FAQs

What style of martial arts do you teach?

We teach a Chinese system of martial arts called Tien Shan Pai . Tien Shan Pai is an internationally recognized system that consistently produces students of the highest quality. Whether you are interested in self defense, confidence, getting a great workout, relieving stress, or even becoming a world champion, Tien Shan Pai has something to offer everyone.


How do I get started?

It’s easy. We start every new student with five private introductory lessons where you will be working one-on-one with an instructor. In these lessons, we will show you a good cross section of what you will be learning while giving you the chance to see if it’s something you like. Please click here or stop by and see the school.


How old does my child have to be to start lessons?

We have taken children as young as 3 1/2 years old and we have had children as old as 5 who weren’t quite ready. It really just depends on each child. What we recommend is to bring your child in for a free introductory lesson and we can evaluate your child on an individual basis. If we feel your child is not ready, we will explain why and recommend you try again in a few months.


Am I too old to start martial arts?

No one is too old to start their training in martial arts. In fact we have students well into their 70s who are studying and enjoying classes.


Why study Tien Shan Pai?

Tien Shan Pai is great for men, women and children. Our system is practical for everyone regardless of size or strength. We base our movement on redirecting the attacker’s force against the attacker so you will never have to rely on strength to overpower an opponent. We are also one of the most complete systems known to date because we teach all aspects of martial arts. Our training encompasses everything from self-defense, forms, weapons, throwing, grappling, joint manipulation and much more. Our goal is to produce the most well rounded students possible.


Do I need to be in shape to join?

No, you do not need to be in shape when you start lessons. When you start your training, you are on your way to getting into the best shape of your life. You’ll find it is a great cardiovascular workout and a wonderful muscle toning activity – a whole body dynamic that you can’t get working out at the gym.


How will martial arts benefit my child?

Martial arts is a wonderful activity for your child because it offers so many physical, mental and emotional benefits. A great mind-focusing activity that increases coordination, teaches follow through. Self-esteem, respect and discipline are emphasized throughout our training.


I have a busy schedule. Can I fit it all in?

US Kuo Shu Academy is unlike any other martial arts school you’ll find. Our schedule is set up for people with busy schedules. We are a full time school that is open from 10:30AM – 9:30PM. We have formal classes Monday through Saturday. Come by anytime and visit.


Who are your instructors? What are their qualifications?

Our instructors are expertly trained martial artists, who are selected on the basis of martial arts knowledge, martial arts skill and effectiveness in teaching. Many of our instructors are national, international and world champions in Chinese martial arts.
Each instructor is supported by Assistant Instructors, who are in training to become full Instructors. As such, we may have several Instructors and Assistant Instructors available to teach each class, providing for greater individual attention.


I’m an experienced martial artist and have trained at other schools. Will I be allowed to train at U.S. Kuo Shu Academy? What rank or instructional program will I start in?

Training at U.S. Kuo Shu Academy is available for everyone, including experienced martial artists. A number of our students trained in other martial arts styles before finding the U.S. Kuo Shu Academy. Our only requirements are that you attend with a willingness to participate and a respectful attitude. We generally start all students at the beginning of the curriculum for our programs. Our program is a time-tested, systematic approach to martial arts training. As such, we want each student to go through a step-by-step program, beginning with basic training. If you have already trained at another school, it is likely that your experience will allow you to attain proficiency at a faster rate than inexperienced students.


I’ve noticed that your students win a lot of medals at competitions but I’m not interested in competing. As a student, will I be required to compete?

As a student at US Kuo Shu Academy, you will not be required to compete at tournaments. We encourage our students to compete, as we have found that preparing for a competition is an excellent motivator for honing your skills. Many students also enjoy the opportunity to meet other martial arts enthusiasts and see what they are studying. While you may not join the school with the intention of competing, you may later discover that you enjoy the experience.


I have read about “weapons training” and seen pictures of various weapons on your website. Are those real weapons?

We include weapons training as part of both our Kung Fu and Tai Ji Quan (Tai Chi Chuan) programs. These weapons are made of wood or metal. There are no cutting edge or sharpened weapons in the school. These weapons are no more dangerous than swinging a baseball bat, hockey stick or golf club.
Weapon training is typically initiated at an intermediate level of instruction. Since we offer a traditional instruction program, we teach the traditional Chinese weapons. Training with weapons further develops coordination and strength in different ways than training with empty hands only.


What is the difference between Tai Chi Chuan and Taijiquan? Wushu and kuo Shu? Kung Fu?

Chinese is a character-based language and cannot be directly expressed in English. Linguists have devised several different methods to phonetically express (“Romanization”) these Chinese characters using the 26 letters of the English language. Recently, the system used by mainland China (called the pinyin system of Romanization) has become more popular.
Tai Chi Chuan and Taijiquan are the same words, only written in different forms of Romanization. Other variations on Romanization methods that you may be familiar with include Peking/Beijing, taoism/daoism, chi kung/qigong. As you can see, these are actually the same words in Chinese, just spelled differently in English.
Kuo Shu (also spelled Guoshu) is different, however, from Wushu. Kuo Shu was the name given to the Chinese martial arts in the 1930s and typically represents the traditional martial arts. Wushu was the name given to the Chinese martial arts in the 1960s and typically represents the “new” forms of Chinese martial arts. During this period, performance value was emphasized over martial application; as such, Wushu incorporated elements of acrobatics, gymnastics and Chinese opera. Wushu was created as a performance art, with diminished emphasis on self-defense. Since our lineage stress the traditional, self-defense nature of Chinese martial arts, we use the term Kuo Shu.
Kung Fu (Gongfu) is a Chinese phrase representing extraordinary skill. As such, you could have “Kung Fu” in dancing, music, or cooking. In the United States, the term “Kung Fu” became synonymous with traditional martial arts and so we use the term “Kung Fu” as well, since it is widely understood in the context of excellence in martial arts.

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