An ancient self defence method will soon be taught in Yorkton.
Shaolin Kung Fu traces its roots 4000 years to Hunan (now Honan) province in China, explained Master Scott Allan Craig.
“It was developed by women and men who were equal,” he said, adding at that time it was a system created “to defend against wild animals.”
But the techniques employed against wild animals four thousand years ago have relevancy in modern society, said Craig, who added sadly “some people are like animals.”
The Shaolin philosophy is one of peace, said Craig, who is in the city for several months on a book writing sabbatical, but when danger manifests itself kung fu can be “horrific in application” as a way to repel an attack.
Craig himself is a Master of Shaolin Kung Fu having started training at age seven, and traveling the world to refine the skills including Thailand, Taipei, Japan, Hong Kong, the United States and of course across Canada. He explained to be a Master it is something bestowed by another Master, adding to be a Shaolin Priest “you have to believe in a god, a creator.”
The aspect of priesthood adds another level to fully understanding what self defence can mean.
“Look into my eyes and find a place for me to be before you take my life,” said Craig.
Craig said he wants to offer courses in Yorkton, starting with self defence training for students and women. He said the basic premise of such training is to provide the skills to deal with someone grabbing you. Whether it is by the throat, hair, arm, shoulder, there are techniques which can force release of the hold.
“This gives the person an opportunity to get the hands off their body so they can get away,” he said.
For men in the city Craig wants to create “a contact sparring club,” which is “based on ring fighting.” The techniques he will teach “are not designed for tournaments,” but instead ficus on responding to attacks from multiple attackers. He said that goes back to the original teachings of Shaolin Kung Fu where animals often attack in packs.
The pack mentality often manifests itself in some horrible attacks on people, offered Craig.
“People in a group will do things they would never do alone,” he said. “To listen to fools, mobs rule.”
Craig said he will make classes inclusive. While he will charge clients, if someone truly wants to learn, and cannot afford training, he will find a way to make it happen.
As for when classes might start, Craig said he is beginning the process of gauging interest, talking to schools and similar institutions, as well as investigating what venue for training would work best in the city.
In that regard Craig said he hopes the community will step up and support his efforts which are going to focus on defence skills for those taking part, adding it is part of the philosophy “everyone has the right to live free of violence.”
To that end Craig said Shaolin Kung Fu “is the ultimate in skill for the maintenance of peace.”