Summer Party

Another Successful Kung Fu Schools Summer Party!

What a fantastic afternoon at Kung Fu Schools for our annual Summer Party!

We’re so glad that so many of our dedicated students turned up to have some food and fun with the whole team.


The bouncy castle was a popular choice, we saw lots of great bouncing and flips from everyone and it was fantastic to see everyone having such a great time in the school.

We also had face painting so some of the kids turned into tigers, pirates, butterflies and even army men with the help of Becky. We also had lots of great Kung Fu Schools symbols on arms, hands and faces with the help of Danni.


Some of the other events were throwing hoops over BOB which made for an exciting game, hopper races main kids

instructor Greg and throwing bean bags into the baskets, everyone that joined in did a great job!

To add to all the fun and games we had some outstanding food with a mix of homemade chocolate cakes with Kung Fu Schools

logo, homemade brownies, mini rolls complimented with some great savouries, we had sandwiches, chicken nuggets,

pizza and so much more.

As usual we made sure the chocolate fountain was on the go and ready for when everybody turned

up with strawberries and marshmallows to dip and enjoy… we even saw some adventurous people dipping their pizza!

Thanks to all our students and parents for bringing something with you, we appreciate it very

much and it certainly made the day very tasty!



Having the Summer Party every year along with other annual events is something we love to do as a school and we welcome everyone to come along and enjoy it with us.


Watch this space for all of your annual up and coming events… next up our fancy dress Halloween Party in October with a live DJ! Spooooooky!


Finally our summer is here and just in time for the kids Summer Holidays! After months and months of cold, rainy days good old blighty is having a well deserved heat wave. 

Here at the Kung Fu Schools we are so pleased to see so many of our dedicated students attending all of their classes in this heat and we’re looking forward to having some extra fun classes with them during their summer holidays!


Not only are all of the classes running as usual but we are also excited to announce that our annual ‘Summer Party’ has a date!

We would love for everybody to join us on Saturday 10th August from 2:30pm till 4:00pm where we will have the bouncy castle, face painting, hopper races and all sorts of other exciting games.

The kids classes are going from strength to strength with new additions to the lessons including ‘word of the week’ where the children learn about important words connected with Kung Fu and how significant they are to their learning.


So make sure you’re here and enjoying all of the fun with us this Summer and remember you’re always welcome to bring a friend to enjoy Kung Fu with too.

For more details of any of our up and coming events or about our classes get in touch with one of our friendly team today on 01293 544333 or send us a quick e-mail at


Peter Andre at the Crawley Kung Fu School

Peter Andre trains with Sifu Paul Hawkes at the Kung Fu Schools, CrawleySinger, media star and all round nice guy, Mr Peter Andre visited the Kung Fu School in March this year.

Our school based on Spindle Way has been seen before on “Peter Andre: The Next Episode” back in 2008-2009 when Peter expressed an interested in picking up Wing Chun Kung Fu, a style famous for his rapid hand strikes and linear approach to fighting.

Building upon his private training with chief instructor — Paul Hawkes — Peter popped down for a bit of training, filming for his new TV series and to let Junior get involved in one of the kids martial arts classes.  Junior who also trains privately with Sifu Paul got a chance to mix, mingle and train alongside other enthusiastic students as hit the pads, learned new technqiues and get a sweat going.

After the kids class it was time for Pete private lesson as he and Sifu Paul went through a variety of techniques and an introduction to weapons work.

To check out the full article and see the photo’s click Peter Andre at the Kung Fu School.

Sifu Sergio Teaching at the Kung Fu Schools – 2011 Seminar

Sifu Sergio with Dave Bright at the Kung Fu SchoolsThere were fireworks here at the Kung Fu Schools on Saturday 5th and 6th November as Sifu Serigo Iadarola popped over from Hong Kong for his 2011 Seminar Trip.

Arriving on Thursday he trained with Sifu Paul and Peter Andre, taught a small group on Friday and spent the weekend sharing his IWKA Wing Tjun (Wing Chun) to students of all levels.  Always researching, teaching, training and interviewing Grandmasters of Wing Chun — I’d forgotten how knowledgeable Sifu Sergio is.

The title – Wing Chun Encyclopedia – is truer than the critics who’ve never met the man know.

Form training, bridging techniques and chi sau (with a few sweet applications thrown in for good measure) made up the best part of the weekend.  The seminar was designed to teach students new *stuff* but making sure to stick close to the fundamentals so whatever happened you’d walk away more knowledgable, with an additional 10 hours hard training under your belt and a whole lot better than you arrived.  What it wasn’t was a ‘technique fest’ for our modern day, short attention spans — something we all need to work on more!

The weekend was good training, painful at times and there was a lot of hard training — all good of course.  It’s good to see Sifu Sergio back on UK shores and, if nothing more, the inspriation and motivation you get from a seminar is worth 10x the techniques you train.

During Q&A sessions the biggest walk-away was that it’s all about TRAINING, no secrets, no short-cuts — you get out what you put in, in spades!

We’ve uploaded photos from the Sifu Sergio Seminar to our Facebook page >> Kung Fu Schools

Happy Halloween from the Kung Fu Schools!

Evil Kung Fu Pumpkins...On Saturday 29th October we had members of the Kung Fu School come down for a spooky, scary DISCO where the only requirement was looking ghoohlishly, ghastly!

The School quickly filled up as our junior students, brothers, sisters and friends came along to join in the fun and strut their stuff on the dance floor!  We had spiders,  vampires, the corpse bride, zombies, ghostbusters – a ninja?! – and zombie pirates!

We had DJ Darrell working his magic on the decks and did a great job working in a little bit of Monster Mash, Thriller and musical statues/tombstones.

The atmosphere was eery, the music was creepy and the whole day was great fun.  The school was decorated by Lindsey, Jo and Felicity — who all did a great job puttinInstructors from the Kung Fu Schoolg up cobwebs, spiders and horrible looking ghosts.  I think there was a few blood splatters on the mirror too.

Everyone who attended will agree the kids looked great in their costumes (they’re will be photos up asap and don’t forget to check our Facebook page where I’m sure Sifu Paul will be uploading pictures and videos.

A big thank you to everyone for coming down and making it such a great day – we hope you had as much fun dancing as we did and REMEMBER to stay safe if you’re going Trick Or Treatin’ for Halloween!

See you in class!

3 Tips to Help You Move Well

We all move “naturally” obviously – it’s how you and I move… However just because it’s natural to you, doesn’t mean it’s correct or the best way.
Having taught martial arts since 1991, I have seen thousands of people and other than the rare exception (someone that has already trained in martial arts, gymnastics or a sport to a descent standard) most people are pretty poorly coordinated and have no idea how to generate power with their body, move correctly or perhaps even worse.. breath properly.
This may seem a bold statement, however it is not just my observation, but also that of all of the professional coaches and instructors that I associate with.
As a stepping stone for anyone that hasn’t or isn’t training and as a useful reminder to those who are… here are 3 tips that have helped me enormously and continue to do so:

1. Think  – Be Conscious

Martial arts encourages thinking about your movement

Think about how you move


Instead of just moving, become aware of how you move and how others move.  watch the people around you.  Who makes the simplest of movements look awkward and cumbersome.  Who moves smoothly and effortlessly.
Don’t make judgements on the person, you are just watching almost like a scientist.  We usually just look at what someone is wearing, how they appear, weight etc.  Look more closely to see how they move.
Are they balanced, can they bend down, can they stand up without pushing themselves up, can they reach up, forward, are their movements jagged or smooth.
When you pay attention to others, it makes you more aware of yourself.
Do you move like the person you think looks awkward or like the person who looks smoothly.
Of course physical injuries or disabilities, genetics  effect it, however do you move to the best your body will allow.
The goal is to move instinctively, without thought, however the path there is a thoughtful one.

2. Listen – To Your Body

Martial Arts training will teach you how to Listen to Your Body

Listen to Your Body

Feel what your body is saying to you… it will let you know, however it takes some time, thought, observation and learning to listen properly.
When you start moving differently or do different exercises and movements they are foreign to your body so you don’t have a clear comparison to how it usually feels.
You should not feel pain, however “it feels natural or right” doesn’t cut it… a lifetime of moving strangely will pollute what “natural” is..  unfortunately it’s usually bad posture, incomplete movements and a lack of knowledge.  After all… most of us only had our parents tell us how to move and that was not much more than “stand up straight and pull your shoulders back”
So how do you find out… number 3

3. Learn – How To Move
It’s pretty common to speak to someone that’s studying for a qualification or vocation… attending college, night school… how many people spend any time

Studying martial arts encourages you to keep on learning & improving

This could be me getting carried away in my studies

studying movement?
A tiny number… and please don’t expect to get much help at your local gym unless you’re very, very lucky.. you may get some advice on how to perform a bench press but on how to move… (subject for another post on how people that hit the weights a lot are often the worst for moving their body correctly – probably too much carpet carrying)
There are loads of avenues you can take to look at improving your movement and understanding of it… my main route has been through martial arts, but along the way I’ve looked at various other methods and love continuing to look, research, learn and APPLY.
Here are a few that you could look at.. it’s by no means every one and no doubt I have forgotten some that I like:


  • Martial arts
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Feldenkrais
  • Alexander Technique

It’s never been easier than now – just google it… last word of warning… watch out for youtube… anyone can put up anything regardless of ability and knowledge.  If your research leads you to an authoritative, respected individual or organisation then check them out on youtube.. rather than go into youtube and type in Yoga… I have a mixture of horror and amusement when I look at some of the toot that you can find when searching Wing Chun.

Please let me know how you found this post.. just leave a comment..


Yoga with Babies

I’m in very sunny Fuerteventura enjoying a family holiday.

Leo is becoming a bit of a travel expert with a trip to China and holiday here all within his tiny 9 month’s of life experience.

As well as relaxing & spending time with the family, I have also planned on training my Wing Chun & practicing specific mobility and flexibility routines.

I incorporate a variety of exercises that I’ve picked up over the last 25 years that help loosen me up and make my body feel more alert and alive.

As well as practicing specific routines I also incorporate stretches within everyday activities… there are not enough hours in the day, so the more I can slot in to areas that are not specifically martial gives me an extra feeling of maximising time.

Stretching can be practiced in all sorts of situations and having a baby son gives me plenty of opportunities.

I think of it as baby yoga, but instead of it being yoga for babies, it’s yoga for me while playing and being with him.

Yoga with babies

Yoga with my baby son Leo

Due to his size I’m always bending down, squatting, lunching etc… instead of being unaware of how I interact with him, I consciously move in a way that is beneficial.. funnily enough, not doing so is probably damaging as bending over, picking things up and twisting are all very common ways back injuries occur.

Check out the photo of me with Leo…
In China it was common place to see people of all ages squatting in this way, I never see it in the west.  I think some of it is that we don’t see it, have not been shown it so don’t do it and also that many, many people lack the necessary flexibility/mobility to squat that far… which is unfortunate as we are designed to do so.

When you squat in this way, your bodies structure sits very comfortably and there is no stress or muscular work..

Try it yourself and see how it feels.

There’s a good chance you either can’t or it feels very tight…

I’s not the movement… it’s you.

Forget about doing the full splits… practice being able to squat all the way down…

It’s a movement we’re designed to do and I certainly find it a very useful position to play, hold, change nappies and generally interact with Leo.

So my tip for improving your flexibility.. bin the idea of doing full splits and focus on something useful.. like being able to move fully… I can’t remember the last time something dropped on the floor and I dropped in to the splits to pick it up.

Massive Thanks to The Confucius Institute

I’m back in the UK and still buzzing from my fantastic trip to China.

Welcome Meal for Kung Fu Schools in Beijing

A Hearty Welcome

I have to say a MASSIVE thank you to the Confucius Institute and in particular the Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine at London South Bank University (LSBU)….

We are recognised as a Confucius Institute Classroom and work very closely with LSBU…

They organised a fantastic trip and gave us many wonderful experiences.  Sheila & Vicky from the Beijing branch of the LSBU were more like guardian angels than guides…  They ensured we were very well looked after and were always available to help and answer our strange questions.

I will add loads of photos next week and my video guy is busy editing loads of video which will also be added.

I’ve got to dash as lots to get ready for tomorrow as at Cineworld Crawley supporting the launch of Kung Fu Panda 2.  We’ve been there today with the Confucius Institute’s WellBeing Team… putting on demonstrations and talking with people abut the many benefits of Kung Fu.

But once again, thank you to Liu Min & Lara Martin from Confucius Institute for Traditional Chinese Medicine at London South Bank University for making all of this possible… Lindsey, Leo, Carol, Connor, Michelle, Dara & I  had a truly memorable time.


kids Kung Fu & Ladies Kicking Butt

Dara & Connor were on good form on Friday.  They showed the kind of focus we instill in our Kung Fu classes.

Connor from the Kung Fu Schools training & being filmed in Beihai Park

Punch training at Beihai Park

Despite the heat and me being a bit of a task master, they punched, kicked, stepped and moved without compliant.  It was very hot and in between shoots, whoever wasn’t being filmed sat in the shade.  I should have the mother of all tans as I was perminetley glued to the camera except for nipping forward to make adjustments to position and demonstrate the next movement.

Both children enjoyed the filming and the way it was a lesson for them as well.  I was pleased to see their positions improving each day.  We made the most of the filming to mix it in as training as well.

We filmed in a number of locations in Beihai Park, which will make it more interesting to watch and when anyone is using the video to learn/remind themsleves, it will be easier to recall as there will be different scenary.  So it will be, the punches with the Draogon’s behind etc.

Lindsey continued filming material for the ladies self defence.. much to the amusement of a local park keeper who sat grinning the whole way through and clapping ocassionally.

She did a quick recap from the previous filming and then looked at freeing yourself if someone grabs both arms & how to deal with it if you are  grabbed by

Lindsey showing womens self defence techniques at Beihai Park China

damn Paul youve got dragon breath this morning

the throat.

Being filmed is like everything else, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Lindsey did all the talking and demonstrating on this shoot (well almost, I couldn’t help add the occasional word) you could see she was feeling more comfortable and relaxing in to it.

I think this is one of the overlooked pluses of this trip.. it’s forced everyone to deal with the camera being on them, how to move and talk in front of people.. Another skill being acquired.

On a side not, if anyone can recommend any books on communication for TV & radio I’d be very grateful.. also on how someone should stand for the best photo etc… it’s an overlooked area but why not be as professional as possible?… Do you think anyone in the mainstream glossy mags “stands normally”  to make a visual impression (and auditory) is another skill.


Kids from the Kung Fu School Crawley making new friends in China

Connor & Dara making friends in China

Interviews for Chinese TV

It’s been a scorcher – 35 degrees.. which made it pretty hot walking around the Forbidden City…

Sifu Paul from the Kung Fu Schools at The Forbidden City

At The Forbidden City

Despite the heat, it was another fantastic experience.  When you look around and the see the grandeur of it all, it takes your breath away.

Whatever magnificant setting you’ve seen on Chinese Martial Arts Epics.. The Forbidden City beats them all.  It must be a film directors dream location.

I couldn’t spend as long there as I’d have liked because of the heat, Leo was ultra grumpy (don’t blame him) and although Lindsey was hugging the buildings to stay in the shade, it was still blisteringly hot.  It’s hard to be fully immersed in your surroundings when your baby boy is unhappy.

Dara & Connor coped very well and pretty much skipped around the place, popping in and out of buildings.

If I had more time, I’d have hired a tour guide and spent the day going around it fully, while be told the background information and no doubt some interesting tales.

We were then supposed to visit Tian’anmen Square, unfortunately it was closed and pretty well guarded by a mixture of police and military.  You could feel a

Sifu Paul talking about Wing Chun Kung Fu for TV in China

Talking about differences between Wing Chun & Wu Shu for TV in China

tension in the air so we whizzed along.. no point in staying when you’ve got your family and others with you in a potentially troublesome area.

The kids had their last Wu Shu lesson while Lindsey and I spent hours talking to the Chinese TV.  We said how our trip was going, that the kids loved their training, that I was very impressed with Coach Zhu and the standard of her students which was incredibly high.

I then explained some differences between Wing Chun Kung Fu and Wu Shu with a couple of physical examples of Wing Chun and underlying concepts.  The interviewer could easily see and understand the differences I pointed out, especially as the students were training their Wu Shu while the interviews were taking place.

Lindsey spoke about women training in martial arts and how noticeable it was that there are far more women practicing martial arts in China than in the UK.  It is clearly more woven in to their culture.

The mums, Carol & Michelle were also interviewed and spoke of their experiences and those of their children.  Both said how great the experience has been and that the children have loved every minute of it.

The TV crew have promised that I will have a full copy of all the footage they’ve shot, for use in the UK.  I’m sure my video editing guy will be able to do

Sifu Paul & his wife Lindsey being interviewed about Kung Fu for TV in China

Yim Wing Chun & I talking with China TV about our experience in China

something very nice with the footage.  Plus there was some interest from the BBC about doing a follow up interview, especially if we have footage and photo’s from some of the locations.

Off to bed as it’s rapidly approaching 1.00am… off to Beihai Park to train and shoot more footage and if there’s time, squeeze in a visit to Prince Gong’s Palace.