Dec 22nd 2017  


Devora Wolfson, Student, Fujian White Crane Kung Fu & Tai Chi Martial Arts Club (FWC Kung Fu) with fellow students from the Club at our 40th Anniversary Celebration

Serendipity:The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way (Oxford English Dictionary).  Devora Wolfson trains with Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo – Devora is second from right in the photo above.  Here is Devora’s story of what happened with serendipity struck.

“One wet Sunday afternoon I was flicking through the TV channels and came across the programme ‘The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs’.

I began to watch intently when I saw the part which showed how a woman who could barely walk and was taking very strong pain killers was transformed through learning Kung Fu! After the programme had finished, I decided to look up the name of the Kung Fu instructor and phoned him. He told me he worked close to where I live and work. And that was my introduction to Dennis and Kung Fu and I haven’t looked back since…. or not very often anyway!

About me..

So, a bit about me. I was 59 when I started and have a lot of orthopaedic problems; – two hip replacements, a cracked vertebra, scoliosis of the spine resulting in leg length difference and frequent disabling back pain that stopped me doing the things I wanted. However, I am energetic and focused and want to live an active life for as long as possible.

That first lesson

It took me about 6 weeks to get to a class, so I went to my first class in early December 2016 and tried Suang Yang (Tai Chi).  When I got to class, Dennis hadn’t arrived yet and I remember seniors Jon and Jill being very welcoming and friendly. But I couldn’t do any of the movements.  My balance was appalling, I couldn’t sink down, I felt embarrassed and wondered what I was doing there. But very slowly, I began to improve. I started Kung Fu classes after Christmas and am now going to both classes two or three times a week, I have also attended several Saturday training camps.

Highs and lows

So, 10 months later –  my high points; –   getting my first sash for Kung Fu and Suang Yang; my daughter watching me practise and commenting on how much better my balance was; how proud my kids are of me generally for doing a martial art, showing people at work photos of me in my uniform and being able to do things I couldn’t do last December. Another proud moment – taking part in my class demonstration at the 40th Club anniversary and my partner coming so she could see what I spent so much of my time doing.

Has it been a quick fix, or all been on an uphill trajectory, definitely not!  There were times I thought I would never be able follow a sequence of movements which it seemed everyone else found easy and some of the excruciating back pain I experienced when my muscles complained about being used in different ways.

Worth it?

Has it been worth it? – without a doubt!  I’ve met some really nice people at the club; – people of all different ages and backgrounds.  I’ve learnt to focus on being the best I can rather than looking at what others can do. My back is so much better now, and I feel fitter than ever although I still have back pain sometimes and do not yet have the body of a 30 year old!

Thanks SO MUCH to Dennis who always encouraged me when I was finding it hard and in pain; who inspires me to  continue to develop and improve through a mixture of positive feedback, encouragement and occasionally by shouting!!!  Thanks also to the seniors and the instructors, Sharon, Adam, Andy and Anna.

And now..

What next? –  learning to spar, Crete camp next summer, working through my patterns and continuing to train and improve.

You may think you are too old/ too busy at work/have too many injuries/are uncoordinated – all of which could have applied to me; but if you to work hard and  improve your fitness and abilities as  part of a friendly Club –   come to one of the classes and see how you get on.”


Devora Wolfson, Student, Fujian White Crane Kung Fu & Tai Chi Martial Arts Club (FWC Kung Fu) as part of a demonstration with fellow students from the Club at our 40th Anniversary Celebration

Devora is third from right in the back row, taking part in the demonstrations on stage at the Club’s 40th Anniversary Celebration