It looks like Dragon Rider may have found the sport for him! He has just started taking Kung Fu classes and is more excited about it than he has ever been with any other sport, including swimming! And he seems to have a natural talent for the moves. The style he is learning is Choy Li Fut (that’s the Cantonese name) and is a mixture of styles from both the Southern and Northern Chinese Martial Arts styles. From Wikipedia:
the powerful arm and hand techniques from the Shaolin animal forms from the South combined with the extended, circular movements, twisting body, and agile footwork that characterizes Northern China’s martial arts..
He is so excited to learn this that he comes home and continues to work on forms and movements on his own – in other words, practicing! Because of his age and his size, he can attend both the teen classes and the beginning adult classes for a total of 5 classes/week. However, on Mondays there is both a teen class and an adult class, so he usually only takes one or the other. He won’t be allowed to start sparring until he moves up one level (and gets rid of the white sash! ) It should take about 3-4 months to qualify for that. When he starts sparring, that will add another class each week.
You may remember that both boys did do some martial arts when they were little. That was Taekwondo, a Korean martial art developed in the 1950s by the South Korean military, and they were 6-7 years old. This is very different (as martial arts go) and Mike is already learning so much. He is very interested in the weapons that he will eventually get to start learning in Kung Fu. The first will be a long staff (just a wooden stick or pole.) Don’t worry – the dangerous weapons are a long way off and they use practice weapons, anyway.
I took some pictures and videos of his 3rd class, the teen class, so that I could show you what he is learning. There were only 4 teens that day, including Dragon Rider. You can click on a photo to see a larger size. There are really a total of 6 videos, but I put them all together in a “playlist”, so when you are watching the videos, wait a second after the end of each video and the next one will automatically start so that you can see all 6 videos in a row.