Shaolin Gao Can Mun Nam Pai Chuan
Everyone has a journey.
I have always been a fan of martial arts having practised Judo and Kuk Sool Won in my youth and then Jiu-Jitsu when I lived in France. I had always been fascinated by Kung Fu and so when I was given the chance to study Shaolin Kung Fu I jumped at the opportunity. It has now become such an important part of my life and I am eternally grateful to Sifu Jerome de Silva for truly transforming my life.
I have included Nam Pad Chuan on this website as it has become such an important part of my life. In early 2018, I took a long hard look at myself and realised that at 47 years of age I had become seriously overweight and desperately unfit. I needed to make some dramatic changes to life. What followed was an awakening.
My daughters had been practising Nam Pai Chuan for some time and I had watched the class with a sense of envy. Pushed by my daughters to participate, I took the step to try the adult and kids class. I was joined by several other unfit adults and so I did not stand out too much. Despite the fact that I almost collapsed through exhaustion, I managed to get through the class, in truth I was hooked. However, I needed to develop the strength, physically and psychologically, to continue.
I knew that joining a gym was futile. I had tried this before without success. The first step was starting a diet. I embarked, on my sister-in-law's advice, on a ketogenic diet. I removed all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, pastry and high carb foods from my diet instantly. The results were astounding. Weight fell off. I also knew that without exercise the weight would return. I asked Sifu Jerome de Silva to help me. I didn't have the confidence to train in the class and expose my own insecurities at that time.
The first class was tough. After 20 mins I had to sit down and take a series of deep breaths. This was going to be demanding. I was fat and seriously unfit. This would not be a quick fix. I was also going to have to stick with it and I didn't have a history of long term commitment to exercise. I surprised everyone, including myself.
I am now three years into my new lifestyle. I am no longer obese. I train at least twice per week, sometimes more. I have also added into my exercise regime DDP Yoga which I try to do every day. I ensure that I keep this up during my frequent and hectic travel schedule.
I recently turned 50. I took my brown belt and continue to exercise. I am now a committed vegan.
I still have a long way to go. I remain committed, but above all, I absolutely love it. It's never a chore. I continue to push myself to achieve more and I am grateful for the amazing people I surround myself with at Chiswick Kung Fu.