Isidro Archibeque (founder of Gun Fu) mastered many
varieties of empty hand and weapons forms. Learning Kata from Master Archibeque often proved to be a challenge. There’d be days he would do Kata for hours, never repeating
the same form, always moving to the next. Students stared in amazement as he continued through the cycle of animals, then of concepts, then of weapons. You’d witness a breathtaking
Mantis form, and on asking him to repeat it, would see another entirely different Mantis form. It usually took a few months for students to catch on.
“Archie” was beyond committing forms to memory. He emphasized that “you” and your Kata were “one.” There should never be a separation. Kata is the truth about
who you are, and once you are at that place, your Kata will always be correct. It’s not unlike how a great Jazz musician improvises at the highest level,
spontaneously...always changing...but always anchored in the flow.
The forms are those practiced and taught within the Iron Crane Dojo. While adhering
to the teachings of Master Archibeque, the Iron Crane School places high emphasis on mastery of historical foundation forms. Once basics are thoroughly assimilated, the
student learns the Iron Crane Gun Fu Forms. After they are understood, the final objective is movement which is completely free flowing. The forms presented here
represent a cross section of what the typical student might be exposed to at the Iron Crane Dojo.
(click here to see a list of Kata included in the system)