The White Cloud method is not one of blindly following 'the old views' and constraining it's student within the fixed traditions of specific systems. Instead these traditions are taken as guidance as boundaries between systems are dissolved and the student becomes a more well rounded martial artist.

The systems studied within White Cloud have been developed by Masters spanning many centuries and disciplines and it is the clubs principle of working through these various arts individually and then integrating them into a single, unified art which has allowed White Cloud Kung Fu to evolve into a challenging and highly versatile system of Martial Arts. The student of White Cloud will find themselves slowly immersed in the world of Chinese Martial Arts where they can delve as deep as they choose into the many sub branches of the internal arts and weapons training.

White Cloud Kung Fu is derived from the classical arts of Shaolin Long Boxing (Chang Chuan), Wing Chun, Ba Gua Zhang, Hsing Yi and Tai Chi Chuan - including the sabre (Dao) and straight sword (Jian) - with QiGong and the Brocade exercise methods integrated within them. The interested student can also study the numerous systems which run in parallel to this core and include amongst other things: Staff, 3-sectional staff and stick (Escrima/Kali) fighting.

The wide ranging nature of the White Cloud art means that there is more than enough for any one student to study and specialisation is often encouraged at the higher grades. It is therefore up to each student to be honest about what they want to aspire to and it is at their own discretion how far they wish to develop any particular method. But whichever path the student chooses they can be sure that it is one which is long, hard and steep and only through disciplined daily training will they succeed.

The vast nature of the White Cloud system, the specialisation of it's higher ranked members and it's emphasis on students being responsible for their own development means that White Cloud does not adopt the kind of syllabus seen in other schools of Martial Arts which consist simply of lists of belt colours with a set of techniques assigned to each.

Within each of the individual systems that make up White Cloud Kung Fu it is obvious that the basics must be learnt before the advanced can be attempted. But on the larger scale, there is no necessary order in which the systems should be learnt, nor is there any natural order in which to learn the associated weapons systems. So any assignment of these things into the discrete categories of belt colour would have to be an arbitrary one, and any such arbitrary divisions of the art would fly in the face of the White Cloud philosophy mentioned above.

Instead, grades are awarded to students who can show their own development and improvement in the particular system which is being studied at the time.

The White Cloud Martial Arts Academy is the original school founded in 1962 by Master Derek Gordon, passed directly to his highest ranked student Master Dave Cowell in 1994 and now training exclusively at St Bede's RC Sports College.  Over the years many instructors have been trained at the White Cloud Academy and several now run successful schools of their own.  However, although these instructors are White Cloud trained they are not recognised by the Academy and as such neither are any of their students. 

The White Cloud Martial Arts Academy at St Bedes is not associated with any other school of Kung Fu and is the only place to learn the White Cloud Kung Fu system devised by Master Derek Gordon!

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