Waterloo Kung Fu Academy
I attended the school for 2 years attending regular classes and quit due to time restrictions in my schedule. The school is family oriented and suitable for all ages and physical abilities. This school is not recommended for people looking to enter a combat sport environment. There is lots of emphasis placed on tradition and confidence building, especially in the children's classes.
The Waterloo Kung Fu academy was formerly taught by recently deceased Sigung Bob Schneider. After, one of the black sashes purchased the establishment and continues the same traditional teaching style of his former instructor
Bob Schnedier was taught by Grand Master Pan Qing Fu and many of the black sashes have also had lessons with him.
The school places emphasis on traditional five animal style. Each sash level needs to be earned through a grading process of increasing difficulty and duration. Additionally, there are requirements to give back to the school as teaching responsibilities are available and mandatory at higher levels.
Classes focus on sparring, forms, self defense and conditioning. There are no specific schedules for the type of class but certain teachers favour certain aspects of teaching. The floor itself is a large, carpetted area. Depending on the number of attending students, the area can become cramped but I've been told that Kung Fu can be practised in the amount of space that it takes an ox to lie down. There are no rings or cages just a square where point sparring can be practiced. There is no air conditioning.
Sparring is not full contact and is geared towards point sparring. I never really got much out of it other than intense cardio. There is lots of work with focus mits and heavybags.
Forms are extensive and are derived from deep traditional roots. These require flexibility, strength and coordination. The forms also include weapons use.
Self defense is the typical you grab my arm and I'll do such and such. Not completely useful but not all garbage either. I've found that I disagree with a lot of the methodolgy and teaching style of the self defense but I've also found a few gem techniques that have actually come in handy in real life.
The conditioning is sometimes hit or miss. Dependind on the nature of the Sifu that is teaching; the masochist will deliver painful levels of cardio and some others will be easy to get through. There is very little pressure to perform and the emphasis is mainly on improvement. All levels of fitness are capable of succeeding.
The weight room is limitted to a barbell, dumbells from 12-40lbs, chin up bar and two benches.