New Life Kung Fu's purpose is to bring the great art of Chineses Kung Fu to the Upstate of South Carolina. Shifu Don is committed to each students progress and has a personal interest in their training and development.
Chinese martial arts is described as the combination of your external or physical body and your internal or spirit. Students begin their Kung Fu training externally. Meaning they learn how to condition their body, stretching, basic techniques, forms and breathing. By mastering these external techniques a student has a strong foundation and is ready to build upon their skills.
As a student progresses they begin to naturally develop Internal skill. Neijing, usually translated as internal martial arts, occupied with spiritual, mental or qi-related aspects, as opposed to an "external" approach focused more on physical aspects. Neijing is developed by using neigong, or "internal exercises," as opposed to "external exercises" (wàigōng 外功). Next the student is introduced to the staff or Gun in Chinese. As the student progresses they continue to gain strength, speed and coordination. In learning Kung Fu the student also learns about commitment, concentration and self discipline.
Kung Fu becomes a way of life and is practiced throughout the students life.
We welcome students of all ages, but we recommend the student be at least 8 years old to begin.
About Donald Francis
Hello, I am Donald Francis, owner and head instructor of New Life Kung Fu. In the spring of 2005, at the age of 31, I commenced my training in Kung Fu at Vo Duong Phi Son Nhan under the guidance of Grand Master Nguyen, where I learned Vietnamese Shaolin Kung Fu. As shown in the picture to the right, students in this style begin with a black sash and progress to the rank of Grand Master, indicated by a white sash. Notably, their ranking system is reversed compared to most traditional schools, where a white sash represents the lowest rank, and a red or black sash denotes the highest. Prior to this, martial arts had been a long standing passion of mine, and it was my aspiration to teach others.
Over time, I honed my skills at Vo Duong Phi Son Nhan and, in the winter of 2007, I commenced formal training in Northern Shaolin Kung Fu under the tutelage of Shifu Dominick Ruggeri of China Hand Kung Fu. Dominick, a 2nd Degree Black Sash in Shaolin Chuan Northern Shaolin Kung Fu, provided instruction that allowed me to obtain certifications in Elementary and Basic Northern Shaolin Chuan, which encompassed 12 Road Tan Tui, Lien Bu Quan, and Gung Li Quan. I also learned various forms such as Qi Mei Gun, Yi Lu Mai Fu, Shi Zi Tang, Xiao Hu Yan, and Qi Xing Dao with the guidance of Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming.
Following years of teaching Long Fist Kung Fu to my students, I sought to expand my expertise to Tai Chi, with the intention of instructing others. I embarked on my Tai Chi journey in 2018, first studying Wudang Taiji, then subsequently exploring Yang style Tai Chi. Currently, my primary focus has shifted from Long Fist Kung Fu to Tai Chi, as I find it to be more spiritually, mentally, and physically rewarding.
I am indebted to the following individuals who have been instrumental in my progress: Grand Master Nguyen, Shifu Dominick Ruggeri, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming, Master Ziji, Sifu Damian Neve, Sifu Mizner, Sifu Rasmus, and Sigung Clear.
Kung Fu is a Lifelong Journey!!
Shifu Don officially opened New Life Kung in 2015.
Shifu Don at age 5 lol