How to Choose the Right Kung Fu Style?

With its ancient history and diverse styles, Kung Fu attracts people to seek physical fitness, self-defense skills, or spiritual development. Each Kung Fu style has its own unique characteristics and is suitable for people with different interests, personalities, and physical abilities. Choosing the right Kung Fu style is a crucial decision. At Xinglin you can learn a variety of Kung Fu, Which Kung Fu style should you choose? Follow these 5 steps to help you determine your Kung Fu style.

5 Steps to Choose the Right Kung Fu Style

  • Self-defense: If your main goal is self-defense, choose a practical Kung Fu style like Sanda, emphasizing fast strikes, blocks, and evasive moves.
  • Physical fitness improvement: To improve fitness with Kung Fu, choose a style that combines dynamic moves, strength training, and flexibility exercises. Whether Shaolin or Tai Chi, it enhances physical fitness.
  • Spiritual development & stress relief: Some use Kung Fu to de-stress and rejuvenate. The rhythmic, disciplined movements in Kung Fu styles, like Tai Chi and Qigong, offer a therapeutic outlet, fostering mental resilience and emotional balance.
  • Understand the connotation of Kung Fu: Explore Kung Fu’s philosophy and culture for a deeper understanding. Grasp the historical and spiritual context of each style to enrich learning and appreciate the broader significance of the martial arts you choose.

Before choosing the right Kung Fu style, please put your goals and interests first. This will help you determine which Kung Fu styles are best for you more quickly.

  1. Shaolin Kung Fu
  • Characteristics: Shaolin Kung Fu, originating from the ancient Shaolin Temple with a history exceeding 1500 years, is known for dynamic movements, defensive emphasis, integration of hard and soft techniques, and the unity of body and mind. It prioritizes physical fitness, flexibility, and mental discipline, particularly emphasizing kicking techniques (30% hand, 70% kicking).
  • Who should choose: Shaolin Kung Fu training demands high physical endurance, including intense practice, acrobatics, and strength training. It suits individuals with good physical fitness, endurance, strength, and a focused and determined mindset.
  1. Wing Chun
  • Characteristics: Wing Chun is characterized by its “centerline” attacks, targeting the opponent’s body center. Known for its direct and efficient techniques, it emphasizes close-quarters combat and simultaneous attack and defense. Key forms in Wing Chun include 36 San Shi, Xiao Nian Tou (little ideas), Xun Qiao (seeking bridge), Biao Zhi (quick offensive and defensive skills), and Wooden dummy forms.
  • Who should choose: Wing Chun is renowned for its practical self-defense methods and is suitable for those interested in simplified martial arts focused on self-defense, quick reactions, and less physical exertion.
  1. Tai Chi
  • Characteristics: Tai Chi, as a branch of internal martial arts, incorporates the essence of Chinese classical philosophy and traditional Chinese medicine. Known for its slow and flowing movements, it emphasizes the harmony of body and mind. Tai Chi follows the principles of yin and yang, achieving balance in techniques and attack skills. It is often practiced for health and stress reduction.
  • Who should choose: Suitable for those prioritizing health and interested in low-intensity exercise for enhancing overall well-being. Tai Chi’s gentle and flowing movements are suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.
  1. Qi Gong
  • Characteristics: Qi Gong is a holistic practice that combines body postures, breath control, and meditation to cultivate and balance the body’s life energy. It promotes overall health and longevity. There are two main types of Shaolin Qi Gong: Neigong(Soft Qigong), and Waigong(Hard Qigong). Neigong often involves meditation as a method of cultivating the mind, while Waigong combines both internal and external training.
  • Who should choose: Suitable for those interested in improving physical and mental health, reducing stress, and unlocking inner energy potential.
Hard Qigong 4
  1. Sanda & Qin Na
  • Characteristics: Sanda, also known as Sanshou, is a Chinese kickboxing sport that integrates traditional Kung Fu elements into practical, full-contact combat. It emphasizes quick and decisive movements and is widely used in competitive sports. Qin Na is a grappling (self-defense) technique, considered a compassionate form of combat as it aims to temporarily immobilize rather than cause severe harm to the attacker.
  • Who should choose: Suitable for individuals interested in real-world self-defense, practical combat skills, and those aspiring to engage in competitive martial arts.
  • Injury Prevention: Kung Fu training includes diverse forms, postures, and movements, demanding a high level of physical fitness. Individuals with pre-existing health conditions or physical limitations may be more susceptible to injuries during rigorous training; therefore, more discretion is required for choosing Kung Fu styles.
  • Enhanced Learning Efficiency: A strong base of physical fitness enhances the martial arts learning experience. Fundamental attributes like strength, flexibility, and endurance are crucial for mastering techniques and forms.
  • Customized Training Plans: Different martial arts styles place diverse demands on physical fitness. For instance, styles like Sanda (Chinese kickboxing) may require increased cardiovascular endurance, whereas Kung Fu might demand a balance of strength and High-level masters. Coaches, by evaluating the individual’s health condition, can customize training plans according to personal needs, ensuring a comprehensive and effective learning approach in a scientific way.
  • Martial Arts Schools: Seeking advice from martial arts schools is the most professional approach. They can recommend a suitable Kung Fu style based on your goals and physical fitness. If you have questions about how to choose a Kung Fu style, feel free to contact us, and we will respond within 24 hours.
  • Online Forums: Engaging in discussions on martial arts forums can be enlightening. Many practitioners and instructors on online forums may provide valuable insights and advice.
  • Friends and Family: Seek opinions from family members or inquire with friends who have martial arts experience for advice.



In the diverse realm of Chinese martial arts, each style of Kung Fu is unique. Your choice should align with personal preferences, fitness goals, and aspirations. If you are interested in Chinese Kung Fu, feel free to contact us. Xinglin Martial Arts Academy will provide you with the most authentic and traditional journey of Kung Fu learning.

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