In opening training classes for 2017, Papua New Guinea Shaolin Kung Fu master, Stephen Ngandang Sifu encouraged more young people to take up martial arts.
Ngandang said young people need direction in terms of good behaviour, respect and confidence and martial arts is the best way to teach them that.
“It also keeps them fit and gives them something to do but most importantly, it gives them the ability to protect themselves and their friends and families when they have to,” he said.
Ngandang has been practicing and teaching Kung Fu for 30 years and has seen a lot of changes in the students who have passed through his school.
His doors were opened on January 7 this year for new and returning students who wish to learn Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi.
A small ceremony was held to mark the occasion with students performing all the forms and techniques taught at the school.
The school teaches Shaolin Lohan Kung Fu and Wushu styles, Tai Chi for exercise and meditation, and self-defense and combat techniques for personal protection.
Interested people can contact Sifu Steven on 753 69 295 and 721 64 608 or Andrew Molen on 708 28 421 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for fees and more information.
The school saw its latest batch of students pass through on December 10, 2016 with their graduation from junior to senior level before the school went for the Christmas break.
30 students were tested by Ngandang on their Kung Fu knowledge and skills and also put up an overall display of skill and technique for guests to see.
The Sifu also announced during the graduation that it was the last grading that he will be conducting as he is retiring. However, he will still be teaching and assisting his senior students and instructors to carry on the work of the school.
“The work now will go to my senior students and I will be supporting and guiding them,” Ngandang said.
Taekwondo master and PNG martial arts expert, Jamuga Stone who attended the graduation ceremony was pleased with the performances of the students and congratulated Ngandang for the work he has done with his students.
Stone said martial arts is an important concept which teaches some very important life lessons and urged other young people to join as well.
It does not matter what sport or job you do, you should still practice a martial art for your own safety, health and well-being.
Of the grading he said, “I know that it is not easy to train and then to be tested to see if you will pass or not. I have been there.”
Stone recalled when he and Ngandang did their grading in front of their teachers.
“Steven (Ngandang) did his grading in front of a Chinese man while I did mine under Korean masters; we were under pressure because these were their arts and we had to train really hard to do our test well so that we could impress them and pass our tests.
“I am very impressed with your performance and the skill that you have shown,” Stone said.
He encouraged the students to continue to train wherever they are and use their skills for good and to help those who need them.
Ngandang thanked Stone for his support and also acknowledged other martial artists and families of the students who have shown their support to the school.
The PNG Shaolin Kung Fu School has extended its program to four days of training per week to cater for the high number of interest from the public.