“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

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series 2016 Shaolin Invitational Competition

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

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series 2016 Shaolin Invitational Competition

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….

Dear Sharon,

Here is my report: Read More

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series 2016 Shaolin Invitational Competition

The 2016 Shaolin results of competition –  I could bore you with the details, but that’s not what you want to know… Who did what – that’s what you want!

Maybe you are following your Instructor, or maybe you are following someone who trains with you?

No worries  – here are the baseline results.

With photos.

Who could ask for more?

All right – more details to follow.. Read More

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series 2016 Shaolin Invitational Competition

It’s that time of year again – November every other year as it happens. So, the 2016 International Wuzu Association Traditional Southern Shaolin Invitational Competition, here we come.

Led by Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo, a group of Instructors and students from the Fujian White Crane Kung Fu Club are on a plane bound for Quanzhou tonight. In addition to the  freehand forms competition, the team is competing with the short weapon of broadsword, plus the long weapons of horse-cutting knife, spear, and staff.

Keep an eye out for updates and results!

Instructors

Dave Courtney Jones

Richard Wagstaff

Danil Mikhailov

Plus students Agnieszka, Boris, Mike, and Rob.

 

Welcome to new FWC Kung Fu Instructor Joshua Villar. Joshua has been training with us for over 10 years. He is now looking forward to a career teaching Kung Fu in Bromley, South London. We asked him what impact Kung Fu has had on his life. Why had he decided to enter the challenging process to become an Instructor of Fujian White Crane Martial Arts?

First expectations

“When I walked into my first Kung Fu lesson I expected to learn how to defend myself so I could fight off bullies. I was twelve years old. And I had no idea that Kung Fu would become the driving force behind my life. But once I started it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with everything Kung Fu had to offer. The elation of physical strain, learning how to fight and defend myself, and learning about Chinese culture and philosophy. I quickly learnt that Kung Fu was more than just a hobby. It is a way of life.  A way of life that I was all too eager to follow.

Dance or Kung Fu?

Before deciding that I wanted to become a Kung Fu Instructor I was primed to become a professional dancer. Read More

Women in Sport Week – is that about me, asked our women students?  Many young girls are only too happy to be involved in sports, dance, and martial arts. Somehow their zest for movement diminishes as they grow up. The reasons are various – Read More

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs

Convalescence¹ – an old-fashioned word that doesn’t seem to be used any more. We tend to use “recovery”² which is approximately the same, but “convalescence” has a more definite feeling of a process over time. You may have followed Dennis’ story of injury, illness and recovery in the previous two articles in this series.  If so you will know that Dennis has made remarkable come-backs from a serious car accident and from sepsis. But he went through a planned period of convalescence. This is the story of his convalescence from sepsis – life-threatening infection.

Fresh air, nutritious diet, plenty of rest. All sounds rather twee and Jane Austen doesn’t it? But whenever Dennis was frustrated at not being up to doing something (which happened quite often) he had to remember that we used to send people to Italy or Switzerland for months at a time to recover from serious illness and “build up their strength”. To Sanatoriums, Nursing Homes, Convalescent Homes – giving people time to get their strength back. Sure we have painkillers, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, but although they make you “better” they don’t make you who you used to be.

And maybe we don’t use that period of healing any more in the way that we could. Life is binary – Read More