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Frequently Asked Questions

Teacher what exactly is a the meaning of the word Kwoon?

In the Chinese language, a hall of training is refered to as a "Kwoon." In Japanese, it is referred to as a "Dojo," again meaning a training hall.

Actually, the first part of the word, Do, means a way or path. In Chinese we call it the "Tao" meaning the same thing in essence, a way, a path, a discipline. This is the bottom line purpose of a Kwoon - a place to teach the methods of the so called " way."

Many of the customs of Chinese Kung Fu are taken from everyday life, as the Chinese see it. At one time Kung Fu was taught strictly from father to son. A person's particular style came from his father. Your teacher was your Father, so you called him ShiFu which means "teacher father." Many of the varied styles we have today bear the family name of the originator.

In essence, a Kwoon was a family oriented atmosphere. To this day traditional Kwoons are run this way: like a family, a brotherhood if you will, where people all share the same desire to learn, experience, and refine the mind, body and spirit.

The Kwoon is a friendly place, where people meet people and share the training experience. Learning of all the methodological, ideological, and philosophical aspects of the arts making the learning process that much more fascinating.

Traditional training has the potential to transform people for the better. As the noted martial artist Master Peter Urban once said, "A way or path is intended to lead the individual to the attainment of perfection, or what is often known as self realization, enlightenment, or simply maturity."

Although Chinese Kung Fu is a powerful fighting art, the original purpose in spreading it was to unite people. In Chinese thought, fighting is the lowest form of compromise. My teacher once said, "Fighting is easy. Just walk into the street and slap someone, and there you are in a fight. It is not fighting that is indeed difficult."

It is in a Kwoon that we learn to control our tempers and simply walk away when we can. Well trained students are always confident, self assured, and controlled in any situation. Fighting is always the last resort.

A Kwoon is a place of sharing with others the knowledge of the ages. This is why we always bow when we come and go from the Kwoon floor. It is a sign of respect for what the Kwoon symbolizes.

Some Kwoons are very beautifully built while others may appear rather shabby. Some are located in obscure areas, some are located in the heart of town. But they all teach the same thing: The Way.

A kwoon is a cherished place of learning, a place where one could learn to develop himself /herself to the highest order of excellence, to be a person of virtue and confidence, clear mindedness, a person of character. These are the qualities a Kwoon attempts to instill in its training. Respect is taught, a respect for life and how to preserve it, most importantly, how to live it. A Kwoon is a place of peace and harmony with the universe. It is the place for cultivation of the Tao.

A Kwoon houses the complex world of Chinese Kung Fu with all is principles, ethics, customs, rituals. It is place where one can experience inner growth and change. In fact, a person who enters a Kwoon can never be the same person again. It is in a Kwoon that one undergoes a metamorphosis, from the mundane to the sublime.

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