Depression and training – can you have both? Mental health is private and personal. Training in class is public and visible. No-one knows how you are feeling, what you are saying to yourself inside your head. How could the tough confrontational world of Kung Fu possibly help? We train hard, there is physical and mental pressure to focus and move, to improve technique week after week. We stand side-by-side in class, trying to keep up, catch on to new skills, do one more push-up than last time. So what about all the research being done on the effects of training on depression, such as in January’s issue of Scientific American Mind?
Depression is such a delicate and complex subject that I very quickly became aware of how challenging this article would be to write. I realised I would have to show people how Kung Fu can benefit someone suffering from depression without making Kung Fu sound like ‘the cure’. Read More
The April 2017 FWC Kung FU Competition was once again held in South London. Last year Femi Adeoye, who trains with Richard Wagstaff at FWC London South wrote up his account, So as not to disappoint his public, he has repeated the reportage for this year’s event. So here is Femi’s blow-by-blow account from his very personal perspective – pun fully intended.
“Another year, another FWC club competition. I came into the day off the back of my relative success in the last competition, just over a year ago. My aim for the day was to better my bronze and gold of 2016. The day started (oh so) early at 9am. After an inspirational performance by the instructors which saw them all displaying a different pattern simultaneously, the competition was officially underway.
“Just under two weeks ago I was awarded my FWC Black Sash.
To put this into context, they have been awarded so rarely in the past, that I had honestly decided that they were, in fact, the stuff of legend, and that I would probably never receive one.
So I was, as you can imagine, absolutely delighted (and, if I’m honest, a little thunderstruck) after 28 years of training to finally have the honour of Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo first tell me that I had earned it during lunch on Instructor Camp in Egypt, and then tie it around my waist in Sunday Class at Angel. Read More
Welcome to the Year of the Rooster! Another Chinese New Year, another animal from the Zodiac – another New Year Card design.
2017 is the year of the Red Fire Rooster. Inspiration for the drawing was taken from Seti and Sharon’s discussions around how chickens (hens and roosters/cockerels) behave in real life. Although “chicken” is synonymous with “coward” in day-to-day banter these birds do not merit such disparagement. Read More
We haven’t had one of these for a while – a training challenge! Instructor Joshua Villar set one for himself – and without wishing to steal his thunder (whisper it) it’s a knuckle walk. Why would anyone want to do that (as Josh asked himself when he was half way through)? Well, the simple answer would be that walking on your knuckles toughens them up – it’s one way of doing it. But maybe there was also an element of exploring pain thresholds and endurance. Either way, like that other famous endurance event, Le Tour de France, you can read about it rather than do it, and wince at the photos in the comfort of your own home.
“I will set the scene. A lone Kung Fu Instructor stands on top of a hill Read More
We hope you enjoyed the creation myth that was Boris’ tale last week. This week we present the non-graphic novella that is the story of Dr Strange Michael Westmuckett. Dr Strange? Well, apart from a passing resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael’s PhD thesis was in Quantum Physics (entitled “Type IA Superstring Theory: Cosmology and Compactification”). However, Michael generally doesn’t use the Doctor prefix – he wouldn’t want to be called for on a plane to assist with something messy and only have String Theory (even if it’s Superstring Theory) to offer.
“15/11/2016, 03:52:18: Michael Westmuckett (aka Dr Strange): Day 1
Another year another competition. Let’s see if I’ve got everything prepared. Lots of super training at Dennis’? Check. An unweildy but usefully appointed suitcase? Check. Niggling injury which has flared up two days prior to flight? Check. Excellent, exactly as planned. Read More
By now, oh faithful reader, you know that we sent a team of Instructors and students to the 2016 International Wuzu Association Traditional Southern Shaolin Invitational. You even have the results. But here comes the backstory from a novice Kung Fu competitor. Boris Kalmykov trains with Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo. Several months ago Boris decided that he could not resist the opportunity to train harder than he ever had in his life, subjecting himself to withering (but ultimately constructive) criticism, plus everything the British weather could throw at him in his outdoor training. Followed by a long-haul flight to a country he had never visited and where he does not speak the language. What could possibly go wrong? Let us read his dispatches….