WITH Chinese New Year around the corner Oxford’s Kung Fu academies came together yesterday to give people a taste of the Martial Art.

Held at Cowley Road Methodist Church, people had the chance to get a taste for different styles of Kung Fu at a Kung Fu Extravaganza.

The event was organised by Giles Yeates, Tai Chi & Kung Fu instructor at Daoshu Wudang Arts, who wanted people to have the opportunity to learn a few moves in Kung Fu styles such as Classic Tiger and Mantis.

He said: “This is a time of the year where Chinese culture becomes prominent around the world and the UK so we wanted to get together as a group and showcase what we do and give everyone a taste.

“The hardest Kung Fu lesson you’ll ever do is your first one because you’re going to a new place, with new people and then asked to move your body in different ways.

“So by doing this event we wanted to allow people to get a taste without feeling awkward.”

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Kung Fu is not just about self-defence but is also about the mind and spirit. Mr Yeates said this is what pulled him into learning and then teaching the art.

He has even travelled to China a number of times to be taught by Buddhist monks.

He said: “You can work on your body and self-defence while developing your health. Everything you do with your body you also do with your mind - it’s a form of meditation and prayer.

“It’s very similar to yoga in that it is about being balanced not just aggressive and improving your agility and suppleness.”

Mr Yeates teaches Kung Fu as well as Tai Chi every Thursday evening from 7pm at the church.