Instructor - Brighton (UK)
I started learning Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan in 1991 whilst studying for a philosophy degree at the University of Sussex. It initially appealed to me as a way to improve my physical fitness and stamina, although once I began training I soon discovered deeper benefits: it also helped to develop my mental focus and resilience, and served as an antidote to the stresses of everyday life.
Since passing my black belt exam in 1996, I have concentrated on developing a number of training centres throughout Sussex, and I now teach regular children’s classes in Brighton in addition to the adult sessions.
In teaching my students, I try to emphasise not only how they can train to improve their own skill, fitness and understanding of martial arts, but also how they in turn can help other students to learn and develop. Whilst I am happy that the centres where I personally teach have grown in size and popularity over the years, I am delighted that a number of my own students – now black belts themselves – have gone on to run their own successful centres in Horsham, Patcham and further afield in Belgium, in the cities of Brussels and Liege.
In September 2011 I passed my fourth degree black belt and I now dedicate much of my own personal training to practising the forms and techniques of the snake – one of the five animal sub-styles which are an integral aspect of Nam Pai Chuan.
Instructor - Horsham (UK)
I began studying Shaolin Nam Pai Chuan at the University of Sussex in 2004, under the guidance of Sifu Matthew Gross. Over ten years of training later and as a first degree black belt I run my own club in Horsham, train regularly with my Sifu and am currently training for my second degree black belt.
I had never thought about trying martial arts before, but as a university fresher I wanted to see what clubs were on offer. I really enjoyed my first class, everyone was welcoming and helpful, it wasn’t as scary as I’d imagined! I remember coming back to the university halls afterwards showing my housemates what I had learnt. They seemed impressed and intrigued by it, and at that point I knew I was hooked!
I am really passionate about Kung Fu and the most common question I get asked is why do I teach? And the reason is simple: I want others to feel the same passion for our art as I do. Although we follow certain traditions and etiquette, I make my classes fun and have a great relationship with my students. I challenge them to be the best they can be, and support them in reaching their potential. I get a real buzz from seeing my students develop as they continue to train.
It sounds cliché but Nam Pai Chuan is a great inclusion for having a healthy lifestyle and well-being. It is a really fun way of keeping fit, improving your flexibility and strengthening muscles, as well as self-defence. There are also the intangible benefits like the ability to relieve stress and improve self confidence. I have noticed how Kung Fu has helped me from a shy 18-year-old to a confident man who is happy to run classes and coach people. I really would encourage people to give it a try, like anything you get out of it what you put in, and with hard work and dedication you can really see the benefit Nam Pai Chuan Kung Fu can bring.