Frequently asked questions

If you need help, we have a list of frequently asked questions and answers. We strive to be transparent as possable. Click a question below to view the answer.

Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t worry. It may seem a daunting prospect but you will be assessed from the start and guided slowly, week by week, to build up your physical fitness and mental fitness.

Track suit bottoms and a t-shirt are fine. Just make sure you bring plenty of water with you. Hung Gar is thirsty work.

Your first lesson is free of charge. After that you will be asked to pay a month ahead at the start of each month. The amount will depend on how many classes you want to sign up for over the month.

There is no one right or wrong martial art, but they can all be taught the right or wrong way. The Kung Fu that is taught at Forest Edge is probably one of the most authentic forms you will find, though, as it has a lineage that can be traced right back to the Shaolin Temple. The Hung Gar style is very empowering, and it’s not all about fighting. So if you are looking for a style that considers the whole person – mind, and body – we highly recommend it.

We do have a grading system but it is not about set exams and levels of belts. It’s more a ‘learning progression’, with each grade reflecting the balance of fitness and knowledge a student has attained to reach this point. Therefore the Sifu will be continually assessing your progress and tell you when you have reached a new level.

Don't be fooled into thinking a black belt will save you on the street This not a school for trophy bandits. 

Hung Gar can be traced back to the Shaolin Temple of Ancient China, and this Temple was the original Mixed Martial Arts school as students would have gone to different masters to learn different aspects of Kung Fu. What people now refer to as “MMA” has become popular due to the rise of Martial Arts in a sporting context. What we teach at Forest Edge will help you to handle yourself in a real-life altercation. In that situation there would be no referee to say stop, this has gone on long enough – so we don’t practice for sport, we practice for life.

No, we don’t. We do teach joint locks and restraints but, if you get into a fight on the street, the last thing you want to do is to prolong it. We believe the best way to deal with this kind of altercation is to finish it quickly and make your escape.

Kung Fu is for everybody, so your age is immaterial. 

Dim Mak is a scientific approach that teaches you to strike the vulnerable areas of the body to achieve a predictable outcome. It is not always destructive, though, sometimes it is used to achieve healing. (You’ll learn more about this as a student). If you have heard that Dim Mak is the ‘Death Touch’ you have been misinformed, and if someone has said they can teach you the Death Touch run away – they have been watching too many movies!

You will certainly tone up and you could potentially lose weight. However, if you keep rewarding yourself with food you don’t need then the answer is no. That said, learning Kung Fu will teach you the mindset you need to believe in yourself and that you can achieve anything you want to. So it is not a miracle diet – but it can give you the discipline you need to succeed with a sensible weight-loss programme.

Everyone has to start somewhere. The Forest Edge classes are designed for mixed ability, which means everyone helps everyone else and no-one gets left behind. In traditional Chinese Martial Arts people talk about the individuals involved in their training group as a family. This is the true spirit of Kung Fu. Everyone works as a family to help and nurture their peers. You leave your ego behind when you enter the class.

There is a huge difference between the Martial Arts skills that are used in sporting and artistic demonstrations and those you would need in real-time combat. Kickboxing is a form of combat that became popular in the sporting arena. In Hung Gar, we teach you how to protect yourself in real life and in real time. This involves learning moves that will end an altercation quickly and use the adrenaline that is coursing through your body at the time most appropriately. We do not teach students fancy acrobatics and other moves that look good but may not be much use to you in a fight.