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Danil Mikhailov, Instructor, Fujian White Crane Kung Fu & Tai Chi Martial Arts

I split my time between training and teaching Kung Fu, doing my PhD, running a business, and holding a senior post in the cultural and science sector, not to mention my most important job of being a father. So to say I was busy would be putting it mildly!

Without Kung Fu, and the energy, discipline and focus it provides, I do not think I could do it. Simple as that.

Kung fu as an art form has this unique property that when practised correctly it can help invigorate every other part of your life. That is why in China it has long been seen as one of the Five Arts that every member of the ruling class was expected to learn.

If anything, my life recently has seemed to accelerate, with a few milestones coming one after another.

The first was the birth of my daughter, Olive, in 2012, which has given me a completely different perspective on life in general, and, more particularly, on teaching children.

The second was the publication of my first book “The History and Philosophy of Kung Fu: An Introduction”, also in 2012 (a busy year..!)

This book was a culmination of fifteen years of research and frequent fieldtrips to China, as part of the Wushu Scholar Magazine’s editorial team. In 2014 I had the honour of being made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in recognition of this work.

And last, but not least, I have been keeping those competitive juices flowing by taking part in international level competitions held in China. My reward so far has been four gold medals and one silver, won at Xiamen in 2013 and Fuzhou in 2014. Bring them on!