Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is Kung Fu? Is it like Karate?

A. Yes, in that it's a Martial Art incorporating kicking and striking. Kung Fu is of Chinese origin as opposed to the Japanese style of Karate.

Otherwise, there are many differences between Kung Fu and Karate in terms of the body method and approach to training.

Q. Am I too old? too unfit? too inexperienced?

A. The idea is that you attend Kung Fu in order to become fitter, healthier, slimmer, more competent AND self-confident!

Men, women and children of all ages and abilities are very welcome (Kids ages 6-12yrs, adults 13yrs+)

Q. Is my 5 year old child old enough to start?

A. It depends on their attention span, enthusiasm and willingness to learn.

It is certainly worth them attending a trial lesson to see how they get on.

We only accept five-year-olds at our 'family' classes, provided that their parent participates too.

Children need to be 6 to 12 years of age to attend the children's classes (or the family classes without a parent)

Q. How much is it?

A. Currently we're offering you the chance to pay as you go during your 1st month! * Meaning you can sample a couple of different venues / groups.

After the trial period, class fees are paid at the start of each calendar month. Please click on the 'Children's Classes' or 'Adult's Classes' page for a list of options.

If you would like to be taught privately, our current special offer is: Prepay for 5 one hour lessons and get your 6th lesson FREE.

We offer various prepaid class discounts for families / siblings of three of more, and students who attend two or more classes each week.

Please contact SiFu Williams if you have further questions regarding fees. sifuwilliams@learnkungfu.org

Q. Where are the classes?

A. Matt teaches throughout the week in Hawley, Farnborough, Aldershot, Frimley and Fleet.

Please see the 'Children's Classes', 'Adult's Classes' or the 'Class Locations' page to found out more.

Q. Is it any good for fitness / self defence / weight loss?

A. Absolutely! The Eagle Claw Kung Fu classes are definitely more energetic than our Tai Chi, but both disciplines are excellent for improving health and fitness.

Self defence is a very important part of our traditional Kung Fu. We train for self defence rather than for performance or competition,

although the skills acquired in Eagle Claw Kung Fu are very valuable for both.

Our class content is very varied and encompasses realistic self defence, strength and flexibility, stamina and agility.

Our classes have all the health, martial art, social and enjoyment benefits you could ever need. ;-)

Q. How long will it take me to get a black belt?

A. Our gradings don't work on the belt system, however our eighth grading (our 'Intermediate Level Test') is an approximate equivalent level.

There is no set time frame or limit, so the time it takes purely depends on the effort and time put in.

A2. A traditional 'black belt' is to show the owner of it has a firm understanding and can demonstrate the basic underlying principles of the martial art; it is not (usually) an indication that the owner has reached the upper echelons of the system. This means getting to this stage can be a lot faster than you think!

Q. How often should I attend classes?

A. Although you should take it easy initially to avoid soreness, it is highly recommended that students gradually build up their training, ideally attending classes twice a week.

If that is not possible, students are advised to find time to train at home in between classes.

Those who train more frequently make much faster progress through the syllabus as well as in their fitness goals.

Q. Do you have classes for beginners?

A. All of the classes are mixed ability classes and are therefore appropriate for new students and complete beginners.

You will not be made to do anything against your will or beyond your capabilities. In fact, you will be made very welcome, as we are a very friendly bunch!

Q. Do you teach girls and women?

A. All of our classes are appropriate for both men and women (or boys and girls) and we very much want to encourage more women to take part,

So please don't be put off thinking it'll be an aggressive, sweaty, violent, all-male environment because this is very much not the case (apart from the sweaty part!)

Q. How do I choose a martial art? Is this one right for me?

A. This is not a simple question, as it depends what you want out of the martial art. Eagle Claw focuses on self defence and proven applications using a combination of hard and soft power. Other martial arts can have heavier focuses on strength, performance art/wushu, touch-point competition and so on.

Arguably the next most important aspect is the instructor(s). Different people learn in different ways, and so a trial to make sure you get on well with and understand what your new instructor is teaching is very beneficial.

Lastly is the rest of the class. Are you after a strict, regimented group, or do you prefer something with a little more social flexibility in the class while still keeping with high quality training?

We think the best idea is to turn up, enjoy the Free Trial Week on offer, and talk to Matt Williams during or after class if you have any questions or concerns.


“Kung Fu is much more than self-defence. Most of my life I have always participated in various sports which include a lot of cardio. However, Kung Fu has helped me develop a power based stamina that I have never really trained at before. Added to that, I feel that I can control my body more and my everyday posture has even improved! I have a very long way to go with Kung Fu, but with the enjoyable atmosphere, health benefits, social activities, new found defence skills and a very patient teacher, I certainly have the desire to keep working hard at it as the rewards are well worth it.” - Chris Hansen“Despite being a beginner, the way the class is run, I feel I can work at my own level and concentrate on improving at my own pace. I have hugely enjoyed the experience of taking up Kung Fu and would recommend it to anyone. The benefits for me are improved fitness and strength, having more body awareness and confidence as well as being a good-stress buster as the end of a busy day". - Jane Adams

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