After seeing and hearing a lot about law and order, security and disciplinary problems among young people and women, a Kung Fu master in Port Moresby believes that martial arts training can help to address these issues.
Steven Ngandang, a ‘Sifu’ (head instructor) in the Chinese martial art of Shaolin Kung Fu is concerned at the alarming number of issues that young men and women, especially teenagers and young adults, are facing every day.
Developing good character in young Papua New Guineans through martial arts training can help raise a well behaved generation for the future.
The high cost of living in the urban areas has put a burden on families which has seen a lot of young men and women turning to other means for pleasure to get their mind off things, most times these lead to violence and crime.
Sifu Steven said getting them involved in martial arts can help them avoid and better deal with these issues. It will also give them the tools to protect themselves and their loved ones should they ever get into a dangerous situation.
“A good character reference from us can also help them to find a job somewhere,” Ngandang said.
The Kung Fu expert graduated his last batch of students in December, 2016 and opened his doors this year to new interested people to join his school.
Ngandang said many young men and women have passed through his Kung Fu school with different aims and ambitions and coming from various backgrounds.
After a year or so in training, they develop a higher level of positive character and show a good change in personality.
While the committed ones stayed on, others left after only a few sessions and never return. Some had other commitments while the rest had other expectations or simply found the training hard.
Ngandang said if it were any easier, it would not be Kung Fu.
“After training with me, the students become more polite, respectful, humble and focused.
“They also learn the value of hard work because the only way for them to master each technique and execute it well, they have to practice.
“I would like to see more people develop such characteristics so that we will not have so much problems in our communities,” Ngandang said.
He said Kung Fu is not easy but there are many things to learn from it.
“I strongly encourage young children and women especially, to learn this martial art because it will greatly help them in one or another,” Ngandang said.
Kung Fu not only helps and promotes character development in its students but also strengthens fitness and healthy living, meditation and relaxation to calm the mind, develops good coordination and teaches self-defense.
Some of Ngandang’s students have gone on to participate in other sports using their high level of flexibility and fitness to their advantage. Some have also represented the country.
Ngandang’s PNG Shaolin Kung Fu School has gone through some hard times over the years but the Master from Morobe has never failed in ensuring that his students attend training every weekend.
One of Ngandang’s biggest challenge is finding a good training venue which, in the meantime is the backyard at his home at Moale, Gerehu in the National Capital District.
The old building that the school was originally based in at the Colts oval in Boroko was torn down some years ago to make way for new developments for the 2015 Pacific Games.
“Since then we came here to Sifu’s place and despite the location, committed students still find their way here every weekend,” said Ngandang’s most senior student, Andrew Molen.
For better accessibility for more people, the school is hoping to find a place within the city, a task that has been daunting them for a while.
Ngandang is also appealing to the international community in PNG and the region especially, the Chinese community to contact him and discuss opportunities in further promoting the code in PNG and generating more interest among the population.
“Kung Fu is part of the Chinese culture so I would like the Chinese community to be involved somehow to help grow the style and further promote it,” Ngandang said.
Teaching the style for over 30 years, Ngandang is nearing his retirement and fears the art might die out when he stops so he encourages his current students to work hard to learn as much as they can from him.
The school is planning to hold a mini tournament and a self defence seminar soon and hopes that many interested people can be a part of that as well.
Those interested to learn Kung Fu can contact Sifu Steven on 753 69 295 or 721 64 608 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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