Instructor - Westhoughton, Bolton (UK)
I have been training in Shaolin Kung Fu Nam Pai Chuan for 35 years and I am Master Lai’s longest serving student. I started training in Kung Fu when my two daughters were very young; I decided that I had to learn how to teach them to protect themselves from confrontations they will experience throughout their lives. This has now developed into a family affair with my wife now a black belt, my youngest daughter now running her own centre and my granddaughter now training with me.
I have seen many other martial arts over the years and as far as I am concerned I have not found any other system with as great a depth and that is as rich in the traditions of Kung Fu. The system takes great pride in the quality of its instructors, many have been training with us for well over 10 years and they are very keen to teach and uphold the traditions and values of Nam Pai Chuan Kung Fu, which is reflected in the standards of our junior students.
I am at present a fifth degree black belt, my experience in Nam Pai Chuan covers self-defence courses I have run, traditional forms and weapons, combat techniques, Chi Gong breathing techniques, paired fighting forms, full contact and semi contact sparring. I am also a referee and judge for the competitions the system holds.
I am also an athletics coach, specialising in the heavy throws section, working as a senior coach for UK Athletics. I currently have four internationals in my squad, one of which is a world junior champion. The experience I have in this area helps me to improve the abilities of my martial arts students by transferring the training techniques in athletics into martial arts and so benefiting the students’ abilities.
Instructor - Sharples Leisure Centre, Bolton (UK)
Nam Pai Chuan has been part of my whole life. Although I officially started classes just before I was five, as my father was already involved in NPC before I was born, I was copying and practising the moves that he performed as soon as I could stand up – I could not wait to start classes!
As soon as I started classes I was so happy and loved learning new techniques. Eventually I then took part in a number of competitions, both in sparring and forms elements. Even though we have competitions and are competing against each other, we are all happy for each other to do their best and are friends throughout. NPC is a family that I have grown up with, and everyone supports and helps each other whenever the need is there. NPC is something that is part of who I am – it is not something that I just do as a hobby.
It would have been easy to let my training stop when I have taken exams or moved away to university, but without NPC there would be something missing in my life.
We truly have a family affair at our classes, my father, my mother, my niece and I all train each week. The knowledge, and passion, has been passed through the generations.
As I got older the passion to pass on the knowledge that I had accumulated grew and I helped out in my father’s classes, until I then made the decision to start my own centre. Since I have had my own classes, I can see the progression of my students both in their abilities in NPC, and the confidence that they gain and I feel like a proud parent at their achievements.
Instructor - Altrincham, Fallowfield (UK)
Sifu Plant began his martial arts training aged 10 when he joined a Judo club in Benllech on Anglesey.
After completing his education in Liverpool, Sifu Plant returned to Wales at the age of 20 and joined a Shotokan Karate club in Llangefni where he progressed quickly within the system.
Two years later Sifu Plant relocated to Manchester and tried out various martial arts clubs before discovering a local Nam Pai Chuan club taught by Sifu Nael. Sifu Plant has been studying Nam Pai Chuan since 1999 and recently attained his second degree black belt from Sigung Lai in London.
To enrich his martial arts knowledge, Sifu Plant has also gained experience from Kick-boxing, Taekwando, Aikido, Ju Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). He also maintains personal training schedules to develop his conditioning and uses a gym to experiment with different training concepts and methods. In 2004, at the request of his teacher, Sifu Plant opened a new Nam Pai Chuan club in Altrincham where he began instructing his own students. In October 2009, again with his teacher’s support, Sifu Plant opened a new club in Fallowfield.
Today Sifu Plant continues to study under the tutelage of Sifu Nael, Sigung Lai and a network of senior instructors, and he continues to instruct at his club in Fallowfield.