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Kung Fu/Preferred exercises


I had a question for you.  I am a Kung Fu student and I look to pick up additional knowledge whenever and wherever I can.  I am currently on working on my leg strength for stance work and kicks.  What would be 2 or 3 of your favorite and or suggested exercises and disciplines to develop leg power and strength?  Thank you for your help!  


Hi Kevin,
Lunges are great for building leg strength.

Running stairs is another good exercise - both for cardio and leg strength.

Finally, holding postures will make your legs very strong. If you can do a horse stance for 10 minutes, your legs will be very strong. You can start at one minute and add 10 or 15 seconds each time until you build to 10 minutes.

Another way to build leg strength is to do your form very slowly and stop and hold each stance for a minute.

One of the reasons Tai Chi is done slowly is to build leg strength, especially in Chen style Tai Chi. That's why the thighs of Chen masters look like tree trunks. :)

Good luck!!


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Ken Gullette


I am a senior level (black sash) instructor in the American Tao System of Internal Arts. We study and practice the internal arts of Chen Tai Chi, Hsing-I Chuan, and Baguazhang. I also study and teach Chi Kung (Qigong) and Chin-Na. I began studying martial arts in 1973. I was 20 years old, a college student, and was inspired by Bruce Lee and the Kung-Fu TV show. My first teacher was Grandmaster Sin The in Lexington, Kentucky. I studied Shaolin with him. During the 1970's I also studied Taekwondo with Master Randy Chambliss. In the early 80's, I studied Tien Shan Pai Kung-Fu (wushu) with Karen Vaughn in Cincinnati. I met Sifu Phillip Starr in 1987 when I moved to Omaha, and earned a black sash in his Yiliquan system. He taught me the basics of Hsing-I, Tai Chi and Bagua. In 1998, I began studying Chen Tai Chi with Jim and Angela Criscimagna. They are indoor disciples of Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang. I've also learned from Grandmaster Chen and his brother, Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing, the head of tai chi training in the Chen village, Henan Province. Their ancestor, Chen Wangting, created tai chi about 350 years ago. I have also learned from Mike Sigman and other very good instructors. I have a website,, where I teach all three internal arts online to students around the world. The site is very video intense. Eastern philosophy, especially Zen and Taoism, are very important to me. I am developing a means of explaining these philosophies to Americans in plain English so they can apply them to daily life in the 21st Century USA. I call it American Tao. I am 55 years old and enjoy competing in tournaments, often sparring young black belts (and even winning occasionally). I can answer questions about the internal arts, chi kung, tournament competition, philosophy, and keeping fit after the age of 40 or 50.


Winner of two gold medals at the 1990 AAU Kung Fu Nationals. Continue to compete. My students also are very successful in tournaments. Becoming a teacher and winning the respect and frienship of my students. Teaching chi kung (qigong) and centering techniques that have helped many students deal with stress and illness.

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