Spirituality is not the same as religion. While any religion has spirituality as a core part of its offering, it also has other elements like concepts of faith, morality, doctrine. On the other hand, people can find a spiritual experience in everyday non-religious pursuits. This non-religious type of spirituality was the topic of a festive broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, on the 28th of December 2017 guest edited by poet Ben Okri. You can still catch it on the BBC iPlayer – the relevant segment is in the last 30 minutes. Ben Okri asked the Today’s programme reporter, Sangita Myska, to interview practitioners of a range of non-religious pursuits and she approached Fujian White Crane Kung Fu Instructor Danil Mikhailov for an interview about spirituality and Kung Fu. Only part of their interview made the final broadcast so in this article Danil delves a bit deeper into how the practice of Kung Fu can be a spiritual experience.
“I have practised White Crane Kung Fu for over twenty years, martial arts of any type for over thirty. In fact, my first memory from when I was around four years old is of my father teaching me how to punch correctly Read More
It is late November 2017 and a group of Instructors and Students gather once more in an airport to travel back to China for a week of soaking up the culture and training. Led by Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo our destination is Yongchun in Fujian Province – a visit to Mr Su Ying Han of the Yongchun Yi Yun Society. Mr Su and his family have trained in the White Crane System of Kung Fu since Mr Su was a young man over 60 years ago. But their traditions go back further than that. Amongst the group travelling was Instructor Crofton Black. And he took the opportunity to learn not only more Kung Fu but about the history and culture of this corner of South Eastern China – and why it is so famous for its fighting styles (including our own White Crane Kung Fu).
“We’re lined up on a wooden walkway spanning several hundred yards of the Tung Ch’i river. The waters flow muddy beneath us. The banks are lined with banyan trees, their branches bearded with aerial roots. A kingfisher perches on a protruding rock and keeps an eye on the shoal of little fish carelessly congregating beside it. On the signal of Mr Su Ying Han we salute and step into the first pattern, Read More
The Northern Hemisphere days are short and the nights are long. What better time than to sit in the house, eat large amounts of sweetened, salted foods, and tell tall tales of your glorious achievements in 2017? Everything starts to wind down now, and it’s nearly two weeks for the regular training sessions to fully re-start. Happy Holidays!! So why do these much-anticipated holidays become bliss for some and hell for others? The reasons are complex, but Instructor Joshua Villar decided to take the mental bull by the horns and asked the other Instructors, “how do you stay sane and fit over the Winter Holidays?” So, in no particular order, here are the secrets they revealed… Read More
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! Read More
The Anniversary Celebration was a beautiful outpouring of all our years of training – a wonderful showcase of student and Instructor training. But having come so far we should not rest on our laurels. Time for us all to get back into class. Why?
We expect all our Instructor training to be consistent and constant. We set out our expectations and they rise to the challenge. We subscribe to the values of Lifelong Learning. In addition to their own spheres of specialist knowledge and learning, the Instructors have to maintain their physique and technical prowess. They do this by attending class regularly as well as travelling to intense one-week training camps twice a year. Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo leads from the front, training himself daily in addition to constantly guiding and teaching your Instructors.
We ask that you demand the best from them – help them to be the best Instructors anyone could ask for.
After the beautiful gallery of photos for the Anniversary published recently, Instructor Sharon Ngo took out her camera and had a go at capturing both the intensity and the “fun” of the Instructors’ training in Sunday class. We hope you enjoy taking a look. Read More
On Saturday 16th September the whole Club came together at the Watford Colosseum for the Club’s 40th Anniversary Celebration. There was much to see – how far we have come since the Club was founded in 1977.
Proceedings were opened with a Big Head Buddha Lion Dance.
Each Instructor put on a demonstration of our traditional patterns both alone and with their students.
The demonstrations were followed by a spectacular Traditional Chinese Lion Dance featuring both long and short weapons.
The Golden Lion finished by presenting Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo with a congratulatory scroll.
Photos of the evening were taken by Ben Hallifax who has uploaded many more images to Flickr – the link will be sent out by email to all subscribed to our newsletter so you can spot yourselves and your fellow students.
And watch this space for more images to come of the Club demonstrations and the Lion Dance.
Big Head Buddha awakens the Golden Lion to start the 40th Anniversary Celebration, to the traditional solo drumming of Instructor Sharon Ngo.
Following another successful training camp in Crete this Summer, Carmine Pariante was tasked with writing about his experience – you can spot him in the photo listening intently. Rather than a day-by-day, blow-by-blow account, he has decided to throw down the gauntlet to everyone else…
“I am too busy. I am too old. I am too young. I need to spend time with my family. I need to study. I need to work. I don’t like the heat. I don’t like the food. I can’t swim. I have not trained enough yet. I have trained too much already.
Have I given you enough excuses not to come to the Crete camp? Good! Now let me give you some real reasons why you should come to camp, Read More