Kung fu calling
CHRISTIAN Niblock is making his dream come true to become a kung fu master and has seized the opportunity of a lifetime to train in China for a year under generational masters of the art.
The Port Douglas local has been studying martial arts since he was eight and has learnt several forms including kung fu, karate, ti kwando and injitsu but his passion was put on hold while he pursued his career in hotel management.
“My master in Brisbane Jonathan Chan who I have been training with since 2003 recommended the Maling Shaolin,” Christian said.
“I am going to learn from masters who date back 32 generations, it’s a dream for me going to a kung fu school day in and day out and I finish at a master level.
“I’m also learning Buddhist theory and calligraphy.”
Christian will be training in the Lee province standing on the ground where his idol Bruce Lee trained.
He has been training hard every day in preparation for a physically challenging year.
One training regime will require him to stand on wooden blocks about one metre off the ground and complete fight sequences.
“I will learn to use spears and swords and they don’t really use padding so I had to purchase extensive medical insurance - but it’s all part of the experience, you can’t do martial arts if you don’t get hit, you need to be conditioned,” Christian said.
Out of all the martial arts, Christian has decided to master kung fu because he the style is very fluid, using the whole body and working with energy flow and applying techniques over relying on strength.
“There’s a lot of history behind it and where the stances come from,” he said.
“I have got a range of styles including the prey mantis and the long fist.”
The journey will not be easy without knowledge of the Chinese language but it was an opportunity Christian said he did not want to miss out on while he was still young and fit enough to fulfill his dream.
“You need courage to take that first step but once you do, it’s a weight off the shoulders and I am going to achieve my dream and it’s something everyone should strive to do,” he said.
“Kung fu is over 5000 years old and where I’m going there is no internet, no phone, my form of transport is going to be a horse.
“I’m going back to nature and living life to the absolute fullest and if I can inspire people to follow their dreams then I’ve already won.”