and greater confidence in themselves.