I have been training with White Crane Academy for nearly three years now and have really felt the benefits to my health and general well being.
I have a history of martial arts having previously trained and fought in western kickboxing and Thai boxing. When my first child was born it became increasingly difficult to balance training, work and home life. I grew out of the habit of training and stopped doing martial arts.
Some years ago I felt that I was becoming less supple due to lack of stretching etc. I work in a physical job (forest work) and had some repetitive strain injuries most notable on my elbow (tendinitis aka tennis elbow) and my lower back which required regular osteopathy sessions. I felt that if I did not start martial arts training again it may become too late (its never too late actually!) so I looked for a local martial arts club to join.
White Crane Kung Fu was not necessarily my first choice but it was local and convenient and I thought that I would give it a try. I really enjoyed the lessons and coming from a more sport combat background I felt that the White Crane Tiger style that Mark Stevenson, the chief instructor, teaches complemented my previous training perfectly. I enjoy the range of skills that White Crane encompasses as it is a complete system that includes strikes, holds, throws, fitness, strength of mind and ground work. It is also a discipline that has a strong self-defence element and does not require physical strength to be effective.
And my tennis elbow and bad back? Since training in Kung Fu my tennis elbow has essentially been cured and back problems are now few and far between. This is all the more remarkable as I thought that these physical problems would prevent me from returning to martial arts and modern medicine essentially had the attitude that my joints were worn out! I am now an assistant instructor at the club and can recommend training in white crane Kung Fu to everyone whatever your fitness level or age.