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)