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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Kung Fu Club aims to teach self-discipline

Kahlil Kambui
A group of people practice Kung Fu moves on each other during a Kung Fu club meeting. The Chinese Kung Fu club meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Anderson Hall Room 135. (Kahlil Kambui | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Block, Kick, Punch, Stretch. These, along with mastering the different stances in kung fu, are some of the commands the instructor rings out to warm you up and to get you ready for a day of the Chinese Kung Fu Club.

The Kung Fu Club meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in Anderson Hall Room 135, where NIU students and alum learn self-discipline, focus and moves to defend themselves. 

Andy Blanke, club secretary and staff advisor, describes what the daily routine of the club looks like.

“We work out for two hours twice a week. So usually, our workout consists of about 40 minutes of warm-ups, about 20 minutes of self-defense drills that we do with a partner and then the last hour, class is dedicated to forms and weapons,” Blanke said.

One event that the club has is the Certificate Party, which is where students receive their new rank.

Jennifer Gilley, an NIU alum in the club, said she joined in 2015 for relief and a way to deal with personal battles in her life. 

“I was going through a difficult time in my life, and I needed something that was going to bring me centering and grounding and reconnect with myself,” Gilley said. “I had known some people that were in the Kung Fu clubs around town and I thought, maybe that’ll be it. And it’s working so far.”

Sifu Arthur Berry, the head instructor and founder of the club, said the club is special because he also teaches the history behind the martial art.

“For one thing this comes from China so the martial arts kind of divided in different ways, like taekwondo comes from Korea. Japanese have karate,” Berry said. 

Some of the styles of kung fu that members learn at the club are northern shaolin kung fu, which is considered to be the start of all kung fu, and the style of praying mantis. Praying Mantis is a fighting style created by Wang Lang and is named after the praying mantis for its aggressive style of fighting.

For membership, students can email Sifu Arthur Berry at [email protected] or call 815-758-8903. 

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