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Chinese Kickboxing

What is Lei Tai (擂台)?

"The pretty is not practical and the practical is not pretty"

- General Qi Jiguang (戚继光)

The Chinese term Lei Tai (擂台) refers to a fighting platform, similar to a boxing ring we see in the west, however, the biggest difference between a Lei Tai and a Boxing Ring is that the traditional Chinese fighting platform has no ropes surrounding it, making throwing your adversary off the stage part of the strategy for winning.

The Chinese term Ziyou Boji (自由搏击) means "free fighting", and is used to refer to all types of combat sports. The common term Sanshou (散手 - lit. scattered hands) has been, more recently,used to mean "free sparring", and is commonly used in Chinese martial arts schools for their fighting programs. At the ZYKFA our students learn their sparring techniques under a full contact environment, we do not teach our students the typical light contact sparring that is seen in many Karate schools. We believe that for our students to fully understand Northern Shaolin as a martial art they must learn how to apply it in a live environment against resisting opponents.

Traditionally fighting tournaments take place on a Lei Tai (fighting platform). Lacking the outward beauty and gracefulness of forms training, it shows how a trained fighter is capable of implementing the fighting system we teach. This type of training allows our students to demonstrate their understanding of the theories, concepts and strategies within the Northern Shaolin style as well as its techniques (技術), movement (運動), speed (速度), power expression (發勁), structure (結構), breath control (氣息控), not to mention demonstrating the character (性格) of the fighters.

Currently there are two similar, yet distinctive, sets of rules in the world of Chinese full contact fighting. One is known as Sanda (散打) the other is Kuoshu Lei Tai (國術擂台). Both use the Lei Tai as their fighting stage, however they have different rules, equipment, scoring, legal targets and strategies.

Here's a video sampler of a Chinese Kikboxing class

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Taolu (Forms)

What is Taolu (套路)?

Taolu literally translates as "pattern roads", it is the Mandarin word we use to refer to prearranged routines or forms. It is often seen as beautiful and graceful to the beholder when performed by an experienced practitioner. Each form teaches the student the applications of the stances, techniques, and the understanding of the powers provided through each movement.

For Youtube Videos of our ZYKFA Taolu Team Competing CLICK HERE , HERE and HERE

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Performance Troupe (藝術團)

The school supports its own traditional Folk Performing Arts Troupe (藝術團) also known as Yi Zhen (藝陣) and Zhen Tou (陣頭). The group is available for festivals, celebrations and special occasions year round, but can most often be seen bringing luck during Chinese New Year.

Our troupe performs the following:

  • Youth & Adult Lion Dance (舞獅)
  • Youth & Adult Dragon Dance (舞龍)
  • Qilin (Chinese Unicorn) Dance (舞麒麟)
  • Song Jiang Battle Array (宋江陣)
  • Drum Array (鼓陣)

For Youtube Videos of the ZYKFA Team performing CLICK HERE , HERE and HERE

The Zhong Yi Kung Fu Association Performing Arts Troupe can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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