By Julia Foggo, junior student, Southern Crane Kungfu

Six months ago I wanted a new challenge, not just for my fitness but also something that would hold my interest and help me get to know people outside of my working environment. Tiger Crane kungfu does all of the above and more; never in a million years would I have thought I would become addicted to something that was good for me!

It’s not just about learning moves to perform in front of your instructor, but what you learn about yourself and what your body can actually do. When I first started I thought ‘how can I remember all this?’, ‘how can I get my leg to do that?’, ‘what must they think of me?’, but you go at your own pace and in your own time and suddenly it is there.

I go home at the end of a lesson feeling so energised that I need to bring myself down just to be able to go to sleep and I really miss it when I can’t attend an evening.

Darren and Heather are both excellent instructors each with their own different teaching ways and techniques, but they are both extremely passionate about what they do and it is contagious.

I was made to feel so welcome into their little ‘family’ and I do feel like I belong there, far away from the pomp and circumstance I find at gyms. They have a lot of patience as everyone does learn at different speeds but that is the other nice bit about the club; people at different levels mean that seniors also take on a coaching role with us ‘newbie’s’ and I always find myself apologising to Ken or Sammi because I haven’t picked it up straight away or my hand goes in a totally different direction to what they have just shown me.

I have always had an interest in martial arts for whatever reason, but never had the courage to do it; having a bit of a body complex kept me from wanting to do things in a group and I would rather hide away in my room using my Wii as my fitness instructor. But no matter how bad you are the machine isn’t going to tell you when you are not doing it right or why you are doing it in the first place; “Good job”, “wow, you’re going at an excellent pace!” is all well and good, but it means nothing when shaking the remote gives you the exact same response!

Southern Crane Kungfu has given me a new outlook on my lifestyle, what I want for myself and with the added bonus of having new acquaintances outside of my work life. I can’t wait to go to two lessons a week because I actually enjoy it, learning new things all the time and bringing it into my everyday life. The last six months have been awesome and quietly I am chuffed to bits with how I have changed.


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