Why do you learn kung fu?


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    I grew up with the TV show Monkey Magic and something about the characters and not only the kung fu but the ethical teachings of Buddhism really resonated with me as a child. Following on from this show I discovered Bruce Lee and like so many others I was hooked. The first martial art studio I walked into was a Karate school and I really didn’t like it, I left disappointed and confused with the people I met, none of them seemed like good, kind people at all and I stopped thinking about kung fu.

    It wasn’t until years later that I joined in with a Wushu school and got into training, in those years it was more about a physical and mental challenge, learning masses of kung fu forms and styles and trying to fight.

    This still wasn’t what I wanted from kung fu and I moved onto Internal Kung Fu, say hello to Xingyiquan. It was perfect, I learnt more about internal strength, quieting the mind and moving meditation. There was an important emphasis on fighting application but it was more refined and controlled.

    The Way of the Warrior, was recorded in Taiwan and I had repeatedly met circumstances that kept bringing me back to Taiwan, both literally and figuratively. It was a weird that even my own training resembled the teachings of Hong Yixiang, from External Kung Fu to Xingyi, onto Bagua and finally Taiji. I chose not to ignore it and found that my mind and body thank me for it every time I teach or practice kung fu. Every now and then people have asked me “Why do you learn kung fu?”, “What are you training for?”, well, for me it ain’t about saving people or preparing to challenge the next martial artist to some kind of battle to the death. It’s more about self development and sheer enjoyment.

    The video below is of my teacher’s teacher master Hong Yixiang and the city wear I spent so much time learning kung fu.


    I came to kung fu a little late, id always liked action films such as Jean Claude VD and tought it would be cool to know martial arts but didnt go to my first class until Uni which was a karate class and seemed a bit dull!

    A few years later the Matrix came out which re-introduced kung fu to a new generation as previously I had only though of it as in the old Shaw brothers films. I bought a book on Shaolin kung Fu and I was hooked spending hours in fixed postures and basic drills. I even backpacked around China and visited the Shaolin Temple! I read everything I could on different styles and attended a wing chun class. During this time I also played a videogame called Shenmue a martial arts revenge tale which also featured details on various chinese kung fu styles which fed into my obsession!

    I think like many people who are serious about the martial arts they eventually turn to the internal arts simply becuase of the depth there. I trained in Wu style taiji though id always wantd to study bagua. I eventually foudn a class in london (yin style) and went there when I could.

    I then came across Ollie and now my focus is on this system.

    The reason why I do it is that i couldn’t imagine not doing it, the history and process of learning and applying along with all the positive effects both physical and mental is huge. And it looks cool 😉





    Hey Rob, thanks for sharing your journey. I’m not surprised movies and games helped contribute to why your learn kung fu, I imagine it is a similar story for many. I’d love to hear more on your experience at the Shaolin Temple. Perhaps that’s a new topic though. thanks man.

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