Testimonial by Ainsley, a student in the Richmond Moy Yat Kung Fu Women’s Program
I have been training Ving Tsun kung fu at the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy in Richmond, VA for the last 2 1/2 years. My husband and I joined together when we decided to stop talking about our mutual appreciation for martial arts and decided to take part. I was familiar with the Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy here in Richmond from taking some classes there with my Dad in middle school. Ving Tsun was the style I immediately gravitated towards when I began my search for martial arts schools in the area.
One of the things that initially drew me to Ving Tsun is that it was named for a woman! I’ve always been really impressed by this part of the style’s story and love that by becoming part of the Moy Yat kung fu lineage I felt like I was actively participating in the style’s history. I also felt a certain amount of responsibility as a female student, in a male-dominated sport to be thoroughly committed to my training and help to carry on her legacy.
Training in traditional martial arts has benefited in me in many ways – some I did not expect! I spend a lot of time working out, but kung fu challenged me on things like balance, the importance of proper breathing and not always relying on my physical strength to get the job done. The conditioning can be tiring and can target muscle groups and joints in ways that will surprise you – but I personally always walk away with an over-all feeling that I have contributed to a positive in my own life.
I feel safer as a general rule walking to & from places on my own; my senses legitimately feel more keen. I feel more prepared to handle altercations because I have learned not just to fight but to walk away, and how important letting go is. Practicing the forms has also become a great way for me to relieve stress. Hard day at the office? Concentrate on your breathing playing a few forms at your own pace, it’s a great way to wind down, re-center yourself & train kung fu at the same time!
Several months back myself and some of the senior & younger women at our school began training separately on Tues/Thu as part of a women’s training group. This group focused on movements in kung fu that our sigungs & sifus felt were especially important for women in training/combat situations. We incorporate more varied conditioning to help strengthen problem areas and learn movements specific to our class outside of regular class work.
Not to mention it’s been wonderful to bond with other ‘warrior women’ in our school & program! Over-all, since beginning the women’s training my kung fu has become stronger, I have been able to identify & correct problems in my form and have generally just been ENJOYING my training. I hope more women will join us in celebrating their strength and let Ving Tsun become a part of their own fitness routines!