Is It Hard To Learn Kung Fu?

Is it hard to learn Kung Fu? No. Read below to learn more.

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Is it hard to learn Kung Fu?

Is it hard to learn Kung Fu? No. But only if you have the right master. Kung Fu is a broad term for many different kinds of martial art styles that usually originate out of China. 

One of the most common definitions for Kung Fu is “accomplishment through hard work”. So to learn Kung Fu is succeed through the difficult training regimens. But that does not mean that Kung Fu is hard to learn.

In fact in Kung Fu there are usually two different types of art forms. Kung Fu styles and Kung Fu systems. Both are quality ways to learn Kung Fu but both have some major differences.

Lastly, if you want to learn Kung Fu then you will want to make sure your master has lineage. Lineage is a direct line showing who your master trained from all the way up to the style or systems founder.

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Styles vs Systems of Kung Fu

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Learn Kung Fu Style

First, let us begin with what a Kung Fu style is. If you want to learn Kung Fu but have a relaxed approach then is is the best route for you. A Kung Fu style has a loose routine for training you to learn Kung Fu. This allows you to  keep some of your own methods while training.

Also, keep in mind that keeping some of your own methods is not always a bad thing. For example, if you a learning a Kung Fu style technique like a side kick. Your master will demo the technique but leave some room for you to add your own flare to it. Whether this be a hop, step or level change is up to you. 

While this can be great if you have years of other martial arts experience. It can also be detrimental to your training if you lack experience or creativity. Another key to learn a Kung Fu style is the learning structure varies greatly master to master. 

Indeed this can be amazing if you have a master who is very well experienced. On the other hand some master lack the ability to change class structures for each individual student. 

Lastly, if you want to learn Kung Fu style you need to watch other students in the class or reviews. If the master is unassuming to those lacking in skill, they will not be able to help you as much either.

Learn Kung Fu System

Before, we learned that a Kung Fu style is a loose way to learn Kung Fu that varies school to school. A Kung Fu System is the complete opposite & usually preferred by most.

To learn a Kung Fu system you need to follow a strict and rigid program. There is no gray area of doing a technique. Either your technique is correct or not.

Besides the rigid structure of a Kung Fu system. Another key factor is how your master presents the art. Most masters in a Kung Fu systems also train intensely themselves.

Next, we look at how a Kung Fu system is structured. Regardless of individual, you will be taken through the same steps as intended by the Kung Fu system founder. While this seems uncreative, it ensures all masters of the system teach exactly the same way.

In conclusion, if you want to learn Kung Fu system you will want to prepare for real traditional training. This is usually the best and most authentic way of learning Kung Fu.

Kung Fu Lineage

First and foremost if you want to learn Kung Fu then you need to understand Kung Fu lineage. Learning Kung Fu can be very difficult when learning from a master of Shifu/Sifu without lineage.

Kung Fu lineage shows who each master learned from dating all the way back to the Kung Fu origins. When a Sifu has lineage, it means he/she has learned the entire system as it was originally taught and designed.

The problem comes when masters try and fake lineage. They entice you with their “experience” but lack the foundational training. To learn Kung Fu is as much historical as it is practical. 

Furthermore, when learning Kung Fu there are usually forms or line drills. These seem like excessive exercises but are actually techniques handed down from the founder or Sijo. Only those in that lineage know how these movements translate to practical applications.

Finally, learning Kung Fu can be hard is your teacher does not fully understand the style or system the claim to teach. In addition to that, other Kung Fu practitioners may not recognize you or your training with out lineage.

Monkey Kung Fu Lineage

Learn Kung Fu Forms

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To learn Kung Fu, you usually need to learn Kung Fu forms. These are a series of techniques or movements that express your art form. Usually, this is why some Kung Fu styles/systems seem harder than others. 

Not only do these require good memory but they are usually a great workout for you too. In addition to an amazing workout, these forms teach valuable lessons.

Inside these forms are years if not decades worth of training, combinations and conditioning. Combined these make you extremely efficient in your art form. Also, these forms later transfer into sparring tactics if you have a Sifu who understands them well enough.

Lastly, learning Kung Fu forms develops a deep routed discipline. Forms take months or years to master the same movements over and over. This builds physical toughness but more importantly mental mastery.

Kung Fu Forms

Learning Practical Kung Fu Skills

Is it hard to learn Kung Fu? No. Learning to make Kung Fu practical, that’s another story. First, Kung Fu works if it is trained correctly & under a real Sifu (master). Over my years of training I have seen Kung Fu become a kind of joke in the martial arts world. Many Kung Fu practitioners do not train properly and lack the guidance.

Next, you cannot learn Kung Fu without understanding Kung Fu literally means “accomplishment through hard work”. It’s supposed to be hard, difficult and tiring. But out of those struggles, you will succeed and become better than even. With a good structure and real Sifu, you can make Kung Fu very practical for self defense or tournaments.

Also, it is important for you to understand that the basics of learning Kung Fu build your advanced techniques. Often new students want to fly through the basics. I can tell you this, if you can do it slow you can do it fast. So practice slow and achieve mastery of the basics.

Furthermore, in order to make your Kung Fu skills practical, you need to understand the technique as well as practice it. This is crucial, if you know when to use a technique you will use it effectively. Also understanding the intention of your techniques makes a huge impact on how effective they can be.

Undoubtedly, intention behind a technique is another huge missed area when learning Kung Fu. To learn Kung Fu is to master the mindset as well as the physical expression of the style/system. Finally, having a master who still trains intently and trains with other students is a big part of learning practical Kung Fu skills.


Throughout this article we learned that it is not hard to learn Kung Fu. However, if you do want to learn Kung Fu there are many things to consider when picking your school. Over my 13 years of training my Kung Fu system I would 100% recommend you find a good Kung Fu system.

Next, find a Sifu who has lineage and trains with the other students. If you are lucky enough to find a Sifu with all these qualities you are in luck. In conclusion, no matter what you pick, you will have to discipline yourself and overcome the struggles of Kung Fu training. Do this and the rewards will reveal themselves to you.