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.
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.