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Researchers at McMaster University have discovered that 10″ of high-intensity interval training has health benefits similar to 50″ of moderate cardio exercise. The method of exercise used in the study has always been part of the Ving Tsun Kung Fu system of training.

The study found that 10 minute sessions that included short bursts of intense exercise (30 seconds) followed by longer periods (two minutes) of low-intensity ‘recovery’ exercise has cardiovascular benefits similar to 50 minute exercise sessions with the heart rate kept at about 70% of the average maximum rate. In the paper this type of exercise is referred to as ‘sprint interval training’ (SIT), but others call it ‘high-intensity interval training’ (HIIT). The study was published in the journal PLOS One, and the findings are summarized here by KurzweilAI.net, along with a video interview, the article’s abstract and a link to the original. See here for Google Scholar search results on HIIT – there is a growing body of research documenting the health benefits.

Students doing Biu Kwan at the Richmond Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

Students doing Biu Kwan at the Richmond Moy Yat Kung Fu Academy

HIIT is part of the Ving Tsun Kung Fu system, as taught in the Moy Tung lineage of the Moy Yat Kung Fu family. The system includes this type of exercise because it’s useful in developing skill in martial arts, i.e. training to do physical combat with the body (hands, feet, etc), short swords and long poles. Developing the highest level of physical fitness is part of the process of preparing for success in battles and wars.

The Ving Tsun Kung Fu system was designed to train participants to be able to fight for hours on battlefields in feudal China, against numerous opponents, dispatching all comers, regardless of their techniques or hand-held non-fire weapons. Ving Tsun trains for overkill, so you’re able to dominate any opponent and prevail in the worst circumstances.

In the Moy Tung lineage, we do very powerful training in ways that are relaxed and low-intensity, but we also train exercises with high intensity, in ways that make the heart and lungs work at your own personal maximum. You take rest breaks when you need them, and resume exercise when your body is ready.

Each time we do this, we improve the health, strength and function of the heart and lungs, so that with more training and appropriate rest, over time you are able to do far greater work with much less effort. And when you do fully exert yourself, you are able to do so with great power and efficiency.

Sifu Barry O'Brien of the Richmond VA West End Academy defending against two attackers.

Sifu Barry O’Brien of the Richmond VA West End Academy defending against two attackers.

Ving Tsun Kung Fu is not just cardiovascular training, though – the system includes many different types of exercise, all of which improve health and fitness while developing high-level fighting skill. Moy Tung Ving Tsun training improves function in all the basic domains of physical fitness – speed, power, strength, stamina, coordination and balance, in addition to developing a powerful, relaxed energy that Western science doesn’t understand.  Everything in Ving Tsun makes the whole body and all its parts stronger and more functional – heart and lungs, and all the other muscles and organs – even your bones and brain.

Following is a list of some exercises in Moy Tung Ving Tsun Kung Fu that involve HIIT, or that can be practiced that way. It may be that even the foundation form, Siu Nim Tao – worked hard yet relaxed with good form and deep, slow breathing – yields these benefits, as Siu Nim Tao trains the body and mind to do more work with less energy. And, simply focusing intensely on ideal form and detail in any Ving Tsun Kung Fu form or conditioning drill, including two-person exercises, relaxing and engaging the mind and muscles the Ving Tsun way, rather than simply using a lot of energy and strength, is hard work. Anyone who’s broken a sweat doing Siu Nim Tao knows this.

Solo – forms and conditioning drills

  • Chum Kiu
  • Biu Je
  • Muk Yan Jong
  • Jin Choi
  • Biu Kwan
  • Luk Dim Poon Kwan
  • Bot Jom Doa
  • Speed strikes and kicks, any technique or drill combo
  • Walking kicks, with or without strikes and other exercise modifications
  • Running in front, back and side horse stances, with or without strikes and other exercise modifications
  • Shifting, with or without strikes and other exercise modifications
  • Kwai Shat, with or without strikes and other exercise modifications

Two-person exercises

  • Toi Ma
  • Chung Chi Sao
  • Chum Kiu Sao
  • My San Jong
  • Chung Chi Gerk
  • Chi Kwan

Click here to schedule an introductory lesson in Moy Yat Ving Tsun Kung Fu in Richmond, VA – for men, women, teens and kids.

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