Kung Fu lessons are an integral part of the BCKA. Alex Barrowman started his Kung Fu training in 1976. In 1980 he began training under Master Yau, the Keeper of the Lau Gar style. After many years hard training Alex went on to achieve his 6th degree Black Sash in Lau Gar Kung Fu. He was also awarded with the honour of becoming a Guardian of the Lau Gar style in the Millennium year.
WHAT IS KUNG FU?
Explanation of few terms and expressions: taken literally kung fu (or gung fu) means 'achievement through great effort' but is commonly understood to be the name of a group of Chinese martial arts. The term kung means something like achievement or merit, and fu can be translated into man. The kung fu family of martial arts emphasise punching and kicking but also include joint locks, throws and other techniques. Of the many schools of kung fu Lau Gar Kuen (Lau Family Fist) is one of the oldest being one of the original five ancestor styles.
Kung Fu originated in a place called the Shaolin Temple, where monks practiced Kung Fu for health and self-defence during their quest for enlightenment. Kung Fu is one of the oldest of the Martial Arts systems in the world, dating back to the reign of the Yellow Emperor (around 2700 BC). It is a highly effective method of self-defence incorporating breathing techniques, body conditioning, ancient exercises and various methods of fighting including kicking, hand grappling, on-the-floor and weapon techniques. The style practised by this association is Lau Gar, a vigorous Southern Shaolin Style, placing considerable emphasis on kicking. Lau Gar is a very popular and well known style of Kung Fu in the UK. It was established over 35 years ago and since has continued to grow. Particularly it is famed for the success of its competition fighters yet this does not detract from its traditional foundations.
The purpose of Kung Fu is not however to create a fighting machine but more a complete, disciplined individual who does not go around boasting of his prowess and only uses his knowledge of the Martial Arts when his life is threatened. The Chinese concept of a true Kung Fu man is that of a well-rounded both scholar and Martial Artsman who deplores injustice and repression. In line with this concept we encourage students to continue their studies at college and improve themselves. The feeling for aesthetics in Chinese culture shows itself in the movements associated with this style which have been compared with ballet; indeed many classical Chinese opera stars are also proficient in Kung Fu. Modern psychology has drawn considerably on oriental religions and breathing techniques as a method of self realisation. Historically, Kung Fu in China was an integral part in the education of scholars and the leaders of government. The Chinese people placed great value in the practice of Kung Fu because they felt it taught respect, patience, humility, and morality.