White Crane Kung Fu goes to Eastbourne

I got my camera out over the weekend in the interests of martial arts. My kung fu club (White Crane Fighting Arts) asked me to go to Eastbourne where they are doing a demonstration of the finer points of kung fu to publicise the opening a new club teaching White Crane Kung Fu and Tai Chi in this classic Sussex seaside town. I have been back-pedaling in my own kung fu recently because of ill health so it was nice to have a role again in this highly enjoyable, lively and effective martial art form.

The oldest member of the club is, well, old, and the youngest is, I believe, six – so there really is no excuse for anyone not to find satisfaction in the great and ancient Chinese fighting system which is also a fantastic way of keeping fit.

My former Iron Shirt partner, Pete, has become a kung fu instructor and it has fallen to him to open up the new club – I was merely there as the seedy man with the camera.

Head Instructor Neil, my friend and teacher, leads from the front as you can see from the photographs. He never asks anyone to do anything that he can’t do himself – only he is just better than everyone else….God I hate him!

The demonstration showed off various Kung Fu patterns including the Dog Style which we learnt in China and which I hope to do again when I have made a full recovery. I was pleased to see so many things performed that day which I am still able to do – including my weapon patterns on the straight sword and the seven and a half foot staff. Have a look at some of the artistry involved in Kung Fu:

There is, as you can see, a lot of rolling around in this style where the idea is to get your opponent onto the floor as quickly as possible and to keep him there.

Pete demonstrates standing on his fingers

Ken demonstrates the straight sword pattern in true mean spirit

Matt looks pretty unpleasant too with the seven and a half foot staff.

Neil brings the show to a close with his spectacular Twin Butterfly Sword pattern.

Neil is coming round this morning to give me my weekly one to one kung fu lesson – I am truly lucky to have him as my teacher. He is better kept as a friend than an opponent I think.

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