Welcome to your first lesson with White Crane Academy!
Your initial question may well be, “Where do I start!?”
There are quite a few different classes on offer, so to help you here is a brief overview of what we offer on our regular timetable, as well as what to expect from each class.
We pride ourselves on being a very welcoming and friendly club – everyone was a total beginner once, so we ensure that you are made to feel at ease so that you can enjoy the lesson and get the most out of your time training with us. Many life-long friendships have developed through the White Crane Academy community.
If you are coming along to your first lesson, you do not need to worry about bringing any equipment, or wearing any special clothing. Just something loose that you can freely move around in. We do not allow outdoors shoes or trainers in the training area, so barefoot or socks is fine to train in initially (we will make exceptions for any podiatric issues or conditions though).
It’s worthwhile bringing a drink along and please let the instructor know of any health issues or injuries that you may have, if you haven’t done already by email or phone.
Tai chi classes are relaxed, gentle, and suitable for adults and teenagers. We spend time in each class warming up with qigong exercises, which focus on slow, deep breathing and moving lightly to stretch and loosen up the joints. After this we will spend a lot of time on the first tai chi form, ‘Frost and Sun White Crane Gentle Art’ – if you have not tried tai chi before, don’t worry, Mark or one of his assistants will be on hand to guide you all through the lesson.
After the class, you fill feel relaxed, more limber and (hopefully) inspired to learn more tai chi!
Kung fu classes are for all age groups. They focus on self defence, learning a wide range of White Crane techniques through individual routines (forms) and partnered exercises. There is also a considerable amount of time spent on strengthening and flexibility exercises.
For children up to about the age of 11, the most suitable classes are the Saturday and Sunday kung fu classes. The Wednesday evening class is for adults and teenagers.
While keeping a focus on fitness, the kickboxing classes also concentrate on learning techniques and combinations. We use pad mitts, kick shields for skills, and a range of equipment or body weight exercises to help with strength, conditioning and flexibility. As with all of the classes, good technique is stressed – rather than mindlessly hitting pads just for fitness.
Children over the age of 8 are welcome to join the Saturday kickboxing class, the weekday classes are for adults and teenagers. Under 8’s are recommended to start with kung fu.
Should you have more questions, please contact an instructor in your area. (See below).