New to Kung Fu or Tai Chi? Here are answers to frequently asked questions about trying a class or joining. 
 
Complete Martial Art
At Shaolin-Do Kung Fu & Tai Chi, students practice open hand forms, self-defense,weapons, sparring, meditation, strength training, and aerobic conditioning. This dynamic approach allows for rapid advancement infighting skill, balance, dexterity, and endurance. There are many benefits to Austin martial arts training.

Before attaining black belt the Chinese martial arts student will learn 21 long forms covering 7different open hand systems and 6 weapons. This provides a rich background of techniques and styles to call upon.
         
Thoughts On Training
 

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Martial Arts : Kung Fu or Karate!

Shaolin-Do Kung Fu & Tai Chi is the original blend of hard and soft arts, developing internal and external strength simultaneously. It doesn't rely on body rigidity to develop power like Karate, but instead generates forces from natural body mechanics and circular movements.

Do you think about fighting?
Shaolin-Do is more than just a fighting art, it is a way of perfecting oneself. By studying the efficiency and balance that exists within nature, we gain understanding and respect for all life. The ancient Chinese observed the diverse fighting strategies of the animal kingdom, and realized that like animals, people also required fighting techniques suited to their unique physical statures. While most people have heard or used the term karate, the Chinese version is called kung fu, chuan fa, or even the modern version is wushu.
 
Masters of life
Thus was born the animal fighting systems. These techniques had already been tested in nature and since have been orally passed   Shaolin tradition. Throughout history, the Shaolin monks have been the most feared fighters in Asia, but even more famous is their longstanding love of peace, virtue and honor. The long standing history of the Shaolin temple and their famous reputation can be attributed to an ability to train not only deadly fighters, but masters of life.


What is a Form?

Don't worry if none of this makes sense. You will love learning this art more with each passing month and year. It will never grow dull, only more exciting and challenging. If you are looking for a path that will last a lifetime, Shaolin-Do is the one. When you're eighty years old, you will still have more brand new material to learn and challenge you. As a added bonus, you will learn an effective method of self-defense, get in the best shape of your life and maintain flexibility throughout your life. We study Shaolin-Do Kung Fu & Tai Chi because we love martial arts and we love what it does for us. We are confident that you will too.
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Austin TAI CHI Institute

Tai Chi performs its stress relief magic by teaching each student a new type of attention and open awareness. Rather than the scattered inner mental world that most of us suffer, the Tai Chi open awareness state is mentally peaceful while physically relaxed and balanced.

How Does A person Relax?
We certainly do not relax by merely thinking the word relax or even trying to relax.
The way a person reaches a relaxed state has nothing to do with consciously letting go of muscular tension. Tai Chi teaches the student to become more aware of their body feelings and to include the feelings of space and the environment around them. This open state of awareness has been shown to increase the relaxation response of the human autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic). The student doesn't have to do anything in order to relax; just perform the Austin Tai Chi postures slowly with their attention as wide as possible.

Tai Chi done in this state will completely reverse feelings of tension and anxiety within minutes. In fact, 20 minutes of this type Tai Chi can turn around a person's entire day.

Unfortunately, learning the movements of tai ch alone will not guarantee that you reach this state. The instructor must understand how the tai chi practice operates on attentional states and how the meditative state differs from the waking, thinking mental state.


A Unique Program
Master Joe Schaefer, has created his tai chi curriculum so that it helps students to reach this state with very little training and then lets them use this new tool for stress reduction and peak performance in their daily lives. He is completely unique in having a Doctorate in brain research while also being a master of Shaolin Kung Fu. Master Schaefer does not speak in riddles or pretend to be a sagely guru from a Kung Fu movie. He communicates in terms you will understand and passes on real and useful knowledge to his students.

What About Chi Kung?

Of course Tai Chi practice seeks to allow this vital energy to flow more smoothly in the body. However, a person must learn to reach the open awareness state first before this training can begin. Most westerners have never actually experienced the true brainwave state associated with meditation. This is Why Master Schaefer holds a breathing and meditation class in North Austin once a week for all the Austin area students. He will make sure you understand what that state is before embarking on Shaolin-Do's 2500 year old Chi Kung formula for health and longevity

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