May 30, 2011 Paul Hawkes

Zoo, Teddies, Temples & Kung Fu

Beijing is a wonderful city to visit… I’m here with my wife Lindsey, our 9 month year old son Leo, two 7 year old children from our Kung Fu School in Crawley, Dara & Connor and their mums, Michelle & Carol.

We’re here to be filmed for a documentary by the Chinese Education TV as The Kung fu Schools a Confucius Institute Classroom… they want to film Lindsey & the children training Kung Fu in China.

Connor & Dara with their Teddies from West Green Primary School in Beijing

As well as Kung Fu training we’re also being shown around Beijing and having the wonderful opportunity to visit many of beautiful places such as Yong He Gong Temple, The Great wall, The Forbidden City, Temple Heaven, The Summer Palace and more.


We’ve visited Beijing Zoo which the children loved.  I’m not that keen on zoo’s however I liked the setting and the people were incredibly friendly.


Dara & Connor are taking 2 teddy bears from West Green Primary School that have traveled all over the place. They’ve been asked to take photos where ever possible to tell the other children back at west Green Primary School all about their trip.  They’ve been honing their presentation skills in front of a video camera, recording messages for fellow students and teachers at school and the Kung Fu School.


Sifu Paul & kids from the Kung Fu Schools at the Temple of Heaven

Dara, Connor, me & Leo at the Temple of Heaven - nice green ear

Yong He Gong Temple & The Temple of Heaven are both beautiful.  Personally I could have spent much longer there, but time was against us.

On the Temple of Heaven I hired an automated tour recording that is programmed to give specific information at certain areas of your tour.  It’s a great idea and one that I’ll definitely do again.. Although I couldn’t take full advantage as juggling Leo and taking photos of everyone didn’t allow for full concentration.  It also has the added bonus of making me look even more foolish in photos as I have a green ear piece.


Kung Fu

Lindsey & the kids were all a little nervous and excited about their Kung Fu lesson with Wu Shu national coach Ms. Jianghong ZHU at the prestigious Shichahai Wu Shu School where the phenomenal martial arts film super star, jet Li trained and graduated from. .  They had no idea what to expect, other than the fact it would be very different from their Wing Chun Kung Fu training.

Before their class was due to start, members of the current National Wu shu Team were practicing… it looked liked scenes from the Chinese movies… they were somersaulting, flying kicking, twirling sticks at high speed, throwing weapons up in the air, rolling, spinning and catching them… very impressive athleticism.

Kung Fu Schools ladies instructor, Lindsey. Training in China at the Beijing Wu Shu School.

Lindsey getting a few pointers from the Wu Shu Natioanl Coach

Even Leo loved watching them, letting squeals of delight as they tumbled jumped and generally made loads of noise with their swords and staffs.


The ciach introduced herself and explained that they would be participating in a class.  However it wasn’t the usual class at that time, because the film crew were there, their more talented children were present.

The kids loved every minute of it and despite it being very different and involving a lot of kicks, Lindsey did as well.

The skill of some of the childen was incredible.  When I asked the coach how often they trained, she replied “2.5 hours a day, 6 days a week”  wow!! once again the secret formulae to excellence shows itself…. hard work, commitment and perseverance.

we’re back there tomorrow afternoon for another lesson, after visiting the Prince Gong’s Palace & doing our own Kung Fu training in Beihai Park.


I’d planned on writing the blogs earlier.. the combination of loads going on, a restless baby and awful internet connection have all conspired to make it a little more challenging.

I’ll add photos as soon as the internet connection speeds up.  It’s even slower than me getting to the washing up bowl.


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