Here, one of our younger members, Sami Hoq, speaks about his move from Russia where he was born and where he began to learn karate, to the UK where he was convinced to start kungfu by his brother, another Southern Crane Kungfu student, Asif.
“I always wanted to do karate. When I went to my first lesson in Russia, every time I did something right there was applause and obviously I felt good.
“Each time someone graded, they just stood up, received their belt and walked away. Also, when we were listening to the sensei, some of the boys always talked and folded their arms, and sometimes they even chewed gum if the sensei was not looking!
“After a while, I started to say to myself, ‘What kind of a sensei is this? He lets us talk, he lets us fold our arms and he lets us eat! This lesson is missing discipline.’
Two years later I moved from Russia to England where I started doing ‘Go Kan Ryu’ karate. I when I started to train I thought that it was much better than the club in Russia. But after a month or so I realised that karate didn’t really have a technique. Everything we did was punching. Even when we blocked we moved our fists to block an attack.
“There was also a boy called Ronnie who trained and trained until he got a black belt. But after he succeeded in doing so, he left. This story told me that even after you succeed people don’t want to learn more.
“However, I stopped karate after a year because I had no interest in learning something useless.
“But two years later, my brother Asif convinced me to join Southern Crane Kungfu. I was nervous at first as I always saw my brother train in the garden and in holidays, with intense concentration in his movements and with powerful kicks and punches. I was also nervous because his movements were so complex, but I decided to go with him anyway.
“After my first lesson my brother asked me, ‘How was it?’ ‘It was amazing!’ I replied. Never in my life had I seen so much dedication to something and so much discipline. From that moment, I truly understood what discipline is. It’s about confidence that shows people you are ready to learn no matter what happens. It shows people that you’re dedicated to martial arts. It shows people that you’re dedicated to Kungfu.”