The eternal student
It all started in West London during the 1970’s…..
Martial arts movies were everywhere and television programmes like Monkey, Water Margin and Kung Fu were popular viewing. Like most children I played outdoors and if we weren’t playing marbles, riding our bikes, playing football, cricket, going to the park or getting up to mischief, then play fighting and making up our own fun styles like “Ant-Style” kung fu and testing each others’ styles out was our form of play fighting.
As soon as I found out that there was a Karate school nearby, I asked my parents if I could attend the class and they kindly allowed me to join. So in 1981 the Karate classes became a weekly regime and a lifelong love of training had begun.
In 1990 after walking to my local gym and passing by the martial arts dojo, I decided to walk in again (the first time I walked in two years previously, I saw people flying around with swords and other weapons, but knew it was beyond me and walked straight out again) and stood watching through the viewing window. Luckily for me, one of the senior instructors saw me and asked if I would like to come in and watch. I asked some questions and seeing that I was eager, he stood in a pose and asked me to push him using as much strength as I wanted. I thought I was strong after two years of weight training, but couldn’t move him at all. The very next day, I stopped my gym membership and started to train in Shaolin Five Ancestors Gong Fu (Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan) and Wujiquan Qigong, arts which I haven't stopped training in and still practise today.
In 2001 after graduating as an Acupuncturist and ten years into my training in the Shaolin Arts, I started to train in the Taoist arts; Qigong, Neigong, Bagua, Hsing-I, Yi Quan, Qigong Tuina, Tai Chi and Internal arts, these became my next training focus. The deep and broad knowledge of the internal arts have filled in the gaps I had from training more “externally” for years and this is the type of training which will keep you seeking and developing for the rest of your life. The focus for me with the internal arts has been more on the side of serious meditation and spiritual inquiry
2010 saw a return for me to training more in the martial aspects of the arts, so I started training in Escrima (Filipino martial arts), Pencak Silat (Indonesian martial arts) and Systema (Russian martial arts) and modern self defence systems. Training in these highly effective self defence systems, but from being older, maturer, more experienced and with a calmer mind, has led to my current persepctive on how I feel these arts could benefit all people, without being only for the highly dedicated few.
Keeping up training in all of the above is hard work, but together they form what works for me and answer all the questions I have about physical self defence, personal development and training the mind.
I’ve had the privilege to represent Great Britain in and the Chee Kim Thong lineage of Nan Shaolin Wuzuquan in China, be filmed for Chinese documentaries, interviewed for Chinese news programmes, travelled to train with masters in China, America, Malaysia, Europe and New Zealand. In 2017, I was awarded a 7th Dan Grade by the International Southern Shaolin Five Ancestors Association in China, in recognition of my years of dedication and practise of the art.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have received years of transmissions and training in Taoist lineage energy arts, train regularly with legendary Russian masters and also to have travelled to New Zealand to learn from true Maori Warriors and Healers, who were generous enough to share with me teachings from their families and lineages to help benefit people on this side of the world.
For decades I have have spent a lot of time, money and effort researching, practising fighting and healing arts and I hope some of what I know will be of use to others. My hope is that I can pass on as much quality material to those who would like to train in any of the arts, so that what took me decades to learn, they can learn far quicker and develop way beyond me in fewer years.