There is a lot of buzz about the latest class to hit the roster for our east side EP Fitness locations. To give you a better understanding of what this class is all about, we sit down with Eric Wright, the instructor, for a short Q & A.
Eric studied abroad at some amazing locations and has mastered about thirty forms so naturally we were interested and thought you would be too, so here’s what he had to say.
What is Kung Fu?
The art of self defense of Chinese origin, based on circular movements from internal energy.
Where did you study Kung Fu? For how long?
I’ve studied Kung Fu for a total of 12 years, and I am still learning. I started training at 16 years old here in El Paso. I then trained in China for 6 years, in 2004 at the Shaolin Monastery. I was named “Shir Yong Rui” and became a 33rd Generation Shaolin Disciple Monk.
After that I studied at Wudang, located in a Daoist mountain range in China. I was there for 4 years under three masters, focusing on the internal arts and Tai Chi slow movements.
Take me through a typical class, what should I expect?
A typical class begins with a fluid warm up followed by some stretching, kicking and stance drills. We work on deep breathing exercises, combative forms, jumping, self defense and of course having fun! We focus on conditioning, strength, combative stances. We alternate between slow breathing exercises to catch your breath, to rejuvenate and then go back to the more intense movements.
Other than the exercise, what are the benefits of practicing Kung Fu?
It inspires you to be come aware of whats around you and within you. It is a full body work out which promotes detoxification. With the slow breathing exercises you will find that as you calm yourself, you are able to handle things better, not just with the workout but in everyday life as well. By slowing down a problem you may have, you can take time to solve it. Kung Fu also enables you to reconnect to the earth, and everything else in life.
What is the attire for the class, is there any special equipment one should bring?
You should wear comfortable, loose clothing. Keep it thin, sweats in the winter; long pants are ideal for the flow of the stances. Stretchy, flexible, yoga type sweats pants are best.
No equipment is necessary. There is a lot of training to do without, you have to master the body before you introduce any equipment.
Is there anything else you would like people to know about Kung Fu or your class?
First, it really is a lot of fun, since it is a lot of fun it makes the Kung Fu enjoyable and easy to learn.
Second, this style of Kung Fu is traditional and should be learned with respect. It can enable one to lose weight and become fit but it was not given away easily. This traditional style of Kung Fu is precious and difficult to obtain in El Paso. I’m helping people access this treasured art, it is a gift for everyone!