Toronto Kung Fu - Testimonials / Reviews
"The essence of kung fu is brought to you. "
~ Matthieu Court, previously trained in modern wushu
Matthieu Court began his kung fu training at Bamboo Kung Fu downtown location at age of 16 years old. He had previously trained at a modern wushu school in Ukraine for about 3 years. When asked about what was the difference in training between modern wushu and authentic traditional kung fu at Bamboo Kung Fu. He had this to say: “I wanted to continue wushu before settling for Bamboo Kung Fu…but saw how traditional kung fu transcends it in many ways…being something pragmatic and sustainable over a lifetime.”
He understands and truly appreciates the importance of proper coaching so that training does not go in the wrong direction.
For the first few months while at Bamboo Kung Fu, he has had multiple “Aha!” moments in which his mental light bulb turned on. In other words, he achieved a deeper level of understanding of techniques that were previously taught to him. In the past he had often been told to perform a technique a certain way without being made aware of its importance or application. While training in class, he would often say something like “Oh! That’s why I was told not to move my torso while kicking! So the technique is not telegraphing.” With the understanding of its real-world applications, he now appreciates and truly takes to heart the coaching cues from his teacher at Bamboo Kung Fu.
When people sign up to a training program, they hope that the instructor has sufficient knowledge and is willing to convey that information correctly using sound body mechanics. The teacher has to truly understand what he/she is conveying, not just because they themselves trained in that style under their own teacher, but from an intimate understanding of technique and application.
A good martial arts coach will offer personalized instruction to each individual trainee, especially when it comes to foundation training, i.e. the basics.
Firstly, if the basics or foundation is not strictly guided, the quality of the technique will suffer and can render the technique unachievable and later application of technique becomes irrelevant.
In North American martial arts schools, the lower belts below and up to first degree or first-dan black belt are issued through individual schools. Hence, each school is at liberty to issue various lower belts as they see fitting into their operation model. In many martial arts systems, levels above first-dan black belt for example, the 2nd-dan black belt is issued through regional / national controlling bodies. Should the trainee decide to pursue higher level of martial arts training, for example in the karate or taekwondo system, from 1st-dan black belt to 2nd-dan black belt and if the basic skills are not guided properly, the trainee may have to go back and train the basic skills all over again to satisfy the requirements of the standards of the governing body.
So as not to be misled, the trainee's time, effort, financial resources are not wasted on pursuing something half correct or half authentic. If the foundational skills are properly coached, she or he can have a choice to pursue higher level martial arts learning since, he/she already has the foundation knowledge and capable tools to progress further ahead.
As for Matthieu, in contrast to his previous wushu training in Ukraine, he felt the training at Bamboo Kung Fu has allowed him to understand the essence of art of kung fu and is every bit as fulfilling. Please see his testimonial in the following YouTube video link:
Martial art learning experience is multi-faceted. It is a great physical fitness activity, self defense application, good for character building. It is not about how many medals you can win at competitions, how superior you can feel over someone else because you have the knowledge to defend yourself. It is about philosophy of respect for wellbeing of humanity and living beings, correct wrongdoings, inspiring towards positive development and responsibility.
Finally, the takeaway: if your goal is to learn a martial art that has the abovementioned qualities, seek out a martial art school with the said qualities.
"Don't underestimate what you can do, even at this point in your life. You have limits, but you can expand on those limits."
~ Philippe G. - at the age of mid-50s
Philippe G, who is in his 50s, have been training at Bamboo Kung Fu in the downtown Toronto location for more than 2 years. He had previous major injuries from a car accident years ago. He said, “I had fractured ribs, partially collapsed lung, two displaced vertebrae. It took me a long time to recover… over a year of physiotherapy.” His post physiotherapy treatments physical conditions and wellness have been troubled with pain in his ankles, sleep apnea, weight fluctuations and low energy.
As he had taken various other forms of martial arts during his younger years, he did not expect much hope of improving his health. After the promotional trial period at Bamboo Kung Fu, he continue to attend classes as a result of the multiple health benefits that he experiences. He further indicated, “I’ve been able to get back most of my flexibility, increased my endurance and even have built up a little muscle tone which, I did not realized.” He had less sick days as “… my ability to fight off infections is incredible.”
His advice to others is:
Don’t underestimate what you can do, even at this point in your life. You have limits, but you can expand on those limits. You can do way more than you believe you can. And you won’t even realize it until somebody says, “Hey, you’re able to do this now.” And you didn’t even see that change happening. It’ll happen.
Highly recommended I thoroughly enjoy attending classes at Bamboo Kung Fu. Sifu Sze and his assistant instructors are professional, personable, passionate, patient, knowledgeable, attentive and inspiring. I love it. I leave every class with a smile. About 4 years ago, I started experiencing some debilitating joint pain in my back, hips, knees, hands, elbows and shoulders. The pain gradually increased in frequency over time. Prior to attending classes in early February, I was in pain weekly which had me in bed for 2 or 3 days. About a week after starting classes, my doctor prescribed Non steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and recommended that I drop the classes. Reluctantly, I have taken the tablets twice. I’ve bowed out of maybe 2 classes in February due to pain. Overall, the intensity and frequency of the pain has greatly diminished. It’s been about a month since my last bout of pain and it was moderate. I am so grateful and appreciate the training classes. As a ‘big girl’, I have been challenged, encouraged and inspired both physically and mentally and had fun along the way. Especially for women considering taking the classes, push past your inhibition and intimidation and go for it. Your body and mind will thank you.
— Marcia Dennis, Etobicoke Ontario
Tried, and loved, a new Kung Fu school – Bamboo Kung Fu. I haven’t trained at a studio in about 2 years, and this is the worst shape I've ever been in in my entire life. I've gone from sports, to dance, to Kung Fu and these last two years since having baby have been the slowest, athletically speaking. Boy did it show! In my complimentary class I had my tushy kicked! *Frankly, I was a little embarrassed at my performance* Every muscle currently hurts, and every muscle is currently crying out in agony to be put out of it’s misery….and I love every single second of it!
— Joanna H. in ModaMama blog http://www.modamamablog.com/2012_03_01_archive.html
Bamboo Kung Fu engaged students and their families in an introductory demonstration class at Timberbank Jr PS for T&F Family Night. Kin, our instructor, was both encouraging and patient. He was able to work with students and adults of various ages in our class and modify the techniques to the abilities of the group. Bamboo Kung Fu also provided important literature on the importance of health and back safety to prevent injuries and strains that are caused by our everyday lives. We were delighted that Kin and Bamboo Kung Fu were able to be a part of our family and community event that focused on mental health, physical fitness, and emotional well-being. Thank you again, Bamboo Kung Fu
— Timberbank Jr Public School
Sergey Sheikov has been training with Bamboo Kung Fu under Sifu Kin Sze for about 1.5 years. He said that during this time, his martial arts fighting application skills have improved dramatically and feel better and more energetic than he has ever felt in the last 10 years. In the first year of kung fu training alone, he learned more about practical fighting methods than what he had previously learned in 4 years of karate and kung fu combined.
From the perspective of wellness and health, his nagging lower back pains disappeared after about 6 months of training. In his mid 40s, he no longer experience lower back pains when he wakes up in the morning nor when he get off the seat after long flights or long car rides. He is still training with Sifu Kin Sze as because Sifu Kin Sze has still has a lot more to offer as a teacher and certified personal fitness trainer.
— quoting Sergey Sheikov, Financial Consultant
As a long-time fan of Martial Arts and Kung Fu films, training with Kin Sze has been a dream come true. Not only have I been learning authentic Chinese Kung Fu, but the personal training and strength building has completely transformed the way I feel and move. The weight dropped off, my core feels solid, and my movement has become more fluid and relaxed. Whether I’m in the gym, or climbing a flight of stairs, I feel in command of my personal space. I’ve noticed decreased anxiety and depression, and increased sense of well-being. Bamboo Kung Fu Rocks!
— Chris “Public” Dell, Toronto, Ontario
Bamboo Kung Fu school is a great place to learn authentic traditional kung fu! While learning the foundations of kung fu, you will find that the teachings also incorporates many aspects of Chinese culture. If you live in the Markham area and are looking to study kung fu or wanted find out if kung fu is for you, try out a class at Bamboo Kung Fu. It only takes me 20 mins drive from my house in Markham to the school in Scarborough location. Moreover, Bamboo offers great teaching of applying combative skills using your most basic day to day life and natural movements. Nonetheless, training at Bamboo Kung Fu – Scarborough location will definitely make you physically and mentally healthier for the days to come.
— Cody Choi, Markham, Ontario
If you are looking to learn a system of martial arts that is practical and efficient, I highly recommend coming to learn at Bamboo Kung Fu. Sifu Kin Sze is an excellent teacher, who engages his students and patiently trains them according to their level of skill and fitness. He is very knowledgeable and you will learn and improve each time you come here. The other students are also very friendly and helpful giving the school a serious, but welcoming, atmosphere that you would like to be in to learn and train. The Scarborough school, which I attend, is near Pacific Mall and also quite accessible and it takes me approximately 10 minutes to drive there from North York. Overall, if you want to improve yourself physically and mentally, Bamboo Kung Fu is the place to be.
— Matthew Yan, Ph.D. candidate, North York, Ontario