Chief Instructor: Sifu John C. Loupos - Since 1968

Behind the Scenes

by Scott Olson, Rapid City S.D.

"I know Kung-Fu." Anyone who has seen the movie, "The Matrix," should recognize this quote. Keanu Reeves, in only a brief instant, learns many different martial arts with the help of a direct link into his mind. In the next scene, he spars with a friend to test out his new powers. After running up a wall and doing almost every trick you could imagine, the movie continues. After leaving that movie I was thinking, "Hey, maybe I can run up a wall too." (I think the Dr. Pepper I had was going to my head.) Once I got up from the floor I quickly realized, that I can't run up the wall, but only because the theater wasn't large enough. But, I decided not to try it again, so as not to make the other theater patrons jealous of my "skill".
The reason I mention that story is because it seems that Hollywood portrays only one aspect of martial arts to the general public: the final end result of a skill, an attack, defense, or just plain jumping around. Now this does look impressive, but Hollywood usually fails to show the more important aspect, the aspect of how the art was learned. The beauty of martial arts is in the practice, going over moves again and again, trying to make them look even better each day, and having someone to help you makes the process more fulfilling.
I've been in Kung-Fu for about 7 months, and I'm in class now for larger reasons than I first expected. Every member in class I consider my friend, and we all share one common bond, to learn the art form of Kung-Fu. Every time I'm in class we are all working on something, together. Even when I'm alone, I can still feel the "aura" of my friends all working hard too. If I ever need help I just go up and ask one of the higher level students, they work as hard as I do (or so they say), but they always make the time to help me. We study together and help each other, and that's the most important part of learning something new, the people around who help to guide you every step of the Way.

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