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….
Here is my report: Read More
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.
Who could ask for more?
All right – more details to follow.. Read More
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!
Dave Courtney Jones
Plus students Agnieszka, Boris, Mike, and Rob.
All Members of FWC are invited to the Christmas 2016 Celebratory Dinner. Friends and family are welcome to join us in celebrating at the famous Joy King Lau Restaurant in London’s Chinatown.
I have to own up here – my birthday has always been in the October half term break. So I have a great fondness for Autumn. “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” as Keats described it. But it’s so much more than that – the russet colours, the delight in sudden days of warmth and sunshine, the despair of early dark evenings (especially as the clocks always change to British Winter Time this week), reflections on Summer joys, anticipation of Christmas (what! already!!! – oh yes…). And so what are the delights and challenges of Autumn Training? 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
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
After an operation to improve his nose airway, Chief Instructor Dennis Ngo, was struck down by an enemy he couldn’t see. But he could feel it. Running through his bloodstream, wreaking havoc, causing intense pain in an infected ankle (how did it get there from his nose?). Antibiotics could help – but would the spectre of antibiotic resistance rear its head?
April 2016 – Minor operation. Quick recovery.
Back on feet, feeling fine, teaching lessons. And then the pain starts. High pain threshold – keep going. Feeling worse, but the nose feels ok – wonder why the ankle hurts? Five days later in hospital on intravenous antibiotics. C-Reactive Protein 353. Diagnosis: Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteremia, Cellulitis, maybe Osteolmyelitis. Ten days later, back home with daily nursing visits to give the drugs through a PICC line. Go to class in a wheelchair. Six weeks later, intravenous antibiotics stop. Go to class with a walking stick. Read More
“We are martial artists – we all live with pain. If you train hard and regularly, you will know what pain is.” Dennis Ngo explains to Emeka Onono from Raw TV Ltd. Emeka had contacted Dennis to see if he would be involved in a social experiment documentary. Dr Chris Van Tulleken was planning to take a group of people who suffer with chronic conditions – could lateral approaches let them stop taking their prescription drugs?
Emeka wanted to know whether Dennis would help Crystal, who had chronic severe back pain. “If Crystal wants to do it it then I can help.” The rest, as they say, makes great TV. [You can watch the trailer here: “The Doctor Who Gave Up Drugs“.]
But behind Dennis’ seemingly bluff comments on the pain of training, there is another story. Read More