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Kung Fu Academy Opens in Newark

Legend Kung Fu opens with classes taught by Tri-City resident Zheng Li.

A Kung Fu studio has come to town.

Legend Kung Fu Martial Arts Academy celebrated its opening last Saturday with black belt ceremonies, Kung Fu demonstrations and more.

But establishing the studio didn’t come without hardships.

Legend Kung Fu’s story actually began with the closure of a Fremont Kung Fu studio where Legend Kung Fu Studio owner Zheng Li once taught.

The abrupt closure of that business left dozens of students without a studio to train, parents said, so Li took a proactive role.

Li said he felt it was his duty to retain his students and build a new martial arts school. For one year, he held classes in temporary spaces – even teaching classes out of Newark’s dance space.

This move – along with other aspects – is what makes Li and Legend Kung Fu unique.

One parent, who only wished to be identified as Meei, said Li’s ability to bond with younger children while teaching is what makes him unique.

“At training, you have to be serious, but after, he plays with the kids,” she said. “He was very responsible to take all the kids and continue training [them].”

Li’s ability to switch from playmate to martial arts teacher is evident while watching one of the academy’s 45-minute classes. Students go from laughing along with the 26-year-old to following his directions to punch, block and kick.

Originally from China, Li moved to the United States in 2008 and began teaching what he knew – Kung Fu. Li focuses on a contemporary style of Kung Fu, a Chinese martial art, called wushu. The style focuses on building hand, eye and body coordination, according to a press release from Legend Kung Fu.

Li also specializes in Kung Fu and Tai Chi Quan and said he decided to teach and share his skills with others. But it isn’t just the art of Kung Fu that Li would like to instill in his students.

“Through the training, I’d like students to learn how to have more self-confidence, more self-discipline, work together and work as a team,” Li said through a parent acting as a translator.

He also said on a physical level, his goal is to assist students who aren’t as coordinated to learn how to better control their bodies and muscles so they can build their strength, power and coordination.

Legend Kung Fu, located at 39650 Cedar Blvd., offers a variety of classes for people of all ages. Currently the studio has students whose age’s range from 4 to 50 years old. There are 15 different levels students can achieve through the academy.

Classes are held six days a week and monthly costs range from $120-$180, depending on how frequent the student attends class. Each student’s contract is customizable.

For more information, visit www.legendkungfu.com, email legendkungfu@gmail.com or call 510-579-1091.

See videos of Li and students in the media gallery above. Have photos from Saturday's grand opening? Please feel free to add them to the media gallery above.

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Mindful Movement Collective July 25, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Congratulations Li Zheng and friends for securing a home for the Academy! We were honored to be a temporary home during the transition. Best of Luck to you!!
Geoff Burton July 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Our family supports Legends Kung Fu and Sefu Li Zheng 100 % . Legends is a great place to learn Kung Fu Sifu Li Zheng is great with the students and the students themselves support and encourage each other. My son has been a student of Sifu Li for 6 months and he loves Kung Fu and I can think of no better place for him to learn all the disciplines of Kung Fu. The kids at Lend Kung Fu Academy will never be on the negative side of Physical Fitness statistics. If you want your kids to flourish enroll them into Legends Kung Fu Academy.;
JULIE BURTON July 26, 2012 at 06:00 AM
Legend Kung Fu is a great place for kids to learn kung fu, as well as discipline, respect, friendship, and self confidence. It's a fun place for everyone, while the kids stay fit. Shifu Li, his wife, Shifu Zhou, and the coaches there are all outstanding and trustworthy teachers, friends, and who I consider as Family. My son has 2 classes on 4 days a week but we ended up staying the whole time, sometimes, till closing time. He absolutely loves Legend Kung Fu. It's like our second home now. So I agree with my husband that Legend Kung Fu and Shifu Li has 100% support from us. They are such an asset to our community. I strongly urge everyone to stop by Legend Kung Fu to meet Shifu Li, the parents, and the kids. While you're there, sign your kids up for classes, because I can't think of any other place to get this one in a lifetime experience.
TRACEY LARSEN July 31, 2012 at 09:01 PM
WERE IN NEWARK IS THE ACADEMY LOCATED AT ?
Nika Megino (Editor) July 31, 2012 at 09:09 PM
39650 Cedar Blvd. (Cedar Springs Shopping Plaza)
James Nelson July 31, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Kung Fu? Psst. Learn a Real Martial Art such as Tae Kwondo. Kung Fu is like Ballet, Break Dancing, and Yoga all rolled into one. LOL!!!
Geoff Burton August 01, 2012 at 03:19 AM
What ever James
Geoff Burton August 01, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Thanks Nika
James Nelson August 02, 2012 at 08:39 PM
I sparred with a Kung Fu Student once and although her Moves were Impressive, She opened her self to be exploited defensively time after time. She was basically dancing all over the mat! Me, being the Charming guy I am decided to poke fun at her and heckle her decisions which only pissed her off more LOL! The more I Taunted, the messier her Defense became.In the end I took her down 15 times. Including once with a Low Spinning Heel Kick (Cheap Shot) and a High Kick Counter. Unfortunately, we had to stop after I performed a Back Kick that sent her flying into one of the Wall Mirrors, ultimately cracking it. LOL. Couldn't ignore that Opportunity!

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