There are many different Kung Fu styles in the
kung fu world. And it is a big world. To make an analogy, imagine the world of Kung Fu being a big umbrella.
Then each metal strand coming down from the top is a different style. One is Wing Chun, another Kung Fu San
Soo, or Shaolin, even Tai Chi, or Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do (JKD).
In these many diverse styles you will find that some are
hard and some are soft, meaning that a hard style will have more aggressive actions where the soft
will be more focused on defensive moves. Some styles have a bigger range of movements like big circles and
some a more tighter range with smaller actions. There are internal and external styles, resembling soft or
hard styles but more focused on manipulating the energy inside the body or outside as the body moves. With
each style there will be movements that are unique to that style.
Also understand that Kung Fu means "work out" or "work
man". This simple understanding begins to make sense when you put the meaning of Kung Fu along
with the style name. Therefore, when you say Wing Chun Kung Fu you will understand that it is the workout of
or a closed system. If you say Tai Chi Kung Fu you are saying a soft styled work out with energy
In a quest for what style is best for a person,
the focus needs to be put on why or what is needed for that person. Someone may be looking to learn an
aggressive, hard style because self defense is the primary need. If that person is always intimidated or
under attack then the hard style is most likely the best solution. If a person is looking to
protect oneself while not inflicting serious pain to an attacker, then a more gentle style must be pursued.
Or someone may be more interested in moving internal energy around for physical and/or mental health benefits
while learning self protection or self defense.
The most common reason why someone takes up a
style is because the school is close by and very convenient. Although this may not be the best
reason for someone who is serious about studying Kung Fu, it is probably the most frequent reason. It may
seem very limited in its justification, however it carries with it some validation. For example, if someone
wishes to learn an internal style and there are none around for hundreds of miles then a reasonable
alternative makes perfect sense. Same is true for a harder style. Perhaps the preferred hard style desired is
nowhere near the local vicinity but another hard style is within distance. This would validate the studying
of the second choice.
There are many Kung Fu styles and each has its own
purpose. Understanding "WHY" you need the training is the first question to answer. Then pursuit
follows. This begins your personal journey into becoming a Kung Fu Warrior!