At Northern Arizona Kung Fu, training balances self defense and development of qi.

"One essential element that corresponds between both the Gao Bagua and Shen Long Xing Yi systems is the Dantian.  The Dantian is the center of your body, just below the navel. Holding the qi in the Dantian with the mind and breath is a fundamental characteristic of Chinese internal martial arts."

-David Nicoletti, "Gao Essentials Compared"



"Stepping is a crucial skill. To step properly, good listening skills are necessary to determine the correct distance to either retreat or advance. Stepping skills are vital for correct striking and blocking because of direction and distance."

-David Nicoletti, "Ba Tang Chen Two-Person Form"

"I have recently read that doing too many two person forms and spending too much time practicing them are harmful to a good boxer. I think that can be true if the practice isn’t spirited and the partners help each other by missing or aiming to strike but never attempting to truly engage...However, I believe the case can be made that when equally proficient partners practice realistically with speed, power, and accuracy then their skill can be enhanced by two-person forms. Spontaneity also can enhance the workout if the two-person forms can flow in and out of several forms."

-David Nicoletti

"Master Hsu once said “fight as if the whole body is on fire,” that includes using deceptive and powerful kicks. Shen Long Xing Yi is a three-step style that develops the internal striking power based upon the rear half-step stomp.  It is important to incorporate the three-step into kick attacks so the leg power can develop simultaneously with the internal fist power."

"Striking and blocking skills are also developed over time. Strikes should be accurate—a specific target for each needs to be trained. Strikes should become faster and strikes at the advanced level should use body force combined with qi release (fa jing)."

-David Nicoletti, "Ba Tang Chen Two-Person Form"

"To learn the forms for fighting is easy. It is possible for everyone to do that in two or three months. To achieve serenity, however, to achieve endurance, this is difficult. One can always open the cage and let a tiger out, but it is in its containment that is TAO. Everyone in the position of Shou fu, Sensei or teacher should always remember this. It is not just the fighting that is important, for anyone can learn to fight; it is the pursuit of TAO that distinguishes the true martial artist."

-Hsu Hongchi, quoted in Master Manuel of Hsing-I Kung Fu, by John Price

"Trust is the basis of the heart-to-heart relationship that begins between the teacher and student. Humility is the quality needed to accept instruction and correction. Respect helps to justify obedience to the teacher. Righteousness provides the motivation to successfully complete any task from the teacher in a timely manner. The last virtue is the manifestation of the other virtues. Loyalty is a combination of respect and trust expressed in deed. Loyalty can be a demonstration of righteousness in that every action for the art, the teacher, the school, and for their brother and sister students ought to done with 100 percent effort and the best of the student’s abilities. Loyalty is also an expression of humility in that the student accepts the leadership qualifications of the teacher. One must shed false dignity to learn. Loyalty is the means to follow the rules of the teacher and school to achieve the higher ends of the martial art."

-David Nicoletti, "The Teacher-Student Relationship"

-David Nicoletti, "Ba Ti Two-Person Form"