Updated: 3rd April 2024

Easter Holidays: Only Tai Chi classes available on Tuesday evenings & Wednesday mornings.
Full timetable of classes re-start from Saturday 13th April 2024.
Beginners are always welcome. Please contact us for availability and the best class to suit you.

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Based in Totnes, South Devon our Kung Fu & Self Defence Classes are convenient for students from Plymouth, Exeter, Ivybridge, Newton Abbot and Torbay. See our Classes & Workshops page for more details.

Why Study the Lee Family Style Kung Fu?

Inner Depth's Kung Fu martial arts classes are from the Lee Family Style which means that they are "soft" in application yet yield incredibly hard and powerful results. The Master Trainer would say:

You can't stop a person having a seizure... you can't stop a frail, old, lady from doing something she is determined to do... and have you ever felt the strength in a baby's grip before they have even developed muscle strength? Also, have you ever tried getting a child into a car seat if they don't want to go? These are examples of inner strength far and above normal muscular strength. We all have it. It is our life energy. But, we always cut it off by thinking our muscles will suffice. The Chinese call it Chi or Qi.

The classes are intended for everyone, no matter what age, gender or ability and provide a whole new level of learning experiences for individuals. The Chinese say "use a feather to move a thousand pounds" so muscles and strength are defeated by technique and angles. We prefer to be the "fast, explosive, whip" rather than the "slower, more destructive, staff". We avoid the use of excessive force and  search for control of our opponents. Our way is to defend ourselves not damage the attacker unnecessarily.

The basis of this internal martial arts system consists of flowing, soft and relaxed movements such as:

  • Close-quarter defense work: techniques to overcome grabs, holds, and restraints allowing you to "get away". This includes defense against floor attacks
  • Evasions: sets of movements to allow you to "get out of the way" in every direction
  • Strikes: sets of striking patterns to teach you how to use your hands as effective weapons with speed, accuracy and power
  • Kicks: thousands of combinations of kicks based on a nucleus of 99 kick patterns
  • Ward-offs: a range of hand movements to "deflect" a strike or kick without the need for excessive force
  • Locks & breakouts: a wide variety of techniques for restraining an opponent or releasing yourself from grabs, grips or holds
  • Adhering Hands: sensitivity work to enhance the power of soft deflections to take an opponent off balance
  • Kung Fu forms: varied sets of movements that teach you the stances and body movements used in the style. These are, effectively, the "road maps" for the system

Over time, an individual's internal energy (chi) is cultivated to produce immense power which, when applied to the weak points of an opponent, creates a highly effective, self defence, martial art.

Kung Fu is for all ages

The "practical" applications of the system are explored in each class so that the student is constantly exposed to the "what if" situation. This is also very student specific as, for example:

  • an attack on a woman (usually theft, sex or domestic violence) is completely different to an attack on a young man in a pub
  • equally, a school child is more likely to be grabbed by an adult whereas a middle-aged man could be subjected to a gang attack or theft attack

From these simple scenarios, it can be seen that we try to make the system fit to what is appropriate to you for self defence purposes.

Young people (aged 11-16)

Young people can train in class alongside the adults which gives them great confidence in interacting with adults. They learn lifelong skills not just martial arts. For a 12 year old boy to discover that they can easily throw an adult down the training hall is a liberating experience. Equally, for a shy 15 year old girl to be able to train in close-quarters with an adult male, empowers them to be comfortable even in a close-quarter, threatening situation.

Adult (16+)

Our Adult Kung Fu classes empower an individual. We teach a set of skills and strategies that allows them to walk through life with an underlying confidence in themselves and their abilities. It is not about "learning to fight" but more about developing the qualities that are needed to be happy and successful in life. It will challenge pre-conceived thoughts about the martial arts and, hopefully, give a complete new perspective in dealing with the world. Perhaps old, ingrained, thinking might not be correct. Often, when people come to the classes that is a main reason - their "learned behaviour" has not been successful for them.

Ladies Self Defence

Women, particularly, find considerable benefit from the self defence applications we teach. There is an understanding of the different circumstances that women face and possible past experiences that may still affect them. These matters are treated sensitively with a steady progression towards full defence applications as, and when, the student is ready for it. Often, simply being aware of potential hazard scenarios, or recognising that you are able to do something, is enough to inspire confidence and increase the pleasure of living. Our senior, female, students are always inspirational and are there to help at all times.

What people say...

"I felt a feather's touch. I'd been thrown against the wall. It made me wake up and listen, and laugh!" - Steve (33)

"One day, after years of training, I realised the power that was within me. I couldn't help but cry."

“I can’t believe it is so easy to throw someone” - Bryn (11)

"Why do we make things so hard when softness will always win. It is like water over hard surfaces - it always wins in the end" - John (35)

“I know I could do something if I was attacked” - Chrissy (27)

”It gives me so much confidence” - Linda (35)

“It is always challenging and Steve knows so much it never seems to end” - Tom (24)

“I know it is best to walk away, if I can” - Glenn (19)

“Evasion, kick, strike, lock, throw - we are taught it all but the best thing is not to be there!!” - Juno (15)

“We are always taught that self-defence is best - never attack” - Daniel (13)

"The hardest part is to make the first step and then don't ever think you can walk - you will know when you really can!"

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2024 Class Times

Mondays: 6.00 - 7.00 (PM) - invitation only (Senior students)
Wednesdays: 6.00 - 7.00 (PM)
- invitation and Beginners (11-18). Parents can also attend with their child. Class includes Ladies Self-defence.
Thursdays: 6.00 - 7.00 (PM)
- invitation and Beginners (18+).


£7/class  (Members) &  £8/class  - (Non-Members)

Discounts on fees for more than one class/week or paying for the full term ahead.

All classes @ Follaton Community Centre, Totnes


We hold workshops In Totnes, Devon throughout the year. These give more time to concentrate on different aspects of the Art and prove to be really beneficial in enhancing personal development. Please see Classes & Workshops for more information.

View All Classes & Workshops

How to get there

Teen Dragons Class Training TogetherTeen Dragons Class DemonstrationMac in the GardenMac Striking the Bag